Stewart and O'Reilly get ready to 'Rumble'

Associated Press Modified: October 2, 2012 at 12:36 pm •  Published: October 2, 2012
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NEW YORK (AP) — One is from Fox News, the other Comedy Central. They might as well be the Capulets and the Montagues.

But despite their opposing sides on the political spectrum, something almost like — gasp! — friendship has evolved between Bill O'Reilly and Jon Stewart. The two have frequently appeared on each other's shows, exhibiting actual respect for the other's views.

On Saturday, Stewart and O'Reilly will square off in a mock debate in Washington, D.C., to be streamed online for $4.95, with half the proceeds going to charity. As the two prepare for the clash in their respective corners — the event has been dubbed "The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium" — Stewart and O'Reilly took a moment to reflect on their unique relationship.

"I think he idolizes me secretly and that's what it's all about," says O'Reilly.

Stewart, in turn, compares them to "The Princess and the Pea."

"And I'm going to go with me as the pea," he says.

But both, in separate phone interviews, also quickly follow those descriptions with praise. O'Reilly calls the "Daily Show" host "a good guy" and "very talented."

When it was suggested that their relationship is one based on both mutual respect and mutual disgust, Stewart laughs but says: "I enjoy talking to the guy. I find him very entertaining. He's got a good sense of humor. He's smart. I think he comes by his views honestly. I can't say I agree with him.

"He's like comfort food for me," added Stewart. "I feel like I grew up around these guys. He's my shepherd's pie."

Their 90-minute debate, which will follow Wednesday's showdown between President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney, will be conducted like a presidential debate (albeit with less strict time restraints) and moderated by CNN's E.D. Hill. The sold-out event at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium will be live-streamed at TheRumble2012.com.

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