By Aly Semigran
Updated Dec 19, 2014 @ 9:16 am
Credit: Courtesy

It's hard to imagine television without The Colbert Report or its host Stephen Colbert and his outrageous on-screen persona. But, sadly, after nine years on the air and countless incredible moments, the Emmy-winning satire came to an end on Thursday night. (Colbert will shed his fictitious political pundit character to take over hosting duties of The Late Show in 2015.)

Of course, this is the hilarious and one-of-a-kind Stephen Colbert, so there was no way he wasn't going out on top.

After giving the his fans, the Colbert Nation, one final installment of his famous segment "The Word," the now-immortal Colbert was joined on stage by a staggering amount of famous friends, and so many more, for a musical farewell. Jon Stewart, James Franco, Bryan Cranston, Katie Couric, Andy Cohen, Cyndi Lauper, Elijah Wood, and yes, even Big Bird and Cookie Monster were just some of the celebrities on hand (seriously, see if you can spot them all) on hand for a heartfelt rendition of the classic "We'll Meet Again."

Watch the star-studded send-off—as well as the surreal final moments of The Colbert Report (featuring none other than Alex Trebek, Santa, and Abe Lincoln)—and smile, cry, and sing along: