To add on to my previous post, I wanted to share the little celebrity experience we encountered on our last day in NYC this past January. We didn’t have any specific plans that day other than seeing Rockefeller Center and shopping on 5th Avenue, but by the afternoon we were sitting in NBC’s legendary Studio 6B watching Jimmy Fallon practice his monologue!
We started the day at the skating rink at Rockefeller, looking up at 30 Rock.
Then we walked across the street to see The Today Show setup. I’m always intrigued by production sets. Maybe one of these visits I’ll get up early enough to attend the show…
We then entered the NBC store and were immediately greeted by some cute, young girls (interns maybe?) asking us if we were fans of Jimmy Fallon. This is the moment when I started telling myself “don’t get your hopes up!”, but Lindsey and I exchanged an excited look and responded quickly with a “yes!”. She then asked if we’d like to be a part of his monologue rehearsal audience that day and I was, again, skeptical that we would either have to do something embarrassing or buy x amount of merchandise or something. But, it turns out that they do this every day before filming the show so that they can determine which jokes to keep based on our reactions! The audience size is no more than 60 people.
Of course, no photos are allowed in the studio, but I can confirm that TV is deceiving because the set looks big, but it’s actually very small. When delivering his monologue, he can just about touch the band from his marker. Most of his writers were there for the rehearsal and everyone was dressed casually. Jimmy started with a little back story of his studio (formerly Johnny Carson’s studio) and what the day-to-day work is like to put on the show. I can’t imagine the crazy hours he must work. But he was very upbeat and comfortable. He did the long version of his monologue and we all laughed at the majority of the jokes, but there were a few that clearly didn’t work and he would mark them off his list. We then got to hear the “Pros and Cons” desk piece and there were a couple of really good ones in there, but it’s been so long ago now that I can’t remember any of them!
Afterward, as we walked out the building and toward the street, we stopped for a minute to discuss exactly where we wanted to go. In my eye line as we were talking, I noticed a man in a plaid shirt smoking a cigarette and immediately recognized him from Saturday Night Live! We couldn’t remember his name at the moment, so we pulled out our handy dandy iPhones to google him. We wanted to walk over and say “hi” but we were not about to be rude and do it without knowing his name! It was Bobby Moynihan! His impersonation of Snooki is freaking hilarious, and I’ve never even watched Jersey Shore. We later learned that this was the week Daniel Radcliffe was hosting, so he might have been somewhere in the building too!
We ended our whirlwind day by staying up late to see how Jimmy’s monologue turned out that night. We were so tired and had a very early flight the next day, but we were excited to see how our reactions affected the final product for the show. We all agreed that he delivered everything better during rehearsal and that he looked much more nervous for the real deal, which was kind of a bummer! We still love ya though, Jimmy! (See how we’re on a first name basis, now?) :)
The rehearsal was a really fun experience! If you’d like to try to go, we got our passes around 1pm at the NBC store, but I imagine they started handing them out at noon, if not earlier. You have to be back at the studio at 3pm, so my advice is to give yourself a flexible schedule for whatever unexpected experiences may come your way!