Here’s how to get free tickets to late night comedy shows in NYC

How to get free tickets to Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. Photo via @fullfrontalsamb on Instagram.
How to get free tickets to Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. Photo via @fullfrontalsamb on Instagram.

Late night comedy broadcast shows have always been free to attend in New York because they depend on having a live audience for their taping—but for as long as they’ve been free, they’ve been in high demand. Whether you have to enter a lottery, hop on a wait-list, wake up at an ungodly hour to shred your dignity on a Midtown street corner for a standby, or just get lucky and obtain an actual ticket, where there’s a will there’s a way!

A chance to see the latest crop of late night hosts, the likes of Samantha Bee, Jon Oliver, Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert live, for free, is pretty exciting, as they’ve added some much needed punch to late night, taking on big issues and serving as a pressure release valve for our daily political absurdities in a post-Jon Stewart world. Here’s how to do it: 

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
CBS Broadcast Center
528 W. 57th St.
Mondays, 5:30pm

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee on TBS was just renewed through January 2017. The Blacklist NYC is giving away free tickets to three live tapings: September the 12th, 19th, and 26th. Get them here.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
CBS Broadcast Center
Sundays, 6:15pm

Score free tickets to live tapings of John Oliver here. They ask that if you attended last season to abstain this time around, because they have a back-log of folks vying to attend for the first time.

To try for standby, show up at the CBS Broadcast Center at 4pm on Sundays that they’re filming— but availability is limited.

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert 
Ed Sullivan Theater
1697 Broadway
daily, times vary

There’s currently a wait-list for tapings through the end of September, but you can hop on it here.

For standby tickets, show up at the Ed Sullivan Theater at 1pm the same day as the show you’d like to see.

If you do manage to score a ticket reservation, know that there’s a limit of two tickets per reservation, and you can only attend once every six months!

Late Night with Seth Meyers
NBC Studios
30 Rockefeller Plaza
5:30pm, Monday thru Thursday nights

They begin accepting ticket requests a month in advance. Check the show’s Twitter and Instagram to keep track of when they put out a call for requests next. That being said, if there are spots available for a particular taping, you can request a ticket here.

If you aren’t able to reserve a ticket, you can always try for a stand-by ticket. The day of the show you want to see, line up no later than 9am under the NBC marquee on 49th St, where standbys will be handed out. Of course, a standby ticket doesn’t guarantee admission.

To attend monologue rehearsals, you can also grab tickets the same day, at 1130am when the interns hand them out at The Shop at NBC Studios at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. These are only valid if you’re not already attending the show that day.

Individuals are limited to attending one show in a four month period, due to high demand!

30 Rockefeller Plaza
Saturdays, 8pm dress rehearsal, 11:30pm live show

The ticket lottery for the 2016-2017 season is currently open until the end of August. Send an email to [email protected] before the end of the month with your contact info, and if you’re selected, you’ll be given two tickets to a random show date.

Standby is an option for same day attendance of the 8pm dress rehearsal or 11:30pm live broadcast. Show up day of, at 7am at the 48th St. side of 3o Rockefeller Plaza, where tickets will be distributed.

One Response to

  1. Brian

    When do the Samantha Bee tickets become available? Is it first come first served, or is it a lottery? How far in advance do you know if you’ve got tickets?

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