How to Get Tix to NBC Shows
The home of Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers, Rockefeller Center is where NBC comedy shines. But how do you land a coveted spot in the studio audience to watch the shows live? Each one has its own ticketing system (and in-the-know tricks), so follow this guide for your best shot at landing a seat. (Note that for all of these shows, audience members must be at least 16 years old and present a valid photo ID.)
Saturday Night Live
Getting into SNL is no mean feat—even for New Yorkers who pride themselves on having the inside track to everything. The first and simplest strategy is to enter the August lottery for tickets. Starting August 1, send an email to [email protected], including your home address and phone number (but no specific date requests), and—in a new twist—say why you'd like to be part of the studio audience. Only one email per household is eligible; if yours is chosen, you'll receive two tickets for a random date.
If you're successful, consider yourself one of the lucky few. If not, there's still another way. Standby tickets for both the 8pm dress rehearsal and the 11:30pm live taping are distributed at 7am the day of the show, on the 48th Street side of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. (Many people start lining up the night before to get that far—and you're not permitted to leave your spot.)
- These non-transferable tickets are limited to one per person, and you can choose whether you'd like to attend the rehearsal or live taping.
- Assuming you manage to secure a standby ticket, that still doesn't guarantee admission, so you'll have to cross your fingers when you come back to see the show (by either 7:15pm or 10:45pm).
- If the stars align, you'll be sitting pretty in Studio 8H when the immortal words ring out, "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!"
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Your chances are a little better with The Tonight Show, but you'll still have to stay on your toes. First, sign up at 1iota in advance. Then wait for the monthly release of tickets, which generally takes place the first week of every month for shows taping the following month, and is announced on the Twitter account @FallonTix. Once tickets are released, race here to the show calendar, which allows you to apply for a ticket and get on the waiting list. If the ticketing department can fulfill your request, you'll be notified two weeks prior to the show.
If this doesn't work out, you still have a few more options. One is to try for standby tickets on the day of the show by lining up (and staying put) before 9am on the 49th Street side of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Only one ticket is granted per person, so you'll need to return to the back of the line if you'd like to get more. Just be sure to call the ticketing office beforehand at (212) 664-3056 to confirm the show is taping that day; most tapings take place at 5pm, with check-in at 3:15–3:45pm.
Another alternative is nabbing tickets to the monologue rehearsal, in which you get to see Jimmy polish his jokes (and sometimes sketches) for the night's show. Watch @FallonTix for the ticket release and go here to get on the waiting list.
There are also a couple of playful weekly giveaways. One is "Tickets at 12" Thursdays (taking place a little before noon each week), in which the show's Twitter account, @FallonTonight, shares the location of a Tonight Show intern in New York City. The first person who finds the intern wins a pair of tickets. Then there's #FallonTicketFriday, when a trivia question is tweeted; the first Twitter user to correctly answer the question wins a pair of tickets for the following week.
Late Night with Seth Meyers
The Late Night system begins the same way as The Tonight Show, in which you sign up on 1iota, then apply for a spot once the blocks of tickets are released. Announcements are made on @LateNightSeth. If the show can fulfill your ticket request, you'll be contacted.
Standby tickets are also distributed on the day of the show's taping—which is generally Monday–Thursday, though be sure to call (212) 664-3056 to confirm.
Line up before 9am at the NBC marquee on 49th Street; one standby ticket is available per person, but doesn't guarantee admission. Any tickets not distributed by 9am will be available at The Shop at NBC Studios (through the Sixth Avenue entrance at 30 Rock). Most tapings take place at 6:30pm, with check-in at 4:45–5:30pm.
Monologue rehearsal tickets are another way to go. They're handed out at 11:30am at The Shop at NBC Studios any day that a new show is taping, and are more than worth a lunchtime detour.