"It's become clear to me that I've won television."

This is just one of the many proclamations of truth delivered by Stephen Colbert during a surprise appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Wednesday night. Colbert, who will be succeeding David Letterman when he retires from the Late Show in 2015, appeared on the satirical news program on which he got his start to gloat about the freedom he will enjoy once The Colbert Report comes to an end.

"Almost nine years ago I promised to change the world and, together...I did it," Colbert said.

His exchange with Stewart is a reminder that entertaining a late night audience on any network will not be too difficult a task.

So far, Letterman has not announced an official retirement date. Comedy Central has stated that The Colbert Report—and, with it, Colbert's satirical right-wing persona—will come to an end once the host's contract expires. Though as Deadline reported, Colbert has apparently long been in CBS' crosshairs, and it synced up Letterman's contract to match nicely with Colbert's.

Screengrab via Comedy Central/YouTube