Colbert Vs. O'Reilly

What Everyone Is Talking About

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Well, Watercooler knows where we'll be on the evening of Jan. 18 -- tuning in to a "colossal media event a year-and-a-half in the making!" Comedy Central just released the news that, at long last, Stephen Colbert will venture into the "No Spin Zone" to make his debut guest appearance on Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor" at 8:00 p.m. Later that evening, Bill O'Reilly will head over to "Colbert Nation" for his debut appearance on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" airing at 11:30 p.m.
Bill O'Reilly and Stephen Colbert, together for the first time -- and twice on one night!
Bill O'Reilly and Stephen Colbert, together for the first time -- and twice on one night! Credit: AP

In Comedy Central's release on the stunt, Colbert summed up his feelings thusly: "I look forward to the evening. It is an honor to speak face-to-face with a broadcasting legend, and I feel the same way about Mr. O'Reilly." For his part, Mr. O'Reilly is "really looking forward to speaking to a man who owes his entire career to me!"

Watercooler is not sure how O'Reilly, not exactly known for his ability to laugh at himself, will do when confronted with the comic who has honed his comic persona on the Fox News commentator's more grating personality traits. But one thing's for sure, we don't want to miss it. Both outlets, if they are being savvy and honest about the reason to do such a stunt, will not go out of their way to discourage the YouTube and Google Video postings that are sure to result from the shows. Both seem tailor made for clip culture, and Colbert, for one, can trace much of his notoriety and popularity to YouTube postings. We know we can go see "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central's Motherlode, but really, aren't you, like Watercooler, just salivating over the mash-ups that YouTubers and others can generate from these clips?

Our expectations are high. Here's hoping Bill and Steve live up to them.
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