Farewell to The Colbert Report

Here are the two final clips from Stephen Colbert’s final episode. I thought it was a good ending, somewhat sentimental but avoiding the trap of being sappy. And you can amuse yourself by seeing how many people you can identify. The list unfortunately includes some of the dregs of politics and journalism and at least one war criminal. You can see a comprehensive list here.

(These clips aired on December 18, 2014. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)

When Colbert blasted the media in his celebrated 2006 White House Correspondents Association dinner speech for being essentially stenographers for the Bush administration, they were displeased. He had been on the air only a year or so and thus had not as yet become so well known. But the presence of so many of those derided journalists at the farewell shows that they now realize how influential he has been, more so than they could eve hope to be.

It would seem obvious that what Colbert was doing on his show was satire. But apparently not everyone gets the joke and it turns out that the more conservative you are, the more likely that you think that he genuinely shares your views and it even increases their conservatism. The same thing was true back in the days of the TV show All in the Family where many people thought that Archie was the person who ‘won’ each episode with his bigoted views.

The reason for this may be that both Colbert and Bunker are not portrayed as mean and these viewers found that having someone on TV say what they would say resulted in them bonding with the characters and thus wanting to believe in them.

I am going to miss the show but as they say, it is better to leave the stage with people wanting more than to overstay your welcome.


  1. Rob Grigjanis says

    Yeah, seeing Kissinger was a gut punch. The only other war criminal I can think of was Clinton.

    …and it even increases their conservatism

    Some people are pretty much beyond hope…

  2. brucegee1962 says

    I don’t get to watch the show very often, though I often look at the clips your recommend. Actually, I watch very little tv, so the big sing-along mostly made me feel like a cultural failure. I recognized:

    John Stewart
    Patrick Stewart
    Willie Nelson
    Neil Degrasse Tyson
    Stephen’s Hispanic Persona
    Ric O’Casik?
    John Ratzenberger?
    George Lucas???
    Henry Kissinger???
    The Cookie Monster
    Big Bird
    Bill Clinton

    That was about it for me. Who were the two women in the separate shot, and the guy chained to his laptop?

    I guess I really am a pop culture failure.

  3. Mano Singham says

    You can see a comprehensive list here.

    The two women were Pussy Riot and the chained guy was Vince Gilligan, creator of Breaking Bad.

  4. Henry Gale says

    Reading this on my Android phone running Android 5.0.1 and using Firefox for Android. After the page loaded the Google Play store was forced open and and an app called Ibotta was set to be installed. I closed the browser and Google Play. Cleared the caches. And tried again. It did the same thing.

    Anyone else with this issue?

    Also experienced this issue at Pharyngula.

  5. mikey says

    @4: same problem. The site is pretty well unusable on Android. Leaving aside the Google Play hijack, the mobile site design is pretty terrible anyway. No way to jump from one blog to another as via the sidebar on the desktop site is a main gripe.

  6. Nick Gotts says

    I’ve very recently found out that an advantage of living in Italy rather than the UK, as I am most of the time at present, is that I can watch the Colbert and Daily Show clips you put up. (I did try the work-around of spoofing an American IP from the UK, but it interfered with other internet stuff too much). So it’s a shame for me that Colbert is ending just now.

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