NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- For the first time since the pandemic started, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert is back at full capacity.
Monday night's show was recorded in front of a live audience at the Ed Sullivan Theater, and the fans were ready.
People started lining up around the block outside the theater in the afternoon to be part of the first live studio audience for The Late Show in more than a year.
Everyone in the 400-person audience had to show proof of vaccination and masks were optional.
David Caneppa, of Elmhurst, and his cousin were all smiles after being part of it.
"It was amazing. Stephen has not lost his touch," Caneppa told CBS2's Ali Bauman. "He kept us sane throughout the whole pandemic and now he brought normality back."
"It was awesome," added Gina Torres of Queens.
"Our first time at the show ever and it was worth the trip," said Bill Rubin of Westchester County.
The Late Show has been producing episodes remotely since March 16, 2020, and has since produced more than 200 shows remotely, 15 of which were live. People in line told Bauman they jumped at the chance to get tickets so they could be a part of this moment and experience that energy in the audience.
"All through the pandemic he's just been bringing you the joy that's been so vital, and to be back in the room with people, chills. Why would you not put your name to try to get that ticket?" said Maggie Gremminger.
Monday night's guest was Jon Stewart, with musical performance by Jon Batiste.
"Isn't this what its all about, being with friends laughing?" said Daniel Nauke of the East Village.
For many, the show was some their first time back in a packed theater.
"Nothing can top this moment right now. We are just in the midst of trying to finally exit a pandemic and I think this is a massive step and this shows why getting vaccinated is important because we can have moments like these again," Caneppa said.
You can catch the return of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert Monday night right after CBS2 News at 11.
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