It was the final eagle screech, the final flag planting. Hell, it was the final time for everything we’ve come to know and love over the past 9 years from one Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, D.F.A.
Did he cry? No, crying's for appeasers. Did he get serenaded by Bette Midler? Not a chance, pal. Did he crumble into Jon Stewart's arms and get rolled off stage on a bed of his Peabody, Emmy and Grammy awards? No, but that would have been awesome.
No, Colbert did what Colbert always did: he brought you the news as he sees it. Oh, and he wrestled with Death one more time, killing Grimmy in the process and becoming immortal. So, you know, Thursday night.
It was everything you wanted, plus more. He ended the revolution like he began it on October 17, 2005: with The Wørd. "On my very first show I told you the truth doesn’t come from you head, it comes from you gut," he said, cueing up a clip of a younger looking Colbert saying, well, those exact words.
"And you did, because the truthiness is… all those incredible things people say I did: running for president [not really], saving the Olympics [nope], Cobert SuperPac [ok, that one he did], treadmill in space [check], The Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear [for sure]… none of that was really me. You the nation did all of that. I just got paid for it."
And then, of course, he ended it all with a song. He began the WWII-era nugget "We'll Meet Again" by himself, but was quickly joined by former boss Stewart, along with Oscar-winning songwriter Randy Newman on piano and, oh a few friends: Bryan Cranston, Willie Nelson, James Franco, Big Bird, George Lucas, JJ Abrams, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Stipe, Cookie Monster, Wilco singer Jeff Tweedy and about 50 other stars of stage, screen, music and politics.
It was perfect. And then it got perfecter... when a sword-wielding Colbert got all the answers he'd been looking for all along from Santa and his hero, Unicorn Abraham Lincoln. And, of course, "Jeopardy" host Alex Trebek.