The series finale of The Colbert Report was the most-watched episode in its history with 2.5 million viewers. For comparison sake: Earlier this month, when Colbert rushed in where Democrats feared to tread — hosting President Obama not long after the midterm elections — he’d been rewarded with what was then considered a really big turnout, audience-wise. With POTUS as his guest (and The WORD anchor), Colbert’s show jumped nearly 50 percent compared to its season average. An average of 1.732 million people watched that Monday telecast, in which Colbert was telecast from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., the night after hosting the Kennedy Center Honors in town, for his soon-to-be-new employer, CBS.
Colbert’s most recent original episode before Obama’s visit, the previous Thursday, had averaged 1.092 million viewers. The episode in which Obama took over The WORD segment to talk about Obamacare, clocked 520,000 18-34 year olds, compared to previous Thursday’s 278,000; calendar year to date, the show was averaging 364,000 viewers in that demo. More than half Obama’s audience — 953,000 viewers — was aged 18-49, compared to calendar year’s 628,000 viewers in the bracket.
“I will say I felt more powerful behind that desk,” Obama had told Colbert at the start of that night’s interview, after delivering The WORD — which he’d promoted to The DECREE because he’s president.
“With great power comes medium cable ratings,” Colbert joked then.
Not only did Colbert not get killed off by the Grim Reaper on last night’s series finale, as press had speculated, he became immortal an vowed to return when America most needs him, after accidentally shooting pal Grimmy during his show’s final Prescott Group segment medical 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 a We’ll Meet Again singalong with a boatload of celebs, followed by his slight ride into immortality with Santa, Abraham Lincoln, and Alex Trebek, after which his show credits rolled to strains of Neutral Milk Hotel’s Holland, 1945.