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By far one of the most awesome things you can do in New York City is going to see a taping of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. It is also one of the most frustrating things to try to organise before you go. The free tickets seem to be released sporadically throughout the year and always seem to be sold out whenever you go onto the website that releases them.

Never fear, there is a better way, but be warned it is likely to take up an entire day. Hopefully, my step by step account will help you in getting to see Jimmy live.

Be aware this is an account of how to get standby tickets and by no means will guarantee you access to the shows taping, however if you have a few days in New York you can try a couple of times.

Firstly, be prepared to get up early. We got there at 6am and there were already people waiting in the line. The line forms outside of NBC studios at Rockefeller centre and people dig in. People have blankets to sit on and food and it’s like a good old fashioned camp out before most concert tickets went to being sold online.

It’s obvious where the line forms, there is are partitions set up every night to show people where the queue for standby tickets forms. Standby tickets are realised to the people in the line at 9am sharp, someone will come out of the building and take down names in the order in which people arrived and give out the standby passes, please note these are not the tickets but confirm to the officials what order in which you arrived. Be sure to have government issued identification with you such as a drivers licence or passport, you won’t be given a pass without one.

After passes are distributed you will be told to come back before the shows taping, usually by about 3pm, so try to plan something else to do in New York between the hours of 9:30am and 2:30pm that isn’t too far away from Rockefeller Centre.

Return on time, the place you return to is the store at NBC studios and again they will sort you into the order in which you arrive and you may even move up a few spots when other people don’t turn up. Why people don’t turn up after waiting over three hours for something is beyond me, but it happens. You then have to stand in this order until the people with confirmed tickets turn up and are seated in the studio, this is when they will know how many standby tickets to issue and how many extra people they are letting in. This is when the standby tickets are issued, usually they will call out the range of numbers allowed in. If you are not in the call out, DO NOT LEAVE! Luckily for me, my boyfriend and I were numbers 15 & 16 and we got in the first round, however they did progressively call out other number ranges as time ticked by. In the end, everyone was let in as not many people with confirmed tickets actually showed up.

This can be due to various reasons, the reason at our taping is most likely because they didn’t really have any big name up and comers on the show. We didn’t care, we went to see Jimmy.

After we were told we were getting in we were issued with wrist bands, actual number tickets and then escorted upstairs and through security, be aware if you have a large camera they will question you and make sure you’re aware there is no videotaping or photography allowed in the studio.

Once through security, you are then sat in the glamorous waiting room outside the studio, where they call various numbers in to be seated. Get comfortable you are likely to be last as we were. Don’t worry though, the studio is much smaller than it looks on TV and all the seats are good. There are also bathrooms at this point, make sure you make use of these as if you leave during the taping you won’t be allowed back in.

Once you are seated the show usually starts in about 30 minutes, someone comes into warm the audience up. The roots come out and take their seats, followed by Steve Higgins and BOOM! You’re watching the Tonight Show at studio 34 in the heart of New York City in Rockefeller centre….