Colbert said it was “lovely to be back” and joked that exec producer Chris Licht thought his new facial hair would lose him viewers. A year ago, Licht’s voice would have been one of the only sounds audible, but this time, his reply somewhat drowned out by the raucous noise of a live studio audience in the Ed Sullivan Theater.
The host has been back in front of a crowd since June 14 and it has undoubtedly had a positive impact on the show, as it has done for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel Live!
“There’s a rejuvenated sense of purpose,” Licht tells Deadline. “You can see it with all of the shows, there’s been a turning point.