Truthiness took a massive hit Thursday night when Stephen Colbert ended his nine-year, 1,447-episode run as the memorable "Stephen Colbert" character on "The Colbert Report." But leave it to Colbert to go out with a bang, surrounded by dozens of stars singing "We'll Meet Again."
"If this is your first time tuning into 'The Colbert Report,' I have some terrible news," Colbert told his audience during that final episode, which had as its centerpiece a singing extravaganza so packed with famous faces it called to mind the cover of the Beatles' 1967 album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."
Who joined Colbert for that rousing finale? You'll want to watch the clip to find your favorites — but here are a few: Randy Newman (on piano), Tom Brokaw, Big Bird, Katie Couric, Jon Stewart, Michael Stipe, James Franco, Patrick Stewart, Alan Alda, George Lucas, Bill Clinton, Smaug, JJ Abrams, soldiers in Afghanistan and "Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan (who's been detained in chains in Colbert's basement since the show's finale).
It was a delightful blend of the brainy, the nerdy, the glamorous, the musical, the political and the heartfelt — a combination that sums up Colbert's dopplegänger persona perfectly.
Here are a few other gems we wanted to make sure you didn't miss:
Colbert samed the world!
"I did something much harder than change the world," he told his audience. "Folks, I samed the world. [Back in 2005] I promised you a revolution, and I delivered. Because technically, one revolution is 360 degrees right back to where we were."
He defeated death!
"Grimmy" the Grim Reaper faced off with Colbert's "doctor" character in a black-and-white segment riffing on the 1957 film "The Seventh Seal," a game to which Colbert brought a gun. "I am immortal!" he shouted, realizing he'd killed the major cause of death around the world.
He got awesome tweets!
(President Clinton is the only person Colbert follows on Twitter.)
He rode off into the night with Alex Trebek!
Of course, Colbert couldn't just leave the stage with a bow and a nod. He woke up in a sleigh with the "Jeopardy!" host sitting next to him, then gave a sincere thanks to his many guests and the Colbert Nation. "That was fun!" he said. "From eternity, I'm Stephen Colbert." And then he "tossed" the show back to Jon Stewart.
Stephen Colbert will return to late night next year, taking over for David Letterman on "The Late Show." Reports say he won't start until September, though Letterman signs off in May.
And that's the word!