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Stephen Colbert Breaks Character, Gives Beautiful Tearful Eulogy to His Mother

By Dustin Rowles | Videos | June 20, 2013 | Comments ()


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Honestly, this might be a little too much for you in the morning, so if you're concerned about being seen crying, don't watch. It's unavoidable. I don't mean that in a hyperbolic way; I mean, you will cry. It's a really sweet, beautiful, wistful and powerful tribute to a 92-year-old none of us ever had the pleasure to meet, but we should all be so lucky to have mothers like Lorna Colbert.



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Comments Are Welcome, Douches Are Not


  • stella

    I got 5 seconds in. My condolenses mr colbert.,,

  • JSW

    Very touching.

  • Bodhi

    I'm from two huge Catholic families, one Irish & one German, and I'm
    an only child. My parents are in great health, go on trips & adventures, & dance tango with their nutty friends as often as they can. And losing them is one of my greatest fears. I have no clue what I'll do & I'll be all by myself when the time comes. (Ok, my husband & son will be there, as well as my parents' younger siblings, but still...)

  • **I AM** NotTheOne

    I did not need to click that link. And now my nose is all stuffy.

  • Slash

    Yeah, saw this last night, got a little verklempt. You get a lot more appreciative of family when one of them dies. You miss them more than you think you will.

    On the intertubes, there's a lot of cross-generational bullshit, young people bitching about old people and vice versa. It's nice to have a reminder that most of us (if we're lucky) will be old one day (or at least much older), and that your parents are your first and most important influences, or should be.

  • Spark

    OK, I'm not crying. But that's because I tapped out at 2:21.

  • Django

    Managed to just have the throat cloud until the "Child's Prayer" bit. No hope at that point. What a lovely segment.

  • Pants_are_a_must

    Yep, I'm ugly-crying right now. It's so obvious how, had it not been for his mom's wish, he would not have been back yet. My heart goes out to the Colbert clan, which obviously just lost their matriarch.

  • BWeaves

    That was beautiful.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I was wondering why his show wasn't on Monday night!

    You're right - I can't watch this - I can't stand in front of architects all day with red eyes. I'm from a very large Catholic family too, and I always love to hear Colbert talk so fondly of his family. The consolations here - poor though they are - is that his mother has left a legacy, and he has that wonderful family to continue to share it with.

  • $27019454

    I upvoted you because I'm a "big, Catholic family" veteran as well. It's a cultural thing and -- as many people in the world who make this the butt of jokes -- you and I know it's powerful and it stays with you forever. Thank God.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    We're not even Irish, but I take the jokes in stride. It really is cultural, and I didn't even grow up in Catholic school, or forced through Latin Mass.

    And hugs about your dad. That's rough; I can't imagine it.

  • I didn't cry but only because I kept stopping the video to walk away. What a touching tribute to his mother.

  • heatseeker

    Oh, wow, that did indeed provoke some ugly-crying. How do people lose parents and keep going? God, I'm so terrified to lose my parents, I can't even. It's going to happen someday; it looms; I should start getting used to the idea, but I just can't. I'm pretty amazed and impressed that Colbert is back at work so soon. Wish I could give him a hug.

  • rio

    I feel you. I think a lot of people actually become fully themselves after their parents deaths, and I know that i will lose it, I will go fully bananas, I often morbidly imagine what it will be like but other than get close to a panic attack I really dont think it's helping prepare for it. Now sorry but I have to put my head between my legs and try to count my breaths.

  • Kathleen Allen

    i understand completely. i only live a little over 200 miles away from my folks, so i see them fairly frequently. We speak on the phone every week and everything seems fine until i go home. then i see them aging; their hands shaking, the tv volume increases, their movements are slower and more thoughtful, the look on their faces when they've forgotten something...it tears me up inside. i should be grateful that they've gotten this far with only minor health issues (diabetes, blood pressure, breast cancer scare) and i am, i swear. but the thought of getting 'that call' chills my blood. i don't know how colbert did it either. i'm gonna be a puddly mess. probably for a good long time.

