After Stephen Colbert admitted to having regrets about an off-color joke earlier this week, he likely assumed the matter was finished. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case, as the Chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) told media this morning that an official investigation is now underway, a contradiction of what was said previously. If found in violation of FCC rules and regulations, "The Late Show" host and his show may be required to pay heavy fines to the Commission.

Joke about Trump sparked boycott and calls to fire host

During Colbert's monologue on Monday night's show, the host made several jokes about President trump, finishing the segment with a crude remark about Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin engaging in oral sex. Almost immediately, backlash against the joke was felt online with thousands of posters calling the piece both "un-American" and "homophobic."

In the following days, hundreds of thousands of Twitter users sent the "FireColbert" hashtag trending and angry viewers called for a boycott of "The Late Show" until Colbert was removed as host. Some have even started organizing boycotts of "The Late Show" sponsors and are encouraging others to contact those sponsors directly.

Investigation comes despite late night falling outside of censorship 'safe harbor'

On Friday morning, FCC Chair Ajit Pai told Philadelphia's Talk Radio 1210 WHPT that his governmental branch has now received enough public complaints to warrant an investigation into Monday's episode of "The Late Show." On Wednesday, Pai said that there would likely not be an investigation, but that he had not personally seen clips of the controversial episode.

Pai explained that the change in course over how to handle Colbert's remarks came after he received more information, and after the FCC received a greater number of complaints.

"I've had the chance to see the clip now and so, as we get complaints -- and we've gotten a number of them -- we are going to take the facts that we find and we are going to apply the law as its been set out by the Supreme Court," he told the radio show.

The announcement of an investigation into language used by a late night show is extremely rare, as the hours between 10 p.m. - 6 a.m. fall outside of the established "safe harbor" time. During the day, during "safe harbor" hours, the FCC actively polices the airwaves for "indecent" and "obscene" material. Overnight, regulations are generally relaxed and investigations are only triggered by public complaints.

For his part, Colbert spoke about the issue on Wednesday night, telling his audience that while he doesn't regret the joke, he "would change a few words that were cruder than they needed to be."

In the video below, Stephen Colbert responds to the monologue backlash: