Stephen Colbert Halts His Show for His Mom: Report

02/17/2012 at 07:45 AM EST

Colbert Report Hiatus - Stephen Colbert's Mom
Stephen Colbert
Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage
He is missed.

New episodes of Stephen Colbert's Comedy Central The Colbert Report were abruptly suspended this week, with the network saying only, "Due to unforeseen circumstances, the show will air repeat episodes on Wednesday, Feb. 15, and Thursday, Feb. 16."

The announcement immediately gave rise to speculation about the cause. On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the schedule change was prompted by an unspecified family emergency, although production could resume as early as next week. No date was given.

On Friday, the New York Post offered some details. The newspaper, citing sources close to the show, said the host, 47, took a break because of his 91-year-old mother, Lorna Colbert – to whom Stephen, one of 11 children, is said to be very close.

In 1974, the Colberts experienced the loss of their father James (Lorna's husband) and two of Stephen's brothers, Peter and Paul, in a plane crash.

"They are a very private family," the Post quotes a source as saying. "It’s not surprising that he did not want anyone to know what was going on."

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