Attending show tapings: Not just for tourists!

27 Jan

One of the best reasons to take a half-day? A show taping! This is something locals don’t often do very often — either because they happen in late morning/mid-day, or because they think it’s cheesy.

Alas, tapings are great fun — not to mention your out-of-town guests get an experience they can’t come close to replicating in their hometown. It’s FREE, and you get a guaranteed celebrity sighting, maybe even some swag!

I won’t give everything away in the paragraphs to come. But here are some commonalities:

• Waiting in line and being prodded by overbearing show staff to stay in line, have your tickets ready and blah blah blah. They’ll send you a confirmation e-mail a while in advance, so don’t forget to print and bring it.
• The warm-up guy. Everyone’s got a struggling stand-up comic who teaches you how loud to clap, when to emote, and not to yawn or pick your nose on camera. They wrap up by saying, “Are you ready to meet [show host name here]?” Then everyone’s all WOOOOOO!
• The host takes questions at the end of the show (if there’s time), so think of something good if you want!
• Taping times and dress codes vary, and that info is easily found starting with the below links.
• As part of the crowd, they have you shoot “reaction” shots. They might keep you for a few extra ooohs and aaahs and assorted decibel levels of clapping after the show, but only for 10-ish minutes.

The Martha Stewart Show

They let you take photos after the taping is done, which is rare and which you’ll want to do, because the studio is COOL. What’s real? What’s fake? You don’t know. It’s Martha. Also? The giveaways. You will get swag. But bear in mind that if your apartment is small and you win something large, have it shipped to your parents’ house. Hindsight is 20/20; I have a printer taking up half my room right now.

Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse was a guest for our taping, and that day he announced he’s getting his own show. Thereafter, we had to sit there while he shot promos, all of which included his catchphrase, which apparently is “BAM!!!”

Update: The Martha Show is no longer airing. HERE is a current list of shows on TV and how to get tickets. 

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (with Trevor Noah as of September 2015)

This is probably the hardest show to get into outside of SNL, even now that Stewart is gone—but when I went, he was still hosting. The kids loved Stewart, so this audience is heavy on college duuuuudes. I waited six months for the tickets and two hours in line. Worth it? Yes! Downside: The taping’s over really fast (like 45 minutes), because Stewart was a pro and doesn’t flub his lines. But he took questions after and was super nice.

They don’t use a laugh track or fancy studio acoustics for this show, so while they don’t do cutaways for crowd reaction, they will instruct you to clap LOUD, laugh LOUD, and will play all of their video clips LOUD. Come ready to over-emote!

The show runs the night of the taping.

The Dr. Oz Show

The morning of my taping, a crew of people wearing “Dr. Oz” sandwich boards were walking around the basement of 30 Rock — it has snowed and the crew had seats to fill, and they managed to do it despite the weather! Our show included a couple who achieved dramatic weight loss.

Apparently we as a group did not oooh and aaaah enough when Formerly Fat Couple came out — so they had us redo it at the end of the show so they could dub it over. We then had to look into the camera and act like something interesting happened. Apparently we didn’t find it intriguing enough the first go-round, whatever ‘it’ was.

After the show tapes, it could be several weeks before it airs, so watch for it!

Again, HERE is a current list of shows on TV and how to get tickets. 


3 Responses to “Attending show tapings: Not just for tourists!”

  1. Adrianne 01/27 at 7:52 pm #

    thank you! I’ve been wanting to go see Stewart since I moved here and wasnt sure how. Already reserved my tixs

  2. max riccio 01/27 at 9:19 pm #

    im seeing stewart tomorrow and booked the tix in like november


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