James Franco, Bryan Cranston Help Us Bid Adieu To Stephen Colbert and ‘The Colbert Report’

Courtney Enlow

“Folks, if this is your first time tuning into The Colbert Report, I have some terrible news for you.” With a mighty leap over the word “grippest,” Stephen Colbert began his final episode of The Colbert Report.

For the first half, it was actually a very normal episode, with talk of Syria, a shout-out to the Prescott Group, and a special “The Word” devoted to Colbert’s impact on television. Oh, and he also killed Death. Shooting Grimmy the Grim Reaper, he was rendered immortal. Your standard stuff. I’m pretty sure that’s how Jack Parr went off the air.

But it wasn’t all the fantastically self-important bombast we’ve loved since 2005. For starters, the auction Colbert held for his desk and fireplace earned over $313,000 for the Yellow Ribbon Fund. And, he thanked his audience, his “Nation,” for everything he’s done over the past nine years.

Then, the music began.

Singing “We’ll Meet Again,” Colbert was joined by guests and friends to the show like Jon Stewart, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Big Bird, Jeff Daniels, Bryan Cranston, Willie Nelson, Cyndi Lauper, Ric Ocasek, Katie Couric, James Franco, Cookie Monster, Michael Stipe, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Toby Keith, Ken Burns, Barry Manilow, Patrick Stewart, Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, Ariana Huffington, Alan Alda, George Lucas, Elijah Wood, Tim Meadows, Bob Costas, Bill Clinton, astronauts in space, JJ Abrams, Elliot Spitzer, and so, so, so many more. Literally everyone you’ve ever even imagined was there.

Then, with a heartfelt thank you to his crew, the network and guests, and, of course, Colbert Nation, Santa, Abe Lincoln (revealed to be a unicorn), and Alex Trebek, Colbert was whisked away to television history.

All in all, it was a spectacular send-off to a spectacular, important show. We’ll miss it. See you on the other side, Stephen Tyrone Colbert. Thanks for everything.

And remember: We will see him again soon. Here are all the reasons why Colbert will kill it as host of The Late Show in 2015.

  • stephen colbert

  • colbert-2

  • stephen colbert

  • stephen colbert

  • stephen colbert

Watch the star-studded sing-along, below.

[Photo Credit: Comedy Central]