There can’t be many people in the world who haven’t seen an episode of “Saturday Night Live,” also referred to as “SNL.” The live sketch show that began in 1975 is still going strong. The cast of characters may have changed, but the game remains the same: to make people laugh.
As there is only one show a week, and then only in the season of September/October to May, tickets are extremely difficult to come by. A pair usually go for about $8,000 on fundraising websites, and that’s about the only way to get them, aside from joining the stand-by line for hours or even overnight.
What is the stand-by line all about? If you are in New York and willing to make the effort, you could possibly score a couple of “SNL” tickets by tapping into a big vein of patience. Every week, people line up outside the studio in the hope of getting seats. Depending on the caliber of the guest host, they start the ritual in the wee hours of the morning or earlier. Of course, the closer you are to the front of the line, the better chance you have.
You will have to choose between getting a stand-by seat for the dress rehearsal or the live broadcast show. You may see some skits in the dress rehearsal that don’t make it to the live broadcast, and if you don’t take dress rehearsal seats, you could find yourself left out in the cold – literally. Just bear that in mind when you’re choosing.
Stand-by ticket rules
Stand-by tickets are distributed at 7 a.m. on the 48th Street side of 30 Rockefeller Plaza on the morning of a show. You may choose a stand-by ticket for either the 8 p.m. dress rehearsal or the 11:30 p.m. live broadcast. Aside from minimal, necessary breaks, all stand-by line members must remain in line at all times. Stand-by tickets are limited to one per person and are issued on a first-come, first-served basis. A stand-by ticket does not guarantee admission.
What some fans may not realize is there is a way to get tickets for free and it is as easy as sending an email. For one month only – the month of August – “SNL” holds a lottery. It used to be that you would just email them asking for tickets, but now you have to give a reason why you would like to be in the studio audience.
Don’t go into a great, long 3,000-word tale, as odds are good they won’t have time to read it. Simply come up with a reason that will get you noticed and put it across in a few lines.
Thousands of people apply each year, so naturally not everyone is going to win. However, it is free to enter, so really what have you got to lose?
You will not receive a response if you weren’t fortunate enough to win tickets, but if you do win, you will be told what date to attend. The only thing to do next is book an airline ticket to New York and a hotel. Yes, there is an expense there, but we’re talking about “Saturday Night Live” here, where Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Will Ferrell, Chris Farley and so many others launched their careers.
The bragging rights alone make it worth your while.
To enter the lottery for ‘SNL’ tickets, email [email protected] and give the reason why you want to be a part of the studio audience. The lottery closes on Aug. 31. Only one entry per household.