"Now folks, if this is your first time tuning into The Colbert Report, I have some terrible news."
Last night, Stephen Colbert — both the character and the human — ended a nine-year, 1,447-episode run with one final edition of The Word ("Same to you, pal") and an all-star singalong of "We'll Meet Again" with Randy Newman, Jon Stewart, Patrick Stewart, Big Bird, Vince Gilligan (still locked up in the basement), and dozens more:
We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when
But I know we'll meet again some sunny day
If the joke eludes you: Colbert is taking over for David Letterman next year as host of The Late Show on CBS. At no point does Colbert mention that or even talk about the future, opting instead to focus on the show's rich history. Keep watching until the very end, because it gets very sweet.
I changed the world!— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) December 19, 2014
Enjoy the finale, and then do what every savvy TV consumer does: start from the beginning and binge-watch the entire series. Or at least watch the very first episode form October 17th, 2005.
And in case you missed it, here's the final Daily Show / Colbert Report handoff: