Stephen Colbert Is Legally Prohibited From Ever Appearing On TV Again

Stephen Colbert will never appear on TV as Stephen Colbert again.

Let us explain. Last week, Colbert brought back his Colbert character , the guy who used to host The Colbert Report, to boost his flagging Late Show ratings. But he wasn’t allowed to do that, according to Viacom corporate lawyers.

Viacom’s lawyers argued that “Stephen Colbert” was their intellectual property. Colbert joked that it was "surprising, since I never considered that guy much of an intellect." He conceded defeat readily, but “with a heavy heart.”

"I feel the same way, but what can I do?" Colbert said on his Wednesday show. "The lawyers have spoken. I cannot reasonably argue that I own my own face and name. And as much as I'd like to have that guy on again, I can't."

So instead he had on his “identical cousin” Stephen Colbert, wearing an American flag button-down and his signature cocked eyebrow. That Stephen Colbert had never appeared on TV. Confused? We bet you are. Colbert finished the segment by debuting The Werd, which is in no way exactly the same thing as The Word, from The Colbert Report.

Stephen Colbert is dead, long live Stephen Colbert.

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