Before he could get into the week's biggest stories, Stephen Colbert kicked off Tuesday night's "Colbert Report" with an important segment on what hamsters are telling scientists about depression.

Colbert was naturally upset by an Ohio State University study that linked watching late night TV to depression, probably because the study involved exposing hamsters to a dim light as if they were watching TV. After all, late night hosts like Colbert aim to entertain and ease tension for people at the end of a long day, not depress them. And what can hamsters tell them that humans can't?

"Well done," Colbert said. "Instead of having people watch late night TV, then simply asking them if they're depressed, scientists exposed hamsters to a dim light and guessed how the hamsters felt. You know, science."

But Colbert has bigger problems than having to worry about his fans becoming depressed. Now that the study is public knowledge, everyone's going to find out the deep, dark secret behind "The Colbert Report": it's really designed to torture hamsters.

Watch the full segment above.

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  • White House Correspondents Dinner

    Only months after "The Colbert Report" went on the air, Stephen Colbert was booked to be the keynote act at the 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner. Instead of harmless jokes typical for that role, Colbert gave a blisteringly satirical speech while standing next to President George W. Bush, causing more than a little palpable discomfort in the room. <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7FTF4Oz4dI" target="_hplink">Watch the full speech here.</a>

  • Viggo Mortensen Tells Stephen To Run In '08

    After Colbert had been teasing a run for president in 2008, actor Viggo Mortensen appeared on "The Colbert Report" to personally call for a Colbert candidacy. When Aragorn called, Stephen could not deny.

  • Stephen Formally Announces Candidacy In '08

    Stephen formally announces that he's running for president --by appearing on the ballot for the Democratic nomination in his home state of South Carolina, the people of whom he plans to "pander more to" than any other candidate.

  • Stephen Finds Out He's Not On The Ballot

    After an extensive day of campaigning, Colbert visits the South Carolina Democratic Executive Council to ensure that he gets on the ballot. He's promptly denied, ending his dreams of running for president in one state. Interestingly, in 2008, his campaign was "sponsored" by Nacho Cheese Doritos, satirizing the idea that a corporation could fund a political campaign. In the wake of Citizens United, it'sa little less funny.

  • Obama Orders Stephen To Shave His Head

    While doing a week of shows for the troops in Iraq, Colbert interviewed General Ray Odierno. During the interview, Odierno got direct orders from his boss, President Obama, to shave Stephen's head to honor the troops.

  • Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear

    Colbert and fellow Comedy Central host Jon Stewart hosted the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in 2010 in Washington, DC, as a response to rallies held by pundits like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, whom they felt were fostering ignorance and division with their calls to action. The rally attracted around 215,000 people.

  • Stephen Colbert Addresses Congress

    Upon the invitation of Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Colbert testified in front of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Security in character. He gave a humorous speech describing a day working alongside migrant workers, but got serious at certain points describing the plight of those less fortunate. Needless to say, many conservative pundits questioned the seriousness of the proceedings.

  • Colbert Formally Files Super PAC

    After Super PACs became legal, Colbert saw the remarkable comedic opportunity in building an organization that can dedicate unlimited resources to political candidates. He set up the Colbert Super PAC shortly thereafter for no reason other than to mess with the 2012 election.

  • Perry with an A Commercial

    For his first trick, Colbert ran a commercial encouraging Iowa Straw Poll voters to write in Rick Perry, who was not yet a formal candidate. But Colbert encouraged them to write in "Rick <em>Parry</em>" -- with an A for America.

  • RIck Perry with an A Confuses

    Some stations refused to run the "Parry" ad, saying it was confusing to viewers. Stephen reads off a letter from a local ABC affiliate explaining why in only the first episode of Colbert's 2012 election jamming.

  • Colbert Super PAC Gets Referendum On Ballot, Sort Of

    To show what Super PACs are capable of, Stephen tried to get a referendum on the ballot in South Carolina, explicitly asking whether corporations can legally be people, or just people are people. Despite the major cash donation he offered to make to get it on the ballot, funded by his Colbert Super PAC, it appears that the referendum won't appear on the final ballot since it's "non-binding" (although it does appear on the dummy ballot).

  • Colbert Announces 2012 Run

    After some polls indicated that hypothetical candidate Stephen Colbert was polling higher than Jon Huntsman in South Carolina, Colbert announced that he planned to formally run for president in the South Carolina Republican primary. However, he technically couldn't run since he was in charge of the Colbert Super PAC. But there's an easy fix -- just get Jon Stewart to take over the PAC.