Best Live Shows in NYC (and How to Get Tickets)

Attending the tapings of popular live shows in NYC can be both fun and free! Make sure to get your tickets far in advance as they sell out quick.  However, you can usually get last minute tickets via standby if you're not afraid of waiting in a long line. Here are the best daytime and late night shows to see live in NYC and how to get tickets for your own chance to be on live TV!


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The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (NBC)

 Experience NBC’s longest-running-late-night franchise that has attracted high ratings since its 2014 premiere and produced many viral videos over the years as well. 

Getting Tickets: Book free tickets here. However free isn’t always ‘free’, as you will need to sign up for 1iota before applying.  Check the show's Twitter page to see the ticket release date, though each block typically opens up a month in advance.  You also have a chance at scoring standby tickets which are distributed at 9AM under the NBC marquee on the 49th Street side of 30 Rock.

Requirements: Audience members must be 16 years or older with photo ID.  Individuals are only allowed to attend one show taping every six months and no groups larger than four people are allowed.  Cell phones, cameras and other electronic devices are not permitted.

Date/Time: Monday through Friday at 5PM; arrive no later than 3:15PM!

Photo credit: 1iota


Saturday Night Live (NBC)

Typically referred to as "SNL," this American late-night live television sketch comedy and variety show is known for its parodies of contemporary culture and politics.

Getting Tickets: Once a year tickets are given our through a lottery.  To enter (in the month of August only) send an email to snltickets@nbcuni.com.  Make sure to include all contact information and do not request a specific date -- and only one email per household!  Winners will receive two tickets for a specific show.  Standby tickets (one per person) are available at 7AM on the West 49th Street side of 30 Rock on the mornings of the taping with the option of the 8PM dress rehearsal or the 11:30PM live taping.

Requirements: Audience members must be 16 years or older with photo ID.

Date/Time: Saturdays; arrive no later than 7:15PM for the 8PM dress rehearsal and 10:45PM for the 11:30PM live show.

Photo credit: NBC


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The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)

Previously known as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, this show describes itself as a fake news program and draws its comedy and satire from recent news stories, political figures, media organizations, and often uses self-referential humor. 

Getting Tickets: Sign up for tickets here. Make sure to check the website periodically as reservations for shows just a few weeks out will be released on a gradual, rolling basis.

Requirements: Audience members must be 18 years or older to attend. Be careful: ticket distribution may be in excess of studio capacity, so admission is not guaranteed even if you have a reservation. Cameras and other recording devices are not permitted.

Date/Time: Tickets are distributed Monday through Thursday beginning at 2:30PM and you’ll be given a time to return (usually around 4:30PM) for the 6PM taping.   

Photo credit: Comedy Central 


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The Dr. Oz Show (Syndicated)

An American syndicated television talk show hosted by a cardiothoracic surgeon and vice-chair and professor of surgery at Columbia University who discusses health issues and advises others in front of a live studio audience. 

Getting Tickets: Tickets are available online here. Or get standby tickets on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at ABC studios (320 W. 66th St) at 8:50AM and 1:50PM.

Requirements: Audience members must be 18 years or older with photo ID. Cameras and other recording devices are not permitted. Also be aware that there is a dress code!

Date/Time: During the season, the show tapes twice a day, three days a week, at 10AM and 3PM. Be sure to arrive at least 90 minutes early!

Photo credit: TV Week


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Late Night with Seth Meyers (NBC)

Getting Tickets: For free tickets call 212-664-3056 (Monday-Friday, 9AM-5PM EST) or click here.  Generally, tickets are booked four to six weeks in advance. Standby tickets (one per person) are handed out at 9AM on the mornings of taping.

Requirements: Audience members must be 16 years or older with photo ID. Individuals may not attend more than one show taping every four months and no groups larger than four people are allowed.  No luggage, backpacks or large shopping bags allowed.  Be aware that the shows are always overbooked and reservations do not guarantee admission. 

Date/Time: Monday through Thursday at 6:30PM.  Arrive no later than 5PM.  

Photo credit: NBC