Stephen Colbert on the O’Reilly Factor

No-Spin Zone. The King of Truthiness. You figure it out.

Announcer: The #1 show that dominates cable news – The O’Reilly Factor!

Bill O’Reilly: Thanks for staying with us, I’m Bill O’Reilly. In the “Culture War” segment tonight, the Colbert Report on Comedy Central – it’s a very succesful program that owes everything – to me. [00:15] The snide host, Stephen Colbert, tries to convince Americans that he is me.

Stephen Colbert: This show is not about me. No, this program is dedicated to you – the heroes. And who are the heroes? The people who watch this show. Average, hard working Americans – you’re not the elites; you’re not the “country-club crowd-“

BOR: Now who does that remind you of? With us now is Stephen Colbert.

SC: Bill, thank you for having me on. This is an amazing honor; I just want you to know, that, I spend so much time in the world, that is, spinning, all the time, that to be in the No-Spin Zone actually give me vertigo.

BOR: Okay. Are you ready for the interview?

SC: I’m ready for anything. My life is an open book.

BOR: You’re ready. [00:59]

SC: I’ve been waiting my whole life for this, sir. I’m here at the heart of O’Reilly-dom right now. This is the Holy of Holies. Hit it. I’d love to be nailed.

BOR: Colbert. That’s a French name, is it not?

SC: It’s a French name, just to get the cultural elites on my side. I’m just as Irish as you, Bill. I’m a Torme, I’m an O’Neill, I’m a Tuck, I’m a Fie, I’m a Connelly-

BOR: ‘Cause I talk-

SC: I could sit toe-to-toe at a potato table with anybody.

BOR: I talked to your third grade teacher, Miss Crabtree. She said back then, you were little Steve Colbert, back in South Carolina. [01:29]

SC: I was Steve Colbert. BOR: But you – once you got to Manhattan from South Carolina, changed from ‘Little Steve Colbert”, to Stephen Col-bear.  

SC: Bill, you know you gotta play the game that the media elites want you to do, okay? Some places you can draw the line, some places you can’t. You and I, have taken a lot of positions against the powers that be, and we’ve paid a heavy price. We have TV shows, product lines, and books, okay? That’s the price we pay.

BOR: It is tough being me. Is it tough being you?

SC: It’s hard for me, to be you; I’ll tell you that much. [02:04]

BOR: It is? Now, don’t you owe me an enormous amount of money?

SC: Well, if I were imitating you, I would, Bill, but there’s a difference betwen imitation – and emulation.

BOR: I see.

SC: Let me tell you the difference, okay?

BOR: Please.

SC: If you imitate someone, you owe them a royalty check. If you emulate them, you don’t. There’s a big difference. Check you lawyer.

BOR: I will, I will. Now, what is it, exactly, that you do, on your program?

SC: What I do, Bill, is I capture the world in the headlights of my justice. Okay?

BOR: Your justice?

SC: I shine my light, okay? I shine my light, no matter where that light takes me, okay? I’m not afraid of anything. I might be afraid of you, but other than that, I’m not afraid of a thing in the world, okay? [02:42]

BOR: Nothing.

SC: We on my show – and by “we”, I mean me – usually –

BOR: It’s just you, right?

SC: That’s it.

BOR: Okay.

SC: Turn the cameras on, I go. Alright? Nothing’s scripted –

BOR: No writers? No, no –

SC: Nothing’s prepared. I improvise the show every night, just like you do, Bill.

BOR: Mm-hmm.

SC: There’s nothing in these prompters. You’re making this –

BOR: It’s all me –

SC: – As you go.

BOR: It’s all me. [03:00] Now, who- who watches you? What’s your audience? Do you do research? Do you know who – “

SC: Well, Bill, that’s one of the reasons I wanna do my show, okay? I emulate you, and I wanna bring your message of love and peace – which, I understand, that is your message –

BOR: It is.

SC: I want to bring the message of love and peace to a younger audience; people in their sixties, people in their fifties, people who don’t watch this show.

BOR: Okay, people in their fifties and sixties, too young for The Factor –

SC: Right.

BOR: – Are watching your show. ‘Cause we did a study of Jon Stewart’s show.

SC: Yeah. That guy?

BOR: Yeah. It was stoned slackers that were watching his show.

SC: Absolute- You have to be high to understand Jon Stewart.

BOR: Of course. Now how-

SC: That guy’s so- that guy’s pinker than an Indian River grapefruit.

BOR: How does Stewart handle that you are now more famous and successful than he is?

SC: I don’t know. We don’t talk.

BOR: No?

SC: No. We don’t talk at all.

BOR: Does that drive him to smoke MORE substance, now that you have overtaken him?

SC: It might. It might. He was high most of the time I worked over there. I had to leave, Bill.

BOR: Right.

SC: I don’t want to do my own show. I love The Daily Show. I love the people who work there.

BOR: And you-

SC: I had to get out, for me.

BOR: You, emulating me, were outraged at the conduct of Stewart and his minions.

SC: Absolutely, ’cause, you know – here’s what I love about you, Bill, okay? You give, okay?

BOR: I am a giver. [04:06]

SC: You give and give. I do my show, half- hour – this is why I could never hope to be you – I do my show, half-hour a night, four nights a week; I, haven’t seen my kids in eighteen months, and I am losing calcium in my bones. Doctors says I should stop; I’m not gonna. Okay? You go five nights a week, an hour a night-

BOR: An hour.

SC: Plus the Radio Factor, Bill.

BOR: Right.

SC: What are you on? What gives you the strength? Jesus Christ, or Pat Robertson’s protein shake?

BOR: It is- I’m motivated by the fact that you need material; that the more I’m on, the more successful you will be.

SC: Can I-

BOR: See?

SC: -Just get a feed from your show into my ear?

BOR: I don’t know. We have some kind of buzz thing. Now look, I just want to tell the audience that every left-wing critic in the country loves you.

 SC: I don’t read ’em, Bill.

BOR: But every left-wing –

SC: I don’t read ’em.

BOR: They, love you. Why? Is it because you’re French? Is that why?

SC: That must be it, Bill. I’m using that to pull the wool over their eyes, so they- see,

that’s the sugar-

BOR: You must be doing something-

SC: that gets my medicine into the system.

BOR: You must be doing something-

SC: I’m doing you, Bill.

BOR: That you- they hate me. The New York Times hates me, but they love you.

SC: IT’S THE NEW YORK TIMES, BILL!

BOR: Oh, what’s the difference! You’re imitating me-

SC: They hate George Bush, of course they’re gonna hate you! They’re haters, Bill.

BOR: They are. They’re scum.

I have a sheet here. It says you dislike, and you’re afraid of bears and owls. Is that true?

SC: I’m afraid of – bears. I think owls are a waste of time.

BOR: Okay. You don’t think about owls.

SC: No, no.

BOR: They’re in the Jon Stewart category.

SC: They absolutely are.

BOR: Right. You won’t have anything to do with owls?

SC: No.

BOR: But you do fear bears.

SC: I do fear bears.

BOR: Okay. The other thing is-

SC: They’re giant marauding godless killing machines. [05:40]

BOR: There’s one right there, right there.

SC: That’s not a real bear, right?

BOR: No.

SC: Okay. Thank you.

BOR: That’s the editor of the New York Times.

SC: Okay.

BOR: Now, your middle name is “Tyrone.”

SC: It is.

BOR: How could that possibly happen?

SC: Because I’m Irish, Bill. Have you ever been-, you ever been-

BOR: You’re French.

SC: Have you ever been to Tyrone?

BOR: There isn’t one Irishman-
 
SC: Have you ever been-

BOR: -on earth named “Col-bear.”

SC: Have you ever- Colbert, Corn (ed. note-Cornelius) Colbert of the Easter Rebellion of 1916.

BOR: Oh, now you’re Colbert again!

SC: I thought you had researchers!

BOR: WHO ARE YOU? Are you Colbert or Col-bear?

(pause) [06:09]

SC: Bill,…I’m whoever you want me to be.

BOR: All right. Colbert.

SC: I’m at the foot of the master.

BOR: I don’t want you to be a French guy.

SC: Make me a spaniel at thy gate, Bill.

BOR: You want to be Irish, you can be Irish. I don’t want you being a French guy.

SC: You know why- you know what I hate about people who criticize you, Bill?

BOR: Who?

SC: They, they criticize what you say, but they never give you credit for how loud you say it.

BOR: That’s true. There are not many-

SC: Or how long you say it.

BOR: -People as loud as I am.

I’m giving you the last word. Is that a wise thing to do?

SC: I – I’d give it to me.

BOR: Yep. What is the last word?

SC: I want to thank you for not asking me about that thing that we pre-agreed you wouldn’t ask me about.

BOR: Okay. The kid, the thing that happened-

SC: Noo-ja-ha.

BOR: Yeah, that thing.

SC: Okay.

BOR: That’s the kind of guy I am: a sensitive, kind guy. And I’ll be on your program tonight, right?

SC: Watch it.

BOR: 4:30 in the morning, that’s when you guys are on?

SC: Mmm-hmm. Uh, yeah, that’s Pacific Time. [06:58]

BOR: Lookin’ forward to that. Stephen Colbert, everybody.

SC: Thank you, Bill.

BOR: Owes his whole life to me, and I’m happy to give it up for him.

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