To celebrate the end, he first turned his show over to the president, then went head to head with a dragon. He sold nine years of tchotchkes at a yard sale, then raffled off his desk and fireplace for charity. And for his final show, he murdered death, declared himself immortal, sang a song with wildly diverse assortment of famous people before flying off into the heavens with fellow immortals: Santa Claus, Abraham Lincoln and
No one will ever accuse Mr.
In the end, though, he didn't so much ring down the curtain on
After the sleigh ride and the mock-serious but still serious thank-yous, “The Colbert Report” ended as it began, with a clip of “The Daily Show.” Colbert, having used a tiny dinosaur head to proclaim his love for
After years of feigning ignorance whenever an overzealous guest referenced his "character," Stephen Colbert ended his remarkable, satirical and unprecendented one-man performance by formally acknowledging it was a performance.
Now we know "The Colbert Report" is over.
In truth, Colbert the character has been leaving us for weeks. Though he continued to deliver his signature rants and “reportage,” to tip the hat and wag the finger, Colbert the performer, and upcoming replacement for
When President Obama appeared as a guest last week, Colbert didn't grill him; instead, he turned his desk (and, apparently, writing staff) over to the president, allowing him to give his own performance as "Stephen Colbert."
Later that week, Colbert not only uncharacteristically touted his equally uncharacteristic appearance on the cover of Entertainment Weekly, in an assortment of costumes from the "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," he conducted an interview with a CG-created, Benedict Cumberbatch-voiced vision of Smaug.
More recently, Colbert joked gently with Seth Rogen (who did not know yet that his film, “The Interview” would not be making it to theaters) and introduced rap star
See, he can do stuff that isn't political. Because Stephen Colbert is not a politician, he's a performer.
And one who, as we have been reminded occasionally over the years, can sing and dance. Indeed, the big finish of "The Colbert Report" finale, the one before the Santa scene and the Jon Stewart scene (OK, there were a lot of "final scenes," kind of like the final films in those Tolkien trilogies), was a lovely rendition of "We'll Meet Again" sung by many of "The Report's" famous guests.
Like one of those crazy year-end poems in “The New Yorker,” Barry Manilow shared the stage with Gloria Steinem,
The Cookie Monster, Pussy Riot and Bill Clinton, all reassuring Colbert, us and each other that "we'll meet again."