“Stephen Colbert” Signs Off

by Dish Staff

A reader writes:

I didn’t know before I saw the episode last night that Andrew was going to be in the star-studded finale of the Colbert Report.  When I saw him there, it felt like a friend had made it into the inner circle.  I was more excited to see him than any of the other guests, like he was “one of us”.  Just sending this because I wonder if other Dishheads felt the same way.

In his review of the series finale, James Poniewozik calls Colbert “America’s greatest, most genuine phony”:

That Colbert was able to be “Stephen Colbert” at such a high level for some nine years was the 56-game-hitting-streak of American comedy, a feat we may not see equalled again. He kept it up in part by taking the show on the road. He brought his act to the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, got Doritos to sponsor his favorite-son run in the 2008 South Carolina primary, and — in what was probably his high-water mark — in 2011 went through the process of founding a real SuperPAC. It was simultaneously an epic work of performance-art satire and genuine public-service education.

Before the finale, Colbert was already in the process of letting go of “himself”; on Wednesday’s show, he held a yard sale of Report memorabilia, unloading a copy of his correspondents’ dinner speech to a crying baby, selling a bottle of “Ass Juice” to a lucky bargain hunter. He seemed at peace, and why shouldn’t he be? He’s going on to something new, taking over for David Letterman at CBS. And while that’s generated much interest in what Colbert will do as himself, I’m not too concerned.

Update: A reader flags this post of Andrew’s from October 18, 2005, titled “Pure Genius”:

Last night’s Colbert Report, of course. O’Reilly fileted. My only worry is: how can he keep it up?