Having debate withdrawals? Looking for a fix and can't wait until the presidential and vice presidential ones? Are you looking for a debate that will promises to be more entertaining and pits two complete opposites against one another? Well, you are in luck!
Jon Stewart is fresh off an Emmy win and looking to butt heads with conservative giant Bill O'Reilly. They will square off in a 90-minute, pay per-view event in D.C. dubbed "The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium." The October 6 face-to-face meeting will be moderated by CNN anchor E.D. Hill, and will be modeled after a mock presidential debate: 60 minutes of conversation between the host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and Fox's top-rated The O'Reilly Factor. A 30-minute period of audience questions will ensue.
The trash talking between the pundits, who sparred frequently and appeared on each other's program, has already begun.
"I told him we'll pick up all the hair mousse he needs," O'Reilly said in a telephone interview. "There's not an area on earth where I'm not stronger or more compelling than him."
Asked what area might prove to be O'Reilly's biggest weakness, Stewart replied, "Obviously, I think the biggest vulnerability will be his thoughts and ideas — the things he thinks in his brain."
The intrigued can dole out $4.95 and watch the live-streamed debate. "We kept [the price] low. We wanted everybody to get in the tent," said O'Reilly.
O'Reilly and Stewart say their goal is not to enlighten but to bring the entertainment — and raise money for charity in the process. Half of the net proceeds from "The Rumble" will go to a number of causes selected by Stewart and O'Reilly.
Stewart characterizes the debate as "sports for two guys that don't play sports anymore," while O'Reilly predicts "there will be some serious points, but it's going to be mostly for entertainment value."
Stewart says the idea for "The Rumble" came from O'Reilly, who didn't give him much say in whether he'd be involved. "It was a direct order," he said. "There was not a lot of courtship. I was expecting candy, flowers."
Stewart and O'Reilly have a history of butting heads. In its ongoing role as media watchdog, The Daily Show frequently skewers right-leaning pundits, including O'Reilly.
Nevertheless, O'Reilly has appeared on The Daily Show numerous times over the last decade, displaying far more willingness to engage with Stewart than his current and former Fox News colleagues, including Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck.
Stewart has returned the favor with repeated visits to The O'Reilly Factor over the years. In his earliest appearance, at the height of the contentious 2004 election, Stewart kept things light. But in a sign of his increasingly blurry role as a comedian-slash-pundit, Stewart has used his subsequent appearances on O'Reilly's show to make sincere points about the state of contemporary political discourse.
Though the two hosts have developed a kind of begrudging respect, their relationship is not all sunshine. In 2010, Stewart sat for a heavily anticipated interview with O'Reilly in which he slammed Fox News as a "cyclonic perpetual motion machine" bent on drumming up fears over President Obama. Stewart's fans, hopeful their idol would deliver a K.O. they never quite got the boom. Complaining that O'Reilly's producers had edited his sharpest moments from the interview.
This debate will elevate the level of O'Reilly and Stewart's BFF status - Best Frenemies Forever. Let the snarky comments fly and aggressive political puns drop. The games have begun.