Update: Comedy Central has released a full list of Colbert finale guests; scroll to the bottom of this post to see who appeared in the background, or just for the blink of an eye.
There are star-studded finales… and then there’s the last episode of The Colbert Report, which united pretty much everyone you’ve ever heard of (and plenty of people you haven’t) in a giant, giddy singalong. Want to see just who appeared to say goodbye to Colbert? Here’s a full list, complete with photos:
We begin with Colbert and his old pal Jon Stewart, as Randy Newman accompanies on the piano.
Willie Nelson, Bryan Cranston, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, and NIH director Francis Collins.
Tom Brokaw, Mandy Patinkin, dancer Lil Buck, Yo-Yo Ma, and Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Sam Waterston, Jeff Daniels, Cyndi Lauper, Big Bird, Trevor Potter (former head of the FEC/Colbert’s lawyer during his SuperPAC saga), and Keith Olbermann.
Andrew Sullivan, ballet dancer David Hallberg, Katie Couric, Ken Burns, and Ric Ocasek, lead singer of The Cars.
Gloria Steinem, just passing through.
Charlie Rose, U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power, Michael Stipe, James Franco, and Cookie Monster.
Toby Keith, Segway inventor Dean Kamen, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young, General Raymond T. Odierno (who shaved Colbert’s head on camera when the host took his show to Iraq) and Barry Manilow. The hand sticking out between Young and Jon Stewart belongs to New York City mayor Bill de Blasio.
Franco, David Gregory, Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, Christiane Amanpour, Patrick Stewart, and Andy Cohen.
Stone Phillips—The Colbert Report’s very first guest in 2005—Peter Frampton (who once helped Colbert win a guitar battle against The Decemberists), Arianna Huffington, and Naquasia LeGrand, a KFC employee turned minimum wage activist.
Alan Alda, New Jersey senator Cory Booker, George Lucas, Fox Sports analyst/former professional soccer player Alexi Lalas, and musician Jon Batiste.
Henry Kissinger (!), Elijah Wood (behind Kissinger’s head), Mike Huckabee, Bob Costas, and Tim Meadows.
The staff of the Report.
A pair of ladies from Pussy Riot.
Vince Gilligan, still imprisoned by Colbert.
A troop of soldiers in Afghanistan.
Tek Jansen, Colbert’s animated alter ego.
Esteban Colberto, his Latino alter ego.
Astronaut Terry Virts running on the C.O.L.B.E.R.T. treadmill IN SPAAAAACE.
Smaug the Dragon.
Just… just so many people. Like CNN anchor Jake Tapper and Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes.
Astronaut Garrett Reisman, Senator Clair McCaskill, Fresh Air’s Terry Gross, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, political scientist Norm Ornstein.
Slate’s Emily Bazelon! The New York Times’s David Leonhardt! Ex-Rolling Stone-r Matt Taibbi! Eliot Spitzer?!
Here we have some of the show’s most important guests: Colbert’s youngest son, John, his daughter Madeleine, and his wife Evie. (His older son, Peter, is behind Evie.) There’s also The Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel and Paulina Porizkova, with a flower in her hair.
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton! Author Ann Patchett!
Dan Savage (with his face partially obscured), Special Envoy for Guantanamo Closure Cliff Sloan, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, New Yorker editor David Remnick, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, and former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Bing West. And, at the far right, Mark McKenna (Colbert’s stage director).
Can you spy Grover Norquist and Mark Cuban?
Can you spy the Muppet? (Hint: We’re not talking about Big Bird.) Also visible here: writer George Saunders, former National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism Richard Clarke, and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
Sniff. We’ll miss you, Stephen. Also visible in the crowd shots: artist Shepard Fairey, author Steven Pinker, writer/activist/veteran Paul Rieckhoff, author Ed Viesturs, string theorist Brian Greene, Father Jim Martin (the Report’s official chaplain), former Newsweek editor/Alpha House executive producer Jonathan Alter, FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, comic book writer/editor Joe Quesada, actor Bradley Whitford, and Harvard Law professor Cass Sunstein. Phew!