A couple weeks ago we decided to try out one of New York’s best celeb experiences – Jimmy Fallon’s Monologue Rehearsal.
Each day, before taping Late Night, Jimmy Fallon rehearses his monologue in front of a small, live audience which anyone can be a part of.
Free tickets for the monologue are handed out every day between 11:30 AM and 12:00 PM, and then again between 1:00 PM and 1:30 PM, in the NBC Experience Store located at 30 Rockefeller Center in New York City, just look for the Late Night Interns wearing LNWJF t-shirts.
Though they rarely run out of tickets (they give out 60 tickets per day), if you do miss out on tickets from the interns, you can try one more time at 3:15 PM on the mezzanine level of the Experience Store.
Those with tickets must return to the mezzanine level, with their ticket, by 3:00 PM. Now, this is where things get a little sketchy. Tickets are free, but you do end up paying – with your time and your dignity.
Everyone who has tickets for the rehearsal, or stand-by tickets, is held in a room where things can get pretty tight. Then, everyone who is there to see the rehearsal is lined up against a wall where they wait some more. Next, everyone is loaded into elevators, put through metal detectors, and crowded into a vestibule outside the studio. Here the audience must wait again, for what seems like an eternity. There are a couple upsides to making it this far though. First, one of Jimmy’s writers greets everyone and explains how they write and choose jokes for the monologue, which is actually pretty interesting. And, since you are now “behind-the-scenes”, there is also a chance you might catch a celebrity or two passing by (while we were there The Voice’s Adam Levine walked by and gave us a wave).
Around 3:30 PM, everyone is finally seated in the studio (which is much smaller than it looks on TV) and Jimmy runs through that night’s jokes in a sweater and jeans while his writers make notes. Jimmy also gives a little bit of history about the studio and the show, plus, since the audience is smaller, he does interact with everyone much more than her would during a taping. The day we were there he also ran through a #Hashtag segment for that night’s show.
Explaining why he rehearses the monologue in front of an audience, Jimmy has said, “I like to get laughs and applause. I don’t know why everyone doesn’t do it. It’s pretty helpful. I look forward to doing it every day.”
For Late Night With Jimmy Fallon fans, this is a must. But for the average tourist, it might not be worth it. You definitely spend more time being herded around Rockefeller Center than you do actually in the Late Night studio.
And, it goes without saying, that Jimmy does not rehearse on the show’s days off so you might want check their schedule before heading over to 30 Rock.
For more information about how to get tickets to the rehearsal or the show, visit https://www.latenightwithjimmyfallon.com/about/tickets/.