Stephen Colbert vs. Bill O'Reilly: 36 clips that define their relationship

Here is a look at nine years of one-sided admiration

Published November 24, 2014 8:59PM (EST)

Imitation is not always the most sincere form of flattery: In the case of Stephen Colbert and Bill O'Reilly the imitation has the added twist of satire, and more than a handful of mockery. And while Colbert's conservative blowhard character may revere Bill O'Reilly -- and serves as a model for political punditry -- the admiration is not reciprocated.

Over the years the two have sparred in person and over the airwaves. Colbert, through his comedy, deftly points out the terrifying seriousness of O'Reilly's political commentary. Sadly, after Dec. 18, we will lose this wonderful O'Reilly mimic, and be stuck with the unironic real thing. To mourn this loss, here are the clips that defined their relationship -- and a reminder of how indispensable "The Colbert Report" is.

Colbert Case Files:

Dec. 8, 2005: Nailed

Jan. 25, 2006: O’Reilly a fan of the show

Colbert on “The O’Reilly Factor”

Jan. 18, 2007: “The Advent of Bill O’Reilly”

Here is the first interview:

And Bill O’Reilly’s microwave:

Jan. 14, 2008: “Papa Bear Takes Note”

April 23, 2008: “The Lost O’Reilly Tapes Part 1”

May 13, 2008: “Bill O’Reilly Inside Edition

June 4, 2008: “The Lost O’Reilly Takes, Part 2”

July 17, 2008: “Bill O’Reilly Rant”

Jan. 27, 2009: “O’Reilly Doesn’t Report Rumors”

October 2010: Colbert mocks O’Reilly on “The View”

Jan. 6, 2011: “Bill O’Reilly Proves God’s Existence”

(With special guest Neil deGrasse Tyson!)

Feb. 3, 2011: “Anderson Cooper & Bill O’Reilly”

Oct. 20, 2011: “Pinheads and Patriots”

September 2012: Colbert’s interview with Oprah

Oct. 3, 2012: Colbert helps Stewart prepare for his O’Reilly debate

October 4, 2012: Jon Stewart interviews Bill O’Reilly

Nov. 29, 2012: “Killing Kennedy,” Colbert’s love for O’Reilly diminishes

Jan. 7, 2013: “Bill O’Reilly’s Racial Insensitivity”

March 27, 2013: “Bill O’Reilly on Gay Marriage”

Oct. 2, 2013: “Killing Jesus”

Dec. 9, 2013: “The Case Against Charity”

Feb. 12, 2014: “Bill O’Reilly’s Interview of the Decade”

Feb. 20, 2014: “Auction for Bill O’Reilly’s Stolen Microwave”

March 5, 2014: “Bill O’Reilly on the Downside of a Woman President”

April 3, 2014: “Bill O’Reilly’s Defense of Inequality”

April 9, 2014: O’Reilly goes after Colbert

April 10, 2014: “Grievance Industry”

April 2014: O’Reilly says conservatives won’t watch “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert”

June 27, 2014: O’Reilly goes after Stewart and Colbert on “The O’Reilly Factor”

Sept. 25, 2014: “Bill O’Reilly’s Elite Strike Force”

On Sept. 29, 2014, O’Reilly hit back!

Oct. 1, 2014: “Bill O’Reilly Takes Offense”

By Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email

MORE FROM Sarah Gray