How to Get Tickets to SNL, Jimmy Fallon, and Other NYC TV Shows
Updated February 9, 2023
If you're set on attending the taping of your favorite TV show during your New York City vacation, you’ll likely be spending some time at 1iota.com, the website of the company that manages ticketing for most major shows. The good news: Being part of a studio audience is free. When you submit your online request, though, don't be surprised if you only find that you've scored seats shortly before the show date.
If you come to town without anything booked, all is not lost. Many studios give out a limited number of standby tickets on the day of taping. If you can just get up a little early and don't mind standing in line for a couple hours (or more), you have a chance of snagging a seat.
And if that doesn't work out, remember: You can always stake out a spot in Rockefeller Plaza in front of the Today show studios.
Anybody can be on TV with Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, and the rest of the gang. All you have to do is show up outside Today's glass-walled studio at Rockefeller Center (35 W. 48th St., between 5th and 6th avenues) with your HI, MOM! sign. Show up weekday mornings around 6am. Who knows? If it's a nice day, you may even get to chat with the hosts in a segment. You can register ahead of your visit at the show's website, but keep in mind that doesn't guarantee you'll get in. "The Today Plaza is first-come, first-served until it reaches capacity," acording to the site.
ABC's hugely popular gabfest shoots live Monday through Friday at 11am. Ticket holders must arrive no later than 10:15am. Requests for seats can be submitted online. If the dates you want aren't available, you can try getting in line at the studio (57 W. 66th St.) for standby tickets the day of the show. You must be age 16 or older to attend.
Another long-running fave, Live with Kelly and Ryan, is based just around the corner at 7 Lincoln Square, but that one hasn't had a live studio audience since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Pictured above: The View cohost Joy Behar in 2017
Drew Barrymore's relentlessly positive mix of lifestyle segments, human interest stories, and celebrity interviews is recorded two times a day from Tuesday through Thursday at the CBS Broadcast Center (530 W. 57th St.), also home to 60 Minutes and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (you can reserve seats for the latter, by the way, at LastWeekTickets.com).
Drew's first taping of the day is at 10am; there's another at 2pm. Audience members must be 18 or older. You can reserve seats online.
Tapings of Comedy Central's satirical news program take place Monday through Thursday at 733 11th Ave. (on the corner of 52nd St.). Arrive by 4:30pm if you have a ticket. You must be 18 or older to attend. Use the online ticket booking system to reserve a seat, but note that tickets are issued in excess of capacity and audience members are processed on a first-come, first-served basis—so don't show up late. Expect the taping to last from 90 to 120 minutes.
Tickets for Stephen Colbert's late-night talk show are typically gobbled up at least a month in advance—and there's no longer a standby option—so check availability at Colbert.1iota.com well ahead of your trip to Manhattan. Tapings occur at the Ed Sullivan Theater (1697 Broadway) Monday through Thursday at 4:30pm. Show up by 3pm, when check-in opens, to improve your chances of getting in, as each show is overbooked. Tapings usually last from 75 minutes to 2 hours. You must be 16 or older to attend.
Seats for an SNL broadcast on Saturday at 11:30pm or full dress rehearsal at 8pm are the most difficult to snag of any TV show based in New York.
Your first chance is each season's ticket lottery held in August. To participate, send an email (only one per person and only during the monthlong lottery window) to email@example.com. Include your full name and a reason why you want to be in the audience. If chosen, you'll receive a "set number of tickets for a random show date and time." You will only be notified if you are selected for the audience.
To book a standby reservation, go to NBC's online reservation portal at 10am on the Thursday before a show and request up to four seats for either the dress rehearsal or live broadcast on Saturday night. Then wait to receive confirmation in the form of a reservation number sent to your email (reservation numbers are issued in the order requests are received). If you get a reservation number, you and all members of your party (all attendees must be 16 or older) must then check in between 6pm and 7pm on the Friday before the show day at the in-person standby line located at the 49th Street NBC Studios marquee of 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
If you didn't get a standby reservation number, you can wait at the end of the line anyway for a standby card—those are issued at 12:01am on Saturday, about 23 hours and 30 minutes before the live show starts. And the standby card still doesn't guarantee admission. Seems like a lot of work for, what, maybe three laughs total during the entire broadcast?
For more details, see SNL's ticket info web page.
To watch Jimmy Fallon play parlor games and fawn over celebrities in person, request tickets online via 1iota. If the show can accommodate you, you'll receive an email invitation with all the necessary details. Tapings, which last about 90 minutes, take place at 30 Rockefeller Plaza (check in using the 50 W. 50th St. entrance) every weekday at 5pm; arrive by 3:45pm. You must be 16 or older to attend.
Standby cards are distributed 10am to 3pm on the day of the show at the Shop at NBC Studios inside 30 Rock. See NBC's ticketing web page for more info.