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December 19, 2014

Why Does Bill O'Reilly Keep Trying to Out-Funny Jon Stewart?

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 4th 2010 4:01PM
Bill O'Reilly has been on top of the cable news heap for fourteen years now, and for a good reason: whether you agree or not with his politics or his interview style, the man does a great job of putting his interview subjects on the spot and making them squirm. And, let's face it: squirmy interviews make for compelling TV.

One thing O'Reilly doesn't have is a sense of humor. At all. He's just too intense of a personality who takes himself too seriously to be funny. But, for some reason, whenever he gets in Jon Stewart's presence either on 'The Daily Show' or his own 'The O'Reilly Factor,' he spends half the interview belittling 'TDS' and its audience and trying to keep up with Stewart joke-for-joke instead of interviewing him on substance. And it never, ever works.

Here's the first half of the first part of his interview with Stewart, which aired on the 'Factor' last night. The second half is after the jump.





What I was looking forward to was a substantive interview between the two media titans about how their respective shows view and influence the news cycle, with some funny lines by Stewart thrown in.

We saw a little of that towards the end, as O'Reilly and Stewart debated on whether Fox News is defined by opinion shows like those of O'Reilly, Hannity, and Beck -- Stewart incredulously said O'Reilly has become "the most reasonable voice on Fox," for instance. Let's hope we see more of that in the second part of the interview, which airs tonight. But what I mostly saw in part one was O'Reilly making jokes about Stewart's hand movements and giving him the old saw that 'TDS's' audience is comprised solely of stoned college kids. Wow. Hilarious stuff, Bill.

Why doesn't Bill just stick to what he does best: intense interviews and yelling? That's got to be more effective than trying to keep up with a highly-compensated comedian like Stewart, right?

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Gayle

I'm a republican. Don't think Obama had a clue. Was merely an articulate speaker. I formally watched O'Reilly every night and liked his hard core manner. Could never stand Hannity and his index finger in the air continually. Dennis Miller and Jon Stewart are very intelligent, savvy on politics, witty and funny. I don't know why O'Reilly changed his presentation. Who is he trying to compete with? At least, the body language expert is very good.

February 05 2010 at 9:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
al80504

Jon Stewart IS a big joke. When he got uncomfortable with O'Reillys questions he started to make jokes. I guess Jons not used to being in the major leagues. He was simply out-classed by O'Reilly.

February 05 2010 at 9:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
fred

Bill O'Reilly is neither funny or truthful. He is just a jerk.

February 05 2010 at 9:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kyle76066

Yes, Stewart did a great job at showing what a moron that TV stock Guru is. What his name???? Jim Cramer or something like that....(ANYONE that believes that guy, deserves to get fleeced.)
It's nice when John Stewart shows fools to be what they are.
BUT, O'Relley is no fool, nor is he a comedian. As Stewart and Colbert are.
Most times, the real truth is really not all that funny.
Bunch of Haters that disagree with what Bill says....you might not like it....but it's the truth.

February 05 2010 at 9:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
George

O'reilly may well not be a comedian, but then neither is Stewart. The difference between the two is that O'reilly stands for something...

February 05 2010 at 9:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mike r

Someone needs to remind Bill that Walter Winchell tried to do a variety show, and it flopped miserably. You do political stuff, Bill, stick with your strengths ...

February 05 2010 at 9:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Phil Means

All of Bill O'reilly's shows or interviews are not necessarily extremely serious, or funny. It all depends on who O'reilly is interveiwing. There is no need for him to be deeply proding in his discussions with Stewart because neither he nor Stewart have anything to prove to each other except respect. Those two going on a show together is mainly a ratings grabber and they both have fun. For those who watch Bill O'reilly most nights had a ball watching him a Stewart. Do not think for a minute Colbert will get the better of O'reilly. If the guest is out just trying to prove he is better than O'reilly as Colbert supposedly tried to do, O'Reilly will let them rant and raave until there time is up and then go on to a serious guest that is williing to intelligently have a discussion with him. O'Reilly will let anyone who wants to make a fool of himself. He did not do that with Stewart because of respect. Stewart expected O'Reilly to interupt him and O'Reillly expected off the wall comments from Stewart. It made for a good show.

February 05 2010 at 9:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Laura

Apparently you haven't seen Bill O. and Glenn B. on tour! Bill is hilarious. I didn't think Stewart was very funny! Get over it......

February 05 2010 at 9:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Thrush

Bill O'Reilly not funny? Bill O'Reilly no sense of humor.

It's quite apparent this "reporter" has not watched a Factor show, nor has seen him on tour.

February 05 2010 at 8:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Alta White

Clearly, we have two people with monster egos and opposing political views trying to top one another in sounding clever. I call it a draw. Stewart is better with a comic quip; O'Reilly is better at telling it like it is and not dwelling in flights of fantasy and telling it how he wishes it were.....but isn't.....like Stewart. If I had to vote, it would be for Bill, hands down.

February 05 2010 at 8:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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