Stephen Colbert Returns to Show & Salutes a 'Lovely Lady'

02/21/2012 at 08:35 AM EST



Stephen Colbert took a break from picking on politicians Monday night to address the reason behind his unexplained hiatus from his Comedy Central show last week.

Without delving into specifics, The Colbert Report star hinted that he halted production last Wednesday and Thursday because of his 91-year-old mother's health, as had been speculated.

"Evidently, having 11 children makes you tough as nails," Colbert, 47, and the youngest of the brood, said, seemingly implying his mother, Lorna, is on the mend. "Confidential to a lovely lady."



The comedian, who's earned a loyal following with his satirical take on conservative newsmakers, then touched his nose – perhaps a shout-out to his mother tuning in from home?

Although his mother's condition is still unknown, Colbert was comparatively more direct about a few other rumors surrounding what the network described in a statement as "unforeseen circumstances."

Plastic Surgery?

Addressing Joan Rivers's playful claim that he was going under the knife, he said that he was not having plastic surgery on his face but, rather, his backside. And as for buzz that he's making his way to the White House, he said that's "not gonna happen."

"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," he said.

He also clarified that his brief departure had nothing to do with the Pope or a stint in rehab – although the latter, he joked, would be a viable option if they offered treatment programs for Diet Coke.

Before his return to TV, Colbert previously reached out to his fans on Twitter.

"My family and I would like to thank everyone who has offered their thoughts and prayers," he wrote. We are grateful and touched by your concern."

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