Stephen Colbert Thinks the Rockies Struck Out With Rocktober

As noted in this blog, TV comics have been ripping the Colorado Rockies ever since the Boston Red Sox snuffed out their late-season winning streak in brutal (and widely televised) fashion. But Comedy Central satirist Stephen Colbert, host of the regularly hilarious Colbert Report, deserves special praise for criticizing one of the team's extracurricular errors -- its attempt to trademark the term "Rocktober."

In his October 27 column, Rocky Mountain News editor/publisher/president John Temple properly chided the team for overreaching in its attempt to take legal control of the term. But he also goes too far when he states that Rocky columnist Bernie Lincicome "invented the word back in 2005" -- a claim on par with the old Al-Gore-invented-the-Internet saw. In truth, Rocktober has been used for years, generally in a rock-and-roll context. Countless radio stations and concert promoters have employed it in commercials, advertisements and so on.

Colbert played off this angle in a monologue that closed his October 29 edition, congratulating the BoSox "not for winning the World Series, but for punishing the Colorado Rockies for trying to trademark the word 'Rocktober.' Nation, 'Rocktober' belongs to all of us. Trademarking it would be like trademarking 'By the dawn's early light' or 'Karma Karma Karma Karma Karma Chameleon.' As every American knows, 'Rocktober' follows 'Zeptember' and proceeds 'Tullvember,' which gives way to 'AC/December,' which rocks right into 'Stonesuary.'" Moments later, after putting mini-Red Sox helmets on the KISS action figures that populate his holiday-themed Rocktober creche, Colbert concludes with the following: "So, Rockies, hands off 'Rocktober.' If you really want a month to honor you, I've copyrighted the name 'Choketember.'"

Too eyeball this sequence, click here. -- Michael Roberts

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts