The Ed Sullivan Theater was swarming with fans excited to be part of the hoopla for the first taping of "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" early Tuesday evening.

The festivities before the taping included free bottles of Stumptown Coffee's limited-edition Col'Brew. Gold and brown bottles boasting Colbert's exuberant smile were passed out in front of the theater as a special promotion for premiere night.

"Late Show with David Letterman" favorite Rupert Gee of the next-door Hello Deli said the buzz seemed familiar.

"It reminds me of when Dave first started the show 22 years ago. I hope he throws some curves. That's what makes the 'Late Show' brand, so to speak."

Longtime fan Nona Tallada came out for the premiere after attending the final "Letterman" taping last May.

"Stephen is the only person who could have taken over for him that I would not be upset about," she said.

Tallada attended a test show last week, and said it far exceeded her expectations.

When asked the difference between the "Late Show" Colbert and his character from "The Colbert Report," Tallada described the new show as, "It's basically him not in character. He's very similar, just not an idiot. It's Stephen Colbert, [but] instead of being stupid and saying ridiculous things, [he's] saying smart things.  He was so quick, it reminded me of Dave in the early days."

 Emil Polny, a longtime fan from Denmark who entered the ticket lottery with his brother Michael, was in town for a wedding and decided to get seats for the historic night.

"I started watching him on 'The Daily Show.' When he got his 'Report,' I watched that a lot. I really think it's a brilliant show. I also watched a bit of Letterman's old 'Late Show,' so I'm really looking forward to a fusion of those two things," Emil Polny said.