“Here at ‘The Daily Show,’ we want to give O’Reilly the sendoff that he deserves,” said Trevor Noah during the April 19 episode of “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” (watch above). Fox News host Bill O’Reilly was fired from the network this week after several allegations of sexual harassment came to light. Those complaints reportedly resulted in Fox News paying out $13 million in settlements. But O’Reilly wasn’t let go until publicity over the scandal made it too big to ignore.
“You may not know this, but Bill O’Reilly was the biggest figure in the history of cable news. At one point, no one even came close — because they were afraid he might sexually harass them,” quipped Noah. He then showed an infamous viral clip of O’Reilly screaming angrily on the set of “Inside Edition” earlier in his career. “Some of us watch that clip and see madness,” Noah said, “but in the mid-’90s a man by the name of Roger Ailes watched it and saw greatness. He reached out and said, ‘Come join me at Fox, O’Reilly, and together we will build a cable empire fueled by white Christian resentment!'”
Late-night TV hosts had a field day with O’Reilly’s firing since he’s long been a target of their satire and ridicule. That was certainly true at “The Daily Show” during Jon Stewart‘s tenure, and parodying O’Reilly’s brand of self-righteous conservatism was the entire basis of Stephen Colbert‘s Emmy winning “Colbert Report” for nine years. For O’Reilly’s farewell Noah made sure to recap some of the cable host’s “greatest hits” in which he disparaged the black community and even told black college professor Marc Lamont Hill that he looked like a cocaine dealer.
“Maybe the reason Fox kept O’Reilly on for so long was because sometimes he was so racist it somehow became funny,” Noah theorized before introducing even more offensive on-air statements by O’Reilly. “So it’s sad to say,” Noah concluded, “but farewell, extremely old friend.”
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