January 19, 2007

O'Reilly on "Colbert" and Colbert on "O'Reilly."

There was a big media event last night. Did you notice? Let's watch.

Bill O'Reilly begins his segment -- which he calls "Culture War" -- by proclaiming that Colbert's "owes everything to me" -- which was hilariously Colbertish. Stephen Colbert is in character as the O'Reillyish ass he plays on "The Colbert Report." Colbert expresses his awe at being "in the holy of holies" -- that is, on "The O'Reilly Factor." O'Reilly begins by revealing the shocking results of his investigation: Colbert used to pronounce the "t" at the end of his name and changed to the Frenchy pronunciation after he came to Manhattan. Colbert admits it was a scheme to get the cultural elites on his side: "Bill, you know, you gotta play the game that the media elites want you to do, okay?" After much banter, including Colbert's claims that he's Irish, Bill -- who's being pretty funny and good natured, in fact -- yells "Who are you? Are you Colbert or Col-bear?" Colbert: "I'm whoever you want me to be."

Later, on Colbert's show, the segment is called "Great Minds Think Alike." The two men sit down in front of a "Mission Accomplished" sign. (Here's the video.) O'Reilly claims he's not a tough guy, really. "This is all an act." Colbert: "If you're an act, what am I?"

Nicely done, by both men.

40 comments:

Mortimer Brezny said...

You really get to see how good Colbert's imitation is.

My favorite part was Colbert on the Factor making an O'Reilly-esque false distinction between emulation and imitation. Hilarious.

And I say that as someone who thinks O'Reilly intellectually murdered U of Chicago professor Geoff Stone in his interview.

Freder Frederson said...

How was it "nicely done" by both men? Colbert is playing a character which is a caricature of O'Reilly. O'Reilly has harshly criticized both Colbert and Jon Stewart (and their audience) in the past, particularly when he gets together with that huge idiot and fraud. Now we are supposed to believe that O'Reilly himself is just having a goof on all of us and he is just a parody himself?

What he did last night was show himself to be the ultimate whore. He will do and say anything to sell one more piece of "Factor Gear". O'Reilly is a bully and maybe he thought he could make Colbert look like a fool but after seeing the tape of Colbert eviscerate D'Nesh D'Souza earlier in the week he decided he better act like he just loved Colbert and he could take a joke. Of course everything he has ever said or done up until this point shows that he is extremely thin-skinned and vindictive (e.g., he won't even mention Olberman or Al Franken by name).

Freder Frederson said...

Whoops that should read "especially when he [O'Reilly] gets together with that huge idiot and fraud Geraldo."

Joe Baby said...

Nutty that the prig O'Reilly has a better sense of humor than the pack of liberal comedians who condemn him and anything like him.

Pogo said...

I don't see how a comedian can "eviscerate" anyone, at least not on an intellectual basis. Mockery is not argument, nor are jokes and send-ups substitutes for thoughtful discussion.

It's not too hard to make smart people look the fool. It does nothing to their arguments, however, just their pride. One simply cannot refute a sneer.

Just don't confuse Colbert with actual information, investigative rigor, or factual debate. His is merely the adolescent's approach to a lack of knowledge and judgement. That is, it's funny, but meaningless.

pablo H said...

Nicely done?

You've got to be kidding.

Kudos to Bill for trying to be nice to a left-wing comic who makes fun of him 4 nights a week. But...

1) Bill is not Funny. He's about as funny as Walter Conkrite or Charlie Rose. Bill, please leave the yuks to the comics or clowns like Olbermann.

2) Colbert needs a script. Unlike Stewart, who can ad lib, Colbert is really a comic *Actor*, which means he needs a script to be funny.

3) Only Lefties think BOR is "right-wing". He's against the death penalty, he's against illegal immigration, child molestors, criminals, and saying Merry Christmas. Liberals, thats not right-wing, thats American. Which is why BOR has the No. 1 cable show.

Freder Frederson said...

I don't see how a comedian can "eviscerate" anyone, at least not on an intellectual basis. Mockery is not argument, nor are jokes and send-ups substitutes for thoughtful discussion.

Maybe you don't understand the difference between mockery and satire or are unable to appreciate or recognize the latter. But satire can be biting, caustic and easily eviscerate intellectuals. Satire has a proud history in the English language and has often been available as a form of political protest when other avenues were blocked. Maybe you should go back and read Gulliver's Travels or A Modest Proposal, works of satire that criticized the British Crown almost 300 years ago.

Using satire to cut intellectual lightweights like D'Souza down to size is like shooting fish in a barrel.

AJ Lynch said...

Colbert is the most talented person on TV (king of great retorts). And most of his guests appear nervous as hell but O'Reilley was less nervous than most (i.e. he should have autographed the painting).


