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Stephen Colbert Retires ‘The Colbert Report’ With Help of Celebrities

‘Colbert Report’ Ends: Say Goodbye to Stephen Colbert 3:18

NEW YORK — Stephen Colbert filed the final edition of "The Colbert Report" on Thursday, bidding farewell to his popular cable television show with the help of scores of celebrities who crowded onto the stage for a rousing sendoff to the tune of "We'll Meet Again."

Colbert, 50, ended his show's nine-year run on Comedy Central without any guests, until the show's final moments when he broke into song and was joined by Jon Stewart, on whose show Colbert first popularized his persona of an egocentric, bombastic conservative pundit.

The singing comedians were soon joined by personalities including Randy Newman, Willie Nelson, Bryan Cranston, Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric, George Lucas and Big Bird from "Sesame Street." Among many others on hand were James Franco, Gloria Steinem, Jeff Daniels, Charlie Rose, Barry Manilow, Alan Alda, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Surprise stars serenade ‘Colbert Report’ finale 3:56

Colbert stuck to regular segments, before accidentally killing off the recurring Grim Reaper character, Grimmy, exclaiming "I just killed death. That means I am immortal." In a final bit, he was picked up from the roof by Santa's sleigh, joined by "Jeopardy" host Alex Trebek. Colbert is set to take over "The Late Show" after David Letterman leaves in May.

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- Reuters