Stephen Colbert hosted the Colbert Report for the final time Thursday night, signing off the late night program with a slew of cameo guests.

Stephen Colbert Signs Off

“If this is your first time tuning in to The Colbert Report, I have some terrible news,” Colbert said at the top of the finale for his Comedy Central show. Staying in character as the ultra-patriotic Republican persona he devised for the late night program, Colbert opted not to give a glimpse of the man who’ll take up hosting the Late Show at some point next year. Among the accomplishments Colbert wanted to be remembered for was the introduction of “truthiness” into the American lexicon.

One of the biggest nods to his departure was a musical number – “We’ll Meet Again” – with a number of famous faces joining in. Jon Stewart, Willie Nelson, Tom Brokaw, Cyndi Lauper, Bryan Cranston, Big Bird, Jeff Daniels, Katie Couric, Ken Burns, Charlie Rose, James Franco, Michael Stipe, Barry Manilow, Bill Clinton, Christiane Amanpour, Andy Cohen, George Lucas and more made an appearance.

The last guest on Colbert’s show – since he promised a 360-degree revolution from the start – was the same guest he had on his first episode. After a chat with the immortal Grimmy, Colbert bid farewell: “That’s the show. From eternity, I’m Stephen Colbert.” And then, Colbert headed out on a sleigh with Santa, Abraham Lincoln and Alex Trebek.

Colbert will take over hosting the Late Show from David Letterman following the late night veteran’s final show May 20 after 28 years at the helm.

Other shakeups in late night this year included Jimmy Fallon taking over The Tonight Show from Jay Leno, Chelsea Handler departing E!’s Chelsea Lately for a Netflix contract and Craig Ferguson retiring from The Late Late Show Friday.


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