Last week, during the Republican National Convention, Stephen Colbert brought out “Stephen Colbert,” the guy from The Colbert Report, for the first time since The Colbert Report. It was a huge hit with everyone, except the lawyers for Comedy Central (or Comedy Central’s parent company, Viacom).
“Because, and this is true, immediately after that 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, which is surprising, because I never considered that guy much of an intellectual … The lawyers have spoken. I cannot reasonably argue I own my face or name.”
So, what does Stephen Colbert do? The same thing that Larry “Bud” Melman did when he moved from Letterman’s NBC show to Letterman’s CBS show: He started using his real name, Calvert DeForest, but otherwise played the exact same character. Here, Stephen Colbert will no longer be able to use the name “Stephen Colbert,” so he’ll simply have to be “”Stephen Colbert.””
What about “The Word”? Can Stephen Colbert or “Stephen Colbert” or “”Stephen Colbert”” do that anymore?
Apparently not, but he can do “The Werd.”
Also, in a moment that wasn’t aired the show, an audience member asked Colbert the one question he’d ask Donald Trump if he had the chance. You’re going to want to watch this clip to find out.