COMEDY
12/19/2014 12:50 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Final 'Colbert Report' Ends With Stephen Colbert Becoming Immortal

After nine years and 1,447 episodes, Stephen Colbert made his last "Report" on Thursday night, not by killing off the character, as was speculated when it was announced that the Grim Reaper would be his final guest, but by becoming immortal.

"I'm ending the 'Report,' and I was going to say goodbye," Colbert said afterward. "But now that I'll live forever, who knows."

Colbert sang "We'll Meet Again" with Randy Newman on piano and dozens of celebrity 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 HuffPost founder Arianna Huffington -- just to name a few.

In addition, Colbert was joined remotely by U.S. troops overseas, 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?" Then 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.

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

  • 1 He is a Super PAC and so can we.

    If there was any confusion about what the Citizen's United ruling and unlimited private donations meant to our election system, there certainly wasn't after Colbert was through mucking about with them. The host created a very real PAC, followed by a Super PAC during the 2012 campaign season, and with a little help from Jon Stewart, educated Americans on exactly how much he could bend the rules every night.
  • 2 He pledged Jimmy Fallon's money to charity.
    After auctioning off a portrait of himself for $26,000, Colbert went on his show and announced that Jimmy Fallon had agreed t
    After auctioning off a portrait of himself for $26,000, Colbert went on his show and announced that Jimmy Fallon had agreed to match those funds. Only problem was, he never told Jimmy he was going to do that. As Fallon explained in an interview with our own Arianna, "Literally he did not call me or ask me or consult with me and see if I would ever match $26,000 to a charity." We guess Colbert just KNEW his BFF for six months would come through.
  • 3 He gave the most daring WHCD speech ever.

    It might not have gone over well in the room, but Colbert's daring in-character take down of George W. Bush stands as one of the most epic comedic monologues of all time.
  • 4 He also testified in character before the House.
    A lot of people weren't amused by <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1T75jBYeCs" target="_hplink">Colbert's in-characte
    A lot of people weren't amused by Colbert's in-character testimony before a House hearing on undocumented farm workers, but his appearance shed critical light on an issue that most people don't understand, while also mocking that misunderstanding at its source.
  • 5 He shaved his head for the troops.

    In June of 2009, Colbert took the "Report" to Iraq and taped four shows for soldiers at Camp Victory. During the first taping, he submitted to a military-style haircut, ordered by President Obama himself.
  • 6 He ran for President Of The United States Of South Carolina.
    Colbert heightened the absurdity of forming his own Super PAC by deciding to "explore" running for <a href="http://www.huffin
    Colbert heightened the absurdity of forming his own Super PAC by deciding to "explore" running for President Of The United States Of South Carolina. But before he could enter the election, he was legally required to hand over the reigns of his Super PAC to a trusted source, i.e. Jon Stewart.
  • 7 He trolls uptight British people.

    Colbert's was the only Royal Wedding coverage we cared about.
  • 8 He copes with rejection like a boss.
    After Daft Punk cancelled their appearance on "The Colbert Report" the day before the taping, Colbert took the high road and
    After Daft Punk cancelled their appearance on "The Colbert Report" the day before the taping, Colbert took the high road and mercilessly mocked them, MTV and Viacom. He also revealed the reason: that Daft Punk was to be a surprise performer at the VMA's in September. So... SURPRISE!
  • 9 He gave us the best Maurice Sendak interview.

    Watch part two here.
  • 10 He tells it like it is no matter where he is.

    Take that, Babylon.
  • 11 He makes the most of every 'sponsortunity.'
    It is a brave marketing director who gives Stephen Colbert money for a branded segment. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co
    It is a brave marketing director who gives Stephen Colbert money for a branded segment. In this Wheat Thins episode, Colbert read an actual memo sent to him by the company, explaining Wheat Thins' role in all of our lives.
  • 12 He takes second billing to NO ONE.

    Colbert supersized his show for Sir Paul McCartney, giving his 150-person audience a mini concert with the Beatles legend. Nevertheless, when it came time for the interview, Colbert still took center stage, as per usual.
  • 13 He tells the important stories.

    Colbert's segment about Mayor Johnny Cumming's of Vicco, Ky. took the internet by storm and for good reason: it was hilarious, heartfelt and deeply touching.
CONVERSATIONS