Colbert returns to film before studio audience
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Stephen ColbertStephen Tyrone ColbertColbert: Trump era 'almost like a spell was being cast' on the American people Charlamagne Tha God to host late-night Comedy Central show Late-night show hosts slam Tennessee's vaccine policies MORE marveled at the "different energy" as he took to the "Late Show" stage in front of a live audience for the first time in more than a year on Monday.

"It's great to be back," Colbert told the crowd during his opening monologue.

"I have not been on this stage in front of a live audience for 460 days," the CBS host said. "I don't know if I even remember how to pander to the most beautiful crowd in the world."

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"It feels a little bit like the first day back at school. I'm excited. I'm a little nervous," he said.

The "Late Show's" Broadway studio closed its doors in March of last year as COVID-19 forced shutdowns in New York City and around the world. Colbert had filmed his show remotely during much of the pandemic and had hosted some shows from his studio with an audience filled with a few members of his staff.

"This is a slightly different energy than the converted storage room eight floors above us. As beautiful as that was," Colbert said with a smile on Monday.

"Everyone in the audience tonight is fully vaccinated," Colbert, 57, told viewers.

"Being a member of my audience isn't the only reason to get your shot. It's just the best reason," Colbert said, before launching into a dance number alongside performers dressed as COVID-19 shots.

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Colbert also paid tribute to his wife, Evelyn McGee-Colbert, during his first show back in front of a crowd.

"I've always said there is no greater audience in the world than you people. And when I said that, I was wrong," Colbert teased.

"You see, for the last 15 months, my only audience was truly the greatest of all time: my wife," he said, before bringing McGee-Colbert on stage.

"Audience, he's all yours now," McGee-Colbert jested. "And don't forget to laugh, because he really needs it."