The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, New York City: Address, Phone Number, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Reviews: 4.5/5

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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Tours and Tickets

The area
Neighborhood: Midtown
This is the iconic New York that so many visitors imagine before they visit - spectacular skyscrapers like the Chrysler Building and Empire State Building, iconic public buildings like Grand Central Terminal and the New York Public Library, and the non-stop hustle and bustle of the city streets. Fifth Avenue is a shopper's paradise where you can find every kind of store imaginable, with fashion brands ranging from the affordable to the ultra-fancy. Visit Rockefeller Center to experience towering Art Deco grandeur, and foodies will love the busy restaurants that stay open late in Koreatown. After dark, Midtown calms down a bit, but at any time of day or night it still feels 100% New York.
How to get there
  • 7th Ave • 2 min walk
  • 57th St – 7th Ave • 3 min walk
Popular mentions

205 reviews
Very good

Honey Grove, PA26 contributions
Oct 2021
Surely, there has to be a better way to fill the studio with guests. I had been through this for the Letterman show but this was much worse. The wait time (standing with no chairs in sight) is VERY long (an hour or more).....why is that necessary? We had priority tickets and arrived at the theater at 3:00 pm (as instructed); the taping doesn't start until 5:00 pm. Broadway shows have figured out how to check vaccine status, do security checks and fill the theater quickly. Why can't that be done for this show? Thankfully, we saw the interview with Adam Schiff and, of course, the magnificent Jon Batiste.....they saved the day! We didn't see the musical guest because it had been previously taped. We spent 4 hours at the theater.....really not worth that much time when there are so many other interesting activities in NYC. I won't do it again and the experience has left me much less interested in watching Colbert on TV. If he really cared about his fans, he would insist that they be treated better when they come to the theater.
Written October 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Raleigh, NC209 contributions
Long wait, short taping,
Jul 2021
After trying for tickets through 1iota for maybe three years (we visit NYC about 4 times a year), I finally scored tickets for Monday, July 19. I was thrilled! Day of we went down to the theater about 1:30 and no one was around, but by 2:15 there were a few people in an informal line. We had priority tickets and they eventually have 2 lines form with the majority of people in priority. Where you are in line is where your seat will be, beginning in the second row where we finally made it.
They split the line in 2 and check COVID docs and ids and give you a wrist band. Then you move inside in a cattle corral. Now you get to use the rest rooms. Finally after about 3 hours of waiting in lines, you are lead into the theater and seated. In the second row you will have some cameras in front of you for some of the time, but you are really close to the band and to Colbert when he gives his monologue.
Colbert does a q & a before the taping, but does not greet the audience like he used to do when the taping starts. So if you want to see yourself on tv, it will be for a nano second. After all you do for a ticket and to get in the fricken theater, the least they could do is give you your 15 seconds of fame.
The guest was a cable news person who I didn’t know and the musical guest was pre recorded. He never even said good night to us, he just walked off stage. It was exciting, and disappointing at the same time.
The best part was seeing Jon Batiste and hearing the band play. The whole show is edited more than I expected.
Written July 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dianna B
4 contributions
Love love love love it!
Aug 2019
Excellent ! Such a great experience. Colbert is the best. You get to see the behind-the-scenes, the band is wonderful.
Written April 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jim F
Greensburg, PA195 contributions
Wonderful experience
Feb 2020
Even with priority tickets, it is a long wait to enter the theater. Arrived at the Ed Sullivan Theater 2:45 pm and waited in line for over two hours. The wait was worth it. The show was so much fun. Prior to the start of the show, there was entertainment by a comedian followed by a very entertaining and talented John Baptist and his band. Stephen Colbert then came on stage and talked to the audience and answered questions from the audience. When the taping of the show started, there was so much enthusiasm from the audience. Such great fun! One caveat, sometimes the cameras will partially block your view of the host and/or his guests. This was such a wonderful experience that I highly recommend it.
Written February 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Suzanne P
Greenfield, MA13 contributions
Free tickets to see the wonderful Stephen Colbert, his band Stay Human and guests Patrick Stewart and Dick Cavit.
Jan 2020
The show was outstanding. I arrived at 2 p.m. and waited outside with other "priority" ticket holders for two hours, after which we were herded into lines and filtered into the theater at about 5 for a 5:30-7 taping.
Written February 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Robert C
Ashburn, VA203 contributions
Great Fun
Jan 2020
Bring on your patience and get an early start to wait in line for a great show! Be prepared to probably not get such a great view of Stephen Colbert because of the TV crew and stage hands. The first couple of rows will be taken up by VIP's so you probably wont have the opportunity to get a hand slap by Stephen. Still lots of fun and very memorable. Be sure to go back to the hotel and watch yourself on national tv.
Written January 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Alexandria, VA29 contributions
Live taping for Democratic Debate - Worth It!!!
Jan 2020
We got our tickets by applying about two months in advance, initially on wait list, we were notified just a few days later that we had Priority tickets. Followed the recommended procedures: got in line at 7:30, the first long line we got in was for General admission, good thing we asked because we moved to the Priority line which was much shorter. We got great seats, about 7 rows back. To enter the theater we were moved with a group from outside to the lobby, then to seats, and it took some patience, but since I had read reviews by others I was mentally prepared. There is no food and drink once inside, and the water fountains are old-school, a faucet (pointing down) so you need to cup your hands. Seeing the debate with a group of like-minded souls made for a good vibe. Then the band played and they rocked. Then the warm-up comedian did a short set, and mainly got the audience ready to laugh and cheer super-loud, since it was a live show. Then Stephen Colbert came out to warm up and did Q&A with the audience. Then the show, which was all we could have asked for. Stephen's guest was Mike Bloomberg, who is distinctly not funny, so that was a bit of a let down. But overall, a very memorable experience. I would do it again!
Written January 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Seattle, WA174 contributions
FUN! Here's what to expect once in line.
Dec 2019
About 3 weeks before the date we wanted to attend the show, I got on the wait list on the 1iota website to get free tickets. Shortly after I received an email saying Priority tickets were available. I secured and printed my confirmation.
Day of show, it was raining in NYC.
1:00pm- arrived to get in line and there were 2 people in front of us. Everyone that arrived just got in the same line.
2:15- interns came out and separated Priority ticket holders from everyone else. They moved the Priority people up under the awning and started packing everyone to the front of the line. They moved everyone else back to the corner of the street.
2:45- gave Priority people a wristband and moved us through security. Once inside we walked to a set of doors where we stood.
3:15- doors opened and we moved halfway into the next room. The room is roped off and they pack everyone into this half of the room. This is the time when you can use the BATHROOM.
4:00- a group of VIPs(?) came into the other half of the room. I think they were VIP because I recognized 2 national news people and the group just looked important.
4:20- they went over the rules. No phones are to be “ON” while inside, once inside you can’t leave, don’t act a fool, and once inside you can’t use the bathroom. They also explained you must sit where they tell you to sit, it isn’t a free for all once inside.
4:30– they asked for those who had a blue wrist band to follow them upstairs. I think these were VIP people.
4:40- they opened the doors and we started filing in.
The whole experience was good, and the show was awesome. Have fun if you go. We would do this again.
Written December 10, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Seattle, WA2,367 contributions
Fun free activity if you plan ahead
Dec 2019
I was monitoring the website daily and requested tickets as soon as my date became available, about a month prior, so had no problem getting two Priority tickets for the show (Priority means you're guaranteed a seat if you show up on time; General ticketholders fill in available seats after that, and I think maybe that's the group that filled the balcony seating upstairs?) A couple weeks later I got the email and clicked to confirm my tickets, printed them at home before our trip.

