Comedy Central(NEW YORK) -- After nine years of truthiness, justice, and the American Way, Stephen Colbert signed off as the host of Comedy Central's award winning spoof news show The Colbert Report.
Colbert launched his show on October 17, 2005, after spending several years as a correspondent on another Comedy Central program, The Daily Show. His parody of right-wing TV commentators quickly became a hit."
And no, he didn't break character, even in the finale.
Let's not pussyfoot around," Colbert said in his last "Word" segment.
"I have had a huge impact. Need more evidence? Maybe you should ask Saginaw Spirit's mini mascot Steagle Colbeagle The Eagle," which was obviously named in his honor. "I don't remember Cronkite ever having a mascot!" Colbert trumpeted.
While Colbert's only official guest was occasional guest Grimmy AKA The Grim Reaper -- who, after a struggle Colbert shot to death, therefore insuring the host's immortality -- the host was accompanied in studio by dozens of celebrities to sing the WWII standard "We'll Meet Again."
The star singers included Bryan Cranston, George Lucas, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Katie Couric, James Franco, New Jersey senator Cory Booker, disgraced former New York governor Eliot Spitzer, Elijah Wood, Cindy Lauper, Michael Stipe, Alan Alda, Patrick Stewart, Willie Nelson, Mark Cuban, Mike Huckabee, Henry Kissinger, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tom Broakaw, Yo Yo Ma, Cyndi Lauper, Rod Stewart, Smaug, Tim Meadows, Keith Olbermann, and Sam Waterston.
Other guests chimed in via video, including J.J. Abrams (appropriately backed with a Star Wars "crawl" reading the song's lyrics), Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan (still chained in front of his computer in Colbert's basement, as in a previous episode that had the host forcing him to make more episodes of the AMC drama), troops in Afghanistan, an astronaut running on the C.O.L.B.E.R.T. treadmill in space, and former President Bill Clinton (tweeting using the account Colbert created for him on the air).
Later on, Colbert got more serious, saying, "We finally come to the end of the Colbert Report. Nine great years, 1,447 wonderful episodes," expressing he just has, "so many people to thank," including, "everybody who works so hard every day to make something special," as well as, "all the friends and family for putting up with our long hours, the network for giving us the chance to begin with -- and of course all the guests...thousands of them--too many to thank. So... I'll just thank Mavis Staples. So Mavis, if you can just call everybody tomorrow, that would be great."
The host then addressed the fans by saying, "you, the Colbert Nation: we couldn't have done it without you."
The show ended with more guests, however, notably Santa Claus, who arrived via sled on the roof of Colbert's studio with none other than Abraham Lincoln -- who revealed himself to be at least part unicorn -- and "the man with all the answers," Jeopardy's Alex Trebek in tow. "So I guess I'll be gone forever?" Colbert asked. "Oh no, no no," Trebek assured him. "We'll always be there for the American people when they need us the most."
"But aren't you Canadian?" Colbert countered, expressing that Trebek's "dual citizenship since 1998" really is, "not the same." And with that, Santa's sleigh took off, with the host, who will start as David Letterman's replacement on CBS' Late Show next September.
After a few weeks of @Midnight airing in the Report's 11:30 time slot, Comedy Central will replace it with The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, premiering January 19.
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