Hey pals! Check out @RaffBlake’s awesome story about going to a taping of The Tonight Show in October!
Finally got a moment to sit down and collect my thoughts about this awesome day. I didn’t bump into Jimmy, chat or grab a selfie, but I did hug him while at a taping and I‘m writing about it because I know a lot of pals want a hug or a high five and get a bit discouraged when they don’t get tickets. The main point I got from my experience is to stay positive.
Believe it or not living close to NY doesn’t make it easier to get to a taping. I’d been trying to go see Jimmy for a long time, but SNL tickets are harder to win than the actual lottery, and every time I attempted to go to LNJF something would come up. It was a bit disheartening. When it was announced that Jimmy was taking over the Tonight Show, I knew that at some point I was going to do anything necessary to get to a show.
I had tickets to the May 23rd taping, but it was canceled by the show to invite the men and women involved with Fleet Week. It was such a sweet thing for them to do; I couldn’t even get upset that tickets were canceled. Plus there would be more chances to get tickets right? In June the show rolled out ‘The Infamous Queue’ which I found daunting and much more difficult to get tickets then before. But to me it was the only option because Standby would mean getting a bus at 2:00am and dashing the mile from the bus station to Rockefeller center to get in line early enough to have a low standby number. While much harder to get tickets, I still remained positive that I would eventually make it to a show. I was unsuccessful at getting tickets in the summer, but not upset because it turns out FallonTonight’s hiatus always seemed to fall around my vacation time. I chalked it up to not being my time yet and kept thinking in the back of my mind that I would eventually get there.
In Sept. a few pals got tickets for the show and I was so excited for them. They asked me to go and I was so surprised. All I could think was this was finally happening. Unfortunately, my boss didn’t agree. I was unable to get off from work to make it in Sept. but lived vicariously through my friends amazing experience and stayed positive.
When October tickets were released, I was super ready to beat this queue. I figured if I couldn’t make it to the show for my birthday I’d take my mom and make it for hers. Unfortunately, tickets were once again sold out while I was waiting in line. But this time something happened. (Lady Luck was on my side, the stars aligned, Prayers were answered…) Call it what you will, but finally something was going my way. Turns out a group of FalPals (Erin, Billie Jean, Jen, and Alex) had extra tickets and wanted to help me out. When they told me the date my jaw hit the floor. It was the day I was trying for-my mom’s birthday. I was finally going!
I tried very hard not to get too excited or get my expectations too high because things could always go wrong. So I kept it in the back of my mind and made Jimmy a gift I’d been planning in case I ever did meet him. (Pic below-I was aiming to make it look as close to Jimmy’s Tonight Show debut as possible.) At the end of September I went to get bus tickets to NYC and my calm reserve started crumbling. This was really happening, but what were the chances we’d get high fives?
As Oct. 9th drew near, I reread some of the past FalPal experiences. My mind kept straying to what Melissa had said about trying for a hug instead of a high five. I knew chances of getting aisle seats were slim (they fill fast) but IF it happened I was daring myself to step out of my comfort zone and just go for the hug.
On the 9th we arrived at 30 Rock early. We explored the area, took pictures, went inside the NBC store and looked at things we would buy later. By now my teeth were chattering with nervous energy. We met Erin, Alex, Billie Jean, and Jen at 1:30 and went upstairs to stand in line. I’m so glad these ladies were there because the room you wait in front of looks desolate and abandoned. I probably would have went somewhere else and ended up late in line. While waiting we introduced ourselves and got to know each other. I’ve never met these pals before and was a bit nervous, but I’m so glad I did. They are an awesome, thoughtful bunch of people with great personalities and I really enjoyed getting to know them.
The pages were pretty friendly making sure everyone was where they needed to be and joked with the crowd. Once we received our wrist bands and tickets we went to have lunch and played the waiting game until it was time to line up for the show. Time flew by rather fast and it wasn’t long before we were going through security and being seated. (miraculously they didn’t confiscate my gift) My eyes bulged out of my head when the page sat us. We were on the end. I was in an aisle seat. I was going to be able to give Jimmy his gift and get a hug. Though I was still not sure where I was going to get the nerve to ask for one.
The Zog did an awesome job of getting the audience involved and prepared for the show and Steve Higgins and The Roots know just how to get the audience pumped. That night the guests were Steve Carell, Julianne Hough, and Philip Selway ft. the Dap-Kings. It was an awesome lineup. Steve Carell was hysterical of course, Julianne’s personality was as lovely as her looks and Philip Selway’s performance was amazing live. Maybe I’m a bit biased, but I like this song more than I thought I would.
When Jimmy was thanking all of his guests for coming I felt my heart start beating faster and my face turning red. This was it. Do or Die time. We were on the first side and I knew he tended to run up fast so I had my gift ready and coached myself through it. I knew I was probably going to look like a fool, but you gotta risk it for the biscuit. Right? The closer he got to me the more anxious I became. My hands were freezing because all the blood rushed to my face. I was so incredibly nervous but when he was right in front of me I just leaned forward and he put his arms around me. At that moment I became a completely different person. I heard the guy across from me chuckling, but it didn’t bother me. I was calm. I could speak and I didn’t care how silly I looked. The nerves were gone. I handed him his gift and he was surprised. He stepped down a step so he could look me straight in the eyes and said, “Is this for me?” I said, “Yes, you.” Then he thanked me for the gift and for coming to the show and he shook my hand. And…I was on cloud 9! My emotions finally got the better of me and I couldn’t stop shivering with nervous energy.
We waited for the high fives to finish then pages lead us out row by row. Erin, my mom and I waited for Jen, Billie Jean and Alex to join us. They were super excited for me and that means a lot.
On the bus ride home I was texting some FalPals about what happened and they were just as excited for me as I was for their experiences. I realize now that’s the most important thing about these experiences. Be happy for your pals, because if you stay positive and remain patient it will happen to you too. I first saw Jimmy on SNL when I was 13. Along the way I’ve met some amazing friends, watched his fan base grow, and heard some incredible Jimmy stories. I’ve been happy for everyone who’s had the chance to meet him and I’ll continue to be happy for those who will meet him in the future. It’s been a long time, but patience and positivity paid off.
Ahhhhhh a Jimmy hug! How lucky!!!
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October is the awareness month for every single one of these!
Don’t just go pink!
Signal boost like there’s no tomorrow!
I have faith in you tumblr!
We can raise awareness for the awarenesses!
We can do this!
I have celiac disease and this is the first time ive EVER seen it being supported besides the little groups of people who all have it. This actually means a lot because it isn’t just a joke or diet its legit. THIS IS WHY I FUCKING LOVE TUMBLR