October 25th, 2007
10:10 AM ET
14 years ago

Comedy Central: Colbert presidential run is legal

Comedy Central says a Colbert presidential run would not violate election laws.

(CNN) – OK, so it’s not exactly the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. But could it be the Lawyers Who Stole Election Night for Stephen Colbert?

The Comedy Central host's bid for the presidency may be fake, but very real election laws could mean the comedian's "candidacy" in South Carolina may never actually happen.

Questions have been raised whether a Federal Elections Commission ban on corporate sponsorship of candidates would apply to Colbert. His show on Comedy Central is owned by Viacom and sponsored by Doritos.

There’s no issue yet because, real or not, Colbert’s not officially a candidate. He hasn’t submitted petitions to make the ballot anywhere, though he says he plans to run as both a Republican and a Democrat in his native Palmetto State.

Though, as The Ticker has reported, the State parties may prevent him from appearing on both ballots simultaneously.

But the "truthiness" of the federal statutes may not take away all the fun, anyway.

A Comedy Central spokesman said the network believes the candidacy would be within the rules.

"Based on the law, prior rulings made by the Federal Election Commission and advice of expert outside counsel, Comedy Central is very comfortable that the network, 'The Colbert Report' and Stephen Colbert are operating well within federal campaign election laws," the spokesman said.

- CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk

Filed under: South Carolina • Stephen Colbert
soundoff (114 Responses)
  1. Independent, Hamden CT

    Mark in Shreveport – regarding what Colbert would say to soldiers and their families, I expect it would be respectful and may possibly include an exit strategy. In any case, it can't be worse than what Bush would say – around 6:00 in this clip, I'm not sure that anyone Iraqi families whose homes and/or family members were killed (or the US or other soldiers who have participated in this war) would be laughing.


    October 25, 2007 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    I will vote for Colbert if he runs. Hands down.

    October 25, 2007 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. Julie, PA

    Mark from Louisiana – I understand that this is a time of war, but I'm not sure how banning comedy from the airwaves will help our troops. The Daily Show actually WENT to Iraq. Humor has always been a way to cope with tragedy.

    Beyond that, Colbert's wrist-strong bracelet directly benefits the troops – donating all proceeds to the The Yellow Ribbon Fund, which assists injured service members and their families while they recuperate at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center by offering housing, transportation, job mentoring and internships, as well as tickets to sporting and cultural events.

    Now THAT's supporting the troops with comedy!

    October 25, 2007 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  4. Mark, Harrisburg, PA

    I'd vote for him! I like a Colbert-Romney ticket...

    October 25, 2007 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  5. Justin Arlington, Texas


    Why don't you compare your resume and W2 with Paris Hilton's? A great deal on money does not a wise person make. Nor does a lack of money indicate a lack of intellectual fortitude.

    October 25, 2007 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  6. Peggy, Bayfield, CO

    To M. Morton of Fl. Who do you think is the IDIOT in the White House Now? Stewart and Colbert are well informed and provide insightful views of the opposing parties, even if they don't agree. Does Fox News, O'Rielly, or Rush do that? No they don't want to open their minds to the possibilities that they may be wrong in their world view.

    wake up and stop getting brainwashed by the government controlled media.

    October 25, 2007 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  7. Lisla Lee, Dallas, TX

    I sincerely hope Colbert drops this idiotic publicity stunt. He makes the election look like some stupid game... and unfortunately there are those who would play along and vote for the dolt.

    I like his show, but I'm disappointed that he's pulling this stunt.

    October 25, 2007 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  8. Lisla Lee, Dallas, TX

    Yo Wayne in SC (who wrote the 10,000 word missive above)-
    You CAN'T vote for him twice– once on each ticket– as you stated. Well, maybe in SC they let you vote twice, but in most states you only get to vote ONCE.

    I'll admit, he would be better than what's in office right now, but don't waste your vote on a silly stunt.

    October 25, 2007 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  9. JoeyBaghdad


    It should be an amendment: One person with no less than a mild interest in politics...shall run in his or her homestate...blah blah balh...in an effort to affect change in policy in a LIFESAVING manner (or matter, if you please).

    October 25, 2007 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  10. Stew

    Mike, Hubbard, Ohio....Check and see if that coal has turned into a diamond yet, brainiac. I seriously doubt you'll be bringing the potato salad to the mensa picnic.

    October 25, 2007 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  11. Paul C. Palmetto Bay, FL

    I certainly think that Stephen Colbert would make a much better president than any of the group running.
    I'd vote for him.

    October 25, 2007 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  12. anonymous, cape canaveral, FL

    mark from shreveport, is it not a joke and/or a slap in the face that the only things that ever get accomplished on capitol hill are earmarks and pointless resolutions about 40 year old genocides that do nothing but piss off countries that already dont like us? i never find myself laughing. is it not a slap in the face to all of us paying taxes that the woman in font of me in kroger last night bought all her groceries on food stamps and then drove off in her brand new honda accord while talking on a new camera phone? i think its a slap in the face that all this party loyatly stuff has turned alot of people into zombies who dont look at names or platforms, but rather vote for the party listed next to the name. do you not think it a slap in the face that no real americans get to run anyways- and by real americans i mean the ones who got an education and work hard and cant afford the $35000 or $2500 just to get on the ballot, not to mention the other millions of dollars to campaign? if you think colbert running for president is disrespect you need to read a newspaper, or hell...just go out in the real world, stop hiding behind whatever wall you have been hiding behind and just feel the most disrespected you have ever felt in your life. i say if the man is 35 and was born in the united states let him run, if you dont like it, dont vote for him. i hope you, or anyone actually, read this so i can get some answers to my questions.

    October 25, 2007 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  13. Robert, Goleta, CA

    I think voting for a "real" canidate would be more of a wasted vote, one vote here or there won't make a difference in either party, but by voting for Colbert in any state as a right in sends a message that we are tired of the statas quo and we need a change, Colbert is the only one without an agenda to push, and we should be looking for more canidates like him, make your vote count, write in Stephen T Colbert

    October 26, 2007 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  14. Stephen, GA

    Mike H. of Ohio has obviously never seen The Daily Show or Colbert report, nor does he have any idea what he's talking about.

    By the way Mike, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have both written best-selling books about politics and government.

    'No talent comedians' don't usually get invited to host the Oscars and speak at a Presidential dinner.

    'Mr. Rosie O'Donnell'...who are you, Donald Trump? Grow up.

    October 29, 2007 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
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