I Did The ‘Saturday Night Live’ Standby Line To See Pedro Pascal Host!
Going to Saturday Night Live is an exhilarating experience. For a number of reasons. One being the thrill of hearing “live from New York, it’s Saturday night!” in Studio 8H, and the other being the lead up to going. For me, I had already been twice and said the only thing that could get me to go back is if the guest was someone I love. So then Lorne Michaels and the team at NBC brought Pedro Pascal to host, with Coldplay as musical guest, I was in.
The original way you went about getting tickets to the show was basically by lining up outside and praying no one was there before you. This meant camping out for 12+ hours. That’s if you didn’t luck out on the lottery that happens in August for all shows throughout the year. But the situation changed, and you now have a new system to go through. I’ll explain, but I first want to talk about getting to see one of my favorite actors hosting and how incredibly good he did!
I love Pedro Pascal. I have a Pedro Pascal podcast called Podro Pascal. So there was never really a thought in my mind that I shouldn’t try to go, because it was sort of meant to be (our podcast producer was in town visiting, so we went together). But getting to be in the room as Pascal had the time of his life (from what I could tell) and did such a good job hosting? It’s unmatched. I loved every second of it.
If you have someone you want to see in the way I wanted to see Pedro Pascal hosting, here’s how you can try.
What are SNL Standby tickets?
Standby tickets are for the seats that aren’t taken by guests, regular ticket holders, and what have you. They want a full studio for each show, so the standby tickets are there to fill seats that aren’t taken. Which means you aren’t guaranteed to get a seat if you get a numbered ticket. What you’re guaranteed is the chance.
Is it hard to get Standby tickets for SNL?
Prior to the pandemic, the way to do it was to camp out outside for tickets and hope that you can a good spot. They’d hand out numbers at 7 in the morning the next day. But now it is a little more complicated. So in short, it’s sort of hard? But also not really? Your place in the line is what is hard to predict.
Now, what you have to do is log online the Thursday morning before the show at 10 AM ET. You go to their event site and fill out your information. If you managed to get a reservation, you’ll get sent your number of where you registered at the time. But you can’t know when you’re doing it where you place.
For us, we had two people in our group of four make it through. The first was my producer who got 67-70. I was somewhere in the 100s, so we took her slot. After you get your reservation, you go Friday night and line-up outside of 30 Rock to wait for them to hand out tickets. They typically do so by 12:01 AM ET that Saturday morning. If you have a reservation number, you have to line-up between 6 PM and 7 PM, make sure you’re in numerical order, and then wait there until 12:01 AM.
Since it was so cold here, we got our tickets at 7 PM and then just had to come back for the pre-show adventure.
What happens at the show?
When you return to 30 Rock, get ready for a lot of nervous energy. You line-up in numerical order again and basically just stand around. You have to be there by 9:45 PM the night of the live show (all of this has slightly different timing, night of, if you’re doing the Dress Rehearsal). You line up, wait around, and just basically try to read body language to see if you are going to make it in or not. Roughly 65 people made it in (as far as I could tell) last night, and I was in the 50s on my actual ticket.
Once you get through security, you go through the hallway and wait there until there is room in the main lobby. The rumor is that once you get into the elevator, you’re in the clear. I cannot prove any of that, but that was the case for me. I went up the elevator, walked into Studio 8H, and got to see my favorite actor host Saturday Night Live!
Was it worth it?
In short, yes. Absolutely. In the long of it, I had a lot of emotions about seeing Pascal host. I was a Game of Thrones fan who loved Oberyn Martell, so I’ve been here for a while. His recent boom in fame is so warranted because he’s such a good actor and person. I love seeing his success. Getting to see him lean into the absurdity of SNL was a gift.
I cried listening to Coldplay singing “Fix You” live, and I cried thinking about how this was my first time going to the live show and not being able to call my dad, who I watched it with as a kid. I laughed, cried, and you could hear me screaming over Pascal as Mario Mario (that’s the character’s real name!) in the fake HBO trailer for a gritty Super Mario Bros. television series.
Point is: Yes, it was worth it. And when (not if) Pascal hosts again, I will try and watch him shine once more because it was just that good.
(featured image: Will Heath/NBC)
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]