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How to Get Tickets to Live Tapings of NBC Shows at Rockefeller Center

By Karen Hudes & Paulina CajigalMar 19 2024
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Rockefeller Center is where NBC comedy shines. The television giant has been a 30 Rockefeller Plaza mainstay since the early 1930s, and it’s helped usher in several eras in comedy. Some of NBC’s most notable shows — Saturday Night Live, The Kelly Clarkson Show, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and Late Night with Seth Meyers — are filmed right on campus (and the latter two just celebrated 10 years on air). But how do you land a coveted spot in the studio audience to watch the shows live? Each show has its own ticketing system and in-the-know tricks, so we put together this guide to give you your best shot at securing a seat.

Note: For all shows at NBC Studios, audience members must present a valid photo ID. The minimum age requirement for live tapings varies: guests must be at least 18 years old for The Kelly Clarkson Show and 16 years old for Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show, and Late Night, whether or not a parent or guardian is present. Tickets are complimentary and may not be sold or auctioned; NBCUniversal Media LLC reserves the right to void any ticket suspected of being bought or sold.

Saturday Night Live

Getting into Saturday Night Live is no easy feat, but the first and most straightforward strategy is to register for the ticket lottery. The 2024-2025 season lottery opens at 12am Eastern Time on August 1, 2024 and closes on August 31, 2024. To enter, send an email (one per person) to [email protected] with your first and last name and an explanation as to why you want to be a part of the show's studio audience. If selected, you’ll receive a set number of tickets for a random date and time. Emails submitted after the ticket lottery window will not be considered, and entering the lottery does not guarantee tickets.

If you're successful, consider yourself one of the lucky few. If not, standby cards offer a second chance, but timing is everything. Fans can book a standby reservation online, which opens at 10am on the Thursday before a show, and request up to four tickets for either the 8pm dress rehearsal or 11:30pm live taping. After registering, you’ll receive a confirmation email with your reservation number. Reservation numbers are issued in the order they’re received until audience capacity is reached and may take a few hours to land in your inbox. SNL allows only one submission per show and if you send more than one request, only your most recent submission will be considered, determining your place in the queue.

The next step requires a little footwork — and patience. With your reservation number, you’ll have to check into the standby line under the NBC Studios marquee on 49th Street between 6pm and 7pm on the Friday before a show day. You’ll queue up with a group of other audience hopefuls according to your reservation numbers, but be prepared to wait Though they do not ensure admission, standby cards are limited to one per person and will be distributed at 12:01am on Saturday, the morning of a show day.

Everyone in your party must be present with valid photo IDs; any member who isn’t will forfeit their place in line. To keep the process fair, all members are required to stay in the standby line after check-in but are free to take occasional breaks. Line sitters are prohibited, and NBC staff has the authority to rescind or withhold cards from individuals who don’t follow the proper procedures.

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

You'll still have to stay on your toes with The Tonight Show. First, create an account on 1iota to stay up-to-date on shows and tickets; we also recommend following the official @FallonTix Twitter account for ticket release updates. You can then apply for free tickets to a live taping by going to tonightshowtix.com, where all available dates are listed on a calendar. After applying, you’ll be automatically placed on a waitlist and if selected for the broadcast, you will be contacted through 1iota.

If this doesn't work out, there’s also a standby option. Restricted to one per person, standby cards are available in The Shop at NBC Studios, located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza via the 6th Avenue entrance between 49th and 50th Streets. They’re distributed on a first-come, first-served basis between 8am and 3pm on the day of a show. Just like Saturday Night Live, standby cards do not guarantee admittance.

Late Night with Seth Meyers

If you’ve got The Tonight Show ticketing process down, then you’re already ahead of the game for Late Night. Head to the official Late Night 1iota website, use your login to stay apprised of show dates, and apply for tickets as they become available. After submitting a request, you’ll be put on the waitlist. If the show can fulfill your ticket request, you'll be contacted through 1iota.

Similar to the other shows, there’s also a standby option. Issued on a first-come, first-served basis, standby cards are available every day from 8am to 1:30pm in The Shop at NBC Studios. They’re limited to one per person and do not guarantee entry.

The Kelly Clarkson Show

It’s natural to think snagging tickets to a daytime program is easier than an evening one, but The Kelly Clarkson Show has been a runaway hit since debuting in 2019 — and, just like its late-night counterparts, tickets go fast.

The show has a dedicated ticket website (kellyclarksonshowtickets.com), where you can use your 1iota login to reserve free tickets. Once registered, you’ll be automatically added to the waitlist; you’ll then be notified if selected for the broadcast. Show dates and ticket requests are released as they become available, so keep your eyes on 1iota to stay informed. You can also grab standby cards in The Shop at NBC Studios starting at 8am the day of a live taping.

It’s important to note that the show’s minimum age requirement differs from the others on NBC’s roster. Audience members must be at least 18 years old at the time of taping, with or without a parent or guardian.

The Shop at NBC Studios

Trying to secure standby cards at The Shop at NBC Studios? It’s the perfect time to grab some merch, too. Located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the Shop is home to all things NBC, so there’s something for every TV fan. You can shop collections from the shows listed above and other network classics., like Friends, Seinfeld, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and more.

Outside of standby card distribution, The Shop at NBC Studios is open daily from 8am to 8pm.

For more information on attending the above shows and more, head to the NBC Studios ticketing page.

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