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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pace chapter.

Never in a million years would I ever imagine myself being excited that my free tour of NBC Studios was canceled. That was until my friends and I, after seeing Seth Meyers for the second time, got offered free tickets to tour NBC Studios, including their new upgrades in the NBC store at Rockefeller Center. Oct. 20, 2023 was supposed to be the date of our tour, but instead, I was going to see The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon twice in two days.

We arrived early due to our excitement and how blind we were about the process of the tour. Come to find out, the process was about as similar as any of the other shows we’ve attended at NBC Studios. We were promptly checked in, scanned, went through security screening, and were placed to wait in the Peacock Lounge on the second floor. Everything seemed normal as my friends and I sang along to the playlist playing over the speakers and took pictures at the photobooth in the back of the lounge. It wasn’t until I checked the clock and realized how soon we were starting, yet nothing was happening between any of the workers. Everyone was just kind of sitting and standing around, waiting for something, anything to happen. About five minutes after our tour was supposed to start, a manager of NBC Studios tours came in and announced that, “Due to unforeseeable circumstances, today’s tour just isn’t possible.” He said things about timing and scheduling and apologies that went through one ear and out the other for me. I only perked up and joined the conversation when he dropped a statement that surprised the entire room. “You guys were actually supposed to be in a sketch with Jimmy Fallon, as this is the first NBC tour back since Covid, and we were showing some new really cool parts of our studio we’ve added since then. As a sorry for the inconvenience, NBC Studios would like to give you all VIP tickets to Jimmy Fallon with a date and number of guests of your choice.

I was ecstatic, especially since Jimmy Fallon is one of my favorite television hosts, and one that I’ve watched for a very long time. Both of my friends that I came with along with myself signed up to receive an email for our tickets. We filled out the Google Forms that they provided us and put down that we’d each like to bring three guests. It wasn’t until about a week later that we received an email asking our top three available dates that we’d want to go to the show. My friends put down the same three dates in different orders. However, one of my friends and I received the same date, meaning we could both bring two guests to the same show. My other friend who came to the tour with us got a completely separate date and invited us as his guests. This meant I was going to be on The Tonight Show twice in one week. I couldn’t believe it. I had so many questions and worries, like who would be the guest for the days when I went? Would we be in another segment? Was the show actually funny in real life? How big is the studio?

All questions were answered on the first day I went with my friends to NBC Studios. We got there a little early, just to be on the safe side, checked in, and were placed to wait in the Peacock Lounge, just like before. Everyone else had gotten light blue tickets with either one letter, two letters, or a number on the back of it, but we, as VIP guests, got white tickets. We had no idea what being a “VIP guest” entailed, but we figured it would get us into Jimmy Fallon’s studio earlier, with better seats. I think in the back of our minds, we figured that the front row would be the best row. We were mistaken when we were not the first group to be led to the studio. We weren’t even the second or third group. It was between five and seven groups before we were called up and taken to our seats. Despite being shocked and confused while this was happening, when we were placed in the fifth row from the floor I was extremely grateful. A couple of rows back from the front were the best seats in the house, elevated and not blocked by the cameras and crew that were working on the floor. Being in the seats, especially ones that were as good as the ones we were in, we finally felt all the excitement that had been building up. We were now in full excitement and awe of the studio, the band, and everyone working to make everything go smoothly.

Seth Herzog, Jimmy Fallon’s comedian/sketch performer who helps warm and hype up the crowd before Jimmy comes out, was extremely entertaining. The first thing he did was introduce himself and give a brief rundown of what the show is like before he did the unexpected. While The Roots, the band for The Tonight Show, started playing their first song for the audience, Seth surprisingly jumped in and performed an entire rap. Everyone was engaged and clapping along as The Roots and Seth Herzog gave us the performance of a lifetime. This included crowd work, in which he specifically threw jokes about where people in the audience said they were from. My favorite part of Seth’s entire set this day was this one particular moment he had with someone in the crowd. A young man in the crowd happened to be one of Tarik, aka Black Thought’s students when he taught a rap/MC class at New York University. The man was asked to perform one of his raps, in which he did a great rendition of Busta Rhymes with The Roots, which was super fun to experience. He was extremely funny and interactive, all while simultaneously, preparing us for an amazing show with Jimmy Fallon.

