Bill O’Reilly, godfather of “no spin” and in-your-face television, and Dennis Miller, five-time Emmy Award winner and the king of references and rants, are teaming up at the Borgata in Atlantic City on Saturday Nov. 26, for their Bolder and Fresher Tour.
O’Reilly’s broadcast career started in Scranton, Pa., and he served as both a local reporter and news anchor in several other cities. But it was when he landed at Fox News in 1996 and began The O’Reilly Factor that he achieved his current national and international stature and enormous following.
As for Miller, since 2007, he’s been heard five days a week on his nationally syndicated and critically acclaimed talk show. He’s also been featured on many other shows, including politically oriented television talk shows, most regularly on O’Reilly’s show.
“We did this Bolder and Fresher show together not long ago at Westbury (Conn.) and it went so well, we decided to do it again,” said Miller. “In Atlantic City, audiences will get to hear my thirty-five minutes of stand-up. Then O’Reilly will go out there. Then we’ll take a break, and then do thirty-five minutes together. The fact that we don’t overlap makes for a great show, in my opinion.”
In fact, he continued, “People who watch us on O’Reilly’s show and say we’re never funny must have missed the point. At times, we do talk issues, and other times we just flat-out laugh. There are lots of people saying O’Reilly’s not funny. Then they haven’t really given him a good look.”
Miller acknowledged that he started his career as a stand-up. In fact, it was while doing stand-up at a Los Angeles comedy club that that he was discovered by Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels.
Michaels hired him, and in 1985 Miller rose to national fame as the show’s new Weekend Update commentator.
“I am basically a stand-up comedian. That’s how I started out and that’s who I still am,” said Miller.
But he also has a well-developed interest in politics.
“When I was doing political humor on SNL, my job was to rip the president, which was Reagan at the time,” he said, “but I wasn’t certain enough (about the direction of the country) to stay a liberal, so I began to change and started going with what I know, and what I know is this: First of all, I’d like to keep half my money. And secondly, if my disagreeing with some nut out there who’s willing to strap a bomb to his kid overseas makes me a conservative, then today, yes, I am a conservative.”
Apart from the political arena, Miller has also achieved some success in the literary world with four books, I Rant Therefore I Am; The Rants; Ranting Again; and The Rant Zone, all of which have been New York Times best sellers.
For two seasons, Miller called the plays alongside Al Michaels and NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts on ABC’s Monday Night Football.
Additionally, Miller has been cast in films, including Disclosure, The Net and Murder at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
“Looking back at my career, I think I’ve done well,” Miller said. “But I’m the kind of guy who takes show business about as seriously as it should be taken, which is not all that serious at all. I’ve been fired from lots of jobs, but all I need is one day to lick my wounds and I’m back at it.”
For now, Miller, 58, plans to keep working hard at his many crafts, but he looks forward to the day he can retire. With a wife and two children in tow, some day, he said, he’d like to just take a boat up the Nile or go for a train ride across Canada.
Said Miller: “The thing that I’m most proud of today is that I’ve been able to make a living at something I love doing and keep my head above water. I just hope I can continue doing so.” ••
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