Joe Baby:

I agree with you.... Why do lib guests seem too earnest and humorless? You know like Frederson.

vbspurs said...

LOL @ Freder Frederson.

I love people who get angry at O'Reilly or Fox. It's mignon.

It especially proves that no matter how much they dismiss them, those two entities get these people's collective goat because they're relevant, effective, and watched by all sides.

When a right-winger riffs Keith Olbermann and gets a ratings bonanza show on the Daily Show, let us know.

Until then, may I proffer those lovely bunch of grapes to suck on.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Pogo wrote:

Just don't confuse Colbert with actual information, investigative rigor, or factual debate. His is merely the adolescent's approach to a lack of knowledge and judgement. That is, it's funny, but meaningless.

Aww, come on now, Pogo. :)

It's a comedy show!! On a cable network called COMEDY Central!

Listen, both O'Reilly and Colbert are great for what they are.

O'Reilly sticks it to the Mediasaurus, and Colbert imitates him with great talent.

Sure, it'll depend what side of the aisle you're on, to see which guy you consider the more effective (similar to Stewart's The Daily Show), but that's no reason to get all sour, ya know? ;)

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Nutty that the prig O'Reilly has a better sense of humor than the pack of liberal comedians who condemn him and anything like him.

Hello, Hugo Chavez and George Bush.

Bush (no stranger to sophomoric humour) accepts the absolutely ridiculous taunts and barbs from Hugo Chavez with an equanimity, with a grace, and lack of tit-for-tit that would make his fellow citizens in opposition proud, if they would but rip the veil of hatred for a second.

Can you for ONE MOMENT imagine the President of the US going to a rally, and making monkey sounds about another Head of State, like Chavez did about the US president, at the Summit of the Americas in Argentina?

Thank you, God, for allowing me to have been born in the UK, and having emigrated to the US, so that I would never have to suffer such a banana republic fate.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Maybe you don't understand the difference between mockery and satire or are unable to appreciate or recognize the latter. But satire can be biting, caustic and easily eviscerate intellectuals. Satire has a proud history in the English language and has often been available as a form of political protest when other avenues were blocked. Maybe you should go back and read Gulliver's Travels or A Modest Proposal, works of satire that criticized the British Crown almost 300 years ago.

You're killing US, Freder.

You're living up to every stereotype of the humourless, touchy liberal ever conceived of by the turgid mind of G. Gordon Liddy.

Nice work injecting a little Victoria-like pedantry at the end though.

Now will you please uncork your head out of your anus?

Cheers,
Victoria

Pogo said...

You're right, of course, Victoria; sourness needs to be avoided. Colbert can be pretty funny. I wouldn't call him an equal to Swift, nor even call what he does satire (except in the modern sense of the word, meaning merely mockery).

I don't watch O'Reilly much, so it's hard for me to get excited about a comedy show based on him. BOR reminds me of a thirties preacher like Father Coughlin, a populist, and loudmouth. That can be funny, of course. But Colbert reminds me of SNL skits made into ponderous movies. Better left at 3 minute segments, in my view.

Monty Python was hella funny. Dave Chapelle is a gas. Ellen Degeneres (pre-"I'm a Lesbian" days) was a favorite. Rita Rudman, Steven Wright, Dennis Miller, and others.

Anyway, I just can't get a chuckle out for Daly or Colbert much anymore. Just tired of it, I suppose. Call it liberal-fatigue.

Zeb Quinn said...

It's a comedy show!! On a cable network called COMEDY Central!

For a scary number of GenXers and GenYers Comedy Central is their primary source for current information.

Personally I thought the segment on O'Reilly was dumb and unfunny. I suppose I would've liked it when I was about 15. My guess is that O'Reilly submitted to it to co-opt Colbert, and it probably worked to that extent.

Freder Frederson said...

It's ironic that Pogo takes as his pseudonym the protagonist of one of the greatest satirical comic strips yet doesn't seem to know what satire is.

Pete the Streak said...

A post on comedy (of a sort), and Freder, naturally, turns it into multiple scolds on the definition and history of satire. Sigh.
C'mon, big fella: turn that frown upside down!
Freder Frederson. Al Gore. Separated at birth?

Pogo said...

Not ironic at all, because you seem to have a mushy definition of 'satire'. As I said, Colbert isn't satire, it's the court jester, it's adolescent mockery. He rises to the level of satire with "truthiness", but hasn't quite sustained that level, and fell back into a comfortable snark a la SNL Weekend Update. Funnyish. Sorta cute. But satire? No.

Maybe we just have a disagreement over quality. To me, satire requires a bit of intellectual heft, not just a cursory People-magazine-like knowledge of current events.

You keep using that word. I do not think it means, what you think it means.

vbspurs said...

