Diehard Saturday Night Live fans know that Studio 8H just might be one of the last places in Manhattan where money can’t buy you access. If you’re hoping to get SNL tickets for a dress rehearsal or live taping, you’ll have to play the odds with the show’s lottery or on the standby line like everyone else. Depending on how many of the studio’s 300 seats are taken up by guests of the show, anywhere from a few dozen to a couple hundred people may make it in via the processes below.
How to Enter the Saturday Night Live Ticket Lottery
The SNL ticket lottery has closed for the 2023–2024 season, so you’ll want to create a calendar reminder now if you want to enter for season 50 in 2024–2025. According to NBC, the 2024-2025 lottery will run from 12am EST on August 1, 2024, until 11:59pm EST on August 31, 2024.
To enter, just email email@example.com. Make sure you follow NBC’s instructions exactly:
“You may only send one email per person. Submissions entered before or after the ticket lottery window will not be considered. Please include your first and last name and tell us why YOU would like to be a part of our studio audience!”
How to Join the SNL Standby Line
If aren’t lucky enough to win the lottery, you’ll need to wait on the standby line on Friday night. This is the timeline you should follow to try for standby tickets on show weeks:
10AM THURSDAY: Request up to four reservations for either dress rehearsal or the live show here. You’ll need to provide the first and last name on your ID, your email address, and the size of your party.
You’ll want to request a reservation as close to 10am as possible, since reservations are sent via email in the order in which they’re requested. You should get an email with your reservation number within a few hours of making your request (for as long as spots are open).
6PM–7PM FRIDAY: If you were emailed a reservation number the day before, head to the 49th Street NBC Studios Marquee to check in for the in-person standby line. Make sure you have your ID and that your entire reservation party is present or you could forfeit your spot.
NBC employees will have you line up in order of your reservation numbers. At this point you’re stuck on line until midnight aside from occasional bathroom breaks, so make sure you take weather-appropriate clothing and an extra charging brick if you have one.
7PM FRIDAY: If you didn’t get a reservation number the day before, you can still try to get standby tickets. Just join the back of the line starting on 49 W 49th St. (between 5th and 6th avenues) after 7pm on Friday.
12:01AM SATURDAY: NBC employees will hand out one standby card per person until the cards run out. You’re free to leave once you have your standby card in hand. Remember that the card doesn’t guarantee admission.
Rules for Attending SNL
- You have to be 16+ to attend SNL, even if you have a guardian present.
- Everyone in your confirmed party must present a valid photo ID with date of birth upon arrival.
- You may not sell or auction your ticket. Nor may you transfer or exchange it.
- NBC may revoke your ticket if they believe it’s been sold or purchased, or any other time at their discretion.
- Once you’re in the standby line, you have to stay there (except for occasional necessary breaks like going to the bathroom.) No line sitters.
- Lounge chairs (regular chairs are OK)
- Sleeping bags
Whether you win the lottery or camp out for standby tickets, the skill of the game comes from speed. Make sure you follow instructions exactly, make friends on the standby line, and most of all, have fun at SNL!