Updated with video: Not only did Stephen Colbert not get killed off by the Grim Reaper tonight, as expected, he became immortal, when he accidentally shot Grimmy during a Prescott Group segment, speaking of lab accidents.

“Wait a minute! I just killed Death! I am immortal! Nothing can stop me now!” Colbert raved.

He thanked the Nation for “taking some of your rapidly dwindling time on Earth to be with me,” threw out his bucket list and explained, “I’m ending The Colbert Report and I was going to say goodbye, but now that I’ll live forever — who knows. I guess what I’m trying to say is —

Then Jon Stewart came out and they began to sing…

We’ll meet again,

Don’t know where,

Don’t know when

… as hordes of former guests poured out on stage, joining in the song.

Randy Newman at the piano, Bryan Cranston, Willie Nelson, Yo Yo Ma, Mandy Patinkin, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Tom Brokaw, David Gregory, JJ Abrams

But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day

Keep smiling through,

Just like you always do

Till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away

Big Bird, Gloria Steinem, Ken Burns, James Franco, Barry Manilow, Bob Costas, Jeff Daniels, Sam Waterston, Bill de Blasio, US and coalition forces in Afghanistan

So will you please say “Hello”

To the folks that I know

Tell them I won’t be long

They’ll be happy to know

That as you saw me go

I was singing this song

Katie Couric, Patrick Stewart, George Lucas, Henry Kissinger, Cookie Monster, Alan Alda, Space Station astronaut, Eliot Spitzer — Vince Gilligan chained to a laptop in some basement

We’ll meet again,

Don’t know where,

Don’t know when

But, I know we’ll meet again some sunny day,” Bill Clinton texts.

Cut to empty studio. Colbert wonders what he does now. Santa shows up, with Abraham Lincoln who, turns out, is a unicorn. And Alex Trebek. Who asks Colbert to join them.

“Where will be go? What will we do?” Colbert asks.

“All of life’s important answers must be in the form of a question,” Trebek says, approvingly.

“So I guess I’ll be gone forever?” wonders Colbert.

“Oh no, Stephen. We’ll always be there for the American people whenever they need us the most,” Trebek says assuringly.

“But aren’t you Canadian?” asks Colbert.

“I’ve had dual citizenship since 1998.”

Finally, the show wraps:

“Well folks, we’ve finally come to the end of The Colbert Report,” Colbert says to the camera. “Nine great years. That was fun. That’s the show. From eternity, I’m Stephen Colbert. Jon?”

“Thanks for that report, Stephen,” Stewart says.

Booking Colbert’s “colleague and lifelong friend” the Grim Reaper, aka Grimmy, as his final show guest had been taken as confirmation Colbert wanted to literally kill off his conservative TV bloviator character tonight, CBS having promised he would do as much when it announced Colbert would decamp Comedy Central in order to take over for David Letterman in 2015. That said, even back then Colbert, who’s been called late-night TV’s Jonathan Swift, had seemed to fudge it a bit. “I won’t be doing the new show in character, so we’ll all get to find out how much of him was me,” he said.

As they had the day after CBS’ bombshell announcement in April that Colbert would replace Letterman on Late Show, industry pundits will now begin to contemplate the deeper meaning of the finale, and the upcoming shift in the TV landscape. With Colbert having not killed “Colbert” on the show tonight, right-wing radio and TV pundits again might make most of the Colbert Goes To CBS storyline, as they had when Colbert was still playing his now-immortal wackadoodle conservative talk-show pundit character over at Comedy Central. Rush Limbaugh probably again will talk about CBS having declared war on Middle America, in hiring the guy who just pulled off a nine-year Bill O’Reilly doppelganger — a character that’s been described as the Ginger Rogers of TV comedy (Rogers having famously done everything Fred Astaire did, dance-wise — but backwards and in heels).

Limbaugh, a disciple of Aristophanes, again will explain CBS’ hire of Colbert means a “redefinition of what is funny and a redefinition of what is comedy.” The hire of Colbert was irrefutable proof Limbaugh will seethe, like a newly opened bottle of ginger ale, that “the world is changing” and “people don’t want the kind of comedy that Carson gave us, or even Letterman. … They’ve hired a partisan, so-called comedian to run a comedy show.”