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My Trip to The Ellen DeGeneres Show

What's it like to attend the Ellen DeGeneres Show?


The Ellen DeGeneres Show is one of the mot popular on television. Tickets are free, but you must sign up for them on line. I put my name in for tickets over the summer and in January, I received a call from The Ellen DeGeneres show that my name had come up for tickets. The woman who called said they were ticketing for February and March. We decided to go during Spring Break.

Each person is allowed four tickets to The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Our Ellen tickets—which was just a confirmation letter-- arrived in the mail a few weeks before the show. The letter explains dress code, parking and directions to the studio. The audience is not allowed to bring any recording equipment, including camera phones into the studio. The dress code is described as “business casual” and they say audience members are not allowed to wear jeans, shorts or hip-hop gear. Most people followed the dress code, but people in jeans were allowed in.

Waiting in Line

Check in time is 2:30 for a 5pm taping. The Ellen DeGeneres Show is taped Monday through Thursday for airing the next day. On Thursdays two shows are taped for airing on Friday and Monday.

Even though we were told we had guaranteed seats, and we would not need to wait in line, we were so afraid of being relegated to the Tom Hanks Riff Raff Room, we arrived at the NBC studios by 11am. The Ellen DeGeneres Show guarantees seats to 150 guests who come in from out of town. We were in that group.

When we arrived, there were two lines. Our group with guaranteed seats had a 2:30 check-in time. And another who had a 3:00 check-in time and were not guaranteed seats. The first people in line for the 3:00 time had signs that said, “We drove all night to see the Ellen Show,” and “Honk if you’re Ellen.” They told me that Ellen slowed down, read their signs and honked at them as she drove into the lot in her blue Porsche. They said she was alone in her car.

We stood in line for a while, talking to people around us. We met people who came in from Chicago, Florida, North Carolina and Colorado—all just to see Ellen. Everyone was pretty excited to be there and were friendly and introducing themselves to each other. It was not surprising that most everyone in line was female. More men showed up later when the VIPs were allowed in. We were right at the main gates of NBC waiting in line and had the potential to see actors coming and going to work. Martin Sheen drove out of the lot with his windows down. We yelled his name and he waved to us. His car bumper sticker said, “War is not the answer.”

At about 1:30 staff from the show with clipboards came out. They were selecting people to be part of a focus group. They seemed to pick about an even number of men and women, even though there were far more women in line. Someone in line near us was selected. Since the guest the day of our taping was Ashton Kutcher, we speculated that maybe the “focus group” going to get “punked.”

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