In a tearful segment Wednesday night, Stephen Colbert broke from his usual comedic tone to reflect on the recent death of his mother, to whom he credited with much of his success.
Colbert nostalgically described how Lorna, his mother who died at age 92, raised her household of 11 children.
“She made a very loving home for us. No fight between siblings could end without hugs and kisses, though hugs never needed a reason in her house. Singing and dancing were encouraged, except for at the dinner table. She had trained to be an actress when she was younger, and she would teach us how to stage falls by pretending to faint on the kitchen floor. She was fun,” he said.
Overcome with grief, Colbert paused, and then continued:
“She knew more than her share of tragedy, losing her brother and her husband, and three of her sons. But her love for her family and her faith in God somehow gave her the strength not only to go on, but love life without bitterness and instill in all of us a gratitude for every day we have together. And I know it may sound greedy to want more days with someone who lived so long, but the fact that my mother was 92 does not diminish, it only magnifies the enormity of the room whose door has now quietly shut.”
Colbert also described how in her last days, Lorna often became confused, but “when asked what her favorite prayer was, she immediately recited a child’s prayer, in German” that she used to recite to her older children when they were little.
“We were the light of her life, and she let us know it ’til the end,” he said.