Given this lineup, I think it's safe to say that Stephen Colbert is a uniter, not a divider.
I loved the attention to detail, specifically how Colbert PAC lawyer Trevor Potter was holding the briefcase from which he always whipped out the legal documents for Stephen to sign.
Based on the various only partially identifiable individuals - I am saying that I most certainly was there!
I read a couple weeks ago that Stewart expressed some regret over that incident...might have been on Howard Stern's show or some such, but I haven't sought it out.
Thanks for doing the heavy lifting!
Here's a longer list (includes some names not listed above):
David Hallberg (Bolshoi Ballet), Dean Kamen (Segway inventor), Doris Kearns Goodwin, Francis Collins (NIH director), Garrett Reisman (astronaut), George Saunders (writer), Gloria Steinem, Grover Norquist, Jeffrey Toobin, Jimmy Wales, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Norm Ornstein, Paul Rieckhoff
(veterans advocate), Ray Odierno (US Army Chief of Staff), Richard Clarke, Robert Pinsky, Shepard Fairey, Steven Pinker, Terry Virts (astronaut on the ISS), Trevor Potter, US forces in Afghanistan (in video);
tv and film figures Alan Alda, Andy Cohen, Big Bird, Bryan Cranston, Cookie Monster, Elijiah Wood, George Lucas, James Franco, Jeff Daniels, JJ Abrams, Jon Stewart, Ken Burns, Mandy Patankin, Patrick Stewart, Sam Waterson, Smaug, Tim Meadows, Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad creator, in video);
news/media figures Andrew Sullivan, Arianna Huffington, Ben Howe (RedState), Bob Costas, Charlie Rose, Christiane Amanapour, Dan Savage, David Gregory, David Remnick, Emily Bazelon, Jake Tapper, Jim Cramer, Jonathan Alter, Katie Couric, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Keith Olbermann, Lesley Stahl, Matt Taibbi, Maureen Dowd, Nate Silver, Paul Krugman, Stone Phillips, Terry Gross, Tom Brokaw, Tom Friedman;
musicians Barry Manilow, Cindy Lauper, Jeff Tweedy, Jonathan Batiste, Lil' Buck, Michael Stipe, Peter Frampton, Pussy Riot (in video), Randy Newman, Ric Ocasek, Toby Keith, Willie Nelson, Yo Yo Ma;
sports figures Alexi Lalas, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Mark Cuban;
politicos Andrew Young, Bill Clinton, Bill DeBlasio (Mayor, NYC), Cass Sunstein, Claire McCaskill (Sen, D-MO), Cory Booker (Sen, D-NJ), Eleanor Holmes Norton (Rep., D-DC), Eliot Spitzer (ex-gov), Henry Kissinger, Mike Huckabee (ex-gov), Samantha Power (UN Ambassabor).
Taibbi mentioned meeting Friedman for the first time, which is pretty funny if you know Taibbi's old writings about him.
Stephen Colbert - Great American or The Greatest American?
I was familiar with Colbert's schtick before the '06 WHCD but until that point he was just the guy who came on after The Daily Show. After that, greatest 15 minutes in television history, he became indispensable. I couldn't help tearing up last night even though I had mentally prepared myself. I know it's selfish but I'll miss the way he addressed the audience as "Nation". I'll follow him anywhere.
I'm really interested in what he'll do with The Late Show.
Now that The Tonight Show is hip again---and back in NYC---he's got his work cut out for him.
But I feel sure he'll be great, because he's got a lot of talent and a ton of friends who will clamor to be his guests.
is he our twain? or merely our chaplin?
More like a hipper Will Rogers.
Twain was a real curmudgeon---and a great novelist.
Chaplin was a different kind of artiste.
Rogers was an Everyman with a wry outlook who teased and chided, but who never made a mean comment.
Colbert is more like him than the other two.
Thank you! for giving us the names of everyone. I found out who that was being upstaged by someone named Lil Buck - Yo Yo Ma. I wonder which one will be remembered a year from now!
Unidentified in this "definitive" list is author Ann Patchett, highly visible front and center in the last two screen grabs.
Maureen Dowd and Grover Norquist in the same picture? It will never happen again. Dear god Stephen we will miss you so much...but luckily some guy named Stephen Colbert is going to take over for Letterman. Not sure who he is, but I bet we like him.
Despite being in at least three pictures Cookie Monster is not credited once and yet Big Bird is in one and is credited. This is an OUTRAGE. This kind of anti-Monsterism has got to end!
First group I think Lauper didn't have the loudest outfit in - looking at you Olberman.
I haven't been able to watch this yet. It is too painful to imagine no more Colbert Report.
i only now just saw the rerun of the entire program. this was a fucking amazing production... did a spit-take when they scanned doris kearns goodwin s(w)inging away with willie nelson by her side... seriously, how many others could pull together than crowd..