By Heather Dougherty, EnStars | Feb 21, 2012 10:52 AM EST
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Late night talk show host Stephen Colbert is back on the air, returning last night with a message to someone near and dear to his heart.
Colbert took an unexpected and unexplained hiatus from his show The Colbert Report on Comedy Central last week, halting production due to "unforeseen circumstances."
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He reportedly wanted to spend time with his 91-year-old mother, Lorna, whose health is deteriorating. Colbert tweeted fans last week, saying, "My family and I would like to thank everyone who has offered their thoughts and prayers. We are grateful and touched by your concern."
The satirist had some fun on last night's show with all the online speculation about his absence, particularly fellow comedian Joan Rivers' big reveal that he was likely off having plastic surgery.
But before getting down to business, Colbert gave the audience a hint of an explanation implying that his mom is on the mend.
"Evidently, having 11 children makes you tough as nails," said Colbert, who at 47 is the youngest. "Confidential to a lovely lady."
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