Jon Stewart hosted his final episode of The Daily Show Thursday night, and he went out with a bang. The special send-off included a performance from Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, the return of several famous Daily Show alumni, including Steve Carell, Ed Helms and Kristen Schaal, and a few good riddances from some of Stewart's political targets over the years, such as Chris Christie, Hillary Clinton and John McCain.
But the most poignant moment of the evening came, unsurprisingly, when Stewart's longtime colleague and friend Stephen Colbert made a surprise visit to the set. Colbert got his big break as a correspondent on The Daily Show before getting his own Comedy Central show The Colbert Report in 2005, for which Stewart served as executive producer.
In his send-off, Colbert, who is a well-known Lord of the Rings fan, used metaphors from the trilogy to describe Stewart's departure. Colbert compared Stewart to Frodo, going off on a voyage to the undying lands, and the ring in this situation was "a power to be a player in the world of media and Washington politics."
All kidding aside, Colbert soon got to the most touching part of the night when he went off-script and thanked a protesting Stewart for how he has impacted the lives of everyone that has been a part of The Daily Show.
"All of us who are lucky enough to have worked with you for 16 years are better at our jobs because we got to watch you do yours, and we are better people for having known you," Colbert said. "You are a great artist and a good man."
Stewart, who had repeatedly asked Colbert to not get all mushy on him before his speech, was visibly teary-eyed during Colbert' tribute. You'll probably feel the same way after watching the moment yourself.