My experience at The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon

My dream to see The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon finally came true!!! My Bucket list item #13 can finally be crossed off. I absolutely love Jimmy Fallon, so this experience was completely a dream come true!! I’m so excited to share all the details about this experience with you!

The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon

Getting Tickets

Ever since I moved to the NYC area 3.5 years ago, I’ve desperately tried to get tickets to see this show but I failed at every attempt. When I first moved here, the show was still Late night with Jimmy Fallon, and then he took over the Tonight Show, but the tickets still remained impossible to get. The tickets to the show are available at a certain time of the month (follow The Tonight Show on twitter for more details). They would announce the date the tickets would be available online, I would set a reminder on my phone, make sure I’m on the site at least 5 minutes before the specified time and try to get tickets. But even after refreshing the browser at the exact time specified, the tickets would be gone! They have changed the process a bit in the past year, so now you can go on and make an account. When the tickets are available, you select the date and hit request. You are put on a “Waitlist” status, and 2 weeks before the show they will notify you if you have tickets or not. Well, last month we had success, and we were notified that we had tickets!!!

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Get there early

They specify in the details on your tickets that they overbook the show to assure no empty seats, so it’s important to be on time. Check in time is at 3:45pm, but they suggest you arrive 30 minutes ahead of time at 3:15. Any earlier and they will ask you to come back. So we just hung around the general lobby area until I saw a few people gathering. The funny thing is, I went around a hallway behind the waiting area to take a photo of an NBC sign and who walks out of a room and almost bumps into me? HIGGINS!! Steve Higgins!!!! I panicked and looked at the floor right away like I wasn’t supposed to make eye contact or something. When he started to walk away I took a photo of his back (I know, I’m a chicken). He was only 20 feet away from all these people waiting in line, but they were all looking the other way, so they never noticed him! At that point I realized a line had formed so we ran and got in line anxiously hoping we would get in!

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From the moment they let you up the steps to start your process to get into the Tonight Show they make it very clear, no photos or you will get kicked out. They say from the beginning, we are warning you now, if we catch you taking photos you will be asked to leave, and there are people in stand by lines waiting to get your seat, so don’t be stupid.

We’re in!

Once you go in and show your online ticket confirmation and your ID they give you a ticket for your seat and a wrist band. You go through security and then wait in a lobby area. This is your last chance to use the restroom, because once you go into the studio and you’re in your seat you can’t leave. Well you can technically leave, but they won’t let you back in. We had read online that you should wear proper attire, and you shouldn’t bring huge bags, so we tried to make sure did everything they requested to make sure we didn’t get turned away. After all this time of trying to get tickets ,I didn’t want to ruin it!

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The Show

You don’t get to choose your seat, they do that for you. You would typically think you would want to sit in the front row, but the truth is there are a ton of camera’s in front of you, so I actually liked sitting towards the back as I could see everything! A guy comes out to warm up the crowd and explains how everything works while making us all laugh hysterically. Then before you know it, The Roots come out and say hi to everyone, and they start playing music. It was amazing! Then Steve Higgins comes out and greets everyone and just a few minutes later Jimmy comes out to start the show!

We made it on TV!!!!

The intro of the show starts, and Jimmy comes out and the audience goes crazy giving him a standing ovation. The camera’s show several different locations in the audience and we made it on TV!

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Jimmy

Jimmy was amazing, as he is every night on his show. It was surreal to be there and see the whole thing happen in front of your eyes! During a couple commercial breaks Jimmy films shout outs to affiliate news stations . Other commercial breaks he came and up into the audience and asked if we had any  questions. Some of the questions that were asked were:

Audience: “Whats your favorite thing about the show?”

Jimmy: “I love to make people laugh.” He explained how he loves to make people genuinely laugh, not the courtesy laugh. The audience then started to laugh, and he said, yea, like that.

Another audience member asked how his finger was doing (he had an accident last year that tore part of his finer off). He explained how the accident happened, and that he still goes to physical therapy every night, and hopefully in the next few months they will see if it will be back to normal.

Another audience member asked him if Jimmy liked his suit, because this audience member wore a suit so Jimmy wouldn’t feel alone. Jimmy loved it and went on to tell a funny story about when he first started working at SNL.

Jimmy was so kind, and so appreciative of everyone’s support. Just like the vibes he gives on TV!

At the end of the show he ran up into the audience and started to high five everyone. The show ends at that point, but hey, we were on TV again!

