NPR's Terry Gross appeared on Wednesday's "Colbert Report" to celebrate the 25th anniversary of her show "Fresh Air."
Gross talked about her beginnings in public radio, which came after she was laid off from a teaching position in Buffalo.
"Why did they fire Terry Gross?" Colbert asked. "Because Terry Gross was a terrible teacher," Gross said.
Colbert then wondered if she ever got bored doing an interview. "Is there a character Terry Gross that you're doing?" he said. Gross said that all guests had to be "genuinely interesting" to her to come on the show. Colbert asked if there was ever a time when she thought, "oh, I miscalled this one." Gross said that it has definitely happened, but that she has to remind herself to always pay attention, since even boring guests can suddenly say something interesting.
She cited tax hawk Grover Norquist as an example, saying that he was droning on about the estate tax when he suddenly compared "the morality" of it to "the morality" of the Holocaust. (It became a very notorious moment for Norquist.)
"I'm not saying we're saying we're actually killing Jews, but it's very similar," Colbert joked. "Millions of lives, millions of dollars," Gross said. "Exactly!" Colbert replied. "They both have faces."
Gross also discussed her very hostile interview with Bill O'Reilly, who walked off the studio after he didn't like the questions she was asking. She told Colbert that she was shocked that "someone who prides himself on being the toughest interviewer in America would feel so offended at being asked just a few challenging questions."