Well, now Colbert has been charged with theft by the cohost of one of Air America's leading shows, the Young Turks.
Cenk Uygur charges that Colbert stole the joke from a show the Turks aired on September 7. Colbert told the joke on September 11. Uygur has put a $65 million price tag on his suit.
"Look, he's messing with my livelihood. That's how I put food on my kids' table. If I had kids," says Uygur. He warns Colbert and Comedy Central to "lawyer up."
Comedy Central declined to comment on what's clearly a publicity stunt. How do we know?
Uygur explains that he decided on $65 million because he figures his joke is at least as valuable as that pair of pants lost by a Washington dry cleaner that resulted in a failed $65 million lawsuit from an area judge.
"If a pair of lost pants is worth $65 million, then my jokes are worth a hell of a lot more," he says.
By Paul Bedard