Stephen Colbert took a brief leave of absence when his mother passed away last week. He returned last night, and in a rare serious moment, the opening of The Colbert Report was a touching tribute to Lorna Colbert.
Most of us will never have the opportunity to openly grieve in front of millions off people, but imagine the relief one must feel. I’m sure Colbert had questions about whether it was too soon to go back to work or if he could handle it, but there is comfort in normalcy.
Colbert’s entire persona is fiction, from what he finds important to the people he holds dear, but his serious tone and muted jokes showed that this was Stephen Colbert the man, not the performer. It was a man who truly wanted the audience to know a bit about a mother of whom he was so proud. Impressively, after the Eagle flew he was able to flip the switch and be the actor we’ve all come to expect.