After nine years andÂ almost 1,500Â episodes, Stephen Colbert made his last “Report” yesterday, escapingÂ the total murder ofÂ the character, as was speculated when it was announced that the Grim Reaper would be his final guest, but by becoming immortal.
Colbert fooledÂ Death by shooting him during a game of chess.
“I’m ending the ‘Report,’ and I was going to say goodbye,” Colbert said afterward. “But now that I’ll live forever, who knows.”
â€śIf this is your first episode tuning into TheÂ Colbert Report, I have some terrible news,â€ť he told viewers. â€śThis is your last time watching the Colbert Report â€¦ until 10 years from now when they reboot it, directed by J.J. Abrams.â€ť
After a quick recap of the latestÂ Syrian shenanigans, Colbert turned to his viewers, his Nation, for a thanks-a-lot edition of The Word: â€śWhile Iâ€™ve always reminded you to be afraid, folks, I donâ€™t want you to worry,â€ť he began. â€śOn my very first show, I told you truth doesnâ€™t come from your head. It comes from your gut. â€¦ The truthiness is, all those incredible things people say I did, none of that was really me. You, the Nation, did all of that. â€¦ I just got paid for it.â€ť
The character performedÂ “We’ll Meet Again” with Randy Newman on piano with dozens of famousÂ guests joining in a massive singalong, including: Jon Stewart, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Mandy Patinkin, Big Bird, Cyndi Lauper, Katie Couric, Barry Manilow, Patrick Stewart, George Lucas, Henry Kissinger, Sen. Cory Booker, Michael Stipe, Willie Nelson and even HuffPost founder Arianna Huffington.
Which is more, Colbert was joined remotely by U.S. troops from somewhere out of the country, former President Bill Clinton (who texted his contribution to the song), and Smaug the Dragon from “The Hobbit” films (in which Colbert has a cameo).
The show ended with Colbert on the roof with Captain America’s shield crying out “What do I do now?” After thatÂ Santa arrived with a unicorn Abraham Lincoln smoking an e-cigarette as well as “the one with all the answers.” Hidden at first by a hazy white light, “the one with all the answers” turned out to be Alex Trebek, who asked Colbert to join them in Santa’s sleigh.
And with that, Colbert flew off into the night… except for a brief return for a round of thank-yous.
“From eternity, I’m Stephen Colbert,” he said from the back of Santa’s sleigh, signing off. “Jon?”
“Thanks for that Report, Stephen,” Stewart replied from the “Daily Show” studios.
Colbert will take over “The Late Show” from David Letterman next year. Letterman’s final episode is scheduled to air on May 20, 2015. The debut of Colbert’s “Late Show” has not yet been announced, but there is speculation it will be in August or September.