He's known for his "bitter truth" hard-to-swallow comedy and brilliant monologues pointing out government incompetencies and corruption and turning new headlines into jokes.
He's Stephen Colbert, television host of "The Late Show" with Stephen Colbert.
The late-night talk show has aired on CBS since Sept. 8 of 2015.
He's been in the news for an ongoing feud with President Donald Trump and controversy regarding one of his monologues that some found homophobic. And most recently, hosting a 'Daily Show' gang reunion on his show.
President Trump finally got around to addressing one of the biggest threats to America: Stephen Colbert.
They're back like you've never seen them before... on a sectional couch!
But politics and witty comedy aside, being an audience member at an actual "Late Show," takes you inside the world of late night network television.
You need tickets, which are free, but sell out quickly. You have to immediately get your tickets at the "The Late Show" tickets website as soon as they become available. First come, first served. The Ed Sullivan Theater, based in New York City, seats 400 people, unlike the Colbert Report theatre that held 150. So your chances are higher, but you have to be fast. You have to want those tickets.
Yes! You finally got tickets to a live taping. Now, you have to fly to NYC and book yourself a little vacation. Once you arrive, maybe you plan it so you have a day or two before to explore the hidden gems around NYC.
Today is the day. You make your way to Broadway Street between 53rd and 54th streets where you spot the Ed Sullivan Theater. You are told by show staff to get there early if you want good seats. (Truthfully, every seat provides a solid view of Colbert.) The ticket says to get to the theater by 3, but if you want to almost touch Colbert and be the closest to the stage, you need to be there A LOT sooner. So you arrive at 2 p.m. You jump in line only to find that you will definitely be waiting a good 3/4 hours before the show begins. You mingle with other Colbert fans, discuss politics and share some laughs. Finally, staff goes through the rules, letting you know what you can and cannot do (no taking pictures inside the studio, unfortunately!) Finally, the line starts moving and you're in, passing through security and making your way to the seats.
The studio is nothing short of impressive. Shades of blue lights are shining brightly in all directions. Colbert's desk and couch are on the left and the live band and piano are on the right. Camera operators and producers can be seen all over the studio talking with Colbert and going over show plans.
A comedian trying to make it big into show business takes the stand. He makes some jokes, getting the crowd warmed up.
When the show begins, the large, overwhelming "The Late Show" banner lights flash in different colors, the live band gets moving on their killer beats, and Colbert makes his way to the stage. Yes, it's all happening before your eyes. The audience claps and claps, shouting 'Stephen' 'Stephen' over and over again. Colbert's crewman might ask audience members to scream louder!
He starts with a Q&A from the audience. Attendees can ask him just about anything they want, as long as it's not creepy, too personal or just flat out inappropriate.
Afterward, Colbert kicks it all off with his monologue. He might flub up a time or two, but that's what enhances the experience. Even Colbert makes mistakes! You get to watch as the cameramen give him the countdown to say the lines again. He reads a prompter, talking about the latest news and zooming in on hilarious tweets and statements made by politicians and celebrities.
He interviews several guests on his show. They can range from authors, singers, actors and politicians. He delves into their personal lives as well as asks questions about their careers, what makes them tick and how they'd respond to certain events or happenings. Guest interviews are followed by a performance by a popular bands or up and coming artists. Musical performances usually take place during commercial breaks to keep the crowd pumped and energized.
Some things that are said on the show do not make it into the actual show. Perhaps, one of Colbert's lines had an extended pause or the crew realized that what he said was too vulgar or just too much for tv. Maybe one of his guests wasn't as interesting as he had hoped.
The whole show runs for an hour, hour and a half. The audience has fun, the show gets positive reviews and it's considered a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Would you attend a live taping?
Sarah Francis is a half-Palestinian journalism junkie, a proud Charlotte, NC native with an oversized sweet tooth, and an active world traveler. Ask her where she's headed next. (@Sarah_Francis25)