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“Rude staff, unorganised event and a complete waste of time!”
Review of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno - CLOSED

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Attraction details
Reviewed October 26, 2012

We applied for tickets for Jay Leno a few months before we due to leave Australia for our trip to the USA. Soon after the application we received an email that "congratulated" us on our "reservation" to the filming of the show on the particular day we had applied for.
We recieved multiple other emails between the time we'd received the first and the day of the show reminding us of our "reservations"

Every email we received stated that the filming would start at 4pm, and that we should get there no later than 2.45. Being from Australia and only having limited time in LA, we were pretty busy every day we were there, so naturally, we had a busy morning sightseeing before we figured we should get to Leno. So, as suggested, we arrived on time at around 2.30.
On arrival we noticed that there were atleast 300 people already lined up, but since we had "reservations" surely there wouldn't be a problem, right?

We went up to the person manning the gates of the audience holding area and he checked our "reservation" tickets and let us through. Upon entry, a second woman checked our "reservations" gave us a number and welcomed us to The Tonight Show.

We got in line and waited there for about an hour and a half. People were continually lined up behind us as the time drew on, including around 20 people who had been waiting around since 11am trying to get last minute tickets.

Finally, the line got down to only about 20 or 30 people in front of us, and it looked like we were about to be seated, when suddenly we heard Jay's house band begin to play from inside the studio. As soon as the band began playing, the red light outside the studio flashed on and the big studio doors were slammed shut.

With that, one of the NBC pages announced "sorry, audience has reached full capacity" and told us all to go home. There was no sympathy, no apology and no remorse - just a simple Go Home. It was almost like they didn't care.
And did it bother them that we'd come 10,000 miles overseas to see Jay?? Nope.
They should at least make sure all international audience members get a seat before the locals, some of which have probably been to the show numerous times. And yes, they do ask you where you're from upon entry - but again, in the end they don't care.

They did offer everyone priority, guaranteed seats for any other filming that week - however, having little time in LA, each of our days were already booked up and we didn't have time to come back.... not that we'd want to wait in line for another two hours and waste another half a day and $80 cab fare just to see Jay Leno.
Plenty of others in line couldn't make it back either - many had travelled from all over, just like us, and many US locals were only in LA for a day or two. The woman behind us was left in tears that she couldn't get in - she'd made the trip out to LA for the day and had been waiting around since 11am.
But did the NBC staff care... No.... because they work for NBC they feel they're better than their audience. We're not seen or treated as fans but merely as a crowd of faces used to make their show look and appear funnier and more popular than it is.

This staff do this EVERY SINGLE DAY, and have been doing it EVERY SINGLE DAY for 20 years. You'd think they'd have an idea of how many people can fit in an audience.... If you're reaching capacity, or have reached capacity, WHY let anyone in and waste their afternoon?
If you need to get there earlier than 2:45 to get a seat, then TELL us when we SHOULD arrive in an email... not tell us we have "reserved" seating then tell us to p*ss off after waiting around for 2 hours.
Had we been told we needed to be there waiting by 12pm, then we wouldn't have even bothered attempting to get inside.

What a complete waste of a scarce vacation day and of $80 (Free 'tickets' but an $80 cab fare to and from the hotel). Completely disappointed and appalled by the audiences treatment by the NBC staff and confused and upset that Jay would let the staff treat his fans like that... If we could even be considered fans any more, that is.

A few days later we visited the set of ELLEN on a tour of Warner Bros. Studios.. it was here that we discovered that Ellen has a special room to the side of the stage set up for excess audience. If there's people that have lined up and can't get in, at least they're treated to a nice room with a loungey cafeteria-like setup where all those guests that can't go to the actual taping can go and have a coffee or buy some merchandise whilst watching the show's filming on TV screens. And even better - at the end of the show Ellen wil come out and personally apologize to the excess audience herself.
THIS is how it should be handled... Ellen and the Warner Bros crew obviously care about their audience and treat them with respect. The same obviously cannot be said for Jay Leno and his team.
Absolutely appauled. Jay Leno and NBC have lost a few fans.

2  Thank davlee1991
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (195)
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124 - 128 of 195 reviews

Reviewed October 23, 2012

My wife and I had a great time at the Tonight Show. Pages were courteous. Fun when Jay comes out before the recording. He was gracious to audience members.

Do go early to get a good number, and do have a "reservation" for a specific show date in advance. Can get online at NBC.com.

Leno took a $15 million pay cut this year so there wouldn't be as many layoffs from the show staff. Yeah, he still makes millions, but not too many stars would do that for their staffers. He tries out new material at a comedy club almost every Sunday night and only charges $30 a ticket.

I remain a fan

Thank Preachergary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2012

Managed to get tickets before setting off from the UK but was slightly worried I still wouldn't get in. Turned out I needn't have worried - arrived about an hour before the advised time and quickly realised I'd be able to get in without a problem.

The show is recorded "as live" with no retakes, so it only took just over an hour. The house band were fantastic in the breaks for commercials, as was the warm-up comedian. Jay Leno was in good form - coming out to talk to the audience before the recording. Guests were Chelsea Handler and Placido Domingo as well as William Shatner, which was a nice surprise as he hadn't been listed on the website beforehand!

Well worth going if you can get tickets. Only downside was there was no separate musical guest as Placido Domingo performed instead. Such is life.

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2012

Seeing The Tonight Show with Jay Leno being recorded live was wonderful - and a real testament to how professional both host and production teams are. The house band are truly talented musicians and kept the audience entertained during the commercial breaks. Bryan Cranston, Rebel Wilson and Cher Lloyd were the guests on the day we visited, but of course - Jay stole the show as always!

My only criticism would be the holding area for the audience. We were in LA during a heatwave, and half of the holding area were standing in the afternoon heat for some time. They did had a misting system, but this only bought very brief relief depending on the wind direction and was pretty weak (although any stronger, maybe you would have been too wet by the time you had waited in line!).

We managed to get standby tickets via tvtix.com and got to the studio approximately 2.30pm. We were sat at the back but didn't mind this; if you were there with guaranteed tickets or very early, perhaps you would be sat closer to the front.

Thank Candice M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2012

We got our tickets for free at Universal Studios, which was great.

We had a bit of a problem to find the studio though, it was pretty much just a gray building. And we had to wait for a while before we could go in, it was not very efficient with their queueing (spelling?!) system...

And the show- it was really great! In the pauses and before it started there was a guy who should warm up the audience and he was really hilarious! And Jay is very professional so this was a great experience for the whole family!

Too bad you couldn't take pictures in the studio though...

Thank olssonmalin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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