"If this is your first time tuning into The Colbert Report, I have some terrible news," Stephen Colbert joked during the opening of his final episode. "This is also your last time tuning into The Colbert Report. Until 10 years from now when they reboot it with J.J. Abrams."
After building a comedy powerhouse, Stephen Colbert hosted his final episode of his beloved satirical Comedy Central talk show Thursday, and it was just the right mix of humor and emotion. Here are some of the best moments from his historical series finale.
Colbert Explores His Impact on History
During Colbert's last installment of "The Word," he chronicled his impact on history and all that he's accomplished since the show began in 2005, including:
- Convincing the Sagniaw Spirit, a minor league hockey team in Michigan, to name their mascot Steagle Colbeagle the Eagle
- Starting the Colbert Super PAC
- Hosting the massive Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in Washington, D.C.
- Getting the International Space Station to rename their treadmill the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (or C.O.L.B.E.R.T. for short)
- Raising the money needed to help America's speed skating team compete in the Winter Olympics.
"You, the nation, did all that!" Colbert told his adoring audience. "I just got paid for it. Thanks, that was really cool of you guys."
Stephen Colbert Kills Death
In what appeared to be the last of Colbert's beloved segment "Cheating Death With Stephen T. Colbert, DFA," the show took a strange turn when he accidentally shot the Grim Reaper, killing death itself. Grabbing the hilt of a mystical blade, Colbert revealed that he was now immortal!
A Star-Studded Sendoff
How do you send off a man who has had such a huge cultural impact on America for nearly a decade? In true Colbert fashion, he got nearly every guest who has ever appeared on his show to come back and sing with him.
Jon Stewart (obviously), Bryan Cranston, James Franco (amid controversy surrounding The Interview), Big Bird, The Cookie Monster, George Lucas, Alan Alda, Patrick Stewart, Elijah wood, Vince Gilligan (still chained up in Colbert's basement), Bill Clinton, J.J. Abrams, Smaug the Dragon, Willie Nelson, Cindy Lauper, Wilt Chamberlin, and dozens of other celebrities, political pundits and politicians sang "We'll Meet Again."
It was a sendoff that managed to blow the star-studded finale of Chelsea Lately out of the water.
Stephen Flies Off Into History
After the sing-along ended, the show cut to an empty stage, with an empty desk. Colbert was revealed to be standing on the roof of his studio, holding Captain America's shield aloft, trying to figure out what he should now do with his life.
Luckily, Santa Claus, Abraham Lincoln and Jeopardy's Alex Trebek were there to whisk Stephen away into "eternity."
After nine years and 1,447 episodes, The Colbert Report signed off for the last time, and the show cut back to Jon Stewart, who thanked Colbert the same way Stewart used to when Colbert was a correspondent on The Daily Show.
"From eternity, I'm Stephen Colbert. Jon?" https://t.co/GluuQgs3Eb— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) December 19, 2014
The Colbert Nation will miss you, Stephen.