Stephen Colbert explains his absence [VIDEO]

Taylor Bigler Entertainment Editor

Stephen Colbert returned to Comedy Central Monday night to set the record straight about “The Colbert Report’s” abrupt hiatus last week.

“As the hub around which the republic turns, I can understand why the machinery of this great nation ground to a halt last week when you were denied this,” he said, pointing to his face.

He laid to rest rumors that he was gearing up for a presidential run (“not going to happen”), or that the show was suspended because he angered the Cathlolic Church “when I compared the Pope’s hat to a giant, yet stylish, prophylactic.”

Colbert also shot down the rumor that he was in rehab, which is “always an attractive option, if they have that for Diet Coke.”

The most far-fetched theory — and the least likely — was that he was having plastic surgery. Comedienne Joan Rivers, who is known for undergoing countless plastic surgery procedures, joked that Colbert had a nose job or his eyes done.

“Wrong, Joan,” Colbert shot back. “I did not have my eyes done — that is ridiculous. I had my ass done. The doctors cranked so high and tight it can barely blink now.”

At the end of his opening monologue, Colbert gave a shout out to his 91-year-old mother, who is reportedly ill. He tugged on his ear, a gesture late-night comedian Carol Burnett did to signal to her own grandmother when she knew she was watching.

“My family and I would like to thank everyone who has offered their thoughts and prayers,” Colbert tweeted on Friday. “We are grateful and touched by your concern.”



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