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This was an absolutely amazing experience!! The show is over at about 6:15pm. You exit through an NBC gift shop where they have tons of Tonight Show merchandise. You are at Rockefeller Plaza, where Late Night with Seth Meyers is also filmed, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for famous faces. You never know who you might see!!

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If you are interested in going to The Tonight Show, I suggest you follow them on Twitter to find out when the Tickets are going to be available. You can also look into stand by tickets.

This experience was amazing!!! I definitely recommend it to all you Jimmy Fallon fans!!!

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62 Responses

  1. Amber says:

    i have been put on the waitlist for 4/4/16 tix……and I am so hoping I get them! I am from Indiana and my husband and I are going to NY for the week, this would make my trip complete! I was wondering when you got notified you got the tix…..I catch myself checking my email and logging into my account! I was wondering when you email was sent…a week day, weekend? time of day! sry im just so excited even though I know my chances are slim! but im still dying! thx so much for your insight!

    • Tara says:

      Thanks for your comment Amber! I’m so excited for you and I hope you get those tickets! I completely understand your excitement because I was the same way!! I adore Jimmy! We got the email saying we got tickets 1 week before the show. It was a Monday at 11:25 AM. We went to the show the following Tuesday. I know it’s torture to wait, but I wouldn’t expect an email any earlier than 2 weeks before the show. Please keep me updated! Come back and comment and let me know if you are going to the show! I hope you have a fabulous time in NYC! Please let me know if you have any questions I can help you with!!

  2. Victoria says:

    Hi! I have tickets for this coming Friday and am nervous about not getting in. What time did you arrive? I see you said they didn’t let anyone in before 3:15, but when did the line start forming? I have general tickets so I want to make sure we make it in and it doesn’t fill up! If you could let me know, that would be great! thank you!!

    • Tara says:

      Hi Victoria!
      Congrats on getting the tickets! That is the hardest part. You are right, they don’t let a line form before 3:15, however people were sort of hovering around the lobby area by 3. I just stood far enough away that I could see where the line should form, but not close enough for them to tell me to leave. If you are there by 3pm you should be fine! I think they might have let the line form at 3:11 or 3:12 when I went. Let me know if you have anymore questions! You are going to have a great time!! It’s a blast!!!

  3. Lis says:

    We leave in one week and it still shows we are on the waitlist. Does this mean we probably did not get tickets and they are just waiting to see if others cancel out?

    • Tara says:

      Good question! I believe they let you know within 2 weeks of the show if you got tickets. I received a notification well before that 1 week mark. I can’t say for sure that you don’t have tickets, I hope you do! I know it’s agony waiting! But if you are coming from out of town and if you don’t get tickets on the wait list, you could check out the standby tickets. This is right from the Tonight Show’s website:

      “If you’re not able request tickets in advance, standby tickets are available same-day for each show. Standby tickets do not guarantee admission, but when we have extra tickets or cancellations those seats are distributed to the people in standby line. For standby tickets please arrive no later than 9 a.m. on the morning of the taping. UPDATE:The line forms under the NBC marquee on 49th street. Standby tickets are numbered and given out, in order, to guests in line at 9 a.m. After receiving your numbered ticket, you will be able to leave the line and instructed to return at a specific time later that afternoon to check-in again and see if we are able to ticket you for that evening’s taping.”

      Check out the Tonight Show website for more info. I really hope you get to go!!! Good luck!!

  4. Danielle says:

    I have tickets for Wednesday! I was wondering what attire is appropriate for the show? If I am walking around the city all day, I was hoping to wear sneakers/tennis shoes.

    • Tara says:

      Good question! They say dress “smart casual”, so sneakers will be fine! I wore a sweater and leggings, my husband worse jeans and sneakers, and we had no problems. The day I went, some people were dressed fancy and some people were casual in jeans and t-shirts. I never saw anyone turned away based on what they were wearing (it was winter so everyone was covered up!). I think they just don’t want anyone wearing anything offensive, or inappropriate incase you are on TV. You want to be comfortable because you will be there for a few hours, and certainly if you are walking around the city all day. I believe they say no bags with you either, so keep that in mind too, just a purse. Have a great time!!! You are going to love it!!!!

  5. Amber M says:

    I am praying to get tickets for July when I visit New York and I wanted to ask you some questions about knowing if you are on the waitlist. When you request the tickets does a pop up message let you know that you are entered onto the waitlist? Also when you were notified that you got tickets, did you receive the tickets in your email or did you have to accept the tickets on the 1iota site? Sorry for all the questions but this will probably be the only time I will ever have the chance to be in New York and I really want these tickets more than anything!

