Expat - New York

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert & Stevie Wonder

This is a story about really, really good luck.

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert studio is just around the corner from our apartment. Husband and I walk past huge lines of people waiting outside the venue.

Last year, I thought that I should finally start applying for all the live show filmings around New York.

I found the site for the free tickets for The Late Show (https://colbert.1iota.com/show/536/The-Late-Show-with-Stephen-Colbert?#Tickets)   and applied for two free tickets.

Luck #1: 

It took about a month until I received an email saying I had two tickets to see The Late Show!

The filming took place on a work day, and during work time. I can’t remember the actual time but it was approx 4 or 5pm. The actual ticket also said to arrive “x” amount of time or else there was a chance we wouldn’t get seated.

Since Husband and I had work that day, we arrived by the latest time dictated on the actual ticket. We waited in line for about 45 minutes and I remember it being a super windy day.

The line finally started moving and it was only until we got close to the front when we heard The Late Show people saying that they could only fit in another three people.

We were fifth and sixth in line.

OMG, I was so bummed. I heard that Tom Hanks was going to be one of the guests and I love him.

Tom Hanks… who we didn’t see 😦

The Late Show people closed the doors and then said to us (the remaining people in line) that we would be sent an email providing us with Priority tickets next time (we were on General tickets this time) which would guarantee us entry.

Eventually I received the “Sorry we were full at The Late Show” email and I re-selected another date. This time I selected a night time filming so Husband and I didn’t have to waste any more work hours.

Luck #2:

We received tickets to the Monday, 7 November, 2016 10:30pm filming.

The Priority tickets worked a treat. We were sent into a different line and were probably about 40th in line. We felt great knowing we would definitely be seated.

Once we were through the doors we were checked by security people.

Luck #3:

The ground floor of the studio was already filled by the time we were in and I started feeling bummed because we would have to be up in the second level, further away from the stage. Boo – or was it? Instead we were seated second row from the front on the second level, right above a piano.

Luck # 4:

Stephen Colbert came out and announced who his guests were and because I didn’t do any research beforehand, I totally lost my shi*t.

He announced that STEVIE WONDER would be on the show (plus other people which I suddenly cared less about because all I processing was “STEVIE WONDER”).

I felt faint. I could not believe I would be seeing a living LEGEND in real life, in a somewhat intimate setting! I started to tear up – ever watched the footage of fans of The Beatles from back in the day? I was feeling introvertedly hysterical like that. 

The rest of the show was a bit of a blur. A lot of it was political because the next day the 2016 Presidential Election was being held.

Before the show started, we were strictly instructed not to take any photos and to switch off our phones. Husband and I did so.

Then Stevie Wonder came out.

Holy crap. I lost it again.

Then he started singing.

And continued to sing. I’m not sure if Colbert or anyone couldn’t say “please stop now” because Stevie was blind, or because he was Stevie Wonder! I didn’t care, I preferred to have him sing since I never watched The Late Show anyway (I know, I know). 

Then came back again at the end of the show to play the piano and sing.

Our seat was directly above the piano, so we had an amazing view.

Luck #5:

Then at the end of the show when filming had stopped but Stevie was still on the stage, I said to Husband I wanted to take a photo but in order to do that, I would have to switch my phone back on and it would take time. I decided to do it anyway because it was at the end of the filming so if security took my phone, I wouldn’t have missed much.

That is why we only got to snap a photo each. Husband and I are fairly rule abiding citizens so we felt super guilty after doing something naughty.

Was it worth it?


Same photo as above but zoomed in

I woke up the next morning thinking that if we had sat on the ground floor of the studio our view would have been obstructed by the filming equipment, and if I didn’t wake up from that night I would’ve died happy. 

Should you try and get tickets to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert?

Absolutely. Here’s the link to the site again: https://colbert.1iota.com/show/536/The-Late-Show-with-Stephen-Colbert?#Tickets

(Note: the next day Trump won the election and part of me kinda wished I’d died on a high note and never had to witness his win. I didn’t post for a while late last year as I was getting over the shock and disappointment.)

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