Ahead of Debate, Jon Stewart and Bill O’Reilly’s Secret Bromance (VIDEO)

As the adversaries prepare for their big debate, Kevin Fallon looks back at their more loving moments.

Peter Kramer / AP Photo

They may be gearing up to rumble, but, in reality, they’re just caught in a bad bromance.

Appearing on Good Morning America to promote his face-off against Bill O’Reilly Saturday at the “Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium,” Jon Stewart watched an old clip of a past tête-à-tête he had with O’Reilly while appearing on his Fox News program. “I didn’t realize the sexual tension was so strong,” Stewart observed. “There’s a little bit of somethin’ somethin’ going on there.”

Indeed, audiences may be bracing for and anticipating a verbal bloodbath between the two explosive news personalities, but perhaps it’s be wiser to break out the candles and turn on some Sade. We scoured the duo’s appearances on each other’s programs, concluding with these eight examples that, as much as Stewart and O’Reilly fight hot, they love even hotter.

You Hate Me … but You Really Love Me

Even Stewart can’t deny the chemistry. “Your respect for me grows in leaps and bounds—you’re like the Grinch when he realizes they don’t need presents for Christmas when you see me,” The Daily Show host tells O’Reilly in the clip that GMA played for him Thursday. “Your heart grows to dimensions you didn’t even know about. You love me.” As Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said, no doubt with these two in mind: “There’s nothing in this world so sweet as love. And next to love the sweetest thing is hate.”

What’s for Dinner, Honey?

Shrimp! O’Reilly beams in to an episode of The Daily Show to protest the rising price of shrimp, causing the two to bicker about the price of groceries like old married partners who have been together for decades. Is that you and Grandma and Grandpa? Nope, it’s America’s cutest odd couple.

Holidays Are the Hardest

Fighting over the holidays? Such a couple-y thing to do. In a back and forth directly addressing each other on both of their respective shows, the two argued various sides of the “war on Christmas.” O’Reilly says Stewart might go to hell for not supporting those who wish to celebrate the yuletide with abandon. Stewart retorts, “I make my living watching Fox News eight hours a day. I’m already in hell!” O’Reilly calls Stewart a pinhead. We wait for the two to just Eskimo kiss in the corner underneath the mistletoe already.

I Joke Because I Love

Stewart barely contains his proud giddiness when O’Reilly stops by The Daily Show to promote his book Killing Lincoln. “It is an excellent book and a nice read,” Stewart compliments O’Reilly. “Somebody read it to you?” O’Reilly smugly retorts. You guys! The two exchange bemused glances; they just can’t resist the urge to get under each other’s skin.

They Point Out Each Other’s Flaws

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They love each other, warts and all. “You’ve become the voice of sanity [at Fox News], which is like being the thinnest kid at fat camp,” Stewart tells O’Reilly, in one of his more passionate appearances on his show. He then calls Fox News a “cyclonic perpetual emotion machine.” And yet, they’re still together, after all these years.

Aw, You Flatter Me

Ahead of Jon Stewart’s 2004 appearance on Fox News, O’Reilly calls him the “darling of the television critics” and tells him, amazed, that “you actually have an influence on this presidential election.” Well build me up, buttercup! Not only that, there were no less than nine giggle fits during the seven-minute conversation. Laughter is the key to the heart, guys!

They Comfort Each Other

After showing a montage of O’Reilly saying he’s scared, Stewart gifts the host with a teddy bear to cuddle with and a large cup of hot cocoa to sip. “You’re in a safe place,” he soothes. Way to care for your man, sir.

I Just Want Us to Be on the Same Page

“Correct me if I’m wrong,” Stewart implores O’Reilly, “because I don’t want to be wrong when I’m with you. Because you know I’ve got mad love for you.” He loves him! OK, the two proceeded to argue about rap music, cop killers, and the White House. But he still said it!