    • Tara says:

      Hi! How exciting! Yes, when you are waiting to get tickets, it will let you know if you are on the waitlist. It took me a lot of tries, and many months I tried it would say the tickets were all gone. But when it finally worked it said I was on the waitlist and it would notify me 2 weeks before the show if I got tickets. I got an email about 2 weeks before the date of the show that I had tickets and I needed to log into the 1iota site to complete my request. I hope that helps with your question! Please let me know if I can answer anything else for you! I know it’s hard to wait to find out if you got tickets! I hope it works for you! I’m so excited for you! I hope you have an amazing trip to NYC!

  6. Timothy Chan says:

    While you were on the WaitList, did you have an option to “Edit Guests” or “Edit Requests” on the day the waitlist opened?
    Thanks!

    • Tara says:

      Good question! I honestly don’t remember if you can edit guests. I do remember you can cancel your request later if you can’t go. I’m thinking that you can’t change the number of guests and that you are locked into that original decision….but I’m not 100% certain that it’s the case. Sorry I couldn’t answer your question with certainty!

  7. Holly Jesse says:

    Do NOT make the MISTAKE that I made: when tickets opened, I selected a day immediately and got the “congratulations you are on the waitlist” popup message. Knowing that not everyone gets in (because they overbook AND I read that they “cast” the audience from the 1iOta profiles, I thought I would also request monologue tickets for the same day “just in case.” HUGE MISTAKE. I got put on the monlogue waitlist, which DELETED/SUPERSEDED/REPLACED my show waitlist request. Now I am only on the monologue waitlist (thanks to my stupid error) and I lost my show waitlist spot.

    DON’T DO WHAT I DID. I am so upset at myself! Good luck!

    Also, I was on both my phone and tablet requesting dates which is maybe why I had such good luck getting the acceptance so quickly.

    • Tara says:

      I’m so sorry that happened to you! Great advice for everyone reading this though. I hope you get to see the show someday soon!

    • Timothy says:

      Yeah, you can’t go to the Monologue AND the Live show on the same day 🙁 Maybe you can get August tickets, now that you know how the system works! There’s a 3-4 minute window before all tickets are sold out, but even after that, some tickets will remain open

  8. Amber M says:

    Thanks for all of your help! I am on the wait list! Yay! Now it’s just a waiting game to see if I get them! When they notify you, is it usually two weeks exactly to the day or is it a few days early or late? Just want to know when I will need to check my email constantly haha

    • Tara says:

      Yay! Glad you made it to the waitlist! You have already accomplished a big hurdle just by getting on that waitlist! I don’t believe it was exactly two weeks when they notified me, maybe a little less. I would imagine a lot of people that originally go on the waitlist can’t make it, so spots open up during that two week period. I’m so excited for you! I hope you get great news!

  9. Toni K says:

    Loved reading all about your experience, Tara! Thanks so much for sharing. We are still on the waitlist for July 28th and it was actually 2 weeks prior to our selected show date yesterday. So, we keep praying and checking our emails, etc.
    Do you know if they remove you from the waitlist if you are NOT selected for available tickets? They are actually taping 2 shows the day we are going for that Thursday and Friday.

    Trying not to get my hopes up too high, but I am a REALLY big Jimmy Fallon fan and would love to see him more than anything when we go to New York that week. Thanks, again!

    • Tara says:

      Hi Toni,
      I hope you get the tickets! I thought they keep you on the waitlist till the end, incase anyone cancels. There is always a chance that someone cancels tickets at the last minute and that spot opens up. I hope you get good news soon!! Oh, and thanks for reading my post! I’m glad you liked it 🙂

  10. Timothy says:

    Do you think going from 3 tickets to 2 tickets will put you back on the waitlist?

  11. Claire H says:

    Hey Tara! What did you do with your cell phone? I know they say they are not allowed so is there a special place to put them? Also did the show send you a dress code or any details like that? I have tickets confirmed for August and I am just trying to figure out the details!

    • Tara says:

      Hi Claire! As long as your phone is powered off and out of site there is no problem. I kept mine in my purse, and my husband’s was in his pocket. They just mean that you can’t be using your phone while there, no pictures, videos, etc. If they see you using it, they will ask you to leave. As long as it’s out of sight and powered off, you are good. As far as dress code, on the website it says “APPROPRIATE ATTIRE
      Dress code is smart casual. Remember, you could be on camera; We reserve the right to deny entry to anyone dressed inappropriately.”. When I went it was winter, so I wore leggings and an oversized sweater and boots. My husband wore jeans and a sweater. I think they just don’t want anyone to look too sloppy, or wearing any thing that’s making a statement, or even inappropriate. Congrats on getting tickets!!! I hope you have a great time!!!

