The character was created by Colbert in 2005. In the first episode of the Report, Colbert declared: “Anyone can read the news to you. I promise to feel the news at you.”
His style of satire has a reputation of mocking the overzealous reaction that many conservative figures have when consuming the news. Colbert’s character was loosely based off of Bill O’Reilly, the host of Fox’s the O’Reilly Factor.
Hank Stuever of the Washington Post said that the Colbert Report was “the perfect indictment of the world of political punditry…but also a send-up of our inflexibility when it came to opinions, reason and the truth.”
Although the show was satirical at heart, Colbert wanted guests on the show to feel comfortable and have fun with the comedy. “I have a responsibility for what I’m saying. But I actually do want people to have a good time,” Colbert said when the show was airing.
It’s nearly a decade later, and the outlandish character has said his final farewell.
“Folks, if this is your first time tuning into the Colbert Report, then I have some terrible news,” he said during the last episode.
A few past guests joined Colbert for the final show to bring an end to some 1,446 episodes, including actors James Franco and Bryan Cranston, New York Times economist Paul Krugman, host of the Daily Show Jon Stewart, and even Big Bird.
And at the very end, Colbert rode away with Santa and Abraham Lincoln and Alex Trebek.
With the show in its syndication coffin, our Colbert Nation may never be the same.
The finale is available to watch online here.