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the return

Stephen Colbert's The Late Show to bring back a full audience

Stephen Colbert is ready to bring the sweet sounds of a full, packed audience's laughter back to late night.

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert announced Monday it will return to taping at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City with a full, vaccinated audience beginning in June. When COVID-19 shutdowns began in March 2020, Colbert started hosting his show from home. He later returned to the Ed Sullivan Theater but filmed without an audience from an office.

Guests will have to show proof that they've been fully vaccinated before entering the theater, though face masks will be optional, according to the announcement. This comes after the CDC said that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks or socially distance in most situations. Colbert's staff will continue to be regularly tested for COVID-19, CBS said, and a COVID-19 compliance officer will enforce health and safety protocols.

Colbert's Late Show will be the first of the network late night talk shows to take this step, according to CBS This Morning, though Jimmy Fallon's The Tonight Show previously brought back a socially-distanced audience. Saturday Night Live also recently welcomed back its first full audience since the pandemic began for its season finale on May 22.

"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," Colbert said. "I look forward to once again doing shows for an audience I can smell and touch."

Colbert's full Late Show audience is set to return starting on June 14th.