  12. Dave L. says:

    So the first time you got “wait listed” you got a followup email telling you that you scored tickets?? At this point, I’m on the wait list, but it’d be great to know what the likelihood of scoring tickets is.

    • Tara says:

      Yes, I got an email that I was on the waitlist, but never heard back until I got tickets. It would be nice if there was some sort of number system that would let you know if you are close to getting tickets or not, but from my experience, you don’t get any notice unless you got tickets. Good luck! Hope you get to go!

      • Larry says:

        Hi Tara,

        For some reason I have been on the waitlist for some time at least 6 attempts and still haven’t gotten any tickets. I am a 100% fan on 1iota as well and been to other shows such as Seth Myers and Jimmy Kimmel in LA. For some reason can never get tickets to Jimmy Fallon. How long in advance did they tell you? I get right on the day tickets will be released as well.

        • Tara says:

          Sorry to hear you haven’t got those Jimmy Fallon tickets yet! I know your frustration as it took me almost 2 years of trying before I finally had success getting tickets. I did the same thing as you, just go on the site when they are released and poof, the tickets would be sold out within seconds! Just keep trying every month. I put a notification on my phone to remind me 5 minutes before the tickets would be available. Finally one month it worked and I went on the waitlist and actually got tickets. I was put on the waitlist and within 2 weeks of the show I was notified that tickets were available for me if I wanted them. Good luck! I hope you get to see Jimmy soon! He’s amazing!

  13. Andrew Leonardi says:

    Just got on the waitlist for November! Fingers crossed!! This advise has been super helpful so thank you!

  14. Larry says:

    I have applied for tickets 6x now and been on the waitlist everytime. I am a 100% fan on 1iota as well. I have been to Seth Myers, Jimmy Kimmel thru 1iota but always get sold out for Jimmy Fallon. I get right on at 10:30 to get tickets but never get them. I am on the waiting list again in November for both the Regular Show and Monologue. I put in for Regular show first.

    • Tara says:

      Good luck! I hope you finally get to see the show! I know it’s frustrating being on the waitlist. Keep trying, one month it will finally pay off and you will get those tickets! It took me a long time too. I hope it works for you this time!

  15. Gabbie says:

    Hi, I’m going to try to get tickets for December because I’ll travel to NY. I noticed you said you received an email from 1iota that confirmed both your ‘waitlist’ and ‘tickets approved’ status. Would you please share the email they used to notify you this? I’m pretty sure most of the times the emails go to the ‘spam’ folder and I don’t want to lose the opportunity haha. I’ve read the sooner you reply to confirm your attendance (once they email you saying you got tickets) the better chance of getting ‘priority’ tickets. Thank you so much. I really appreciate your entry. It solved other questions I had!

  16. lisa says:

    Hi Tara.
    Thanks for the post.
    Should I log into my 1iota account and keep hitting refresh there so that I am already logged in as the best option to get the tix?

    • Tara says:

      Well the waitlist for tickets is only available at certain times. Here is what it says on their website:

      “We release tickets one month at a time. We typically open each month’s ticket waitlist during the first week of month prior. That means that April ticket waitlist would open during the first week of March, May ticket waitlist would open the first week of April, etc. Please consult The Tonight Show’s official Ticketing Twitter account @FallonTix and this Ticketing Page during the first week of the month to stay up-to-date on Ticket Release date info.”

      I see the tickets are available today November 2nd at 11:30am eastern! If you read this before then head over to the website around 11:25am and keep refreshing! Good luck!

  17. Gillian says:

    i’m going to NYC the 21st-28th of December and this morning I randomly thought of looking up tickets for the Tonight Show, so I went to the website and turns out the tickets for the month of December were going on sale TODAY at 11:30 AM, and it was around 11 AM when I saw that! So after waiting in agony for 30 minutes I refreshed the website at exactly 11:30, clicked on the show for 12/22 and actually got put on the waitlist on my first try ever! After reading some of these comments i’m feeling pretty lucky!
    Do you remember the time frame of when you first received the email saying there were tickets available to the time where you actually confirmed the tickets on 1iota? I’m just wondering if I need to be checking my email constantly when it gets close to that 2 week mark because I don’t want to miss my chance to get the tickets! I requested 4 so please wish me luck! 🙂

    • Gillian says:

      Great post by the way Tara, it answered sooo many questions!

