It's the finale to The Colbert Report from Thursday night.
(Unfortunately, the way YouTube works, they decide what the image will be for a video, so some of the surprise is given away. But don't worry. Keep watching...)
Usually when I've watched the show, I record it and watch the next day. For the last episode, though, I decided to watch it live. Boy, am I I'm glad I did. Superlatives are always dicey, but this might well be the greatest finale I've ever seen for a series. There was actually a sign-off that came after, and it was very good and appropriate. But this is what people will remember.
This is the way to go out...
Okay, here is an update.
To be clear, though, I still don't want to give anything away about the finale, so you'll have to scroll down just a bit to see what the update is.
And no, this doesn't count as "scrolling down just a bit."
You'll have to go further.
When I say "just a bit," I mean it.
Okay, we're almost there. Just one more scroll to go.
Good, got it. Here then is the update --
I was able to find a fairly comprehensive list from Mashable about who appeared in the sequence. It doesn't include everyone, just who they were able to identify, and where. And it doesn't seem to include most from the big group at the very end. (Or any, but I think it does.) Overall they do a solid job with identifying.
And this is the list:
Randy Newman (on piano)
Willie Nelson, Bryan Cranston, Doris Kearns Goodwin, National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins
Tom Brokaw, Mandy Patinkin, Yo-Yo Ma, Neil deGrasse Tyson
Sam Waterston, Jeff Daniels, Cyndi Lauper, Big Bird, Former Commissioner & Chairman of the Federal Election Commission Trevor Potter, Keith Olbermann
Blogger Andrew Sullivan, ballet dancer David Hallberg, Katie Couric, Ric Ocasek, Ken Burns
Charlie Rose, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, REM's Michael Stipe, James Franco, Cookie Monster
Toby Keith, Segway inventor Dean Kamen, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Barry Manilow, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (background), author George Saunders (background)
David Gregory, Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, Christiane Amanpour, Patrick Stewart, Andy Cohen
Stone Phillips, Peter Frampton, Ariana Huffington
Alan Alda, Cory Booker, George Lucas, former soccer player Alexi Lalas, Jon Batiste
Elijah Wood, Henry Kissinger, Bob Costas, Mike Huckabee, Tim Meadows
Colbert Report staff
Pussy Riot's Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina (we think)
Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan
Men and women in uniform
Colbert Report characters Tek Jansen and Esteban Colberto
President Bill Clinton, tweeting.
An astronaut on the International Space Station
Many other guests, including Jake Tapper, Lesley Stahl, Senator Claire McCaskill, Terry Gross, Jeffrey Toobin, Norman Ornstein, Emily Bazelon, David Leonhardt, Matt Taibbi, Eliot Spitzer, Nate Silver, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Thomas Friedman, David Remnick, Paul Krugman, Grover Norquist