The Colbert Report ended tonight, you guys. And I'm genuinely upset about it.
Don't get me wrong, I'm excited for Stephen Colbert! He's going to go on to the Late Show! And I'm absolutely certain he's going to be amazing.
I'm genuinely not sure I've ever cried because a show was ending before, though. I know I've cried because of the things that have happened in TV finales. But you better believe that I had literal tears streaming down my face for pretty much half of the show tonight, just because it is no longer going to be on the air.
For that to not sound totally insane, I need you to understand just how much I respect and admire this man. I watched his show religiously almost since it started airing. ("Religiously" in that yeah, I've missed episodes, and there have even been chunks of time when I would prioritize other things above it and maybe even not see it for months at a time, but I still always came back to it, and I felt guilty whenever I'd miss a week.) I've written multiple academic papers about how he, along with Jon Stewart/The Daily Show and Tina Fey/Sarah Feylin, influenced the 2008 presidential election. I went to the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. Hell, I've even gone to comic cons dressed up as him!
He has been an inspiration on my TV or computer screen every Monday through Thursday evening. Or, more realistically, he has been an inspiration on my TV or computer screen every Tuesday through Friday afternoon when I actually got around to watching The Colbert Report on my TiVo or online.
I feel like I'm talking about Stephen Colbert as if he's died, which is certainly not what I mean to do! I know that he will continue to be an inspiration every weeknight starting... well, he starts the Late Show in the summer, I think, so he will continue to be an inspiration after a bit of a break. I just want to properly memorialize what an incredible thing he did with nine years at The Colbert Report. It's the most important and influential piece of satire I've have ever and probably will ever experience. (And before anyone with an English degree asks, yeah, I've read "A Modest Proposal.") He's an extraordinary, intelligent, sharp, and funny man. And, if interviews and the things that people have said about him are to be believed, he's a kind, warm, and friendly human being, as well. He could've had anyone he wanted for his last ever guest last night, and instead of having on some crazy celebrity, or someone who could help him be self-congratulatory, he had on a short story writer to talk about experiences in Iraq, particularly through the war. If that's not the action of the best kind of person, I don't know what is.
Basically, with the end of The Colbert Report, I think this is just an especially good time to remember all that he has done, and how proud I am and always will be to be a member of the Colbert Nation.
Finally... can I just say how excited I am for The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore that will be taking his time slot? Like, not just because diversity in late night (although that is certainly very, very exciting!) but also just because Larry Wilmore is incredibly funny, and I can't wait to see what he does with his own spin on current events! January 19th! It's gonna be great. I can feel it.