Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Adventures in seeing The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon

A few weeks ago a few friends and I were lucky enough to see a taping of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon here in New York City and quite a few people wanted to know how I got the tickets and what the taping was like so figure I'd write about it here.

Step 1: Sign up for an account at 1iota.com
Step 2: Follow @FallonTix on Twitter

At the beginning of each month (not necessarily the 1st, but within the first week) the twitter account will announce when ticket requests for the following month will become available (ie: Sept 6th at 11am they'll open tickets for October). They'll send out a few tweets leading up to when request time opens, so you don't have to keep checking every hour on the hour hoping to catch the announcement.

Once they announce the date and time, mark your calendars, and the day of, make sure you are signed into your 1iota.com account ahead of time.

Month Before: They open up the whole month that you can request tickets, so I went to straight to the end of September because I figure everyone would try for the beginning of the month first. I refreshed, requested various dates and every time it said all requested tickets were taken. I messaged my friend, who is a HUGE Jimmy fan, and told her I was sorry, I tried, but couldn't get any requests in. But I figure "let me try again" and I'm glad I did because 5 minutes later I was able to get a request in for two shows, one of them for two tickets, the second for 4 tickets. Once your request is finished they send you an email that informs you that your request is in but it doesn't guarantee tickets, but they will email you about two weeks before the show to let you know if you received tickets. I didn't get the first show but soon enough I received an email that my request for four tickets on September 28th was fulfilled. Of course they still have a disclaimer that the tickets aren't definite (I'm guessing in case someone who has connections wants tickets). The email also gives you directions on where to go and what time.

Day of: They suggest you arrive between 3:15pm and 3:45pm but I'm that person who likes to be early even when you don't have to, so we met at 3:00pm. You enter 30 Rockefeller Plaza using the 50 West 50th Street entrance and proceed to the Grand stair. We saw two stairs and were confused but luckily saw a page with a basket of candy and he told us we came to the right place but they weren't opening up the line yet so we could have a piece of candy. Then two seconds later they made an announcement that the line was starting. We were the first ones! Yay!

Once they check your bags/purses for any contraband, you get a wristband and ticket and they take you to the "lounge" which is a large room with lots of couches and screens that show various past guests. No pictures are allowed from then on. A few pages went around chit chatting with us. We met two very different ones.

The first had been a page for about 3 months and loved her job so far. She said she's never really had a bad day, the worst was when a certain celeb was not happy with her coffee, but if that was the worst day, she was ok with that. The page program lasts a year and sometimes the pages will be asked to come on full time. The second page to speak to us was not as spunky. It was his last day and he seemed antsy to leave. Seems NBC did not ask him to stay on board, so that may have had something to do with his not so perky attitude but he said he wouldn't have wanted to stay with NBC anyways cause that would be "working for the man." I don't know about you, but I like health insurance and benefits. He reminded me of about 90% of the guys I went to film school with.

Now onto the show! Though we were the first ones in line, we weren't the first ones into the studio. Which is fine because you don't get to choose your seats anyways. They call you in by groups and we were seated stage right, just in line with Jimmy's desk. They were actually great seats. I mean, first row would have been best (though some got hit with watermelon, more on that later) because it's first row and they got little gift bags. Boo.

Before the show starts The Roots come out and play a little music and they have a comedian come in and rev up the audience. It was fun and of course The Roots played their (probably) most well known song, The Seed (2.0). I wondered if they played that before every show and if it's the bane of their existence. I still love it though.

Higgins then comes out and talks with the audience as well. Then before you know it the show is starting and he's calling Jimmy Fallon's name.

Since we were there on a Friday we got to see "Thank You Notes"

His guests that day were Olivia Wilde and Fred Savage. With Olivia they did a new game called Watermelon Timebomb which was entertaining in the studio but disappointing on TV. The gist of the game is that they keep adding rubber bands around the watermelon until it explodes. A producer said it was supposed to be like a canon where the watermelon guts will explode upward from the top. The game lasted about 10, maybe even 15 minutes in the studio. It was getting pretty tense but also boring because nothing was happening! You could tell Jimmy was getting frustrated because they were actually about to run out of rubber bands and turned to his producers to see what could be done. Someone brought a hammer but they turned down that idea, then eventually they let Olivia throw the watermelon on the ground. When you watch the version they aired on television she just looks very impatient, haha!

After Olivia, Fred Savage came on. I don't think there was much a difference from his live interview compared to what they aired on television. He is just adorable and so full of energy, I kind of wish I got into The Grinder just because of him. He also outed what some believe was Sarah Paulson's super secret instagram.

Before the musical guests came on (Walk the Moon for our show), Jimmy did a little Q&A with the audience. He stood just a few feet in front of us and was making eye contact a lot with my friend who is in love with him, so that just about made her year. Maybe even life. I wish I knew he would do a Q&A because of course I couldn't think of a thing to ask it. A teacher was there whose students had all written Jimmy notes and you'd think it was a bit because the first note he chose read something along the lines of "Jimmy, our teacher would just die if she met you, so I honestly hope she doesn't meet you because I don't want her to die." It was almost too sweet.

Other questions were pretty standard "can you give me a hug?" "what happened to your finger?" It was nice that he took time out to talk with the fans.

After the little Q&A Walk the Moon performed. I'm that person who is way out of touch with music more than I should be so even though I had heard of their song "Shut Up and Dance" I needed a reminder from my friends and still have yet to hear the full song. Oops. That day they performed "Different Colors" and I really liked it! There are no clips of their performance online but here's the music video:

Once the show ended (about 6:00pm) they led us out by rows, down the elevator we went and out the exit. It was a great way to spend a Friday afternoon, I must say.

If you're in the area and a big fan of Jimmy, totally try for tickets. There's nothing to lose (except PTO if you work during those hours), so why not?

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