    • Tara says:

      Congratulations! I’m so excited for you! You made it through the first part which is very hard. They will email you if you get the tickets, for me it was almost exactly 2 weeks before the show. So I would just make sure to be checking your emails regularly around that time. Unfortunately I’ve also been on the waitlist before and never got an email that I got tickets, so it was kind of agonizing wondering that whole time if they would open up at all. I really hope you get an email and get tickets! That would be a fun show to go to during the holiday season! Good luck! Be sure to come back and comment and let me know if you go!

  18. Kristi says:

    I am going on my very first trip to NYC with my mother and have been on the waitlist for tickets for the Nov 30 taping. I was put on the waitlist within minutes after the tickets were released. I am hoping that is a plus. Thanks for sharing your information on this page. Oh, I am also on the waitlist for Josh Groban tickets for a Rockefeller Center pre-tape on the 29th. I am hoping to hear something on both of these within the next couple of days. 🙂

    • Tara says:

      Congratulations! That’s exciting! Fingers crossed you get those tickets to both shows. I hope you have a fantastic time in NYC. I believe the tree lighting in Rockefeller Center is on November 30th too. I believe its free and sort of a first come first serve thing. If you are around to see Jimmy Fallon that day you could probably see both! Have a great time!

  19. Mike says:

    Hey Tara, Thanks for sharing your story! Where exactly is the entrance? Is it obvious/ the only entrance? Or is there a specific entrance that only audience members would ever use?

    • Tara says:

      Hi Mike,
      You can go in any of the main entrances around the building. The one that says “The Tonight show” is the entrance on 6th avenue. When you go inside, head to the middle of the building where the elevators are. That’s where the line forms. If you get tickets they should send you instructions on where to go. I hope that helps!

  20. Samantha says:

    Hi Tara,
    your article is really helpful! I just found out i got tickets to a show in December and mine are general admission. When you went could you tell if there were lots of people denied from general admission because they overbook the show? I just want to know how hard it is to get into the show once you have general admission tickets, and i don’t want to celebrate too early! also since you got there around 3, were you towards the front of the line and around when did the bulk of people start showing up?
    Thanks!

    • Tara says:

      Hi Samantha,
      Sorry for the delayed response! I hope you were able to get in to see the show! I think once you get tickets you are good to go! As long as you follow all their instructions I think you are fine. I hope you got to see Jimmy!!!

  21. Gillian says:

    I requested tickets for the 12/22 show and still have not heard if I got the tickets or not. The show is less than 2 weeks away and I’ve been checking my email constantly, but still nothing. Should I give up all hope? Or is it still not too late?

    • Tara says:

      Hi Gillian,
      I see that today is the day that you would have got to see Jimmy. I hope you got to go, but if it didn’t work out this time, don’t give up! You will get those tickets eventually. It took me several times before it worked. Good luck!

  22. Sara says:

    Around what time in the day do the tickets go up?

    • Tara says:

      Guess what?!?! February tickets are available tomorrow January 6th at 11:30am eastern time! I hope you have luck getting some tickets! If this month doesn’t work for you, they announce the date and time the tickets will go up every month on their website and twitter. It’s usually once a month around the beginning of the month. Good luck!

  23. Grace James says:

    Who were the guests when you went to the show?

  24. Alex says:

    Hi Tara, Really useful article. My wife and I are from London and visiting NYC in Feb for 4 days. I got everything ready online and was sat at the computer refreshing like mad as the time rolled around to the Feb ticket release. Managed to get on the waiting list for a Thursday and Friday taping. Am really hoping we get one of them. I mentioned in the additional information section that we are visiting from England (in the hope that currys favour). In case we don’t do you know anything about the NBC studio tour and if that is worth going on instead?

    • Tara says:

      Hi Alex,
      I’m so glad my blog was helpful! I really hope you guys get the tickets!!!! Truthfully I don’t know much about the NBC studio tour. I just googled it and it does sound pretty cool! It’s fun going to Rockefeller Center and look around, but being able to go on a tour and see the behind the scenes sounds pretty neat. I’m sorry I can’t give you a personal recommendation on the one. I hope you really enjoy your time in NYC! Please feel free to let me know if you have any other questions about The Tonight show or visiting NYC!

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