Stephen Colbert Monday hinted on his show, “The Colbert Report,” that the program’s unexpected hiatus last week was so the comedian could be with his mother, insinuating that the 91-year-old’s health is improving.
Two tapings of Comedy Central’s nightly satirical news wrap were suddenly canceled last week, prompting speculation about the reason why. Rumors ranging from the death of Colbert’s mother to a late-entry presidential bid for the comic tore across the Internet.
Colbert’s comments on his show Monday seemed to shoot down all gossip. The comic even included a dig at fellow comedian Joan Rivers – who made a gag that he was having plastic surgery – as he joked he was not having his eyes done, but was actually having work done on his backside. He also addressed the rumors of a presidential run.
“Some people said that my show was canceled by the Federal Communications Commission at the request of the Federal Election Commission because I was about to announce my presidential candidacy,” Colbert said to applause. “Not going to happen.”
“Oh, and one more thing: Evidently, having 11 children makes you tough as nails. Confidential to a lovely lady,” Colbert said, touching his nose as a signal that recalled comedienne Carol Burnett’s on-air ear wiggle signal to her own grandmother, who would be watching her on TV at home.
Little is known about the health of Colbert’s mother, Lorna, but Colbert is the youngest of 11 siblings. The comedian’s father and two of his brothers were killed in a plane crash in 1974 when he was 10.
Colbert, 47, had tweeted on Friday: “My family and I would like to thank everyone who has offered their thoughts and prayers. We are grateful and touched by your concern.”
Last week marked the first time “The Colbert Report” had ever suspended production, according to comedy news blog the Beat.
ABC News’ Alyssa Newcomb and Russell Goldman contributed to this report.