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How to Get Tickets to the Late Show with David Letterman

Dying to see David Letterman up close and personal? Here's how to get tickets to the Late Show.


  • Step 1: Know basic facts about the _Late Show with David Letterman_. People who are called about their ticket request must successfully answer a trivia question about the show in order to receive them. The questions are fairly easy if you're a regular viewer; if you're not, study the website.
  • Step 2: Be on time: people who are awarded tickets have to go to the theater at a designated time to pick them up; then come back a few hours later to queue up for the actual taping. Latecomers risk losing their seats to people on standby. And put a big smile on your face: staffers look for happy-looking, enthusiastic people to put in the front row.
  • FACT: David Letterman was a weekend weatherman in Indiana early in his broadcasting career.
  • Step 3: If you don't get tickets, call the show's standby phone line, listed on the website, beginning at 11 a.m. on the day of the taping you want to attend. Call early: the phone line is only open until the staffers gather enough standbys, usually within the hour. Check in at the theater at the designated time, usually about an hour before taping, to see if you scored seats.
  • Step 4: If you know between 10 and 20 people who would like to attend a taping together, complete the online group ticket request form. You'll be asked to write a few lines about why your group wants to be in the studio audience.
  • Step 5: Go to "":, click _Late Show with David Letterman_, and request tickets.
  • Step 6: Try to get tickets in person at The Ed Sullivan Theater in New York, where the show is taped, between 9:30 a.m. and noon Monday to Wednesday or 10 to 6 on Saturday and Sunday during weeks when the show is taping. You can request tickets up to 1 month in advance of the taping you wish to attend.
  • TIP: You may select up to 3 possible dates; doing so increases your chances of getting tickets.
  • Step 7: Know a few things. Tickets are free, but you must be at least 18 to get them. You'll receive 2, and the tickets are issued in your name and the name of your guest; you'll both need to show government-issued photo I.D. to claim them. You may only request tickets once every 6 months. The show tapes Monday through Thursday, with 2 tapings on Monday.

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