Late night host Stephen Colbert lost his beloved mother, Lorna Tuck Colbert, at age 92 last Wednesday, and on his first show back, he used his opening segment to deliver her a loving tribute.

The host appeared out of his normal character, rather somber and with a wavering voice as he explained his absence and thanked fans for their support during this tough time.

"When you watch the show," the host told his audience, "if you also like me, that's because of my mom."

Colbert told his mother's life story. She was born in the week that women were granted the right to vote and was nicknamed "Snodgrass" by her brother. He also relayed the charming story of how his parents met in their youth.

"She met my father at 12 at cotillion and she liked him, but she didn't want him to know how much, so she would make her friends ride their bikes all the way across town to pass by his house. But then she would never look to see if he was in the front yard, which, of course, drove her friends crazy," the host continued.

"Evidently she also drove my father crazy, because they were married and promptly had 11 children."

The host told of his family life in a "loving" home, filled with both affection, encouragement, and a bit song and dance, so long as it was not done over dinner.

Colbert also talked about some the more tragic aspects of his mother's life, such as the loss of her husband and two sons in a plane crash when the host was only 10, but acknowledged that "her love for her family and her faith in God somehow gave her the strength not only to go on, but to love life without bitterness."

He relished his mother's lengthy life, though he suggested that he would have loved to have had even more days with her.

"I know it may sound greedy to want more days with a person who lived so long," the host said, "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."

He also recounted one of the last times he saw his mother alive, when he told her he would have to leave soon to return to his show; according to him, she responded, "I can't wait to see it. I wouldn't miss it for the world."

Colbert later closed the program with a stage fall, which he also said was a tribute to his late mom: she had trained as an actress and taught that trick to him and his siblings.

Watch Stephen Colbert pay tribute to his late mother on Wednesday's The Colbert Report.