Other than Jimmy Fallon and The Roots, another aspect of The Tonight Show everyone is usually excited for are the guests. At my first time at The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, on Nov. 2, 2023, Sheryl Crow, iconic country music artist, was the musical guest along with Cailee Spaeny, who stars as Priscilla Presley in the new movie, Priscilla directed by Sofia Coppola. I was excited to see Sheryl Crow, as my parents know and listen to her, which made me excited for them in a way. However, I was most excited to see Cailee Spaeny and hear her talk about the life of Priscilla and Elvis Presley, as I’m a huge fan of Elvis Presley and his entire life and career. I was bouncing in my seat as each guest was introduced and made their way to greet Fallon. 

Sheryl Crow’s interview was mostly surrounding her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the following day, and her new single from her newest album, Evolution, dropping in March 2024. She talked about her two sons, Wyatt and Levi, and how they practically grew up on a tour bus. She also talked about how to her kids, she isn’t some famous artist who has broken record after record, instead, she’s “just mom.”  In between Crow’s interview and performance of her new song, “Alarm Clock,” Fallon accidentally revealed that one of the surprises at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction would be Olivia Rodrigo, followed by Crow explaining how she and Rodrigo had met, and how talented she thinks she is. After her interview, she performed her lead single, “Alarm Clock” off her new album Evolution for the live audience. Although The Tonight Show is taped and run through as if it is live, it is not. The taping usually begins around four in the afternoon but doesn’t really go live until 12 in the morning. I found this interesting because Crow performed her song a total of three times. As a listener, I thought it sounded incredible each time, but she wanted it to sound perfect for the audience, as we were the first people to ever hear it. It was a really interesting and fun experience, as it was also my first time seeing a musical guest on a talk show. 

Lastly, Cailee Spaeny had her interview segment, in which she mostly talked about her incredible role as Priscilla Presley in the new and very popular tell-all movie about Priscilla’s life with Elvis Presley, Priscilla. All I had seen of Cailee Spaeny was her in the trailer for the film and her at the Cannes Film Festival with her co-star, Jacob Elordi, who plays Elvis, due to the SAG-AFTRA strike. Because it was her first time making a public appearance and walking a red carpet, let alone at a festival with that large of a capacity and reputation, she seemed shy and soft. She was with Elordi the entire time and was very quiet. The Tonight Show was also her first talk show, yet she was very bubbly, funny, and entertaining. She talked about taking risks as an actor following an agent who scouted her while she was singing in a band when she was a child. She also talked about working closely with Priscilla Presley and how important it was to get her story right. She shared a true story about Elvis Presley that she was told by Priscilla when she interviewed her in preparation for the role. Priscilla told Spaeny that the very first time she met Elvis, she was so nervous that she wouldn’t and couldn’t eat. When she finally told him this after meeting him, he went into the kitchen and made her a sandwich. It was a beautifully sweet story that Spaeny carried with her while filming. I thought that her interview was very informative and led to a lot more interest in the audience of the film, especially after Fallon played a clip from the movie for us. And now, having seen the movie, I can say that Spaeny has a long career ahead of her, starting with this film, Priscilla. 

