Stephen Colbert makes millions laugh five nights a week with his satirical Colbert Report. But on Wednesday night, June 19, he made them cry. The comedian/TV host broke character to deliver a heartbreaking tribute to his mother, Lorna Tuck Colbert, who died last week. She was 92.

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"Now if you watch this show, and you like this show, that's because of everybody who works here and I’m lucky to be one of them. But when you watch the show, if you also like me, that’s because of my mom. So before we start the show again, I’d like to tell you a little bit about her," he began the tribute.

Colbert then tells the story of her life, a few times pausing to hold back tears.

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His mom had trained to be an actress in her youth and would teach her kids (all 11 of them!) how to faint. "She was fun, " he said. "She knew more than her share of her tragedy, losing her brother and her husband and three of her sons, but her love for her family and faith in God somehow gave her the strength to not only go on but to love life without bitterness and to instill in all of us a gratitude for every day we have together."

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This article originally appeared on Stephen Colbert's Tribute to His Late Mom: Watch the Touching Clip