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.”