It's hardly a secret to his fans, but this week funny man Stephen Colbert has revealed that his blowhard conservative alter ego on the Colbert report was inspired by - who else - Bill O'Reilly.

The funny thing is how many people still haven't grasped that it's a joke.

According to the Huffington Post, for the first time, Colbert let his guard drop on Sunday's episode of 'Oprah's Next Chapter' when Oprah asked him about the origins of his highly rated show.

Colbert reminded her that his character first breathed life on The Daily Show, with him playing a particularly clueless news correspondent.

'The Colbert Report came into being as an attempt to do a pundit show like Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity,' he revealed.

When asked who his character was based on, Colbert said, '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... he's papa bear.'

He also cited Anderson Cooper — whom he described as 'the silver surfer of cable news, just shiny and... kind of sexy' — and Geraldo Rivera — who he said sends 'a real sense of mission' in his reporting — as other influences on his character.

'We wanted to do something that was a pundit show where the character was well-intentioned, poorly-informed, high status idiot,' he said.


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Stephen Colbert and Bill O'ReillyGoogle Images