When I first got a text from Megan (philly-justice) about going to see Amy Poehler on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, I said no. There was no way. Just no way. But, like everyone else who likes sidewalks, I took no sleeping bag and a bag of gummy worms and took the bus to camp out for Late Night tickets. 10 hours on a New York City sidewalk: these are the tales of a person who really likes sidewalks and really likes doing things.
Our journey began on a Tuesday morning. We’ve waited in the SNL standby line several times before, so we assumed the line for Amy Poehler would be crazy. After our classes on Tuesday, we took the 7 pm bus out of Boston to New York City. Of course, at 11:30 pm, we were just a tad bit early for the show. We took our seats right by the NBC marquee and, without a blanket or anything, really, besides our jackets, sat down.
It was a cold night - colder than expected. It started off around 60, which was lovely, but quickly dropped to 40-50F. Not so hot. We waited out the night by watching Parks and Rec, some SNL reruns, and listening to music. I tried to sleep but ended up talking to a security guard.
Here comes the highlight of the night: Lorne Michaels comes out. The second I see him, I cannot even make eye contact. Instead, I just look away and get all nervous because, let’s be real, this man is one step away from God. He made SNL. He is the biggest thing since the technology to flush toilets. Actually, he’s the biggest thing since George Washington.
Megan and I are both paralyzed. He turns to us and goes, “you all are here early.” Megan freezes. All I say is, “Yeah, yep.”
What else can I say?! He acknowledged our existence. If nothing else happens, this is it. Lorne Michaels spoke to us. I’m good. I’m happy. Elated. The adrenaline from this encounter carries me to morning. I don’t sleep at all. Instead, we spend some time talking, then listen to music, then I head inside NBC to just cool off because I’m freezing and cannot deal with it.
While I walk to check out the Today Show around 3 am, I miss Jason Sudeikis by seconds. Not okay, buddy, not okay. The only guy I haven’t seen yet. Not fair.
Around 4 am, I’m inside and Abby Elliot comes walking towards the doors. I look at her and smile and wave and she smiles really widely back at me! Yay! When you wait at the stage door after SNL, she doesn’t wave or smile at anyone. She looks tired and keeps walking.
At 6 am, Nasim and Bobby come out. They don’t notice us or ignore us for some reason. Half asleep, we just watch them.
“Do you need a ride?” Nasim asks.
“No,” Bobby goes to hail a cab.
“Oh, you’re going to hail a cab?” Nasim notices. “No, Bobby, get in the car, I’ll give you a ride.”
“You’re not hailing a cab - get in the car!”
They’re so cute. I love watching the family that is SNL. Tuesday night is writer’s night (apparently I’m the only one who knows this) and after their all-nighter, the cast begins to slowly come out. Except for the fact that we only see Bobby, Lorne, Jason and Nasim. I’m assuming the others are still up there or have left through the other exit/the garage. Oh, what I would give to be a part of writer’s night as a writer or cast member. Oh, man.
At around 7 or 8 am, this creep comes up to us - at first he seems normal - and asks us where the Weather Channel headquarters are. He claims to date Stephanie Abrams and is a celebrity in Chicago. It becomes clear nothing is normal about it man very soon. He calls the city NEW space YORK…SPACE…City. Funniest moment of my life.
He leaves and we breathe a sigh of relief but he’s back soon and starts talking about how noisy NYC is and how he’s surprised anyone heard 9/11. He has crossed at least 15 lines and continues to do so. Then he claims that Conan is still on NBC. Then he tells us about Eastern DAYLIGHT savings time. He’s a riot and a half without knowing it.
Eventually he leaves and at 8 am or so, an hour before we get tickets, people start coming. The people behind us pretty much think we’re crazy for getting there so early.
We get standby tickets 1 and 2! YAAY!
During the day
We head down to the concourse to get a bagel then chill in the digital cafe for a bit.
Out of nowhere, a Today Show produce comes up and asks people who wants to be on a Kathie Lee segment. WE DO! Heck yes. We get to answer questions about the Kentucky Derby. This is lovely because I know nothing about Kentucky or the Derby. We quickly wikipedia the Derby and try to figure out as much as we can.
They seat us randomly and Kathie Lee comes up. She’s older in person and very nice. People are excited to see her. It’s weird that we’re going to be on National TV.
Our question is Which Celebrity has a horse in the Derby? We answer Jack Nicholson but alas, it is Steven Speilberg. Not cool, buddy. We win a Kathie Lee CD instead of 100$ - priceless (but $3 on Amazon, for those interested).
We spend a few hours sleeping in the Digital Cafe and then head out for lunch. We finally decide on the Applebee’s in Times Square and, after fighting the crowd, finally take a seat.
Megan takes out her IPhone and checks Twitter. As she refreshes her tweets, a tweet from Late Night comes up - the Trench Coat intern is at Radio City!! Four blocks away!!
The second she tells me, I am determined. I am going, I tell her, I’m going now. I sprint out the door and a block away when Megan calls me. YOUR ID! she tells me. I sprint back and get my ID. Again, I head out. I’m running as fast as I can, I run straight through traffic like some suicidal weirdo, and when the people get too cluttered on the sidewalk, I run on the street.
Half a block away from Radio City, I get tired and stop to speed walk. Two seconds later, I tell myself: Damnit, if you miss getting these tickets, it’s OVER. you need these! You want these! RUN, not-so-fatty, RUN! So I do.
When I sprint across the street, I look for the trenchcoat intern. I have no clue what he looks like so I just approach a random man and ask him if he’s the guy. HE IS! YES! He gives me my tickets, takes my name and Twitter handle, and we take a photo which he never posts. I am beyond elated. The paper says we’re VIP - what does that mean??? AHHHH.
I go back to Applebees and show Megan our wristbands. I’m too excited to handle my life at that point so I just swallow my soup and salad like it’s my job. Before, we were feeling horrible and sick and now, with more adrenaline, we just sit and get excited about everything that is our lives. VIP TICKETS! We’re GETTING IN FOR SURE! How lucky we are that the stars aligned so precisely!
The next few hours we head back to the digital cafe (it’s acceptable because it’s raining and we’re at an all time low sleep-wise) and sleep for about an hour.
We check into the show and get tickets. My name has stars around it on their VIP check in clipboard and we are number one!! AHHHH!!!
I go down to get a smoothie before the show and freak out because I am kind of excited and just sit and wait to go in.
We go through security and head up through the elevators. There’s no waiting as we go straight to the studio. We sit in the second row right in front of Jimmy’s Desk on the Aisle. AH! Best seats! No cameras blocking our view and we get to highfive Jimmy as he runs through the audience after the show.
The show is incredible. I wish I could explain it but I cannot. They do a Celebrity Whispers segment, which I am in love with, and AD Miles (can we just say FUNNIEST person?!) sits basically right in front of us at the podium for the monologue and half the show. I’m entranced by the behind the scenes stuff so I watch the writers and the camera people and the producers and make up artists.
AMY POEHLER is up next. It’s almost surreal to see her step out and wave to us. Her dress is gorgeous and so is she - she gives off such an honest and great vibe. I just want to go up to her and hug her. SO much.
Megan and I scream so loudly throughout that she gets told to stop. Thankfully it’s pretty far into the show, but it’s still annoying. Oh well. We still have a great time and the interview is great.
I swear at one point she turns to the audience and smiles and laughs and she looks right at us - we scream the whole way through, she knows we’re here.
The interview is hilarious. When she talks about Fred and Jimmy at her wedding, I literally just wish I was there or had a tape of it. Fred and Jimmy doing improv would be GOLD. Then when she talks about all the fun on the 30 Rock live set with the impressions and jokes, I just want to die. It looks like too much fun and too funny to handle!
Oddly enough, they play the same game with the movie posters that they did when we saw Paul Rudd on Late Night and it’s still just as funny.
At one point, when the cameras are off, Jimmy and Amy talk about which superpower they’d like to have. Jimmy goes, If I could have any superpower, I’d have the superpower of not having people sit in front of me at the movie theatre. This one time, a guy sat in front of me with one of those huge hats - a ski hat- that is never fully on his head. And then there was a moth flying around the hat and it was just the worst and ruined the movie for him. Then Amy said if she could have any superpower, she would have one where, if her bra strap fell off, it would automatically pop back up. Jimmy goes, Oh, I thought of that one too.
During promos, Amy read Jimmy’s card and mouthed his words and they were just too adorable to handle. It really just felt like they were best friends reuniting, which they were, and it was adorable.
Daniel Day Lewis is also a guest - and surprisingly funny, too. Lady Antebellum comes out as well and does a quick interview and a song. It’s too fantastic that they’re the musical guest because we play them so much on our radio station! Megan and I are literally thrilled and sing along.
After the show, we were one of the last ones out because of our great seats. We get downstairs and, oddly enough, meet our friends from the last time we were at NBC for SNL! What an awesome surprise!
When we talk to them, they said Amy already left before the show ended and that she refused to take photos because she was running to an appointment. Sad panda.
We wait a long time for Jimmy Fallon. In the meantime, literally gallons of food go up for SNL. Lady A doesn’t come out and we just sit and talk. The Roots come out. Slowly, hours later, we lose hope. at 830ish, AD Miles comes out and I see him too late to yell that I love his work. I really do. Oh well, next time.
At 9 pm, Jimmy Fallon comes out. I am stunned. He looks fifteen billion times better in person. He comes up to me and I get my camera and he just sorta stops and looks at me and I am speechless. Literally, all I can say is….Jiiiiimmy…..Jimmmmmyyy…..and he’s like, yeah? I’m like, You are awesome, Can I have a photo? He says yes and puts his hand really firmly on my shoulder and pulls me in. I die inside. My friend takes a photo and he says, you know what? Take another. OH MY GOD HOW ADORABLE! He thanks me and I thank him and watch him as other people take photos with him. I say goodnight. Of course I have not told him that he’s an inspiration and he is hands-down the greatest and most underrated late night host. He is brilliant. Next time I will tell him, though. Really.
We leave for a little and come back for about 15 minutes later on. Around 10 pm, Andy Samberg, Mike OBrien, and two other writers come out. I just stare at them. I see Mike OBrien first and then realize Andy Samerg is walking by me. Oh my gosh. Weird. It’s the second time I’ve seen them and have literally been too stunned to even talk.
Then we leave to the bus stop and just sit around and sleep with eyes open. At the end, we’ve only slept 4/40 hours, and we’re super exhausted and ridiculously tired, but every moment was worth it. It was a fabulous last weekend in NYC for the semester. Until next semester, New York!
# Late Night with Jimmy Fallon # jimmy fallon # kristen wiig # my story # nbc # personal # philly-justice # my experience # national broadcasting corporation # 6b # studio 6b # andy samberg
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