By Francheska Kola
On Wednesday, November 29, 2017 I was blessed with the opportunity to go attend a Jimmy Fallon live taping for the episode airing the evening of Wednesday, November 29, 2017. I’ve been a lifelong fan of Jimmy Fallon and the Tonight Show and have been trying to get tickets for about two years with no luck. This past year I met my friend Lucie, who is a French exchange student from the South of France, who came to my college to study English literature. We met through mutual friends and the day we met was actually during a city trip that we took with our mutual friends who were also international students. During that day in the city we bonded over various activities that we would like to do in the city that we haven’t done yet and one of those activities was going to attend a live taping of the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon! I shared about my many attempts to get tickets to a monologue rehearsal or show taping with no luck then this past month Lucie tried getting tickets for the first time and managed to score us 4 weekday show taping tickets!!!! I’m not really sure how this happened considering I’ve tried multiple times but when she told me she called me on the phone and slowly lead into the fact that she finally scored us tickets and I just couldn’t contain myself, I was jumping out of my seat, so excited and screaming because Jimmy Fallon has been an idol of mine for the longest time and going to his show has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember and if many of you are viewers of the show you definitely know why.
Sadly we had Tuesday tickets for the week prior and the Saturday before was the day of the passing of Jimmy’s mother and understandably the taping was canceled so our dreams were crushed and we thought that we would have to try again to get tickets but little did we know, our names were put right back on the list for November and we still had the opportunity to get tickets for later that month and a few days later lucie got the email that we had four reserved tickets for Wednesday, November 29, 2017! Later that day she called me and told me the information and just like the first time I got equally as excited and felt relieved that I yet again had the opportunity to go see Jimmy Fallon in the flesh.
The day of the taping my friends Lucie, Guylaine, and Jan took an uber to the train station and took the train to good ol’ Grand Central Station. From there we walked a few blocks to Rockefeller Center, mind you this was the same day as the Rockefeller Tree Lighting so the city, especially the area we were in, was packed. So we managed to find the correct entrance to NBC studios amid all the chaos from streets being closed down and walked into the main lobby. We asked a kind security guard for directions to the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon entrance and he led us to a grand flight of stairs where we were greeted by a kind woman holding an iPad. She then proceeded to ask us if we were here for the monologue rehearsal or for the show taping and we showed her our tickets and said show taping!! She then said we had to stay out of the general area because it was a safety hazard to have everyone line up there seeing that we were about 10 minutes early. Eager to get good seats we tries to stay not too close but not too far from the area and were told about three times to go somewhere else until it was time. Then, the third time someone said to go to the other hallway because it wasnt time yet the woman with the iPad announced that it was just about time to line up and if everyone could get in a single file line along the wall. We ran to the line and were permitted to walk up the glorious red, velvet lined staircase into a circular hallway that had a big Tonight Show sign hanging from one of the walls. This moment was the first moment since we got the tickets that the actual reality of me seeing Jimmy Fallon in person was legitimate. We waited and waited for the workers to check and verify all of the tickets and IDs of the audience members and when it was our turn we were finally able to get our tickets! After they handed us our tickets they said no photos beyond this point and while we went into the next waiting room we were allowed to use our phones but once entering the studio all cell phones must be turned off completely. What happened after that must remain a secret because if any of you decide to experience the magic of a live taping of a show that you love i would not want to spoil the magic. But I will leave you with this one specific highlight/the most important highlight… When it game time for the man, the myth, the legend to walk through the parted blue curtain and approach the camera and audience literal tears came to my eyes. I love Jimmy Fallon and i will continue to love and support him until the end of time, i strongly encourage anyone who is a fan of any show that offers tickets to live tapings and events to try to obtain them! Most are free so there’s really nothing to lose here, i wish you the best of luck during the process of trying to sign up for them and urge you to share your live taping stories as well!