On Thursday night, Stephen Colbert broke character on The Colbert Report to honor his mother, who passed away last week at the age of 92. Viewers were greeted by a somewhat more muted Colbert, who paid tribute to his late mother for four minutes in the opening moments of last night’s show. Colbert had recently taken a brief hiatus due to the passing of his mother.
The comedian best known for his punditry spoke fondly of Lorna Tuck Colbert, who was born in Larchmont, New York and had eleven children with Colbert’s father. Holding back tears, he spoke of his mother’s life and how she had managed to endure the death of her husband, brother and three of her sons without ever becoming bitter about the tragedies. “Her love for her family and her faith in God somehow gave her the strength not only to go on but to love life without bitterness and instill in all of us a gratitude for every day we have together,” Colbert said.
In a particularly poignant moment, he mentioned his mother’s ensuing struggles toward the end of her life. Despite confusion that made it difficult to recall things like her favorite color, Colbert’s mother never forgot the prayer that she used to tuck her children in.
It’s not the first time Colbert has brought up his mother on the show. In February 2012, Colbert thanked his mother on the show. “[My mother’s] probably sipping on a bourbon and water, and she deserves it. She raised 11 kids. The woman is a saint.”
In his tribute to his Mom on Wednesday, he added, “I know it may sound greedy to want more days with a person who lived so long … but the fact that my mother was 92 … only magnifies the enormity of the room whose door has now quietly shut.”