America, Stephen Colbert may have faced criticism and outcry to cancel "Colbert Report" last week, but he wasn't content to just address the issue in 140 characters or less. No, he devoted much of his show Monday to the controversy.
For those who missed the brouhaha, Colbert gave a quick synopsis of what went down with the show's Twitter account, @ColbertReport.
"To recap, a web editor I've never met posted a tweet in my name on an account I don't control, outrages a hashtag activist, and the news media gets 72 hours of content," the comedian explained in character. "The system worked. But all this started right after I taped Thursday night's show, so I couldn't respond until (Monday). So in in a sense, I was canceled for three days. Just like Jesus."
That content of that tweet? A joke about forming a foundation for Asians, but with no context as to how it had been used on the show, which was to poke fun at Washington Redskins' owner Dan Snyder for creating the Original Americans Foundation after complaints about the team's name. Shortly after the tweet went out, the hashtag #CancelColbert began to trend on Twitter.
The comedian further explained that though his name is Stephen Colbert, he is not the Stephen Colbert.
"Now I have my own racial misunderstanding with the Asian community over a long-running and beloved character on my show," he said, showing clips of himself on "Colbert Report." "Very important: He is a character. He is not me."
Despite surviving the controversy and not getting canceled, Colbert said he wanted to avoid such situations going forward.
"I never want this to happen again," he said. "The network very kindly gave me control of @ColbertReport's Twitter feed."
And with the help of Twitter co-founder and guest of the night Biz Stone, Colbert delivered the only permanent casualty of the controversy — they blew up the show's Twitter account effective immediately. (RIP, @ColbertReport.)
"I hope he wasn't on his computer when the thing blew up," Al Roker joked on TODAY Tuesday. "That could've been messy."
"This was close. We almost lost me," the faux conservative told viewers. "I'm never going to take me for granted again."
"The Colbert Report" airs Monday through Thursday at 11:30 on Comedy Central.
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