Pogo wrote:

(except in the modern sense of the word, meaning merely mockery).

Quite so, Pogo. I would go further and say that Borat the movie (the closest thing to true satire we've had this young century) was not a satire per se, but rather an hommage to satire.

I don't watch O'Reilly much

I watch B'OR, but I never listen to Rush, watch Glenn Beck, Tucker, and find Hannity and Colmes rather too much like a set-up, knock-em down type of show. Eh.

BOR reminds me of a thirties preacher like Father Coughlin, a populist, and loudmouth.

Good one!

To me, he's a populist all right, but in the guise of an Irish cop (which his granddad was) walking his beat, pointing out the malaise of his neighbourhood, with cynical eyes perhaps, but not without some truth, swinging that billy club of his around which sometimes connects to the backsides and heads of the ones who interrupt his beat walking.

I'll take my allusion further.

His left-sided guests seem to me like liberal do-gooders of the Jane Addams mold who invade his beat, sniff at him for his take-no-prisoners attitude, insinuating that he's a part of the problem to these people's woes.

HE, who walks that beat every day, putting himself in harm's way on behalf of the law-abiding folk, when all these people do is come by every once in a while, spouting jargon about The Man, and The System, and then retreat to their safe little homes, in their safe little neighbourhoods.

Of course, like the Irish beatcop, he has a massive chip on his shoulders about his social station.

O'Reilly plays the "working class" angle versus the elites very well, and possibly, that's why I don't like him much (infer into that, what you will).

But interestingly, O'Reilly is not a paleo-Conservative although he has that classic "anti-intellectual" bias.

His conservatism is muscular and his patience for high-falutin' ideas, minimal.

If it works, it works. If it doesn't, he'll call you out on it and make fun of those who stick to its precepts because its theoretically sexy.

Pablo said it well.

He's popular, because he's American.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...


For a scary number of GenXers and GenYers Comedy Central is their primary source for current information.


Poor ole Kurt Loder, eh?

Cheers,
Victoria

Freder Frederson said...

O'Reilly plays the "working class" angle versus the elites very well, and possibly, that's why I don't like him much (infer into that, what you will).

So, I don't get it, are you watching O'Reilly on a goof because you think it is all an act--because Fox News is outdoing Comedy Central? And us humorless liberals who watch the base "mockery" of Colbert and Stewart just don't get the high satire of O'Reilly, Hannity and the rest of the tres sophisticate satire over at Fox News. Pogo just loves Monty Python (maybe he won't like it so much when you explain it to him Victoria) but tires of the liberalism of Comedy Central.

You really crack me up Victoria. You live up to every stereotype of the upper middle class humorless proper British woman. As Basil Fawlty would say, "just don't mention the war".

vnjagvet said...

I got a kick out of the O'Reilly Colbert back and forth last night, and I thought they did, too.

They ought to take that show on the road.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Victoria said about O'Reilly: "...he's a populist all right, but in the guise of an Irish cop..."

Officer O'Krupke?

vbspurs said...

You really crack me up Victoria. You live up to every stereotype of the upper middle class humorless proper British woman. As Basil Fawlty would say, "just don't mention the war".

Well, if you're going to get personal about it!

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Officer O'Krupke?

Who? :)

I'll be back at night, to read your reply, Ruth Anne! Althouse is so addictive, but I have sheah to do.

Cheers,
Victoria

Anonymous said...

The most hilarious part about O'Reilly is that *his* enemies just happen to be *your* enemies too. Like George Clooney and Keith Olberman are the biggest threats facing his blue haired viewers. LOL.

Harkonnendog said...

Fredor you're cracking me up. Seriously, are you satirizing sour humorless lefties the way Colbert satirizes O'Riley? If so, kudos!


If not, you're even funnier!

Anonymous said...

I am not a huge fan of O'Reilly's show but I believe it is absurd that for no reason other than ratings, Franken and Olbermann have picked fights with him and really gone out of their way to commit character assassination and in doing so have gone far beyond the pale of decency.

Olbermann, who was great on ESPN, had lousy ratings on MSNBC until he turned into a partisan hack who was extremley mean-spirited and unfair in his criticisms of many of those right-of-center politically. I don't think anyone had heard of Franken until he wrote a book about Rush Limbaugh and picked a public feud with O'Reilly.

It is a sad commentary that this is how you get ratings in this country. Colbert is great even though he is liberal leaning he does his criticism through satire and doesn't feel the need to continuously viciously attack anyone.

We need more Colbert's and less Franken's.

Wickedpinto said...

Nicely done, by both men.

Only cuz O'Reilly had a thick skin, on colbert, but O'Reilly played into colbert's schtick.

