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My Experience Going to a Taping of ‘The Tonight Show’ Starring Jimmy Fallon

Why do you want to be a member of the audience?

This was the question to answer in order to put my name on the waitlist for tickets. I thought about all of the reasons I wanted to go. I have a passion for late night shows and comedy, I have worked in production, but have never seen a live taping, and I study the roles late night shows play in the distribution of information. It was a simple question to answer, and luckily, I was selected to attend a taping!

I packed up some bags and left for New York City. 30 Rockefeller Center is where all of NBC’s late night shows are taped, such as Late Night with Seth Meyers, Saturday Night Live, and The Tonight Show. I brought my excitement, energy, and enthusiasm, but the two most important things I needed to bring were my ID and my vaccination card.

All of the NBC late night shows, along with many sources of entertainment in New York City, require all attendees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. At the entrance of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, an employee asked for my vaccination card then checked my ID, and I was permitted to enter. The bottom floor of the 70-floor building had shops and restaurants, along with employees to answer any questions attendees might have had.

My ticket instructed us where to go when we arrived, and we waited alongside other attendees to get checked in. The attendees for Late Night with Seth Meyers were being escorted into the studio as we entered a lounge to wait for our turn. The lounge was covered with screens showing alternating images of past guests, performances, and bits. NBC Pages and employees called us by the numbers written on our tickets to line us up to enter an elevator, and bring us to Studio 6B, where Jimmy’s show is taped.

After we all sat in our seats, a comedian came out to tell a few jokes as The Roots made their entrance along with Steve Higgins, the announcer for the show. After a bit of music and more jokes, Jimmy came out and got right into his monologue for the night. The guests for the night were William Shatner, Jamie Foxx, Phoebe Robinson, and Tom Thakkar. Heartfelt moments, jokes, and bits were shared throughout the hour-and-a-half long taping. Jimmy addressed the audience directly several times, which was very sweet as he was rapidly moving around the studio taping the show. The episode we attended premiered that night, so it was exciting to get back to the hotel after dinner and watch it at 11:35 p.m.

I feel very thankful that I was selected to go to a taping and share my enthusiasm as we clapped, cheered, and yelled for Jimmy. I had an amazing experience at the show, and I cannot wait to get back to 30 Rockefeller Plaza!

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Elizabeth Webler

U Mass Amherst '22

Elizabeth studies philosophy, political science, and communications at UMass Amherst. Favorite topics to write about include politics, personal growth, and current events. She loves reading, watching SNL and exercising in her free time!
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