The Daily Show
The Daily Show airs Monday through Thursday at 11 p.m. on Comedy Central. This Emmy-winning and Peabody Award-winning program discusses and satirizes current events, and it’s become famous for its smart yet controversial portrayals of the news. You must be 18 or older to attend a taping, and you’ll want to snag a reservation early in advance to guarantee yourself a seat. Tapings are at 6 p.m.
Good Morning America
For early risers, grab a seat at the live taping of Good Morning America – ABC’s morning news segment. Taped each weekday morning in Times Square at 7 a.m., co-hosts Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, Lara Spencer, Amy Robach, and Ginger Zee deliver the morning headlines, weather reports, interviews, and more. Request a ticket online, where you can also see which celebrity guests will be making an appearance.
Late Night With Seth Meyers
You’ll have to book a ticket four to six weeks in advance to catch Late Night With Seth Meyers – one of the most popular shows on television. It tapes Monday through Thursday at 6:30 p.m., or you can get a separate ticket to watch Seth Meyers rehearse his monologue on the day of the show. Tickets for the monologue rehearsal are given out at 11:30 a.m. at The Shop at NBC Studios, and it’s a unique opportunity to hear his jokes before they’re told on television.
The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon
The Tonight Show is the longest-running nighttime franchise on NBC, airing Monday through Friday at 11:30 p.m. It stars Jimmy Fallon – an Emmy winner and a Grammy winner who’s had every celebrity guest under the sun (including Barack Obama), and even the show’s live house band is award winning. Booking tickets in advance can be tough due to the show’s extreme popularity, but it’s worth it. Otherwise, you can line up for a ticket early in the morning outside 30 Rockefeller, or like with Late Night, try to snag a ticket to a monologue rehearsal.
Created in 1997, The View is a talk show famously hosted by women, each offering their ‘view’ on the news and current events. Whoopi Goldberg moderates the conversation, and the panel currently includes Raven-Symone, Candace Cameron Bure, Paula Faris, Sara Haines, Jedediah Bila, and Sunny Hostin. Order tickets ahead of time online (compared to some other shows on this list, they’re not as hard to come by), and you’ll only need to arrive half an hour ahead of time.
Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live (SNL) is almost synonymous with NYC television, so it’s no surprise that tickets to its tapings are coveted. If you don’t know, SNL is a live comedy and entertainment show that airs Saturdays at 11:30 p.m., so if you’re looking for laughs, there’s no better option. Because of its popularity, tickets are given out once per year via lottery. Of course, you can always try getting a standby ticket – as long as you’re willing to wait outside 30 Rockefeller Plaza before 7 a.m.
Inside The Actors Studio
Hosted by James Lipton, Inside The Actors Studio brings actors and other names in show business on stage for interviews. Most of the interviews are one-on-one, and the entertainers often reveal unexpected and personal information about their lives. It’s taped at Pace University, and most of the audience members are in fact students of the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace, but sometimes tickets become open to the public. You can’t reserve in advance for this one, so you’ll instead have to wait outside the Michael Schimmel Center For The Arts on the day of the show to see if any are available.
If waiting for tickets doesn’t sound like something you want to do, your best bet is to check out NBC’s The Today Show. NBC’s morning news and lifestyle show doesn’t require tickets at all because it tapes on the ground floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza on the corner of 48th Street. Fans can simply gather outside to catch the show, and there are often celebrity and musical guests. Arrive early (the show starts at 7 a.m.) to get a good spot.