Site News

Daily Show/Colbert Report taping FAQ

Show Taping Stories

Interviews and Articles

Portrait Gallery


Odd Google Searches



Search this site


The Daily Show/The Colbert Report Tapings FAQ

  1. How do I get tickets?
  2. How do I get VIP tickets?
  3. How do I get standby tickets?
  4. How else can I get tickets?
  5. I'm under 18. Can I attend a taping?
  6. What time do the shows tape?
  7. What time should I arrive?
  8. Where are the studios?
  9. Do Jon and Stephen take questions before the show?
  10. What should I bring with me?
  11. What can't I bring with me?
  12. Is there a bathroom in the audience waiting area?
1. Getting Tickets the Old-Fangled Way

Click here to request tickets for The Daily Show.
Click here to request tickets to The Colbert Report.

Tickets are not always available, so be sure to check these sites often. Requests are generally open for The Daily Show and usually closed for The Colbert Report; word goes out among fans (and on this site) when the ticket request mailbox is open.

As of October 2006, fans are only allowed to request "Colbert Report" tickets every six months. The exact wording reads:

Unfortunately, due to high ticket demand, individuals who have attended the show are not eligible to attend for another six months from the date of attendance unless asked back to a specific show by a member of our production staff. Thank you for in advance for your cooperation.

To request tickets, follow the directions given on the Web site. "The Daily Show" has changed over to a Web-based reservation system, making it much easier for fans to choose the specific day they wish to attend.

DO NOT contact the show again until it is time to answer your confirmation e-mail. Tickets are not physical "tickets" mailed to your house. Reserving your date on the Web system (in the case of "The Daily Show") or e-mailing and confirming your ticket request (in the case of "The Colbert Report") puts your name on the audience coordinators' list for that night's show; generally, your ID will be checked against this list. (More about ID later.) You can print out and bring your confirmation e-mail if you like, but this doesn't seem to be necessary.

Tickets are free. Except in the case of fundraiser VIP tickets (see below) you should not buy or sell tickets to either show. Of course, people always do things that they shouldn't, but that doesn't make it right.

2. VIP tickets

Your guess is as good as mine how to get these, but they aren't always the big deal they seem. They're not necessarily backstage or greenroom passes...but sometimes they are. VIP tickets generally go to people who are guests of the shows, guests of the people being interviewed, or just generally people who are more important than you. When the audiences are overbooked, confirmed ticketholders who are turned away will probably receive VIP tickets to another taping.

VIP tickets are sometimes offered for sale at various charity fundraisers in the New York metro area. They turn up on eBay and other auction sites online periodically as well. If you choose to buy or bid on VIP tickets, be sure that you know who is supplying them and exactly what privileges you are getting.

The principal difference between VIP tickets and general admission tickets is that VIPs get to show up less than an hour before the taping begins. The general admission lines form two hours or more before that, and...well, you have to stand in line outside. Depending on the time of year, this can be relatively pleasant, or it can be a serious hazard to your health. VIPs don't necessarily get the best seats in the studio. In any case, the audiences are small enough that there are really no "bad" seats. The Daily Show studio holds around 300 people, and the Colbert Report studio holds around 100. Sometimes front row are the worst seats, since the cameras park themselves right in front of you.

3. Standby Tickets

If you find yourself in New York with some free time and weren't able to book tickets, you can try your chances with standby. The procedure for this differs by show. To state the obvious, both shows tape Monday through Thursday, with frequent vacation/rerun weeks, and generally follow the same schedule. Before traveling to the studio, make sure that a new show is being taped that afternoon. The Late Night TV Page is the best source for this.

To get last-minute tickets for The Daily Show, call (212) 586-2477 on the Friday prior to the date you want to attend. Call between 11:00 and 11:30 a.m. Eastern time. For same-day standby tickets, the line forms across the street at the park on 52nd and 11th. You'll wait at the corner under the "Stand-by Line" sign.

There is no last-minute ticket number for The Colbert Report yet. The standby line is next to the regular line (which is under an awning, near the studio entrance.) Make sure to leave your name with a member of the show staff, who will be holding a clipboard.