As jam-packed and fun the Nov. 2 date of my experience at The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon was, the action didn’t slow down for my experience on Nov. 3. The guests for this taping were famous actress and business owner Michelle Pfeiffer and world-renowned chef Bobby Flay. As someone who is a huge movie fanatic and critic, I was so excited to see the actress behind characters and movies I love such as Catwoman and I Am Sam. As someone who doesn’t keep up with Michelle Pfeiffer’s life and career, I wasn’t sure what she would be promoting on the show. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find out she was here to display her business in a fragrance called Henry Rose, which is described as “100% ingredient transparency, genderless fine fragrances.” Her fragrances are sold in stores across the world such as Sephora, Nordstrom, and Credo Beauty. She and Fallon, having known each other for so long, naturally discussed and joked about her new fragrances, even making Fallon act out the title of an aquatic-based scent because she thought it was a good fit for him. Other than talking about her role as a businesswoman for Henry Rose, she talked about her long, happy, and healthy marriage, which they had just celebrated 30 years for. She gushed over their lives and children together, including their weekly date nights. I learned a lot about Pfeiffer that night; that she does more than just act, she’s been in a beautiful marriage for three decades, and how quirkily interesting she is a person. Her personality is strong and unique, something that made her time on the show very entertaining. 

Finally, there was the incredible chef and television host, Bobby Flay. My mother and I have always loved to cook and bake (more specifically, watch shows about cooking and baking). We’ve made recipes from many of Bobby Flay’s cookbooks, and watched plenty of his shows including Beat Bobby Flay, Iron Chef, and the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday cooking specials he does most years. I knew that my mom would be living vicariously through my experience in seeing him in the flesh, so that made the experience all the more exciting for me. Flay was there to promote his second restaurant in Las Vegas, called Amalfi, which is “elevated takes on rustic Italian fare served in a sophisticated venue with a fresh seafood display.” He and Fallon laughed so much during their interview about previous experiences and inside jokes together that even the audience was cracking up. Flay thanked Fallon for being such a kind and caring person to him when he was trying to start a talk show with a friend, telling the audience that Fallon was one of the first guests and that he, already in the talk show business, didn’t have to come on his show at all. Flay told us that Fallon did him a solid and proceeded to thank him for that. My favorite segment from this entire show was Flay, with the help of The Roots’ drummer Questlove and Fallon, making a signature dish from his new restaurant, which was a take on “pork chop and fries.” The food looked and smelled delicious and was a never-before-seen peek into a small taste of what his new restaurant’s menu would consist of. It was incredible and a childhood dream of mine to see Bobby Flay cook in person; something I was very proud to tell my mom about after the show wrapped. 

The Tonight Show is truly just as good in person as it is from the comfort of your own home. Jimmy Fallon is undeniably and naturally funny through and through, deserving of every compliment he receives. The Roots are the best form of musical entertainment I’ve seen out of any of the talk shows I’ve been to thus far. Going with my friends each day was so incredible and made it even more enjoyable to experience it with others. Fallon spoke so highly of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony that my friend Madison and I bought tickets right after the show and went together. Jimmy Fallon, as famous as he is, has plenty of influence and power, yet you can tell when he’s on air or filming that he is just talking to his guests as if they are friends, even if it’s his first time meeting them, like with Cailee Spaeny on Nov. 2. Given the opportunity to ever see The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon again, I’d jump. Jimmy Fallon is 100% the talk show host. 

Morgan Stanislaus is a future Journalist and Communications and Media Studies major at Pace University. At Her Campus she is a first year staff writer, where she specifically enjoys writing about the entertainment industry, including music, media, and film. Outside of Her Campus, Morgan spends a lot of her time writing for an online Journalism Website called ATWX media on topics within the music industry. She has interviews bands such as "87 Nights" and artists such as Renee Rapp. She also enjoys participating the other clubs she is a member of on the Pace Campus, such as the Pace Press Newspaper, Pace Music Group, Arts and Entertainment Management Industry Network, and more. Along with this, Morgan has submitted and written many personal, educational, and entertainment pieces for her School Newspaper and journalism class. Independently, Morgan loves to listen to music, go to concerts, watch and review movies, and hangout with her friends and family. She is huge into the world of pop culture and considers herself a major "fangirl" along with being a Marvel movie geek. Other than this, she also loves fashion and expressing herself with her clothes. This includes her being a major thrifting addict.