We are about to say goodbye to another show like we have so many times before. This time, it's a farewell to The Colbert Report and above you have the intro (not the December 18 one, but rather September of 2013). A good intro for the post, too. Full spoilers ahead.
The episode began with Jon Stewart ending The Daily Show by asking if Stephen was ready for the end. And Colbert pretended as if he had no idea what Jon was talking about. The episode continued in regular Colbert Report fashion with a topical and humorous commentary. But then the true finale-aspect started to become clear. Colbert delivered his final edition of The Word, a segment featured on over one-third of the episodes over the course of nine years.
Then, the episode started to become epic or, as Entertainment Weekly described it, "immortal." Stephen Colbert found himself in a classic showdown with recurring Report character, Grimmy, AKA The Grim Reaper. Instead of dying, though, as many expected, the character of Colbert killed the reaper and achieved immortality. Freaking awesome!
Then, like nothing ever happened, Stephen began to sing, We'll Meet Again, and Jon Stewart walked out onto the stage. But then so did so many more. Randy Newman, Bryan Cranston, James Franco, Mandy Patinkin, Tom Brokaw, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Barry Manilow, Patrick Stewart, Ariana Huffington, Patrick Stewart, Alan Alda, Elijah Wood, Eliot Spitzer, Tim Meadows, Ken Burns, Vince Gilligan, Bill Clinton, C.O.L.B.E.R.T., and more were there. It seemed like every celebrity came by to sing and help Stephen say farewell.
Then, The Colbert Report ended exactly as it should have, but as no one expected it to conclude. On the rooftop of the building in which his show was filmed, Colbert wielded his Captain America shield and stared into the distance as he pondered what to do next. Then, Santa Claus and Abraham Lincoln descended onto the roof to reveal Alex Trebek, the man with all the answers to make Stephen feel better about departing. He then flew into the moonlight and said farewell to Colbert Nation.
What a beautiful ending. I'm excited to see how Stephen tackles the Late Show, but I'm still going to heavily miss The Colbert Report. It was one of the best ever.
Thank you, Stephen.