"Deathless" and considerably less Republican than his alter ego, Stephen Colbert is moving on.
It’s over. It’s done. Colbert is dead. Long live Colbert. The Colbert Report aired its final episode last night – Thursday, December 18. The show died, how it lived, more or less.
What does the future hold for the newly "deathless" Stephen Colbert?
The final episode started off slow, with Colbert not even speaking a word until halfway through the thing. It kicked off with an intro by Jon Stewart, as per tradition, with the Daily Show host eventually tossing the ball to Colbert himself. The recap of recent events fit in quite well with the theme, which was essentially how little things have changed since the Report launched way back in 2005.
Colbert’s introduction was brief and heartfelt, ending with a sincere (still in character though): “None of that was really me. You, the nation, did all of that. I just got paid for it.”
And that’s when it all got f---ing weird. As promised, Colbert’s first guest was one named Grimmie – aka the Grim Reaper. Because, death, last show, you get the idea, yes? Grimmy, a recurring character, had been listed on the show website as “Stephen’s colleague and lifelong friend.” We’ve seen him before on the show, in the Seventh Seal-inspired opening titles for the recurring segment “Cheating Death with Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, D.F.A.”
Except last night was a little different. An abrupt cut mid-scene revealed that Colbert had accidentally shot Grimmy with a handgun, making him, as the host himself astutely observed, the Master of Death. It also means that, no, he will not be taking Grimmy along when he moves to CBS next fall. Sigh.
After the next commercial break, the newly-“immortal” Colbert ushered in the segment we’d all tacitly been waiting for: a star-studded sing-along. Seriously, the list is so long, I know you’ll skip over it and just watch the video, but here it is anyway. Joining Colbert onstage were.
Randy Newman (on the piano, natch), Jon Stewart (of course), Bryan Cranston, Willie Nelson, Mandy Patinkin, Tom Brokaw, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Big Bird, Cyndi Lauper, Sam Waterston, Katie Couric, Gloria Steinem, Cookie Monster, James Franco, Michael Stipe, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Barry Manilow, Jeff Daniels, Andy Cohen, Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, Patrick Stewart, Ariana Huffington, George Lucas, Alan Alda, New Jersey senator Cory Booker, Elijah Wood, former New York governor Eliot Spitzer, Tim Meadows, Keith Olbermann, Shane Smith, Ken Burns, Mark Cuban, Paul Krugman, Mike Huckabee, Grover Norquist, and Henry Kissinger. Vince Gilligan, still being held captive in Colbert’s basement, joined via video; so did Bill Clinton (tweeting with the account Colbert built for him), and a troop of soldiers in Afghanistan, and Colbert’s Latino alter ego Esteban Colberto, and J.J. Abrams, and Smaug the dragon, and an astronaut running on the C.O.L.B.E.R.T. treadmill in space.
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