My love (and luck) for contests continues to grow. I recently won two VIP tickets to The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon and it was the most New York experience I’ve had yet. I’m still pinching myself–it was the perfect way to end my semester studying journalism in NYC.
Getting to see a show that is so incredibly hard to get tickets to was such a fun experience and privilege. Tickets for the show go up for grabs a month in advance at a time, and they usually sell out within minutes. During my semester in NYC I had tried getting standby tickets to see the show, but the day my friend and I went they only let the first 10 people in out of 70. To my excitement, the next day I saw a Twitter contest the show was doing, so I entered, and then won! If you’re ever in New York, major tip– every Friday the @FallonTonight account runs a trivia contest and if you reply first with the correct answer, you win!
Winning tickets was the best surprise. It was also the perfect timing because my mom was coming to the city the week the tickets were for, so I was super excited to show her the art of live broadcast and the field of study in action that I’m working to go in to.
The show records from Studio 6B in Rockefeller Center in the heart of New York City (literally right across the street from where I spent my fall semester interning). At the taping we saw actress Annette Bening, comic Judd Apatow and singer SZA. Jimmy Fallon hosts the most entertaining people on his show, from A-list guests including movie stars to athletes, musicians, public figures and everyone in between. He has been running the show since 2014, when he took over for Jay Leno.
I loved getting to see the behind the scenes process of it all. I was fascinated by how the show is operated and what happens in-between takes. Jimmy Fallon was so personable with the audience and took time to chat with the audience and take questions. It was an awesome production to witness. I was surprised to see that he uses cue cards with a script on it — there was no teleprompter. But as the show unfolded, it made sense as it gave him the creative space to improvise as needed.
The space where the show taped in was so small and intimate. It was decorated for Christmas so it was also so cute and cozy. There was the famous blue curtain that Jimmy comes out from behind every show. There was also the stage set up where he does his interviews, and the area for in-house band The Roots. The audience sat in cushioned movie-theater like seats. It was almost like being at a theatre performance–but it was live TV and they definitely catered well to their audience and guests.
The show taped at 5pm and then aired later in the evening at 11:35/10:35c on NBC. If you ever get the chance to see the show, I’d definitely recommend going! It’s such a cool experience. If you want to know more or have any questions about what it was like, leave me a comment or hit me up on social media @fearlesseyes97 (on twitter and instagram). I love sharing about my New York experiences!