4. Other ways to get tickets

Ah, you're sneaky. So are a lot of other people. On Livejournal, a community exists expressly for the purpose of trading tickets. You can find it here. Tickets are swapped in other places, but this is the busiest and best-known dedicated forum. Remember, money can't change hands when tickets do.

There have been reports in fan communities that The Colbert Report is now checking IDs and only allowing the person under whose name the tickets were reserved to use them. There have been no reports of a similar policy at "The Daily Show." Yet. Swap tickets are your own risk.

5. Minors at Tapings

In the past, the shows might have been lax about this. (In fact, the person writing this FAQ might have sat next to a 17-year-old at a taping once.) They are not lax about it now. Don't make the trip unless you can prove that you're 18. It's a liability issue, and a consent issue in case you end up on camera as an audience member. TV shows have to cover their asses in that way.

6. What time do the shows tape?

"The Daily Show" usually starts around 5:30, and "The Colbert Report" around 7:00.

7. What time should I get in line/arrive?

The Daily Show lets the audience in around 4:30, and it's recommended to get in line around 3:00-3:15. The Colbert Report lets the audience in at 6:00 p.m., but many people get in line starting at 4:00 p.m. or even earlier. Sometimes the time that the audience comes in fluctuates, due to rehearsal running long, script issues, or appearances on Conan. Be mindful of this.

Seating at The Colbert Report is more dependent on your place in the general-admission line. Also, Stephen Colbert's fans tend to be batshit insane and get there really early.

Both lines are outdoors. As mentioned above in the VIP tickets section, depending on the time of year, this can be pleasant and fun or a serious hazard to your health. Dress and plan accordingly.

8. Where are the studios?

The "Daily Show studio is located at 733 11th Avenue in New York City. The "Colbert Report" studio is located a few blocks away in the former "Daily Show" studio at 513 W. 54th Street. The best way to get to the studio depends on your mode of transportation. Both studios are easy walking distance from Penn Station (Amtrak and some commuter trains) and Port Authority (Greyhound and regional buses.) The closest subway stop is Columbus Circle.

9. Do Jon and Stephen take questions before the tapings begin?

Yes, they do. How many depends on the host's mood and how pressed for time the shows are, but they do take questions from the audience. Thik of something creative and clever ahead of time.

10. What should I bring?

Unlike Letterman's famous studio, both studios are at a comfy temperature and you won't need to bundle up. If you're waiting for a significant amount of time, you'll want to bring beverages and snacks. Maybe a Game Boy.

11. What can't I bring with me?

Well, weapons and explosives, for one. There is a security check and metal detector thingy when you enter the building, and your bag will be searched.

Pictures are forbidden inside the studios. Don't even think about it. Not even with a camera phone. They'll take your camera away and make you erase the pictures...it's not worth the bother. There are other rules, which will be explained to you at the taping. Basic ground rules: don't harass the cast and crew, don't make an ass of yourself, don't sexually proposition anyone, stay in your seat, laugh a lot.

Some fans bring posters and gifts...I don't recommend this. Forcing cards and gifts on celebrities isn't a very nice thing to do, and the staff will strongly discourage you from doing so.

12. Are there bathrooms in the audience waiting areas?

Yes, thank goodness.

This FAQ is still a work in progress. If you would like to contribute or correct anything, or if you have any additional questions, please contact [email protected].

Remember, folks, I don't work for the show; I'm just a fan like you.


TDS/TCR Taping FAQ - Written by truth at colbert's heroes dot org - Last updated February 23, 2007.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.  

this site was designed using dreamweaver 8 for mac os x and optimized for mozilla's firefox browser. if you're using anything else and the pages look funny, maybe you should rethink your computing choices.

this site is not affiliated with stephen colbert, the colbert report, comedy central, viacom networks, or anything even remotely official. Click here to contact the management with any questions or concerns.

All original content © 2006 - 2008 colbert's heroes dot org / laurie. All fan-submitted taping accounts and photographs remain the property of their contributors. All articles archived and reproduced on this site are for educational and research use by fans. To request that material be removed from the site, please send an e-mail.

...and technically, stephen, this site does not violate the restraining order.