On tonight’s Colbert Report, Stephen broke character to deliver a heartfelt tribute to his mother, Lorna Tuck Colbert, who passed away last week at 92. He somehow managed to hold back the tears clearly desperate to emerge as he spoke of Lorna’s childhood, sense of fun, and commitment to prayer and family. “I know it may sound greedy to want more days with a person who lived so long,” he said. “But the fact that my mother was 92 does not diminish it; it only magnifies the enormity of the room whose door has now quietly shut.”
“And that’s it!” he exclaimed with a helpless yet accepting and matter-of-fact tone of finality.
This is by no means the first time I’ve been blown away by Stephen Colbert, but it’s like he just summed up all of life in under three minutes. Worth the watch:
“When you watch the show, if you like this show, that’s because of everybody who works here, and I’m lucky to be one of them,” said Colbert. “But when you watch the show and you also like me, that’s because of my mom.”
Back in February of 2012, upon return from a different hiatus as Lorna was ailing, Colbert made sure to thank his own mother after the Moms of South Carolina named him their Favorite Son.
“She’s probably sipping on a bourbon and water, and she deserves it. She raised 11 kids. The woman is a saint,” he said.
And if you’re like me and want to luxuriate in as much Colbertian realness as possible right now, below is a great (though absurdly titled on YouTube) clip of Stephen explaining how his household dynamic – growing up needing to compete for attention, then later dealing with the loss of his dad and two closest brothers in a plane crash – influenced his decision to get into comedy after initially pursuing a straight acting career. “I don’t know why humor was valued in my family,” he said. “But we were a humorocracy. You know, the funny person in the room at the moment was king.”