After nine years on his own show, and even longer as a correspondent on “The Daily Show,” Stephen Colbert finally bid farewell to his conservative pundit alter ego in the final episode of “The Colbert Report” Thursday night on Comedy Central.
“If this is your first time tuning in to ‘The Colbert Report,’ I have some terrible news,” he said. “This is in fact your last time tuning in to ‘The Colbert Report.’”
It was a star-studded farewell for the long-time host when Colbert broke into a goodbye song. He was joined on-stage by many of his favorite past guests including Jon Stewart, Randy Newman, Willie Nelson, Bryan Cranston, Katie Couric, Michael Stipe, Mandy Patinkin, Tom Brokaw, Tim Meadows, Toby Keith, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Arianna Huffington, Sam Waterston, George Lucas, Cyndi Lauper, Alan Alda, Jeff Daniels, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Patrick Stewart, James Franco, Mark Hamill and Andy Cohen. Even Big Bird and Cookie Monster dropped by for the singalong.
The singalong continued with video clips featuring past Colbert characters and more notable celebs like Bill Clinton, Vince Gilligan, J.J. Abrams and the dragon Smaug.
Colbert also treated his fans with one of his most popular segments on his last show with one final edition of “The Word.” His exploration of “Same to You, Pal” looked at the legacy Colbert expects to leave behind now that his time behind the desk at Comedy Central has come to a close.
He did one last “Cheating Death” segment, which took a dark turn when he accidentally killed Grimmy, the grim reaper he cheats on chess with. But he quickly realized that by killing Death, he has in fact cheated death, rendering him immortal.
After saying farewell with that massive musical number, Colbert was left to wonder what lie next in his future. The answer came in the form of a sleigh holding Santa Claus, Abraham Lincoln and Alex Trebek.
Now that we know Stephen Colbert is immortal and flying among the clouds, we needn’t worry about our own futures. Even though some other Stephen Colbert will be taking over CBS’s “Late Show” in 2015, this Stephen Colbert will always be there, watching over us and reminding us to be afraid and think with our gut.
You know what? Just watch the rest of the show in the below videos. Let’s start with Colbert’s final opening:
Tony Maglio contributed to this report.