Last week during the Republican National Convention, CBS Late Show host Stephen Colbert brought backhis arch-conservative former alter ego — also named Stephen Colbert — from Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report to comment on the goings-on in Cleveland. The brief stunt apparently didn’t go over well with the lawyers at Comedy Central, forcing Colbert to a new intellectual property work-around: introducing a completely new character who just happens to look and sound exactly like him.
“Immediately after the show, CBS’s top lawyer was contacted by the top lawyer from another company to say that the character Stephen Colbert is their intellectual property,” said Colbert on last night’s show. “Which is surprising because I never considered that guy much of an intellectual.”
As such, “the character of Stephen Colbert, host of The Colbert Report, will never be seen again.”
“What can I do?” asked the host. “I can not reasonably argue I own my face or name.”
Rather than mourn the loss of one Stephen Colbert, Colbert celebrate the birth of another Stephen Colbert: his identical twin cousin Stephen Colbert, who appeared via satellite from the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia:
“I just want to be clear here, you are not the guy who had a television show for a decade,” noted the Colbert in New York City.
“Absolutely not,” answered his identical twin cousin. “This is my first appearance on television ever.”
The Comedy Central Colbert’s wife is named Lorraine. His cousin is married to “Lorena.”
The Comedy Central Colbert graduated from Dartmouth College. The cousin applied to the Ivy League school.
“Totally different guy,” said the cousin. “Also, I’m pretty sure he’s gay.”
Cousin Colbert expressed his desire to be an ongoing part of the Late Show team: “Whenever you need me, wild horses ridden by corporate lawyers could not keep me away.”
It reminds us all of when Conan O’Brien parted ways with NBC and was forced to replace his “masturbating bear” character with a “self-pleasuring panda.”
The Late Show Colbert then lamented that, thanks to pesky copyright claims, he can’t do some of the bits his alter-ego did on his long-running Comedy Central show, like his “Word of the Day” segment.
“But again, what can I do in the face of corporate lawyers?”
You can watch the whole segment here: