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How Reddit got the scoop on Colbert's bad news

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Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report has shut down taping for the rest of the week due to “unforeseen circumstances.” Users of the social news site Reddit think they’ve figured out the reason why, long before the rest of the Internet.

And it’s not a happy tale.

According to redditor ecctv, Colbert—who grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, as the youngest of 11 children—left for a “family emergency (illness)” and  was “seen at Newark airport” Wednesday. That comment came two hours before media organizations like the Wall Street Journal got a hold of the news around 1 p.m. Eastern Time today.

Another comment from mlurve, who spoke with a friend working on the show, bolstered ecctv’s account.

“She said Colbert flew down to Charleston yesterday for a family emergency,” mlurve wrote. “Other than those basic details, I think we should respect the Colbert family's privacy during what is likely a tough time.”

Colbert has been one of Reddit’s most beloved celebrities since the success of the Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear in October 2010. Since then, the 47-year-old comedian has been the subject of dozens of front-page posts, including one from toy-maker Andrew Mercer who created a lifelike action figure of the man himself.

Comedy Central will show reruns of The Colbert Report tonight and Friday.

Photo by Jeffrey Simpson