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Stephen Colbert To Oprah: ‘Papa Bear’ Bill O’Reilly Inspired My TV Character

Appearing on Oprah’s Next Chapter Comedy Central’s funny faux-newsman told Oprah Winfrey that a major source for his famous character was Fox News firebrand Bill O’Reilly.

Colbert told Winfrey that The Colbert Report came about as “an attempt to do a pundit show like Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity.”

“We wanted to do something that was a pundit show where the character was well-intentioned, poorly-informed, high-status idiot,” he said of his popular show that originated as a spin-off from Jon Stewart‘s Daily Show.

When Oprah asked which newsmen inspired the comedic persona, Colbert answered, “O’Reilly would be the biggest example because O’Reilly’s the king. O’Reilly’s been number one in cable news for fifteen thousand weeks running or whatever.”

“He’s papa bear,” Colbert added, repeating his well-known nickname for the Fox host.

Anderson Cooper, or as Colbert describes him, “the silver surfer of cable news, just shiny and kind of sexy,” also serves as inspiration. In addition, Geraldo Rivera and his “real sense of mission” in his reporting has inspired the faux-news persona.

Watch below, via OWN:

[h/t HuffPost]
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