  • $27019454

    My dad (shit, I'm tearing up already) died completely suddenly and out of the clear fucking blue two weeks before I left for college. It's brutal. It was only a few years ago that it stopped being one the first things I thought of when I woke up each morning.

  • SelenaMac

    I lost my mom suddenly, a few years ago. I'm still in the stage where I forget she's gone in the first few minutes I'm awake, then it hits and it's like it happens all over again. Hugs to you. And now I'm crying. SOMEBODY GET ME A PUPPY. STAT.

  • with_club_sauce

    I'm so sorry : (

  • Mrs. Julien

    [another hug]

  • emmalita

    When the time comes, you may feel differently. I lost my mother 2 years ago Sunday, after a 3 1/2 year battle with cancer. In the end her death was a grace and a blessing. I miss her, but given the circumstances I feel more gratitude for her death than sorrow at her loss.

  • Mrs. Julien

    It is strange how that can be the way, isn't it? Pater Julien went from mystery illness to cancer to gone in a very short period, about 3 months. He had a very nasty cancer and was moving toward a surgery that could very well kill him and at the very least dramatically compromise his quality of life. He had a heart attack, held on for 10 days in which we got to hold his hand and be friendly faces whether he knew us (sometimes) or not (sometimes), and then he was able to slip away. It was the definition of bittersweet. He was spared so much suffering and we got that time with him.

    The Dowager Julien is indomitable, but we all live in fear of that unexpected call. It is so strange when your parents reach an age when it is entirely biologically reasonable for them to simply die.

  • Spark

    I'm so sorry. Lost my mom almost seven years ago to ovarian cancer. It was brutal. Watching her wither away, I know where you're coming from. I still struggle with losing her, though. Sitting here, knowing that she never got to meet her granddaughter - it rips my heart apart.

  • heatseeker

    I was an EMT for a while and saw a lot of end-stage cancer patients, so I totally, completely know what you mean. It's just awful. At that point, death would indeed be a relief.

    Members of my family have the tendency to either live past 100, or drop dead suddenly at 65, so I'm on tenterhooks hoping both my parents achieve the former. It's the "one day they're here, the next day they're gone and you didn't get to say goodbye" factor that freaks me out.

  • llp

    That's what happened to with my father. I was on the phone with him complaining about how crazy my sister is, and a few hours later my mother phoned to tell me he had had a pulmonary embolism. I am haunted, eight years later, that I didn't have a more meaningful conversation with him that day.

  • Mrs. Julien

    [hug]

  • heatseeker

    Oh man. I'm so sorry.

  • John G.

    I wondered why his show wasn't one all week.

  • danielle

    Didn't think I would actually cry (who was I kidding, I cry at everything).But I fucking love Stephen Colbert and he is amazing for coming back even a week later. I really don't even know what to say, just... she sounds like she was wonderfully lovely, and my heart goes out to her family. <3

  • AudioSuede

    I tried really hard to prove you wrong about the crying. But I failed. Miserably.

  • NateMan

    That was beautiful. Although I waver between atheism and agnosticism, Stephen and his family share a view of faith I can truly appreciate, one where their relationship to God is important to them, but also private, and not a source of discrimination against others. His mother clearly lived a long and fruitful life, and though I'm sure it was still incredibly painful for him, he has a lot of memories to draw on. That's the most any of us can hope for.

  • PerpetualIntern

    How lovely.

  • koko temur

    His voice broke down in the first 4 seconds and i immidiatly started sobbing.

  • aroorda

    This was really moving when I watched it last night and almost got me teary. The crazy part if it for me was watching Colbert "turn on" his character at the end, and literally watch someone "become" their character. He's certainly a pro. Always tough to lose a loved one like that, hope coming back was cathartic for him.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I haven't seen a transformation like that since Judy Garland in A Star Is Born. Most impressive.

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