Stephen Colbert bids farewell to "Stephen Colbert" on "The Daily Show"

"Jon, I'm really going to miss me," he said, while in character

By Prachi Gupta

Published April 24, 2014 1:48PM (EDT)

Stephen Colbert is officially leaving his hilarious, blowhard persona, "Stephen Colbert," behind. Colbert, who is taking over "The Late Show" next year from David Letterman, stopped by "The Daily Show" on Wednesday night -- in character -- to announce that he is leaving television to "ride the rails" with a "wily mouse" and a prostitute "with a heart of gold."

"It's become clear to me that I've won television," Colbert boasted to his Comedy Central frenemy and former mentor. "You see, Jon, almost nine years ago I promised to change the world and together, I did it."

Stewart, playing the straight man, urged him to stay in television. "Stephen, you have a gift, why don't you stay in television! I heard David Letterman is retiring."

"Yeah I heard that too, Jon, but they already gave the part to some fat guy," Colbert deadpanned.

The visit comes during a period of rapid change for "Daily Show" alumns: On Tuesday, Colbert made his first appearance on "The Late Show" since the news that he'll succeed Letterman, and dropped his satirical character, giving viewers a preview of what he'll be like as "Late Show" host. At the end of the week, former "Daily Show" correspondent John Oliver starts his own satirical news program on HBO, "Last Week Tonight."

"You know, Jon, now that you mention it -- there is something I would appreciate as a parting gift," Colbert said to Stewart. He requested a personal send-off in the form of a highlight reel, like the sentimental one "The Daily Show" gave to Oliver in December. "Jon, you never did one for me," Colbert complained. Naturally, he presented his own reel for himself. It ended with this:

Colbert concluded the segment with a bittersweet goodbye to his character, while still in character. "Jon, I'm really going to miss me," he said.

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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