As promised, Stephen Colbert returned to the airwaves Monday night.


Colbert began the edition of The Colbert Report by poking fun at last week's media frenzy regarding his sudden leave-of-absence to attend to a family emergency.

"Hi. How ya been? Before we start the broadcast tonight, I just want to address my recent absence from the national conversation," Colbert said. "As the hub around which the Republic turns, I can understand why the machinery of this great nation ground to a halt last week while you were denied this."

He then addressed some of the "wild rumors" surrounding last week's absence, including speculation that he was about to announce a run for the White House. Ending the segment with a special shout-out to his mother Lorna, Colbert said, "Evidently, having eleven children makes you tough as nails."

Watch the full segment below, uploaded by Mediaite on February 21, 2012: