Provocateur comedian Stephen Colbert is known for many things. Silence has not been among them — until now. An abrupt suspension in his Colbert Report's production schedule sparked rumors online Thursday, after Comedy Central said it would air reruns for three days this week.
It seems the delay is due to a family emergency. The Wall Street Journal reports that Colbert "suspended production of his satirical comedy show temporarily because of an emergency in Mr. Colbert's family, according to people familiar with the show."
Earlier Thursday, many in the media struggled to interpret an email from Comedy Central spokesman Steve Albani, which stated, "Due to unforeseen circumstances, the show will air repeat episodes on Wednesday, February 15 and Thursday, February 16."
That set off speculation — including on the Third Beat Magazine site, which explained why similar disruptions have occurred on The Daily Show.
Colbert's lead-in show "has suspended production last-minute due to personal reasons twice during Jon Stewart's reign," writes Third Beat's Sharilyn Johnson, "once when his second child was born, and once when a staff member passed away suddenly. If this week's reasons are of a similar nature, it would be a first for the Colbert Report."
Colbert's Twitter feed has been silent since Feb. 14. While it's not unusual for him to go quiet when the show is off the air, the last such period was very recent, spanning from Feb. 2 to 13.