Stephen Colbert -- "Gollum expert" and Tolkien geek -- just saved a Turkish man's life with Lord of the Rings nerdery

"Freedom of speech is as imperishable as the Flame of Anor," Colbert said


Sarah Burris
December 9, 2015 5:45PM (UTC)

A man's life is at stake in Turkey all because President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (not a Lord of the Rings character) was insulted. Imagine a world where you couldn't insult political leaders.

But in the land that freedom of speech forgot, physician Bilgin Ciftci (not a Lord of the Rings character) has already lost his job and faces up to two years in prison for a meme comparing his country's president to what the courts say is Gollum, an actual "Lord of The Rings" character. Now, the judge in the case is seeking a "Gollum expert" to help refute or defend the charges.

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Peter Jackson, director of the films, has jumped to the man's defense saying the images used were not insulting as they captured Smeagol, Gollum’s friendly alter-ego. But Jackson also said that he has never before found a bigger Tolkien nerd than "Late Show" host Stephen Colbert, who spent his teens absorbed in the novels that assigned him to a lifetime of nerding.

Colbert used his American free speech to insult President Erdogan's mustache by saying it looked like his nose was a teepee for a caterpillar. He then pulled out his fandom expertise to "explain to the Turkish court why this man is innocent of a crime that shouldn't be illegal anyway."

Dressed in a white suit and with his hair styled exactly like Gregory Peck in "To Kill A Mocking Bird," Colbert recreated a trial scene using what he knows best. It's a thing of beauty:

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Sarah Burris

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