If O'Reilly had hit Colbert with his REAL opinions (which he shouldn't have, cuz colbert is a comedian) Colbert would have become a hateful scumbag, just as he would have, if he was treated as a real guest on O'reilly's program.

Colbert, can maintain a character in an agreeable environment, and O'Reilly can take a joke. . . . you think Matthews or Olbermann could?

yes Matthews had darryll hammond from SNL, but all Matthews got was Hammond kissing Matthews tuech!

And Olbermann is THE anchor for America in todays news, he can't take a joke at his own expense.

O'Reilly as tenuous as his "normal guy" aspect is, IS a real guy on the air, and in his depiction.

Find a lefty who doesn't require BLATANT softshoeing.

vbspurs said...

We need more Colbert's and less Franken's.

Very true.

Although I just wish we had more William Kristols and Gregg Easterbrooks*.

*Except for that weird Kill Bill thingie.

Cheers,
Victoria

hdhouse said...

I hope someone taps O'Really with a baseball bat and tells him the Colbert 1. was making fun of him 2. has soooo much the edge over him and 3. that you don't get it...

I heard the gaggle of morons that passes for Faux and Fiends who observed (opined??) how wonderful it was that two conservatives could dominate the airwaves and get along...ohmygod.

Ann Althouse said...

hdhouse, if you think O'Reilly and the people at Fox don't understand the joke, you are seriously underestimating your opponents. You're the one who is deficient here, and yet you are smirking as if you are superior. Pathetic!

hdhouse said...

ann:

i don't think faux and fiends get much of anything. they are moronic at best. at worst...i dunno.

oh ann...did you get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning or did the gravity of being wrong drop something of a high shelf and knock you on your funny bone.

pathetic. ha. smarter than thee...probableeeee

Freder Frederson said...

Franken and Olbermann have picked fights with him and really gone out of their way to commit character assassination and in doing so have gone far beyond the pale of decency.

What specifically have they done other than expose and ridicule O'Reilly's lies and more outrageous comments? And beyond the pale of decency. That's rich when you are defending the paragon of virtue O'Reilly. Besides his problems with sexually harassing his employees, just this week he theorized that the child who was abducted and held for four years in Missouri simply didn't want to return to his "old" parents because he was having "a lot more fun" with his kidnapper.

Now that is going beyond the pale of decency.

Only cuz O'Reilly had a thick skin, on colbert, but O'Reilly played into colbert's schtick.

Where on earth does this idea that O'Reilly has a thick skin come from. He hurls personal insults at every person ,or even entire continents--he once called Europe "cowards"--he disagrees with and shouts them down on his own program. He walks out of interviews when they are not going his way (the Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross) and is so childish he won't even mention the name of those people he dislikes the most (he won't mention Olberman by name and used to call Franken "Stuart Smalley", although I think he will actually utter the name now). And he even tried to sue Franken to stop publication of a book just because he didn't like his picture on the cover.

Pogo said...

Re: "smarter than thee...probableeeee"

hdhouse, ee cummings called and wants his lower-cases back.

At least with cummings, always it's Spring and the flowers pick themselves. But the smug onanism of hdhouse prevents all but a good-evil look at the world.

who may
you

be
any
how?
down
to
smoking
found
Butts

hdhouse said...

ohhh pogo
say it isn't so
joe

Anonymous said...

Hdhouse and Feder, I stop watching the Daily Show because Jon Stewart stopped in 2004 from attacking both parties to attacking one party. The best political comedian out there when I was growing up was Mark Russell. But his humor is too subtle and too bi-partisan for both of you. I live out here in Los Angeles and a majority of the Liberals I meet are unfunny. They has no self-depreciation in their jokes, nor do they try to expand their reach. Somehow like the unfunny Feder and Hdhouse (who has wandered over to Deb Frisch territory).

Freder Frederson said...

I live out here in Los Angeles and a majority of the Liberals I meet are unfunny.

You know I constantly hear this, how liberals just aren't funny, take themselves too seriously, and aren't self-depreciating. So I have a question. Who are the great conservative comedians and comics out there? Where are the conservatives who make self-depreciating jokes and don't take themselves seriously? Because I honestly can't think of many. And the ones that are out there are viciously partisan. They are hardly self-depreciating.

(Come on, just tell me how funny Ann Coulter is.)

monkeyboy said...

Where are the conservatives who make self-depreciating jokes and don't take themselves seriously?

Like ther are self-depricating liberal comics?

Liberal comics, in my experience, make jokes about conservatives.

monkeyboy said...

I will say that Steven Colbert is probably the only public figure out there who warns about the problem of random encounters with owl bears.

The Exalted said...

dennis miller is the only conservative comic that comes to mind

though "boring" and "insufferable" are more apropos to miller than "funny"