How to Get Saturday Night Live Tickets

Saturday Night Live "Weekend Update"
••• Dana Edelson/NBC

Saturday Night Live has regained new popularity in the wake of the presidential election of Donald Trump, and as a result, tickets are harder than ever to come by for filmings of the show. However, the process for applying for these tickets is relatively simple as it just takes an e-mail to the ticket lottery between August 1 and 31st.

Although tickets have already been handed out for the 2017 to 2018 season, you can still get standby tickets for either the 8 p.m. dress rehearsal or the 11:30 p.m. live broadcast by visiting the 48th Street side of Rockefeller Center at 7 a.m. on days of filming.

Ticketing is limited to audience members over the age of 16, and aside from minimal but necessary breaks, all stand-by attendees must remain in the line at all times to get a ticket, which is limited to one-per-person on a first-come, first-served basis. If you're lucky enough to score one of these exclusive passes to the filming, be sure to arrive no later than 7:15 p.m. for the dress rehearsal and 10:45 p.m. for the live show.

Getting Saturday Night Live Tickets in Advance

Every August, you can submit your request for Saturday Night Live Tickets via email, which will be distributed by a lottery program sometime in September.

Be sure to include your name, phone number, email address and mailing address in the body of the email, but be warned that only those who are selected for tickets will receive an email confirmation and two tickets to either a live taping or a dress rehearsal on a random date.

You cannot request a date to attend a taping, which may make it difficult to plan this NYC staple as part of your trip itinerary to New York City. Some people certainly get lucky and get tickets but many more people enter the lottery every year and don't get tickets, but if you happen to be one of the unlucky ones who lose the lottery, you can try the stand-by line on the day of the show.

Getting Standby Saturday Night Live Tickets

Stand-by tickets are distributed at 7 a.m. on the morning of the taping under the "NBC Studios" marquee on the 50th St. side of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, but keep in mind that many people line up for these tickets days in advance, so you might not get a ticket even if you show up a few hours before the tickets are to be distributed.

Once you join the line, you are expected to stay in line for the duration, with the understanding that folks may leave for only for short necessary breaks (i.e. to go to the bathroom.) Standby tickets are available for either the 8 p.m. dress rehearsal or the 11:30 p.m. live show and only one ticket will be issued per person.

Please note that a stand-by ticket does not guarantee admission, and all guests must be at least 16 years old and present a valid photo ID to attend the taping or dress rehearsal performances.  Check the Saturday Night Live website to be sure they're airing a new episode on a given date before you plan to wait for standby tickets.

Bring a sweater or jacket if you're attending a taping—they keep the studios pumped full of refrigerated air, and be aware that the weather and the guest host play a big role in the competitiveness for getting standby tickets (and how early people start to line up).