A president, an astronaut, Muppets, and stars: Who appeared on final 'Colbert' episode?

The final episode of the Comedy Central program included Colbert meeting Abraham Lincoln and Santa Claus, a massive group sing-along, and... Colbert conquering death.

Scott Gries/Comedy Central/AP
Stephen Colbert appears on 'The Colbert Report' in 2010.

Not many late-night hosts can say they conquered death in the finale of their show.

But before the Dec. 18 final episode of Stephen Colbert’s Comedy Central program “The Colbert Report,” it became known that the planned guest for the show was “Grimmy,” which could be assumed to be the Grim Reaper. And it was revealed during the episode that Colbert had apparently accidentally killed Death. Colbert brought back the segment “Cheating Death With Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, D.F.A.” and when Death grabbed him, Colbert shot “Grimmy.” “Wait a second,” Colbert said. “I don’t have a guest tonight. Wait a second, I just killed Death! That means I am immortal!” He became surrounded by blue lightning and wielded a sword.

But Colbert also included news of the day in the episode, including a segment about Syria and jabs at how the world hasn’t changed since the debut of his show in 2005. “Another Bush governor is running for the White House, people on TV are defending torture, we are sending troops into Iraq,” he said.

However, Colbert becoming immortal wasn’t the only unusual feature of the episode. A giant sing-along to the song “We’ll Meet Again” included Colbert’s longtime colleague Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show,” Keith Olbermann, Gloria Steinem, Ken Burns, Mike Huckabee, Sam Waterston, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Cyndi Lauper, REM singer Michael Stipe, “The Hobbit” actor Elijah Wood, Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad,” Arianna Huffington, Katie Couric, “The Interview” actor James Franco, George Lucas, former President Bill Clinton, “X-Men: Days of Future Past” actor Patrick Stewart, and many, many more, with Randy Newman accompanying the crowd on the piano. 

After the sing-along concluded, Colbert went to see Santa Claus, Abraham Lincoln, and Alex Trebek of “Jeopardy!” “So I guess I’ll be gone forever,” he said as he got into Santa’s sleigh with the trio, then later thanked his staff, friends and family, the network, the show’s guests, and the Colbert Nation. 

Colbert will debut on “The Late Show” on CBS sometime after current host David Letterman leaves in May.

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