It’s a sad day for the Colbert Nation: the final episode of The Colbert Report airs tonight. After nine years of political incorrectness, Stephen Colbert will retire his conservative alter-ego to host the Late Show out of character. While we’re excited to see what Colbert will do as David Letterman‘s replacement, we’re still sad to see his fake news show end.
1. His outrageous character
The character of Stephen Colbert is an over-the-top, uninformed pundit. And yet, he was somehow likeable. His complete ignorance was always enjoyable to watch.
2. When he breaks character
He manages to keep a straight face most of the time, but there are moments when he can’t help but crack up.
3. His friendship with Jon Stewart
Stewart and Colbert’s bromance goes way back to when Colbert was a correspondent on The Daily Show. It’s always a treat when they appear on each other’s shows.
4. When his character interacts with the real world
When Colbert brings his character off the set and into public, like at the 2006 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, interesting things happen.
5. His interviews
The guests need to think on their feet to keep up with the host.
6. The awesome set
The most patriotic set on TV.
7. The sharp political satire
Colbert usually means the exact opposite of what he is saying, which is what makes the show so smart.
8. The commentary on the news media
By imitating cable news programs, the show makes a statement about how the news media operates.
9. The Word
It’s what Colbert isn’t saying that is important in this segment. It’s also how the word “truthiness” originated in the very first episode.
10. Better Know a District
Watching him interview bewildered members of Congress never gets old.
11. Tip of the Hat, Wag of the Finger
In Colbert’s world, his opinions are the only ones that matter.
12. The field pieces
Whether he’s playing football, visiting a wax museum or learning about horse dancing, he always covers the hard-hitting stories.
13. His singing
He has a lovely voice, and often shows it off.
14. His love of Lord of the Rings
Colbert is such a giant Tolkien nerd, he even had a cameo in the second Hobbit movie.
15. His feud (and eventual reconciliation with) bears
After holding a long grudge against the creatures he dubbed “godless killing machines,” he eventually made up with the animals.
16. His ridiculous faces
He loves to ham it up.
A tip of our hat to you, Mr. Colbert. Thank you for nine hilarious years!