Most studio audiences are booked online, either through the show’s website or through an audience service that represents multiple shows. If you register to be part of an audience online through 1iota, Audiences Unlimited or On-Camera Audiences, you’ll be emailed a PDF ticket—sometimes instantaneously. Tickets are usually available 30 days in advance. Dr. Phil and Conan tickets have longer lead times, with show dates posted months in advance.
If you want tickets to the most popular shows, you’ll need to drop everything as soon as they are offered. Monitor the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts of audience services as they often announce when tickets will be available a few days in advance. At On-Camera Audiences, the quickest click can receive priority tickets, which means you are guaranteed admittance so long as you are on time and follow the dress code. Audiences are overbooked to ensure every seat is filled, so people can be turned away.
On a Whim
Last minute? You still have options. The Ellen DeGeneres Show makes a few standby tickets available the day of the show (call 818-954-5929). For the truly spontaneous, tickets are pushed at tourist spots like Venice Beach (Pete the Meat is one guy who is doing so according to VisitVeniceCa.com) and along Hollywood Boulevard (the TCL Chinese Theatre is popular). Occasionally, tickets will pop up on sites such as Craigslist, but you’re better off spending that cash on Rodeo Drive: many tickets are non-transferable and IDs are checked.