Stephen Colbert returns with "confidential" message to mom

NEW YORK ( - After two cancelled tapings, Stephen Colbert returned to "The Colbert Report" Monday to shoot down speculation about the reason for his absence -- and to send a special message to his mother.

Colbert's subtle and heartfelt message seemed to confirm reports that he had cancelled last week's Wednesday and Thursday tapings because his 91-year-old mother was ailing. Comedy Central, which airs "Colbert," said only that the shows had been canceled due to "unforeseen complications."

On Monday, Colbert stayed in his fiercely patriotic character while shooting down talk that his show was pulled from the airwaves because he was running for president. He also denied Joan Rivers' claim that he was having a nose job, saying he was actually getting work done on his backside.

"Oh, and one more thing," he added. "Evidently, having 11 children makes you tough as nails. Confidential to a lovely lady," he said, and gestured in salute.

His audience applauded, recognizing that the lovely lady was Colbert's mother, Lorna. She and Colbert's father, James, had 11 children before he and two of Colbert's brothers perished in a plane accident in 1974.

The "tough as nails" comment seemed to indicate that she was feeling better -- welcome news to the Colbert Nation.

(Editing by Chris Michaud)

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