‘Late Show With Stephen Colbert’ Will Return to Live Audiences in June

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Scott Kowalchyk/CBS

After making John Krasinski his first in-studio guest in 14 months last Thursday, Stephen Colbert is now ready to welcome back live audiences to The Late Show.

The long-running late-night talk show has been without a live crowd since March 16, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. For over 200 episodes, Colbert has been performing to silence (or sometimes to his wife Evelyn, who has joined him in-studio), as he hosted the show from his home or, more recently, from an office at the Ed Sullivan Theater. But starting June 14, live audiences will return under strict COVID-19 guidelines.

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While face masks will be optional, all guests must provide proof of being fully vaccinated before entering the building. Members of the staff and crew will continue to be tested and screened daily for symptoms as they return to a more regular work schedule. A COVID-19 compliance officer will also be on hand to monitor and enforce all health and safety protocols.

“Over the last 437 days, my staff and crew (and family!) have amazed me with their professionalism and creativity as we made shows for an audience we couldn’t see or hear,” said Colbert in a statement. “I look forward to once again doing shows for an audience I can smell and touch.”

The Late Show is the latest program to announce a return of live audiences. Saturday Night Live had its first full in-studio audience this past weekend after months of smaller, socially distanced groups, while HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher has been using smaller in-studio crowds. Meanwhile, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) on USA and Fox and All Elite Wrestling (AEW) on TNT have announced a return to touring in July with packed, live crowds.