Check-in opened at 3pm (deadline is 4pm, after that you lose your priority for seating). We ended up in the neighborhood around 2, and saw some people were already in line, so we decided to stay. Once they started organizing us for check-in, they sorted us into Priority and General lines, and we found that there were only 4 people in front of us. So we got great seats, ended up in the 2nd row center. Not sure who the people in the first row were, I think they had purple "VIP" wristbands. Anyway, I think we could have showed up closer to 3pm and still had pretty good seats, it's not a very big theater.

You do have to stand around quite a bit, both outside the theater and once you get inside. After they check your name and give you your wristbands outside, you go through security/metal detector to get inside. They have a very orderly process to send groups downstairs to use the bathroom and return to their spot in line. Once the show starts you can't use the bathrooms. And there are no cameras allowed, no using your cell phone inside the theater - they tell you that you will be asked to leave if they see you using your phone, so turn it off!

The actual show started around 5, with a funny comedian (who does pull some audience members up on stage, beware!) and music before Stephen comes out and does a Q&A before the actual taping starts. It was interesting to see the process, and how they handle flubs/do-overs. You may end up watching the monitor a lot if the cameramen are blocking your view of the people onstage. The musical segment for our show was pre-taped earlier in the day, so they showed us the video after the taping was done.
Written December 9, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Andy B
1 contribution
Long, but rewarding experience
Oct 2019
After having read so many reviews here, I have decided to share mine as well. I unexpectedly went to a double taping on Tuesday since Stephen was leaving to New Zealand the following day.
I applied for the tickets probably a week after their launch, received an e-mail to claim my ticket appr. 2 weeks prior to the show. I clicked soon enough to receive a Priority ticket. The show sent a couple more reminders before the taping to make sure you were attending. My ticket said the check-in for priority would be between 3.30 and 4.30, I arrived slightly before 4. The check-in was very smooth, got into the lobby right away. In the lobby, they divided us into three groups (I was in the third one), we went to the bathroom by groups, it was very quick. While waiting in the lobby, they were showing old shows on screens. There's one more call for the bathroom around 5 before you get to the theatre. Around 5, we got to the theatre, however, I saw several people still going to the bathrooms before the show started. Nevertheless, after that, there is really no possibility to go, not even after the show (the nearest is Starbucks across the street). As for water and snacks - I had cereal bars and an empty water bottle which I filled in in the bathroom. The theatre is VERY cold, so bring a sweater or a jacket. I was in the second row from the back, in the middle, and sadly, the cameras blocked most of Stephen and his guests. After 5.30ish, Paul Mecurio (a stand-up comedian) came in and did a few jokes with the audience. I really found him funny, so it was great. Afterward, the band with John Baptiste played, they were really amazing. Next, Stephen came for Q&A with the audience, he was very relaxed. After 6, the official taping started. There were two shows and it was a very surreal experience because everything is prepared in advance (all the videos you see on TV) and you watch Stephen read his monologue from the teleprompter while watching the videos on screens. So basically you watch the show on screens in front of you while it is being taped at the same time. What I really loved was that the audience's reactions weren't forced. They showed us when to stand up or clap, but these moments were very rare and otherwise, the reactions you hear on TV are genuine. Another great thing was to see how professional Stephen was. He needed to shoot a Wednesday episode first since news regarding Donald Trump had come in a few minutes before he was supposed to shoot the Tuesday episode and they needed to change that. The guests for the night were incredible: Will Smith, Andrew Scott and Jonathan Van Ness. We finished the taping at 8.15, so overall it was a 4-hour experience. For me, it was very tiring and demanding because I was low on sugar and needed to go to the bathroom once the show started (there was no break in between the two shows, unfortunately). But overall, it was an amazing experience and I definitely recommend it!
Written December 7, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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