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Want to Attend TV Show Tapings in NYC?

Are you travelling to NYC and want to see how your favourite shows? It’s all about TV Show Tapings in NYC. Here’s my experience of how to be in public at three different night shows and a live morning one.

If you want some tips make sure you read until the end or skip ahead.

Late Night with Seth Meyers

I have written about my full experience on my previous blog but in Romanian. This was the first night show I attended so I didn’t know exactly what to expect. And it all started before the show. We were in a waiting room where, after two contests, the winners got VIP tickets. So they got to meet the host and the guests. That is also when we found out who are the guests. I think this was actually the only show who let us know about it officially before the taping. We took the elevator, escorted in line. We went to the floor where so many famous people walked since the studio is just across from Saturday Night Live.

I didn’t know there will be a stand-up comedian guy opening for him. It’s a short show to warm up the audience, so that was a nice touch. But I found out later that this segment is actually part of the show for the audience. I enjoyed how Seth Meyers said hello to us before starting. And he also made time for a series of q&a during the segment. I can say his answers made him look like a kind, patient and lovely person. Especially since I am sure he answered the same SNL questions hundreds of times.

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

They sell out one month or even more in advance, so you really have to plan this one out. Check out the tickets as soon as possible, believe me, you won’t regret this. It’s not the best one out there for nothing. Their efficiency impressed me. They actually make an amazing show for the public as well. The band Stay Human with Jon Batiste make you move no matter where you are seated. Or even if you don’t like dancing, like I don’t. They are playing full songs between takes and they even move all around the studio. The energy is crazy!

Seeing Bill Clinton Live

I didn’t know the name of the guest. So before starting the show, Colbert asked us if we have any questions for the guest. And someone on the balcony asked if he would like a do-over to a certain question. And guess what? Bill Clinton has shown up and that was Stephen’s first question, you’ll need to watch the video to understand better. But I was mind-blown.

They actually had a non-interrupted interview. This is the inside scoop. In the end, they pulled a very classic trick. Colbert recorded separately just a few words, as a segue between takes. Unfortunately, no pictures allowed, so I have none. That’s probably one downside of seeing TV show tapings in NYC live.

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

Man, he is one cute dimple owner guy, and nothing much more. I really hoped there will be a segment with one of the correspondents but didn’t happen. As I’ve seen, later on, they were all invited to a panel at an event. Anyway, the same thing happened. A guy warmed up the room with a short stand-up comedy gig and then Trevor came. He started directly. Everything finished in probably 30 minutes. He had his interviews and talked a bit between takes. He answered just one question, though. Then at the end, he said a short “live your life because we don’t know what tomorrow brings” and left. This was happening during the North Korea scare, but it felt kinda rushed over and very pessimistic. And somehow I felt him being arrogant.

Good Morning America – live!

Boy, that was a challenge! First and foremost I had to wake up at 4:30 am. It was a very gloomy, rainy day. I had a priority ticket and my check-in time was at 6 am. So I was 100% sure I would make it, but I arrived way earlier anyway. It was so rainy and cold that I didn’t enjoy the waiting part at all, though.

Then we were finally introduced to the rules. At least four times while we were advancing in the building, closer and closer to the studio. It is a live show! So I was so intrigued when the show actually started but we were not even all arranged in the studio. Because they will tell you exactly at what table to sit. And then there is the showrunner. He was working on pumping up the energy and making us laugh and smile and have all the proper reactions. They are shooting the show in different studios, depending on the subject discussed. In between segments, the guy in charge of us would crack up some jokes. But sometimes they will just land flat. Rather awkward.

So, I saw a lot of women going crazy for Michael, one of the hosts. But I was shocked by another surprise. One of the guests on the show was Julianna Margulies. She was the main character in The Good Wife, a show I’ve watched and loved like crazy. We were allowed to take pictures in between segments. I kinda got her while leaving the studio. Talking about pics, Michael was one incredible guy! He took the time, at the end of the show, to take a picture with each one of us. That was very considerate, also I really felt like a small bug close to him. I never knew how huge American football players can be. Of course, I googled the hell out of him after the show.

In my previous years, I worked as a TV producer, and this was an amazing experience for me. I just managed to see a tiny bit of the whole production. I can easily see what it means for a team to work together. For people to know exactly what their job is, and to not do one hundred things at the same time. Also, the patience all of them had while handling us! Incredible. Explaining and repeating the rules as many times as possible, was another important part of the show. All of these made me feel extremely lucky for taking part in all these TV show tapings in NYC. Even just from the public.

Tips & Tricks

  • Timing. You will need to make an 1iota account since you can find most of the tv show tapings in NYC there. But check the dates as soon as you know when you’re in NYC. Some of them are sold out in less than one hour after being made available. For example, the one for John Oliver or Saturday Night Live. And remember to check your email to confirm your presence.
  • Free of charge. I heard there are some scammers out there who would sell you their tickets. Do not fall for that, please!
  • Luggage. Don’t bring your backpack with you. Some of them have a wardrobe, and some of them won’t accept you to get in.
  • Clothing. No matter the weather outside, bring an extra layer (sweater or something warm). The studio is kept very cold, and this is coming from someone who loves cold weather. Also, they are asking for people to have a smart casual outfits.
  • Better early. Some tickets won’t guarantee your access! so then you will have to be as early as possible to make sure you will get in. Read your ticket carefully because some shows won’t accept you align before a certain time (like Seth Meyer’s show).
  • Patience. It will take at least two hours of waiting in line and slowly moving forward. And then waiting some more and so on. So be prepared to stand a lot.
  • ID. Please remember to bring your identification with you because they will check it more than once.
  • Attitude. They will want you to be energetic and filled with positive energy. The public is in charge of the show’s atmosphere.
  • Obey the rules. Do not take pictures when you are not allowed. They will escort you out, I have seen that happen once. It makes sense since they are recording a show that will be broadcast hours later.

What are your favourite TV show tapings in NYC? Would you go to any other? Let me know down below.

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