When Will Stephen Colbert Return? The Late Show’s Absence, Explained

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After the news of his health emergency on Thanksgiving 2023, fans of The Late Show are wondering when Stephen Colbert will return. The beloved talk show host announced on November 27 that he was following his doctor’s advice by taking some time off to recover.

Colbert, born on May 13, 1964, in Washington, D.C., is a comedian, writer, producer, and television host. He grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, and attended Hampden-Sydney College before transferring to Northwestern University for performance studies.

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Colbert began his comedy career with the Second City improv group in Chicago and gained recognition as a correspondent—a “well-intentioned, poorly informed high-status idiot” and a “self-important right-wing commentator”—on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. In 2005, he launched his own satirical news show, The Colbert Report, on Comedy Central, portraying the same fictional conservative pundit.

In 2015, Colbert succeeded David Letterman as the host of The Late Show on CBS, showcasing a more authentic version of himself. He has received numerous awards, including Primetime Emmy Awards and a Grammy Award for his comedy album A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!

After scoring the job in 2015, he told GQ: “I have a morality. I don’t know if it’s the best morality. And I do like thinking. If people perceive that as a moral intellectualism, that’s fine. That’s up to them to decide. A friend of mine once said, ‘If someone says you’re influencing them, then you’re influential. It’s not up for you to say. You can’t take that away from them.’ But it’s entirely not my intention. This I promise you. Because that’s a short road to being a comedian in all seriousness. ‘As a comedian, in all seriousness, let me not entertain you.’ ”

In October 2023, Colbert had to take his show remote after he contracted COVID. “MEANWHILE… The Late Show will look a little bit different tonight because Stephen is At Home with Covid (he’s ok!), but be sure to tune in as the show will go on remotely with Monologue, Meanwhile, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Ricky Velez,” the show’s official X (formerly Twitter) account said at the time. Not long after, news broke of his medical emergency. Here’s when Stephen Colbert will return.

When will Stephen Colbert return?

When will Stephen Colbert return? His show will be on hiatus until he’s recovered from a ruptured appendix, which can happen due to untreated appendicitis. If the organ does burst, bacteria get released into your abdomen and can cause a serious infection, per Healthline.com.

On November 27, 2023, Stephen Colbert announced his health emergency on Threads: “Sorry to say that I have to cancel our shows this week. I’m sure you’re thinking, “Turkey overdose, Steve? Gravy boat capsize?” Actually, I’m recovering from surgery for a ruptured appendix. I’m grateful to my doctors for their care and to Evie and the kids for putting up with me. Going forward, all emails to my appendix will be handled by my pancreas.”

On December 4, he shared an update saying that he would continue to take a break from the show until he was feeling well enough: “I’m listening to my doctors and continuing to rest and heal. Thank you for all your well wishes and I’ll see you soon. – Stephen.”

Deadline reported that guests including Sarah Paulson, Jason Isbell, Mark Ruffalo, Nicki Minaj, Sara Bareilles, and Rep. Liz Cheney would no longer appear on the show and that all the episodes for the weeks he’s away would exclusively be repeats.

What is a ruptured appendix recovery time?

According to the Mayo Clinic, a ruptured appendix causes pain in the lower right abdomen. This results in symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal bloating, and a low-grade fever that may rise as the illness worsens.

When an appendix ruptures, it has to be removed in a surgery called an appendectomy. According to the Cleveland Clinic: “Recovery time varies depending on how complicated your appendicitis and surgery were and how your body responds to the surgery. In general, pain and side effects should be greatly reduced within a few days. It may take a few days to weeks to return to your normal activities. Most people recover fully within six weeks.”

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