How I got Standby Tickets for the Daily Show

1 Nov

The Internet has a lot of words describing how to get standby tickets for the Daily Show. But after experiencing it first hand, I found the current information to be inaccurate in some areas and lacking in others. So, to add to the confusion here is a description of my experience getting standby tickets for the November 1, 2012 edition of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Today the GF and I were fortunate enough to get Daily Show tickets. It was our third try. On Monday we trekked halfway across the city (on foot, in a hurricane, past that pre-collapsed crane) to find out that the show had been cancelled. On Tuesday we did the same thing while avoiding the crane. Wednesday was a day of trying to find lodging and food (God bless the good people at Five Guys on 42nd Street).

This brings us to Thursday – with nothing official on the itinerary we decided for one final attempt to gain admission to the Daily Show.

Caveat #1 – This information is subject to change – the Daily Show people could alter their procedures at any time. If your experience differs from what I’ve written here please make a comment and I will amend the post.

Caveat #2 – Hurricane Sandy has made this a strange week – I’m not sure if this affects the accuracy of any of this.

0. This is what the building looks like – the awning overhead provides some shelter in the event of rain / snow. It is located on 11th Avenue between 51st and 52nd Street.

The Building

1. We arrived at 12:30 – there was no lineup

2. People started lining up at around 12:45 – they had received confirmation notices and they were there to collect their tickets. We got in line a little after 13:00 and there were 23 people in front of us.

3. With the line stretching the length of the building and most of the way back, the doors opened at 14:30 and the tickets were distributed. Each ticket was numbered with the first person in line getting number one, the second person getting number two and so on. The low-numbered tickets were yellow. The higher-numbered ones blue.

4. When we got to the front of the line the guy said to come back at 16:00 for standby tickets.

5. I returned at around 15:10 to find the last of the people getting their reserved tickets and a line up of seven individuals waiting for standby tickets.

6. By 15:45 there were about ten people behind us in the standby line when the guy decided to give out the remaining tickets for the no-shows. We got numbers 197 and 198. There were 200 in total.

The Ticket

7. The ticket guy said that a ticket still does not guarantee admission – I was thinking that maybe they oversell the event to ensure a packed house.

8. We were told to return at 16:30. I hung around cause I have OCD. The GF found a pub cause she’s Finnish.

9. Next they set up these little pens for the different ticket groups.

Free-Range Ticket Holders – they seem so happy compared to

The Confined-Range Ticket Holders

10. They started letting people in at around 16:30. It took them a while to get to us because they were admitting people sequentially based on the ticket number.

11. We got to the front of the line and they let us in no problem. There were five people at the end of the line who had no tickets at all and they let in one guy (there was one unfilled seat).

12. Unrelated to standby tickets, Jon was not joking when he said that Larry Flint’s Hustler Club is one block away.


13. The evidence

I think these establishments are in the welding district.

Good luck with your ticket hunting. If this proved useful and you want to show your appreciation, should you find yourself with an extra ticket, drop me a line and I’ll see if I can make it down to NYC.

— Jason, Friday November 2, 2012

One Response to “How I got Standby Tickets for the Daily Show”


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