Photo Credit: Scott Gries/PictureGroup
Turns out Stephen Colbert didn't suspend his show for a stint in rehab. Or to get an eye lift. Or even to run for president.
After mysteriously canceling two tapings last week, he returned to The Colbert Report (Comedy Central, weeknights, 11:30 p.m. ET) Monday night and explained himself… sort of. (Watch the full episode below.)
"Before we start the broadcast tonight, I just want to address my recent absence from the national conversation," he said. "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, gesturing to his face.
Then he poked fun at the wild speculation about his absence, including the theory that his show got canceled by the FCC, at the request of the Federal Election Commission, because of his intention to run for president. Also, that maybe he'd offended Pope Benedict XVI with a joke comparing his hat to a giant condom.
His discretion seems unusual in today's media climate, where people both famous and not seem to clamor for the chance to expose their personal lives on reality and talk shows. Let's face it: We know way too much about scores of celebrities. That makes Colbert's protection of his mother's privacy seem all the more touching.