stephen colbert getty Stephen Colbert addresses rumors regarding 'The Colbert Report's' absenceStephen Colbert came back to “The Colbert Report” Monday night (Feb. 20) in typical Stephen fashion, with a hilarious monologue about his absence and a nod to the rumors about his mother’s health.

“Tonight! Hi. How ya been? Before we start the broadcast tonight, I just want to address my recent absence from the national conversation. 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 [points to own face].

I’m sure you felt the same way I do when I’m in a room with no mirrors.

Folks, there were some wild rumors about why I was gone. These are actual rumors from the actual internets. Some people said that my show was canceled by the Federal Communications Commission at the request of the Federal Election Commission because I was about to announce my presidential candidacy. [wild applause] Not gonna happen.

Others said I was canceled because I offended the Catholic church when I compared the Pope’s hat to a giant, yet stylish, prophylactic.

Still others said I was in rehab. Always an attractive option, if they have that for Diet Coke. And one person [shows picture of Joan Rivers] or whatever part of that original person has not been dermabrased off of Joan Rivers’ skull, accused me of taking time off to have plastic surgery.

Wrong, Joan! I did not have my eyes done, that is ridiculous. I had my a** done. The doctors cranked this thing so high and tight, you can barely blink now. Anyway, rumors quelled, moving on.

Oh, one more thing. Evidently, having 11 children makes you tough as nails. Confidential to a lovely lady [nose touch].”

Aww. That made us tear up a little. Reminds us of Carol Burnett’s ear tug. We’re glad to hear Colbert’s mother is doing better (that’s what we assume).

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."