Stephen Colbert defies corporate lawyers by reviving his alter ego again (sort of)


Fans of “The Colbert Report” were ecstatic over the return of “Stephen Colbert,” the blowhard pundit, last week on CBS’ “The Late Show.”

But as quotation-mark-free Colbert explained Wednesday night, one group is not so pleased: namely, corporate lawyers at another unnamed company, who objected to the use of a character they believe is their intellectual property.

The claim was surprising “because I never considered that guy much of an intellectual,” Colbert joked. Left with no choice, he announced that the character Stephen Colbert, host of “The Colbert Report,” would never be seen again.


“The Colbert Report” aired on Comedy Central, a cable channel owned by Viacom. Both CBS and Viacom are controlled by media mogul Sumner Redstone. Comedy Central declined to comment.

“What can I do? The lawyers have spoken,” Colbert said over audience boos. “I cannot reasonably argue I own my face or name.”

But evidently it takes more than a cease and desist letter to intimidate Colbert. In a twist ripped straight out of “The Patty Duke Show,” he then welcomed “Stephen Colbert’s identical twin cousin, Stephen Colbert,” live via satellite from Philadelphia.

Just to keep the in-house counsel at CBS extra busy this summer, Colbert introduced a new segment called “The Werd,” in which he riffed on voters’ dislike of both presidential candidates and poked fun at Scott Baio.

Behold the legal acrobatics in the clip above.


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12:35 p.m.: Story was updated with a no comment from Comedy Central.

This story was originally published at 12 p.m.