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.

Advertisement

More from TV

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
Fashion
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Beauty
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
Documentary
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Documentary
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Comedy
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Documentary
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Politics
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
Film
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.