How to get tickets for New York talk shows
Whether you want to chitchat with the ladies of "The View," learn how to whip up a quick meal with Rachael Ray or chill with Jimmy Fallon and The Roots, the New York City talk-show circuit has something for everyone.
If you'd like to attend a taping or be part of a live studio audience, here's a primer on how to get your hands on free tickets. In most cases, you'll need to request them several weeks or even months in advance. What's more, holding a ticket doesn't always guarantee you'll ultimately get a seat in the house. Your best bet is arrive at the studio early on the day of taping and have a government-issued ID with you.
"Live with Regis and Kelly"
TAPES 8 a.m. Monday-Friday, 7 Lincoln Square, Manhattan (enter at West 67th Street and Columbus Avenue)
LEAD TIME Six to eight weeks in advance, though you may need to wait up to a year for tickets. Otherwise, try standby line as early as 7 a.m. on the day of taping.
DETAILS No children younger than 10 are permitted - those younger than 18 must be accompanied by an adult. All audience members must pass through security and metal detectors.
TAPES 9:30 a.m. Monday-Thursday, 320 W. 66th St., Manhattan
LEAD TIME Tickets may only be requested online. Due to high demand, you may wait up to 24 months, but standbys can line up at 8 a.m. on the day of taping.
DETAILS Two shows are usually taped on Thursdays. No one younger than 16 is permitted. See Web site for hiatus dates.
"Rachael Ray Show"
TAPES 10:15 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 222 E. 44th St., Manhattan
LEAD TIME Varies. Tickets are only delivered via e-mail.
DETAILS Submit a general request for tickets online and, if you are selected, a show representative will contact you via e-mail with available dates. Note the list of guidelines for audience attire (business casual) as well as details on what can't be brought to the taping (including chewing gum) on the Web site. No one younger than 16 is permitted.
"The Martha Stewart Show"
TAPES Schedule varies, 221 W. 26th St., Manhattan
LEAD TIME About a month
DETAILS Audience members can request tickets for up to four people for a specific week of taping. Notices are posted online about special-interest shows that are looking for specific audience members ("fathers and sons," for example).
TAPES 10:45 p.m. Saturdays, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, Manhattan
LEAD TIME Tickets are given out lottery-style and entrants are only accepted via e-mail during the month of August. Same-day standby tickets for the show and its 7:15 p.m. dress rehearsal are given out at 7 a.m. on a first-come, first-served basis.
DETAILS If chosen from the lottery pool, you'll be assigned a "random show date and time." Minimum age is 16.
TAPES Early afternoon Monday-Thursday; also Monday evening, 1687 Broadway, Manhattan
LEAD TIME One to four months. Try for standby tickets by calling 212-247-6497 beginning at 11 a.m. on the day of taping.
DETAILS You can request tickets online for specific dates (you'll have to correctly answer a trivia question) or in-person 9:30 a.m.-noon Monday-Thursday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Limited group tickets are available. Minimum age for audience members is 18.
"The Daily Show with Jon Stewart"
TAPES 4:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 52nd Street and 11th Avenue, Manhattan
LEAD TIME Varies. Use the online reservation system to see available dates or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
DETAILS An audience representative recommends arriving by 3:30 p.m. Be aware, groups larger than four people will not be permitted to enter, even if tickets have been requested under separate reservations. Minimum age is 18.
"Late Night with Jimmy Fallon"
TAPES 4:15 p.m. Monday-Friday, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, Manhattan
LEAD TIME About a month. Try for standby tickets (one a person) no later than 9 a.m. on the morning of the taping.
DETAILS Request tickets by phone only, 212-664-3056. Last-minute availability will be tweeted (twitter.com/LateNightJimmy). The show also has "band benches" for fans of musical guests - slots are filled via online lottery (fallonbandbench.com). Audience members must be at least 17.
"The Tyra Banks Show"
TAPES 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesdays-Wednesdays, 221 W. 26th St., Manhattan
LEAD TIME Varies. Show generally does not tape May-July.
DETAILS Check the online calendar for available show dates. Morning tapings are for two shows - audience members must stay the entire time. Specific instructions are given on what to wear (no logos, no "extreme" hairstyles). Attendees must be 18 or older.
"The Today Show"
TAPES 7 a.m. daily, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, Manhattan
LEAD TIME None, no tickets are given out.
DETAILS Vie for a spot on the outdoor plaza with Al Roker - rain or shine. Enthusiastic signs and costumes are encouraged, as are groups - but you'll need to arrive as early as possible to stake out a good spot.
TAPES 6:45 a.m. Monday-Friday; 1500 Broadway, Manhattan
LEAD TIME Varies. There's a daily standby line at 6:45 a.m. at 44th Street and Broadway.
DETAILS Submit a request for several specific dates online - odds are better in January, February and September. Cameras and signs are welcome. There aren't any age requirements, but be prepared to spend your time standing (seats are available for disabled guests). Standbys and groups are allowed.
TAPES 7:15 a.m. Monday-Saturday, 59th Street and Fifth Avenue
LEAD TIME None
DETAILS Tickets aren't necessary, but audience members are encouraged to e-mail email@example.com or call 212-975-2890 for full details. After the taping, guests can take a backstage tour. The show offers free bus service from Times Square to the plaza and back - a bus can be arranged for private groups coming from anywhere in midtown.
TAPES 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. three days a week, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, Manhattan
LEAD TIME About three weeks. Same day standby tickets are given out at 8 a.m.
DETAILS Request tickets by phone, 212-664-3056. Producers may follow-up with questions that could lead to participation during a segment of the show. Minimum age is 18.
"The Emeril Lagasse Show"
TAPES To be determined
DETAILS The newly announced "Emeril Lagasse Show" will begin taping in March for shows that will air on Ion Television. Free tickets are available by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org (include full name, e-mail address and number of tickets wanted). No specific taping locations, dates or times have been announced yet.
"106 & Park"
TAPES 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, 530 W. 57th St., Manhattan
LEAD TIME Varies
DETAILS Request tickets online (limit of four). Minimum age is 16.
"The Wendy Williams Show"
TAPES 8 a.m. Monday-Thursday and 11:30 a.m. Thursday, 433 W. 53rd St., Manhattan
LEAD TIME Varies from a few days to a few weeks. Those seeking same-day standby tickets should arrive no later than 8:30 a.m.
DETAILS Use the online taping schedule to request up to five tickets (larger group requests handled separately). Be prepared to upload a photo of yourself.
Know before you go
Wear solid bright or dark colors. Avoid white, pink and other light colors, as well as busy patterns.
Not all shows require business casual dress, but most forbid shorts, tank tops and hats as well as anything with a visible logo.
Studios tend to be cold. Wear layers to stay comfortable.
You'll generally need your tickets or a printed e-mail confirmation.
Cameras, cell phones and recording devices are generally banned, as are backpacks, suitcases or large purses. Storage for banned items is not available.
Food and drinks usually aren't permitted, so eat beforehand and be prepared to stay put for the duration of the taping.