A lot of people write in my ask about SNL standby and meeting SNL cast members so I figured I would make this post that I can just refer back to instead of answering the same questions over and over.
Where do I wait for SNL standby?
The 49th street side of 30 Rock under the marquee. If you’re lucky enough to be first in line it’s on the east side of the marquee (the side closest to 5th ave).
When should I get in line?
It really depends on the host, time of year, weather, etc. The earliest I’ve ever gotten in line is around 6pm Thursday and the latest is 5:30 on Friday. (Edit: We got in line at 1am Saturday morning for Charles Barkley and got in, but we got in line at 7:30pm Friday for Channing Tatum and didn’t get in, so it really varies depending on the host.) You have to remember the more popular the host/musical guest the earlier people will get in line. Definitely go on Friday though. Showing up at 6:45 on Saturday morning is a bad idea.
How does standby work?
You wait in the cold/rain/snow/(insert terrible weather condition here) for hours and hours and hours and then Saturday morning at 7am someone who works for NBC will give out the tickets. They have 2 stacks. One for Dress Rehearsal and one for Live show. We always ask what number they are on before we make a decision. After you get your ticket you go home and sleep the day away. Then you go back to to 30 Rock at the time it says on your ticket (definitely try to be a little early). For Live it’s 10:45 and DR it’s 7:15.
When you get to 30 Rock you line up in numerical order based on the number on your ticket. Then they take the first 30 people through security. This doesn’t mean anything. They just do this so they don’t have to waste time doing it later if they need you. Then they (hopefully) start taking people up. I’ve had experiences where they take all 30 up at once and I’ve had it happen where they take 3-4 people at a time. It just depends. Hopefully you get to go up in the elevator (which still doesn’t guarantee you a seat) and into the studio where you will have the greatest experience of your life!
Where can I meet SNL cast members on Saturday?
On Saturday if you wait under the NBC marquee on the 49th street side you are guaranteed to see/meet some cast members. Security even sets up barricades so it’s pretty easy to know where to stand. It usually takes about 15 minutes or so after the show ends for the cast to start to come out. They usually come out one or two at a time.
Who will I see/meet on Saturday?
The cast members that come out every Saturday are Bobby,Vanessa, Nasim, Seth, Fred, Aidy, Kate and Jay. Kate, Nasim, and Seth are very wishy washy one whether or not they sign and take pictures. Sometimes Seth will talk to everyone and sometimes he will take one or two pictures and leave. It just depends on the night. Jason hasn’t come out at all this year and Taran is very hit or miss this season. Kenan has come out once that I know of. Bill never comes out on Saturday.
But I want to meet Bill Hader!!
Bill usually walks the standby line after rehearsal on Friday to tell everyone good luck. He doesn’t take pictures b/c then he would have to take pictures with the entire line. But at least you will get to see/talk to him.
Does the host/musical guest come out on Saturday?
Every week there are people who are hoping to meet the host. I have never seen a host come out nor have I heard of a host coming out. I’m pretty sure they usually take them out through the garage. Musical guests don’t usually come out, but so far this year Maroon 5, Foster the People, Lady Antebellum, and The Black Keys have left through the 49th street door, but NONE of them have stopped to take pictures or sign autographs. They’ve all gone straight to their cars.
That’s all I can think of for now. I hope it helps you guys. If you have a question that I didn’t answer here just put it in my ask and I will be happy to help you out if I can!