Jon Stewart and Bill O'Reilly, who had a long history of disagreeing with each other on almost every topic, had a debate mockingly dubbed "The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium". The frenemies have appeared on each other's shows since 2001, but the the face-off at The George Washington University marked the first time ever they clashed face-to-face.
The host of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and the presenter of "The O'Reilly Factor" talked about such issues as the upcoming Presidential election, birth control, "War on Christmas" and health care among others. They were armed with lots of witty remarks, jabs and jokes, but most importantly, they came well-prepared with special tools to help them upstage each other.
Stewart used a mechanical pedestal to elevate himself, making him taller than O'Reilly when he wanted to emphasize his argument and statement. O'Reilly, meanwhile, brought his signature "Talking Points Memo" signs to drive a point home. For example, the GOP supporter held up "Iran not frightened" sign to say that what President Obama did was not enough to keep Iran in line.
When asked who's famous person he'd like to see as president, FOX News' O'Reilly replied, "I'd have to say Clint Eastwood," to which Democratic supporter Stewart deadpanned, "Well why don't we ask him," before mocking the actor. He poked fun at Eastwood's speech to empty chair by getting out of his own chair and staring at it while the crowd burst into laughter.
At one point during the debate, Stewart who once dissed FOX News as "Bulls*** Mountain" called O'Reilly "the mayor of Bulls*** Mountain." At another point, the former sat on the latter's lap. "What would you like for Christmas, little boy?" O'Reilly said before getting Stewart off of him. The question, however, remained unanswered until the event ended.
When asked about switching jobs for a week, O'Reilly said, "Are you kidding? I'd have to work in the same building as Colbert?" Stewart threw some sly remarks of his own, saying that the Fox News building was fun because there's the Eye of Sauron. "The only way I'd do it is if someone kicked me hard in the nuts," the Comedy Central funnyman stated.
The debate took place Saturday, October 6. Around 1,500 people watched the event at the Lisner Auditorium on the campus of George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and many more watched it online. It was live-streamed on Facebook for $4.95, but many complained that they couldn't see it until halfway through the event.
Organizers apologized for the inconvenient, citing overwhelmed demand caused their servers to crash. They reportedly promised that video would be available for download and those experiencing errors would be eligible for a refund. Some of the proceeds from the gig will be donated to charities.