Seeing Stars: Free Tickets to Studio Tapings
Conan O'Brien has bounced around a bit on TV. First, for 16 years (1993-2009), he was the host of Late Night with Conan O'Brien on NBC, which came on just after the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
When NBC briefly moved Jay Leno's show to primetime (in 2010), they promoted Conan to the Tonight Show. But that didn't last long.
When Leno didn't fare as well in primetime, and was returned
to his usual slot, and NBC planned to bump Conan back to his
former later slot, he quit and moved to TBS for this new show, titled
But Conan's basic show hasn't changed that much - he still even has sidekick Andy Richter and the same house band: Jimmy Vivino and the Basic Cable Band. The show airs Monday through Thursday on TBS at 11 PM.
Guests on "Conan" have included: Tom Hanks, Harrison Ford, Halle Berry, Benedict Cumberbatch, Vin Diesel, Nicole Kidman, Jim Parsons (and most of the other members of "The Big Bang Theory" cast), Cameron Diaz, Natalie Portman, Chris Pratt, Daniel
Radcliffe, Chris Pine, Hugh Jackman, Adam Sandler, Hilary Swank, Dick Van Dyke, Orlando Bloom, Jane Fonda,
Garner, Elizabeth Banks, Neil Patrick Harris,
Elijah Wood, Liv Tyler, Bryan Cranston, Ashton Kutcher, Jennifer Aniston (and all the other members of the "Friends" cast), and too many others to list.
Well, as you might expect,
the show tapes Mondays through Thursdays (no Fridays) most weeks of the
year. And those tapings take place at Warner Bros Studios, in Burbank,
Although it's a late
night show, it's actually taped around 4:30 PM), a process that takes
less than two hours. (The actual taping takes just one hour.)
The good news is that the show gets high marks (by people who have gone to a taping) for running a smooth, fun operation.
But it can be a lengthy process.
First, you need to go here to request your tickets to a taping.
The tickets you get will usually be for a show to be taped a month away.
Once you get an email
confirming you have the tickets (usually in a week or two), you still
have to be careful, because (like most shows) they hand out more
tickets than they have actual seats, on the assumption that some of the
people with tickets won't show up (which is usually true). But it also
means that if everyone does show up, then some of the people holding tickets won't get in.
You can make sure you do by getting there early. Be sure to print out your confirmation email before you leave. The parking at the Warner Bros garage is free.
Show up around 12:30 PM,
and they will hand out numbered wristbands (and your actual tickets)
early on, and those guarantee you a seat at the taping.
And once you have that
wristband, you are free to leave the studio, do whatever you want (like
have lunch) and come back later, around 3 PM, for the actual taping.
(It beats hanging around their parking garage for hours.)
It might pay to scout the
restaurants in the Burbank area in advance - or, if you'd like to try
something more touristy, you could always drop by Forest Lawn Hollywood, which is right next door to the studio, to check out the final resting places of the stars.
When you come back at 3 PM,
they will walk your group across the street from that parking building,
for a half-mile hike through Warner Bros Studios, to Stage 15, where
they tape "Conan".
The good thing is that you get to see a lot of the historic studio's back lot sets without paying for their studio tour.
The bad thing is that it's
a relatively long walk. If you have any problem with walking a
distance (e.g. if you're handicapped or pregnant), they'll provide a
free tram ride so you don't have to walk - which is cool. So be sure
to speak up if you need a lift.
At Conan's Stage 15, you'll be seated based on the number on your wristband, on a first-come-first-seated basis.
But being in the first few
rows may not be your best option, since I've heard that the view from
those lower rows can sometimes be blocked by the cameras. You might be
better off sitting a bit higher.
The show starts taping at 4:30 PM and takes an hour.
Again, the first step is to go here and sign up for tickets.
can access the "Conan" official website
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