How To Be Part Of The Studio Audience At Your Favourite US TV Show
Getting tickets for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and The Daily Show is easier than you think and it is free!
However, you do need to register in advance; you can’t just show up on the day and hope to be part of the audience. We really wanted to see The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah when we visited New York in November; however, the tickets for both of these shows are scooped up really quickly. We needed to be organised. The tickets are typically released online about four to six weeks in advance, but as we would be spending 11 days in New York, we put our names down for several dates, and hoped for the best! We got lucky.
So here’s our step by step guide to getting tickets for the Late Show with Stephen Colbert and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.
How To Get Stephen Colbert Tickets
First, you need to sign up with www.1iota.com. Don’t worry, it’s free. As well as tickets for Stephen Colbert, you can also apply on 1iota for tickets to many other shows in New York, such as Seth Myers, and various other shows in the US. We started looking about six months before our trip.
Once you have registered, and the show dates have been released, you can request your free Late Show tickets. Once requested, you will be placed on a waitlist. We waitlisted ourselves for three different days to improve our chances of getting tickets. Closer to the date, if you are lucky, you will receive an email offering you a priority or a general spot. Or if you are unlucky, an email saying try again another time. If you are one of the lucky ones, you will then need to confirm your spot through 1iota.com. Tickets are released in batches, and if you don’t confirm your interest, your place will be passed on to someone else.
We were offered priority tickets for Stephen Colbert, but even with these tickets, you are still not guaranteed entry, but obviously a much higher chance than those with general admission tickets. We were advised to check-in at 3 pm. We arrived at the Ed Sullivan Theatre on Broadway at 3:01 pm and already there was a long queue in front of us. We showed our tickets to the staff, they placed a paper admission bracelet on our wrists, and we joined the long line. But we were now officially guaranteed a place in the studio audience, so we didn’t mind waiting, it was just exciting to be there.
Note: everyone in your party has to check in at the same time, so you can’t send someone ahead early to hold your place. The staff were really strict about this.
So What’s It Like Having Tickets for Stephen Colbert and Being in the Studio Audience?
At around 5 pm, we were in our seats. We had had to queue for a while but fortunately for us priority ticket holders, most of that was inside in the warmth watching video skits of Stephen Colbert.
The studio held more people than we expected, but we had good seats. Before the show started, a warm-up guy came on so we could practice our cheering, laughing out loud and chanting, “Stephen! Stephen!”
Then Jon Batiste and the house band came on, followed by a quick question and answer session with Stephen Colbert before he ran offstage so he could run onstage again to start the show.
Jonathan and I were really excited when we heard that Ricky Gervais was announced as the first guest, but alas, his interview had been prerecorded on another night. Ah, so that explains why Stephen Colbert kept changing ties in between guests – to ensure continuity on the show when it airs!
So the night, we were there, there were three guests interviewed, but only one actually appeared that night on the TV show. How did we know that? Well, we had to run home after the filming to our house sit in the Bronx and watch the show when it aired that night, didn’t we? Unfortunately or maybe that should be, fortunately, we couldn’t spot ourselves in the audience.
So Who Were The Guests When We Were There?
As I don’t watch that much TV, I didn’t really know who any of the guests were, but surprisingly I had heard of the movie Beautiful Boy.
Only Bianna Golodryga appeared on TV that night when the show aired.
What You Need To Know Before Attending The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
- There’s a limit of two tickets per reservation.
- You must be at least 16 years old and show proof of ID.
- You will have to go through a security screening before being allowed entry into the studio.
- Food and drink are not allowed in the studio.
- You cannot take photos inside the studio.
- The show taping can be up to two hours and once inside the studio, you are not allowed to leave until filming is finished. Don’t worry, everyone gets the opportunity to use the bathroom before the show starts!
- Dress code is described as something you won’t mind your mum seeing you wear on TV. Bear in mind, the studio is quite chilly so bring a jacket!
How To Get To The Ed Sullivan Theaer To See Stephen Colbert
The Ed Sullivan Theatre is located at 1697 Broadway, between 53rd and 54th streets not far from Times Square. The nearest subways are at 57th Street and 7th Avenue. But if you download the MyTransit NYC Subway, Bus, Rail app, that will tell you the best way to get where you need to go.
How To Get Daily Show Tickets and See Trevor Noah
Tickets for The Daily Show with Trevor Noah are not available through 1iota but through https://www.showclix.com/event/TheDailyShowwithTrevorNoah. You can generally book six weeks to two months in advance.
There are two types of tickets: General Guaranteed (They go really quickly!) and Entry Not Guaranteed.
Even though we booked as soon as the dates appeared online, we could only get the Entry Not Guaranteed tickets which are on a first come, first served basis. Fortunately or unfortunately, the day we went was the first snow of the season, which meant in theory fewer people waiting and a better chance of us getting in. But it was so cold standing in line, and there were a few moments as the weather got increasingly worse that we were tempted to abandon the wait and head back to our warm house-sit.
After what seemed ages, but my hands were too cold to look at my watch and check how long we had been waiting, we were given tickets to enter. Woohoo, we were in. I have to say, I don’t know if it was the weather conditions or it’s normally like this but let’s just say the staff were not quite as organised and on the ball as the Stephen Colbert staff.
So What’s It Like Being Part Of The Studio Audience For The Daily Show With Trevor Noah
The studio was not as large as the Ed Sullivan theatre, but before they started filming, you were allowed to take photos.
Once we were inside, we forgot how cold we had been and were really looking forward to the show. Despite the bad weather, the studio was completely full.
Just before the show started a warm-up guy came on to encourage us to laugh, applause, cheer loudly and generally be a fabulous studio audience.
The show was a lot of fun to watch and Trevor Noah was very apologetic and proud of us for waiting ages in sub-zero temperature. The guest for the evening was Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York senator. Jonathan says she is cynically political and opportunistic, but me being British had no idea who she was. I was just excited to be there.
What You Need To Know Before Attending The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
- You must make a reservation in advance.
- You must be at least 18 years of age.
- You can be in groups of up to four people.
- You have to pass through security and any large bags will be taken from you and handed back after the show.
- You can take photos before filming starts, but not during the show.
- You can’t leave the studio until filming has finished.
How To Get To The Daily Show Studio
The Daily Show studio is located in Hell’s Kitchen at 733 Eleventh Avenue located between 51st and 52nd Streets. The nearest subway station to the studio is the C/E at 50th/8th Avenue.
Would We Recommend Being Part Of A Studio Audience?
Totally. It was a great experience, both to see the show and to see how the show is made.
Have you ever been part of a studio audience? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.