Tickets to Tapings of Conan

Seeing Stars: Free Tickets to Studio Tapings

taped at Warner Bros. Studio

4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA

One of the things you can do when you're in town is to watch a taping of the "Conan" show, as part of the studio audience.  It can be a fun experience, especially if you're a fan of Conan.

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 simply "Conan".

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, Jennifer 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), Pee-Wee Herman, Anne Hathaway, Chris Hemsworth, Steve Martin, Reese Witherspoon, Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, Zachary Quinto, Jodie Foster, Patrick Stewart, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ray Romano, Dwayne Johnson, Tim Allen, the cast of "Game of Thrones", Lea Michele (and most other members of the "Glee" cast), Shaquille O'Neal, Steve Carell, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Alec Baldwin, Rob Lowe, Carol Burnett, Ice-T, Zac Efron, Claire Danes, Zooey Deschanel, Kristen Bell, Kelsey Grammer, Justin Bieber, Nathan Fillion, Alexander Skarsgård, Ron Howard, Christina Aguilera, Seth Rogen, Kevin Hart, Mila Kunis, and too many others to list.

Musical guests performing on the show have included:

Paul Simon, Ringo Starr, Maroon 5, Christina Aguilera, Cheap Trick, My Chemical Romance, Motörhead, The Black Keys, Panic! at the Disco, Flogging Molly, Pitbull, Foo Fighters, Joe Jonas, Morrissey, Glen Campbell, They Might Be Giants, Neon Trees, Rufus Wainwright, The Fray, Imagine Dragons, Dropkick Murphys, Fall Out Boy, Avril Lavigne, Pentatonix, Goo Goo Dolls, Kenny Chesney, Miley Cyrus, Jackson Browne, Brian Wilson, Tom Jones, Death Cab for Cutie, "Weird Al" Yankovic, and more often, a ton of indie and alternative bands.

So, do you want to go be part of the studio audience and watch a taping of "Conan"?

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, CA.

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.

 Getting there: Warner Bros Studios is located in Burbank, on the east side of the San Fernando Valley, northeast of Universal Studios.  They have several large parking garages, located at various locations around the studio.  At the time of this writing, they are having Conan audience members park at the garage near Gate 8, which is on the south side of the studio, off Forest Lawn Drive.  But that could change in time, so be sure to check your email intructions when they contact you (after you request tickets). 

[You can access the "Conan" official website

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