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What Will Stephen Colbert Do Before 'The Late Show' Begins? Become A Piece Of Art, Obviously

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The day has finally come. The Colbert Report sang its swan song on Dec. 18, and the late-night Comedy Central show could not have had a more perfect send-off.

The final episode of The Colbert Report was like a love letter to the entire Colbert Nation. Fans of the show were rewarded for their nine-year loyalty as the episode was full of inside jokes and Easter eggs that only the truly devoted would recognize, such as the resurrection of the character Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, D.F.A. There was also a star-studded "We Are The World"-like rendition of Vera Lynn's "We'll Meet Again," featuring Colbert Report favorites like Jon Stewart, Bill Clinton and Bryan Cranston.

All in all, you couldn't ask for anything more from The Colbert Report finale, other than making it so this was all just some big practical joke, and the show really isn't going off the air. Is it too late to make that a reality?

Oh well. Luckily, Colbert won't be absent from our TV screens for long. He did, of course, retire the Stephen Colbert character so that he could take over The Late Show over on CBS some time after David Letterman leaves his long-running late-night post on May 20, 2015. The official start date for The Late Show With Stephen Colbert hasn't been announced yet, but he will reportedly begin his new gig some time in late August or early September.

That sure seems like a long time to go without Colbert in our lives, doesn't it? How will we ever survive?

Fortunately, you'll be able to see Colbert in a new setting sooner than that. In honor of the final season of The Colbert Report, a portrait of Colbert (it looks like the one that hangs above the mantle in The Colbert Report set) will hang in the National Portrait Gallery starting today through April 19, 2015. Yes folks, the National Portrait Gallery has just confirmed what we have always known about Colbert, that he is a masterpiece.

Believe it or not, this actually isn't the first time Colbert's portrait has been on display in the museum. Getting it there was actually a rather long quest for the late-night show host. Back in January 2008, Colbert used his show as a platform to get his portrait in the National Portrait Gallery, which in true Colbert fashion is a picture within a picture within a picture. In April of that year, Colbert succeeded when his portrait was hung in a prime gallery spot: between the second-floor restrooms above the water fountain. This addition to the National Portrait Gallery caused a "Colbert bump" in attendance and "crowds lined up to get their picture taken with Colbert's portrait," according to the Smithsonian. 

Later that year, the museum formally accepted Colbert's portrait into its collections. Now, Colbert's portrait has returned to its original place in the gallery showing just how much of a national treasure he really is.

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