And just like that, he’s back! Stephen Colbert returned to the stage at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City on Monday night for the first time in 460 days.

The 57-year-old host of Global’s “The Late Show” had been hosting the late-night show first from his home amid the coronavirus pandemic and then from a converted storage room for months after that.

“It’s great to be back,” Colbert told the live audience on Monday. “We never really left, but we certainly weren’t here. This is a slightly different energy than the converted storage room eight floors above us, as beautiful as that was.”

The comedian went on to joke to the crowd of fully-vaccinated guests, “I don’t even know if I remember how to pander to the most beautiful crowd in the world.”

Reopening the theater, which is right in the heart of Times Square, also holds a special significance.

“I am absolutely proud to say, we are the first show back on Broadway,” Colbert declared, before joking, “Suck it, Lion King! Hakuna Ma-SuckIt!”

Following his monologue, Colbert invited his wife, Evie Colbert, on stage.

“I’ve always said there’s no greater audience in the world than you people, and when I said that, I was wrong,” he shared. “For the last 15 months, my only audience was truly the greatest of all time — my wife.”

Evie had some words of wisdom for her husband’s audience.

“He’s all yours now,” she joked. “And don’t forget to laugh because he really needs it.”

The monologue followed the show’s cold open, in which Colbert sang a song about having to put his pants back on in order to host the show in front of a live audience.

Late, Colbert welcomed his friend and former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart, and the two discussed the issues surrounding vaccine science and the theory that the pandemic virus may have leaked from a lab.


“The Late Show” airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. on Global.

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