Bring it on, Viacom lawyers. That is Stephen Colbert’s message to Comedy Central over him intermittently reprising his “Colbert Report” character on CBS’ “Late Show.”
On Saturday, TheWrap asked Colbert what the current status is of the rights for the character — and for the old cable late-night show’s trademark segments like “The Word,” which has morphed into “The Werd” on broadcast.
“I don’t know,” he responded. “I just do it when I feel like it — and I would love a lawsuit.”
“It would be fun, you know?” Colbert continued. “It would be great to have somebody go into court and say, ‘You cannot go on stage as someone with your own name. That is illegal. We own your name when you inflect it.'”
While this issue hasn’t gone to court (yet?), the attorneys got involved when Colbert first returned his conservative alter-ego to TV.
“CBS’ top lawyer was contacted by the top lawyer from another company to say that the character Stephen Colbert is their intellectual property,” Colbert said on-air at his new job back in July 2016. “So, it is with a heavy heart, that I announce that — thanks to corporate lawyers — the character of Stephen Colbert, host of ‘The Colbert Report,’ will never be seen again.”
Fortunately, the sketch and improv comic found a quick loophole at the time and introduced the world to “Stephen Colbert‘s identical twin cousin,” Stephen Colbert. That guy seemed to love America just as much as the other dude, and can arch an eyebrow with the best of them.
The cousin also said the “Colbert Report” host was probably gay — not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Watch CBS’ (and Stephen Colbert’s) “Stephen Colbert” via the video found here.