After nine years, Stephen Colbert is retiring the character he created for The Colbert Report, the conservative, self-important blowhard who opines about the news and the media. The final episode airs Thursday. Colbert will take over as host for The Late Show, replacing the retiring David Letterman.
Since The Colbert Report began, Colbert has seldom appeared in the media out of character. He got his start satirizing the news as a correspondent on The Daily Show, which he joined in 1997 when Craig Kilborn was hosting. Jon Stewart took over two years later.