Stephen Colbert: If You Like Me, That's Because of My Mom (Video)

The Comedy Central host opens his show with an emotional tribute to his mother, who died one week earlier.
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Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert opened the first new episode of The Colbert Report in a week with an emotional tribute to his mother, Lorna Colbert, who passed away last Wednesday.

After confirming he had been away because of his mother's death and thanking those who'd offered their thoughts and prayers, Colbert said he wanted to tell the audience a bit about her.

He explained that she was born the same week women got the right to vote and that her brother called her "snodgrass" and related the amusing story of how she pursued her husband James.

"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," Colbert explained. "But then she would never look to see if he was in the front yard, which, of course, drove her friends crazy, and evidently she also drove my father crazy, because they were married and promptly had 11 children."

He said she made a very loving home for him and his 10 siblings.

Colbert got repeatedly choked up as he spoke and had to compose himself before getting into character.

"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 said.

He also recounted that when he left her a few days before she died, he told her he had to go back to New York to do the show and she said, "I can't wait to see it. I wouldn't miss it for the world."

Colbert later closed his show with a stage fall, something he said in the opening his mother, who had trained to be an actress, taught him and his siblings how to do.

Watch the tribute below.