What’s in a name? For talk show host Stephen Colbert, it doesn’t matter. As long as that name is Stephen Colbert
It started with a bridge in Hungary and has grown into a regular bit on The Colbert Report
. Finding contests that ask the public to name an item – like a NASA space module, for example –- and then urging Colbert Report
viewers to vote "Colbert."
The notoriety has caught on, such that people will name something after Colbert just for the fun of it. Eagles, ice cream, aircraft. It really doesn’t matter.
Here then are just a few of the things named after Stephen Colbert.
1. A Bridge in Hungary
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Transport of Hungary held a contest in 2006 to name its Northern M0 Danube bridge. The contest was held online and when Colbert caught wind of it, he urged viewers to write him in. It worked. The name “Stephen Colbert” won by nearly 9,000 votes (No. 2 was Jon Stewart
). The Ministry acknowledged the win and the country’s ambassador came on The Colbert Report
to share the news. In the end, the Ministry overruled the vote and declared the bridge’s official name The Megyeri Bridge.
2. Hockey Mascot Steagle Colbeagle the Eagle
Getty Images/Brad Barket
Minor league hockey team the Saginaw Spirit held a contest on its website to rename one of its mascots. Per Colbert’s suggestion, vote casters wrote-in the (eventual) winning name: Steagle Colbeagle the Eagle. The name was temporary, though –= just for the 2006-2007. After naming the mascot, the Spirit went on to win seven games straight.
3. The AmeriCONE Way
In 2007, world-renowned ice cream makers Ben & Jerry created a flavor in Colbert’s honor: Americone Dream. According to Ben & Jerry's, AmeriCone Dream is "a decadent melting pot of vanilla ice cream with fudge-covered waffle cone pieces and a caramel swirl. It's the sweet taste of liberty in your mouth."
4. Up in the Air ColbertAlso in 2007, Virgin America, an airline owned by billionaire Richard Branson, announced that one of their airplanes would be christened Air Colbert.
5. Colbert as a Spider, Man
Okay, not that Spider-Man (though Colbert has been on the cover of Spider-Man - see image on the left). No, this is a real spider. East Carolina University associate professor Jason Bond saluted Colbert by naming a species of trapdoor spider after Stephen: Aptostichus stephencolberti
6. Bird’s Eye ViewThe mayor of San Jose, a fan of Colbert, named one falcon roosting on City Hall after Colbert. The falcon, Esteban Colbert, can be seen on the city’s FalconCam.
7. Bird’s Eye View, Part 2Way back in 2006, breeders at the San Francisco Zoo named a bald eagle after Colbert: Stephen Jr. The baby bird was hatched at the zoo and was a part of its California Bald Eagle Breeding Program. Colbert has followed the bird with periodic reports on his health and well-being. The eagle was reintroduced into the wild in summer 2006. (Colbert occasionally reports on Stephen Jr. sightings.)
Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, named a pair of elephant seals after Colbert and The Daily Show
host Jon Stewart: Stelephant Colbert
and Jon Sealwart
9. Lost in ColbertNASA astronaut Surita Williams announced on The Colbert Report in April 2009 that NASA plans to install a Combined Operational Load-Bearing External Resistance Treadmill on the International Space Station as well. The COLBERT will be used daily by astronauts and scientist aboard the station. The COLBERT is a consolation prize, of sorts, as online voters had chose the name "Colbert" in poll to name a node on the space station. NASA chose "Tranquility" instead.