Saturday Night Live
If you get tickets to Saturday Night Live, you earn bragging rights; this is one hard ticket to nail. The late-night comedy show that parodies current events has more Emmy nominations (126) than any other show in television history. Tickets are only given out once a year, only during the month of August and only on a lottery basis. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Standby tickets (for the dress rehearsal or show) are sometimes available.
LIVE! with Regis & Kelly
Scoring tickets to this syndicated talk show hosted by Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa isn’t easy. The current wait is up to a year. The show airs live weekdays.
Rachael Ray Show
Foodies love Rachael Ray’s popular cooking show that took cooking down a couple notches for real people with limited time and resources. It tapes in Midtown Manhattan on Tuesday through Thursday.
The Wendy Williams Show
A lively gossip talk show --there’s even a dance party on the set before the show tapes. Williams is a lovable diva with a trademark “woot, woot” that gets the audience going. The show broadcasts live from a Midtown studio on Monday through Thursday.
Another much-sought-after morning show, this one hosted by female celebrities including Whoopi Goldberg. The ladies vacillate from snarky to sentimental while dishing among themselves and celebrity guests.The show tapes live on the Upper West Side, Monday through Thursday; an additional show tapes during the week.
The Martha Stewart Show
Tickets for Martha’s smart recipe and crafts show during which she make things domestic divas can’t, can typically be secured about a month out. The show is shot Monday through Wednesday in a Chelsea studio.
The Dr. Oz Show
A hypochondriac’s dream, celebrity doc Mehmet Oz talks health with experts and lucky audience members who are chosen to discuss their ailments. The show can be a lifesaver, especially for those who lack insurance. Shows are taped at Rockefeller Plaza, 3 days a week.
Late Show with David Letterman
On the Top 10 list of many visitors and New Yorkers, good luck getting tickets to see David Letterman banter with A-list celebs and his sidekick, band leader Paul Shaffer. The show is taped in Midtown Monday through Thursday. Register online or in person for tickets.
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Nocturnals know this comedic talk show airs at 12:35 a.m. But it tapes Monday through Friday at Rockefeller Plaza. Bonus: “Band Bench” fans are chosen to sit on the studio floor while musical artists perform.
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Comedy Central’s hit show that covers news events with a comic (and, arguably, liberal) bent, this is one of the hottest tickets in New York. Jon Stewart is so popular, many viewers prefer to get their news here. The show tapes Monday through Thursday in Midtown.
The Colbert Report
Another tough Comedy Central ticket to nail. Stephen Colbert was once a funny man on Stewart’s Daily Show before headlining his own. The show tapes in Midtown Monday through Thursday.
You can secure a ticket to Governor Mike Huckabee’s talk show a whole lot easier than he could win a Republican presidential ticket. The Fox News conservative-spin show tapes Saturday in Midtown.
The Today Show
You don’t need tickets to congregate in the outside plaza where segments of this morning news show, anchored by Ann Curry and Matt Lauer, are sometimes shot. The show is shot live weekdays at Rockefeller Plaza.
The Early Show
The CBS morning news show, anchored by Erica Hill and Chris Wragge, also has an outdoor plaza that is often part of the set; on weekdays the weather forecast is given from here. The show is taped live Monday through Saturday in Midtown. On Saturdays, visit backstage and take a studio tour.
Good Morning America
The morning news show, anchored by George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts, is taped before a live studio audience in Times Square on weekdays. Visit the website to sign up for a backstage tour.
Even jaded New Yorkers have their antennas up for one of these New York-taped shows. It’s a fun outing and doesn’t cost a dime.