Rachel’s Rad Saturday Night Live Adventure


by Rachel Poe

Opinions Co-Editor

Over Columbus Day weekend, my co-editor Colleen, our friend Carly, and I camped out on the streets of Midtown for 15 hours for Saturday Night Live tickets. Before you call us crazy, just know that countless strangers passed and already called us that. But Gal Gadot was hosting and if you know anything about me, there’s no way in hell that I’m missing out on an opportunity to see Diana, Princess of Themscyria in real life!

So, here’s how it works. SNL has a waiting list that they send out tickets to for each show. Naturally, not everyone who is sent a ticket shows up, so they have empty seats to fill and those seats are available for standby ticket holders. These tickets (which are free!) are available starting at seven in the morning on Saturday. People start getting there as early as Thursday night – early Friday morning to get in line. If you’re not that crazy, getting there from like noon or before five on Friday afternoon is still a good time. Maybe a little earlier for a bigger act, like a popular comedian or a popular musical guest.

We got there around four on Friday and set up camp. The 15 hours we waited went by pretty fast actually. Between the book I brought, food and bathroom runs, talking to others in line, group rant sessions, and answering questions from randos on the street about what I was waiting in line for and who Gal Gadot was, it didn’t really feel like I was sitting on the streets of Midtown for 15 hours straight for just the possibility of seeing a show that’s only like an hour and a half long.

Going off of that, what bothered me the most about the whole experience isn’t waiting in line for 15 hours, but the fact that even after all that, there’s no real guarantee that you’ll actually get in to see the show. On Saturday morning, NBC representatives walk out and go up the line to hand out tickets. You get the choice between the live show and the dress rehearsal. Our group went for the dress rehearsal and got numbers 27-29. I definitely recommend trying for dress rehearsal for your first time. There’s more skits and there’s a higher chance of getting in. The security guy that escorted us in told us that normally anywhere from 20 to 60 on standby could get in to see the show. Easily 50 people on standby got in when we went.

The show itself was awesome. We were seated in the front row slightly off to the right, which was a great view. Mind you, though, you’re not going to be able to see every skit. And, of course, Gal Gadot killed it, she’s such a professional and beautiful ray of sunshine it ended up being totally worth it.

If you’re reading this article and going hell yeah, I want to spend a weekend of my life doing this then here are couple extra tips for your SNL experience :

  1. Bring things to keep you entertained. Don’t just rely on your phone or your computer because they will die. I recommend bringing that book that’s been sitting on your shelf since the start of school, playing cards, or even a coloring book. The more you can stay off an electronic device the better.
  2. Get yourself a portable charger. Like I said, your phone is gonna die and hey, it’s a good investment for future shenanigans like road trips. You can even buy them at the bookstore.
  3. Bring layers and something to sit on. Even if the air doesn’t get cold, the ground sure will. A chair and a sleeping bag are a must, plus whatever extra layers you’ll need for the time of year you’re going.
  4. Don’t forget your earplugs. True story, there’s a guy that sits out on his fire escape around three in the morning and just rifts on his electric guitar. From what others were saying in line, he thinks that we’re “destroying the neighborhood” or something. If you’re not a deep sleeper, have something to cancel out the noise.
  5. Stay hydrated but not too hydrated. Finding somewhere to go to the bathroom at 3:30 in the morning is not a fun experience. You’ll probably end up in a 24-hour McDonald’s with some sketchy people camping out in their bathrooms. Yeah.
  6. Don’t over prepare. You don’t need 20 different bags of snacks or four extra sweatshirts. Honestly, all you really need is a sleeping bag, some sort of second layer, your portable charger, a bag of pretzels, a water bottle, and a good book. Don’t overanalyze, there’s countless places to grab food or extra gear if you forget something. Just enjoy the experience.

Honestly, I would definitely do this again. Grab a couple friends, wait for a host or band you like, and head down after class on Friday. I mean, c’mon, we go to school in New York City, might as well take advantage of it.

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