Behind the Scenes: What James Corden, Jimmy Kimmel & Co. are like

So I’ve been working full time for the past four years. Now that I’m in Los Angeles, though, I don’t have to work at all. You know how strange that feels? Very strange, that is. But I’m doing great because I found a new hobby: Going to talkshows! And the best thing about it is that it’s free. Plus: You get an idea of how those shows are produced.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen that throughout the past weeks, I’ve been to Jimmy Kimmel, James Corden, Steve Harvey and other shows. I’ve received a couple of questions about that so I decided to share some background information regarding how to get hold of tickets and what the stars of the shows are like when cameras aren’t rolling. Enjoy.

Where you can get the tickets

Finding the source of talkshow tickets really isn’t that hard. All I did was google for “free talkshow tickets” and that’s when 1iota’s page popped up. 1iota is a platform where you can request tickets for a bunch of different talkshows. Sometimes, they also give away tickets for movie screenings, casting shows and concerts. Btw, they don’t sponsor me or this blog post, in case you were wondering.

Anyway, in order to be able to request tickets, you have to sign up and give them your personal information, such as your e-mail-address, your age and your profession. Now if you don’t feel comfortable with sharing these facts, you don’t have to. But unless you have a complete profile and are considered a Superfan (that’s what they call you once you’ve answered each question), it’s probably going to be hard to receive tickets.

According to 1iota.com, I'm a superfan
According to 1iota.com, I’m a superfan.

Once you’ve signed up and your profile is all set, you can proceed and select the talkshows you want to attend. Depending on which one you choose, you might have to answer yet another set of questions, such as “What’s your favorite comedy bit by Jimmy Kimmel?” or “Why do you want to watch the Late Late Show?”

Priority versus general

Once you’ve applied for tickets, you usually end up on the waitlist. Keep an eye one your inbox. Within the next couple of days, you’ll receive an e-mail by 1iota, telling you whether or not you get tickets.

From what I’ve learned so far, there are two types of tickets: priority tickets and general admission.Β I’ve only gotten priority tickets so far, which is sweet. If you receive priority tickets, it means that you’re definitely going to make it to the show, provided you aren’t late. If you’re part of the general admission audience, make sure to arrive early enough because not everyone but only the first few people will make it to the taping.


Dresscode

So you’ve received tickets for a talkshow? Congratulations! The next step is to choose an appropriate outfit. I’m not joking. Every talkshow has its own dresscode. On your ticket, you’ll find suggestions concerning what to wear.

For Steve Harvey, the dresscode was “nice casual bright colors”, for Jimmy Kimmel, it was nice casual or “as if you’re going to a nice dinner” and for James Corden it was “upscale/business casual”. Try to avoid solid red or white clothes, though, because that usually don’t work on TV. Also, keep in mind that the 1iota people can deny you access, if your outfit isn’t appropriate.

Me at James Corden
Me at James Corden

How much time you’ll need

If you get the chance to go to a talkshow, make sure you don’t have any other appointments on the morning or afternoon in question for the whole process – starting with the check-in going all the way to the end of the taping – is very time consuming. I usually arrived at least 30 minutes before the check-in started. Once you’re checked in, you most likely have to wait for another two hours until the audience is seated and the taping finally begins. All in all, the whole procedure can take up to five hours, taping included.

If you’re attending a Jimmy Kimmel Live concert, just as I did, keep in mind that the band will only play up to four or five songs. If you’re a real fan of the artist – I, for instance, love the Chainsmokers – it’s worth the wait. I was in the very front of the line and ended up getting super close to Drew, the singer. Close enough that I could touch him if I wanted to. But that would have been rude, right?

The Chainsmokers and I got really close
The Chainsmokers and I got really close

What happens during the taping

Back to the talkshows, though. So you’ve finally made it to the studio? That’s when the fun part begins! Here’s one thing all talkshows have in common: The procedure usually starts with a warm up where the audience gets all pumped up for the show. During that time you also get to practice to laugh out loud. Believe it or not, that’s something to get used to!

Half of me has made it to TV: I'm the girl in the yellow dress on the very top of this photo
Half of me has made it to TV: I’m the girl in the yellow dress on the very top of this photo

I bet you’ve been watching Jimmy Kimmel’s show before and sure enough, you found it funny. But did you laugh out loud? You rarely do that when you’re just sitting at home in front of the TV. When you’re in the studio, though, you have to laugh out loud for smiley cannot be recorded on audio. (Yep, that’s what the warm up guys kept telling us.)

The stars behind the scenes

As I previously pointed out, the whole taping of a show can take up to two hours. There are several breaks in between. So what happens when the cameras aren’t rolling?

Some comedians, such as Steve Harvey and Jimmy Kimmel use these breaks to interact with their audience. That’s what makes the experience even more special. In fact, Steve Harvey even stayed for 30 more minutes after he was done taping the show and talked about scripture. No kidding!

Kimmel took the time to ask questions to his audience and made jokes along these interviews. Harvey did that too. I remember, though, that things got really awkward when a lady asked him for serious life advice.


“My husband was diagnosed with a lethal illness. We don’t know what it is. Should I sell our belongings and make all his wishes come true?”, she asked, as the producer standing right next to Harvey got nervous and started gesticulating wildly with his hands. “Take the microphone away from her”, he mimed with his lips. No recordings were made at this point, though. The lady never made it to the show but I guess he got nervous because hearing about her sick husband was kind of a downer.

Harvey handled it smoothly, though, and ended up telling the woman that maybe, there’s a way for doctors to determine her husband’s illness. Needless to say, he told her not to sell all of their belongings right away. Rather, she should wait.

In contrast to Steve Harvey and Jimmy Kimmel, James Corden didn’t interact with the audience at all. Maybe he had a bad day, he wanted to prepare for future guests or he simply wasn’t in the mood. During commercial breaks, he mostly stared at his phone. Nevertheless, he’s an interesting personality and once the cameras start rolling again, he’s 100 percent present.

That's where Steve Harvey works
That’s where Steve Harvey works

Gifts, gifts, gifts!

Merely watching the taping of talkshows is pretty exciting already. But it gets even better: Sometimes, the audience has the chance to win a price!

Steve Harvey, for instance, always chooses a random visitor who gets the chance to play memory and win cash. When I was at Jimmy Kimmel, each audience member got a 25 Dollar gift card for Jimmy John’s Sandwiches because Kimmel had landed an advertising deal with them. And at Kimmel as well as Corden, the most engaged audience members received free t-shirts and other goodies once the show was over. You see, visiting talkshows really pays off.

Have you ever been to the taping of a talkshow? Do you have any more questions? Leave a comment or drop me a message!