On December 18, 2014, Stephen Colbert gave his last “word,” “Same to you, pal.”
Stephen Colbert retired his persona and The Colbert Report to succeed David Letterman in hosting The Late Show. The show aired on Comedy Central for nine years from 2005 to 2014.
The finale was a homage to the show itself, and featured Colbert, Jon Stewart, and a vast myriad of guests throughout the series singing “We’ll Meet Again” by Vera Lynn
The Colbert Report centered on Colbert’s satirical and comedic analysis of modern issues. Colbert portrays a caricature of known conservative television pundits and was in direct contrast with fellow Comedy Central host of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart’s more liberal take. Colbert previously was a character on The Daily Show, which piloted in 1996.
The show was also well known for having interviews with high profile politicians, actors, authors and personalities.
The Report found major popularity with younger generations, and this is largely because of the show’s sarcastic humor and Colbert’s “larger-than-life” ego and over-patriotic spirit.
Andrew May, senior, said, “It’s a fun and easy way to understand the news. I think that if you can get people to laugh while you teach, then it’s that much better.”
However, the show met criticism for that very reason as well, most notoriously seen in the rivalry between Stephen Colbert and Fox News anchor and host of the O’Reilly Factor, Bill O’Reilly. A classic case where someone satirizes a group of people, to which they respond with their very own jokes.
“I don’t think it’s a primary news source; I listen to NBC at 7, CBS and NPR pretty much whenever I’m in the car,” said May.
Regardless, The Colbert Report will be remembered for its biting wit and viral segments such as “The Wørd.”
“It’s a gateway. If the show is a way to introduce our generation to politics and critical thinking, then that’s a great thing,” said May.