As a Saturday Night Live superfan, I have always wanted to see a live performance of the show. Though I wouldn’t be able to witness my all-time favorite recurring skit, Celebrity Jeopardy!, I knew that any SNL taping would not, and could not, disappoint. I googled “how to get tickets to SNL”, and sure enough, the first result was a link to a page on NBC’s website that detailed the process (Isn’t Google really something?). I followed the directions and entered my name into the random ticket lottery via email.
Months had passed, and I had basically given up all hope on getting tickets. My chances were one in a million (literally). To my surprise, I received an email in February with a subject line of one simple word: “RESERVATION”. It was for two tickets to SNL on April 14, 2012. My mom and I were headed to 30 Rockefeller Plaza to see Josh Brolin and Gotye take the stage.
We got unbelievably lucky, as we were able to see all five sets from our seats. The make-up and costume changes are extremely quick, and the cast members are always running from one set to the next. The episode we attended aired the first ever “Californians” skit, and it was absolutely hilarious to see Bill Hader crack up whenever the camera was not on him.
After seeing Studio 6H and the set of SNL, I knew I wanted to go back to 30 Rock for more. The following summer, I read on the same page on NBC’s website about how to get tickets to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. This time around, I had to call a telephone number, (212)-664-3056.
However, the process is not as easy as it sounds. NBC only books tickets about once a month without notifying the public of the date tickets become available. I had called for about two weeks straight, only to hear the same recording, “All dates up to and including X date are booked full. Tickets for all dates after that have not yet been released.”
One morning, though, the line was busy – that is the magic tone. I kept redialing and eventually was using both my home and cell phone to try and maximize my chances of reaching a ticket representative. On my 114th attempt (it takes commitment people), I was able to connect and booked four tickets (max. party) for the show on July 11, 2013.
Though the show is aired at 12:35 a.m., the taping occurs earlier in the afternoon with an arrival time of 4:15 p.m. After waiting in lines on top of lines on top of lines, we finally were randomly seated in THE FRONT ROW of the studio with a great view of the guest, Salma Hayek and Charlie Day. Oh and not to mention, Jimmy Fallon!
I was amazed again by the quickness of the crew, as they effortlessly transitioned the cameras and cue cards from segment to segment. In fact, Jimmy got his hair and make-up redone in between each segment! Before we knew it, the taping had flown by, and Jimmy was walking through the audience shaking people’s hands. When he arrived at our section, I decided to go for the hug. After all, when’s the next time I’ll get that kind of opportunity?
Now that Jimmy Fallon has moved on to The Tonight Show, calling (212)-664-3056 will put you through for tickets to Late Night with Seth Meyers. This past spring, after just 26 attempts, I was able to score tickets for May 1, 2014. My mom and I went to celebrate her birthday and see guests, Rose Byrne and Kiefer Sunderland. She even made it on the screen for a solid minute!
When it comes to booking tickets for late night TV, there are three things you should remember:
From the start of the process to the finish, there is tons of waiting involved, but in the end, it is totally, most definitely, certainly, absolutely worth it.