Vacationing in the New York or Los Angeles areas? Perhaps a local without air conditioning seeking reprieve from the summer heat? A fun and free activity is to become a member of a live studio audience for one of your favorite talk shows, game shows or sitcoms. (Heck, you never know — you may be called down to be the next contestant! Plus, talk shows are always giving their studio audiences great swag.) I once attended an evening taping of the show “Dharma and Greg” while in Los Angeles for a newspaper conference. It was interesting to see the set and the actors up close and get a sense of how the industry works, and it definitely made watching “my” episode on the tube more exciting!
Find all the details, including where to request tickets for your program of choice, after the jump.
A few quick guidelines:
+ Check the minimum audience age before planning this as a family activity — nearly all audiences are 10 and up, with many 16 and up.
+ Bring ID to prove age and that your name matches the reserved ticket.
+ Show up early, as many shows are actually overbooked; tickets are no guarantee of a seat!
+ Dress nicely — if there are just a few seats remaining, well-dressed guests will be more likely to be selected.
- The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
- The Colbert Report
- NBC: Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Conan O’Brian, America’s Got Talent
- The Late Show with David Letterman
- The Martha Stewart Show
- MTV’s Total Request Live (TRL)
- Live with Regis and Kelly
- The View
- Who Wants to Be a Millionaire
- Good Morning America
- Today Show — actually no tickets, just show up out front; find the schedule for the Friday Summer Concert Series here
- Early Show — also no tickets, find details (including free shuttle bus service) here
- Audiences Unlimited (currently ticketing for The Price is Right, According to Jim, The Bill Engvall Show, etc.)
- NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Last Call with Carson Daly, America’s Got Talent
- The Ellen Degeneres Show
- Hollywood Tickets, including Deal or No Deal, The Price is Right, Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, Dr. Phil, Last Comic Standing, The Wayne Brady Show, Soap Talk, Real Time with Bill Maher, etc.
- On Camera Audiences, including American Idol, Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?, Dancing with the Stars, Hannah Montana, Family Feud, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Mind of Mencia, etc.
- 1Iota, with tickets to Jimmy Kimmel Live, Last Call with Carson Daly, American Gladiators, etc.
Visiting London? You can find links for tickets to free BBC radio and television broadcasts in the post No-Budget Tips for London and Stockholm, Revisited.