The Colbert Report was suspended this week, and speculation is running wild about what could have prompted Stephen Colbert to pull the plug on the satirical political talk show.
Shortly after the Wall Street Journal reported that a source familiar with the Comedy Central show claimed the suspension was due to a Colbert family emergency, the Huffington Post reported that a source who has a business relationship with [The Colbert Report] told them Colbert's 91-year-old mother, Lorna Colbert, is seriously ill.
Colbert reportedly has a close relationship with his mother, and devoted a segment of a 2008 show to her, corresponding with Mother's Day.
According to the Huffington Post, Colbert's father James, along with two of Stephen's brothers, were killed in a plane accident in 1974. [Update: IBTimes located two interviews where Colbert discussed the tragedy.]
Ticketholders were shocked Wednesday when The Colbert Report made a late-breaking announcement -- after some had already been seated for the taping -- that the Comedy Central show would be suspending production for the remainder of the week.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the show will air repeat episodes on Wednesday, February 15 and Thursday, February 16, network spokesman Steve Albani said in an e-mailed statement. The Colbert Report does not normally tape on Fridays.
According to the Associated Press, a person who is not authorized to speak publicly about the show confirmed that new episodes are expected to return soon.
As IBTimes previously reported, local newspapers in Montclair, N.J. -- where Colbert lives with his wife and three children -- have not published any reports of local residents in accidents, and reporters there appear to be as much in the dark as the rest of us are. A Reuters employee earlier tweeted a message that Colbert's name did not appear on The New York State inmate database.