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1.17 I want to go to a taping. What should I know? (Late Night with Conan O'Brien)




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This article is from the Conan O'Brien FAQ, by Joseph Gebis j-gebis@uiuc.edu with numerous contributions by others.

1.17 I want to go to a taping. What should I know? (Late Night with Conan O'Brien)

Here's a couple of tips on getting tickets. It is just as easy to call
for tickets as it is to write for them. If you know way far in advance
that you are going to go to a particular show, write in for them (use the
address in section 1.12). Otherwise, you can just call in and get
tickets a reasonable time before the date of the show. The wait
*has* been getting longer, so reserve tickets as soon as you know
you want to go. Remember, the show now tapes from Tuesday to Friday, so
Mondays are no good. Even, and especially, if you are going to write in
for tickets, it wouldn't hurt to call NBC to make sure that the show
won't be on vacation the dates you wish to go. Standby tickets are given
out from the NBC Tour Desk throughout the day of the show, though usually in
the morning and right before the show. Outside of those times, you
should ask at the desk if there are any left. Three hundred regular tickets
(not standbys) are sent out to a mailing list of hotels and universities
in Manhatten. Check at your hotel desk or student union to see if they
are on the list to receive tickets.

Once you get to Rockefeller Center, there are a couple things to be
aware of. You can now start lining up for the show (on the wall by the
elevators opposite the NBC Tour Line) at 3:00. Previously, pages used to
shoo people aware before 4 PM. If you have standby tickets, be sure to
get there extra early to increase your chances of getting a seat.
Outside of some occasional VIP seating, it is democratic first come-first
serve. It is *strongly* suggested to get there as close to 3:00 as possible,
especially for the popular Friday shows. A limited amount of standing-
room-only seating is available for the overspill.

A note on younger children: There is currently a prohibition on young
children under 16 coming into the studio for a taping. This is obviously
to avoid crying babies and pesky children disrupting the show (not to
mention the various curses which pass unbleeped in the studio). If a
child is old enough to pass for 16, there shouldn't be a problem. If not,
and it is a slow night, you may be able to get the child in with sheer
persistence. Please, do not force children that you know will be
disruptive into the studio.

Here's a couple of technical points on seating. You can pretty much
gage where you want to sit. If you want to be seen on camera, you want
to be right behind the railing by the bandstand, ideally right behind
Max. Also, in the center in back will also likely get you on camera. If
you want to dance with Conan or get a hug from Andy, you should sit on the
right side on the aisle. They seat left side to right side, so pick your
place. Remember: first in the elevator is last out. Sometimes the
seating is modified due to VIP lists or the like who get preferential
seating.

If you are looking to give gifts or the like to Conan, you have
different opportunities. If you are on the left side, give your presents
to the pages as they seat you. If you are on the aisles on the right
side, you have more of a chance to give your gift directly to Conan. If
you miss your chance, give your gift to the pages as they lead you out.

Here is a description of the "standard" warm-up that they do before the
show goes on. If you want to be surprised, don't read this:

Mike Sweeney, one of the writers, comes out, and begins doing a warm-up
routine. He talks to the audience, engaging them and setting them up for
jokes and barbs. He'll pick on people from out of town, from other
countries, in groups, etc. After that, he'll introduce Max and the band,
who will play for a while. Mike comes back up the stairs and introduces
Conan. Conan barges up the stairs, picks out a woman sitting on the isle,
and begins singing and dancing with her. After this is over, he will
sheepishly apologize to her and everyone for making a fool of himself.
He'll then talk to the woman for a while, and then introduce "the man who
saved my life in Korea," Andy. Conan will then get Andy to give hugs to the
woman and some other people. Conan will tell the band to show some
enthusiasm, and then they all go crazy for a while. La Bamba tries to
vault up into the crowd, but breaks the top off of one of the posts on
the railing. The band, except for Max, then comes up and dances with
Conan and the woman. They all go back, and Conan and Andy leave. Mike
comes back and gives out the ground rules of behavior, and then Max and
the boys play until the show is ready to start.

 

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