On Tuesday, Stephen Colbert made a big announcement: He would retire his famous alter-ego, Stephen Colbert — sort of.
Last week, the right-wing pundit character made his first televised appearance since signing off on the final episode of The Colbert Report a year ago. Naturally, fans were thrilled.
Not everyone felt similarly, however. "You know who didn’t enjoy it so much?" Colbert asked late last night. "Corporate lawyers."
Colbert told the audience that a "top lawyer from another company" — ostensibly Comedy Central — called CBS to inform them that Colbert’s alter-ego was their intellectual property.
"So it is with a heavy heart," Colbert announced last night, "that I announce that, thanks to corporate lawyers, the character of ‘Stephen Colbert,’ host of The Colbert Report, will never be seen again."
Well, kinda. Immediately after sharing the heartbreaking news, Colbert cut to an unlikely correspondent for commentary: conservative pundit Stephen Colbert’s identical twin cousin, "Stephen Colbert."
"Our moms were identical twins who married identical twin husbands who had sex at the exact same moment and gave us the same names," Colbert said to explain the familial ties. So Colbert of The Colbert Report is a "totally different guy."
From there, Colbert upped the ante even more, ending his show with a "new segment," called "The Werd," which focused on "the lesser of two evils."
Colbert spoke to a sizable segment of the population that doesn't feel especially thrilled with either of the two candidates. Clinton and Trump both have dismally low approval ratings.
"There is another option," Colbert declared, while the text flashed behind him, "Write in Michelle?"
That wasn’t exactly it.
"Since many Americans can’t bring themselves to vote for a candidate, this year I say we change the system." Colbert explained during The Werd. "So on Election Day, you can vote against the candidate you don’t want. Then, at the end of Election Day, we just count all the against votes and the candidate with the lowest score becomes the president."
A double negative voting system? Not not a bad idea.
We’ll have to see how this whole legal drama plays out, but even if the Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report is no more, at least we still have Stephen Colbert and Stephen Colbert.