NYC List: Live from New York, It's Saturday Night!

My practically all-consuming fascination with pop culture makes Saturday Night Live one of my all-time favorite shows.  I love that you can watch any episode from any season, and it will perfectly reflect what was going on in the world - from politics to news stories to celebrity - at that moment in time.  Also, Fred Armisen.

I knew I wanted to go to a taping of SNL while we were here, but I've never successfully obtained tickets from the lottery (which you can only enter once a year, in August).  The only other option, besides personally knowing someone who works for or is on the show, which I do not, is to camp out for stand-by tickets.  It was one freezing cold adventure, but we did it.  Checked another item off our NYC List!

Saturday, February 16
1 AM:  We arrived at 30 Rock to get in the queue.  It was lightly raining and continued to do so all night long.  Thankfully we did bring a couple trash bags, but we could have used a few more or a tarp.  Scott immediately took a nap, while I read a magazine.
2 AM:  Still raining.  Temperature reached it's lowest point, 36 degrees, where it stayed the rest of the night.
3 AM:  Scott takes a food, bathroom, and warm-up break at the 24-hour McDonald's a couple blocks away.  This was probably the first and only time in our lives where I was being tougher than he was!  For real, that will never happen again.
4 AM:  My turn for a McDonald's trip.  There were sure a lot of hobos sleeping in that McDonald's.
5 AM:  I make the fatal error of taking off my gloves and hat for a few minutes because I got a little too warm in the McDonald's.  Bad idea!  I laid down to take a little nap, and even though I bundled back up, I never got warm again.  Misery!
6 AM:  Lost feeling in all 10 toes, but there wasn't much longer to wait!  Must power through!  About this time, everyone who had waited in line all night started waking up, and tons of people were showing up to get in line.  There were about 80 people in front of us, but at least 150 behind us.
7 AM:  The NBC pages came out to the line to hand out tickets!  When they come down the line, you can either choose to go to the live show or the dress rehearsal.  It's a gamble as to which one will allow more stand-by ticket holders in, but we went with the dress rehearsal, and got ticket numbers 45 and 46.  Hopped in a cab, headed home, and went to sleep with the heater blasting.
7 PM:  We went back to 30 Rock to get in line and see if we would make it in.  After about 45 minutes of waiting, we got swept through security and into some elevators, went up to the 9th floor, and we emerged in Studio 8H.  IN!!!!!
8 PM:  We were threatened with having our cameras or phones taken from us and broken in half in front of our eyes if we were caught taking pictures (actually, Jason Sudeikis told us this, and it was said in a joking way, but still), so there was no way I was risking getting kicked out of a place I waited outside in 36 degree rain for 6 hours to get into, so no pictures did I take!

8:30 PM:  Dress rehearsal begins!  The whole thing was magical.  Seeing the entire cast in person, watching how they move the sets and how quick the changes are, seeing the cameras move and the fast pace of the whole thing - AMAZING.  Plus, since we were at the dress rehearsal, we actually saw 4 sketches that didn't make it to air! 
In case you didn't catch the show this Saturday, here's one of my favorite clips.  Christoph Waltz, this week's host, did quite an admirable job, especially since he's much more of a serious actor than a comedian.  (Warning:  one naughty word - don't turn up the volume at work!)

And even through the cold, the rain, the waiting, the not sleeping at normal hours, and the hobos...we kind of want to do it again!


  1. the play by play is amazing. i woke up at 9 am on saturday wondering if you got tickets btw.

  2. i'm with heidi, great documentation of such an awesome night!

  3. ok. definitely the best documentation ever. and this is SO on my bucket list but I cannot imagine being outside overnight in NYC!!!

  4. I attended the live show that night and it was amazing!!!! One question, do you know the name of the song that the snl cast members performed (after sudekis gave the ground rules for taking pictures, etc.)

    Me and my girlfriend can't think of it, and we were wondering if anyone there that night could remember. Fred Armisen was on guitar/vocals and Kenan and Tarran sang as well. Thanks!

    1. I do know what song it was (assuming they played the same song at dress rehearsal anyway)! It was "Train in Vain" by the Clash. That actually may have been my favorite part of the whole show. Glad to meet another person who attended that night!

  5. How fun!! What a great experience!