At 49th Street, Fifth Avenue lives up to its lofty reputation with the Rockefeller Center, one of the world’s biggest business and entertainment complexes, and a triumph of Art Deco architecture. Rockefeller Plaza is dominated by the 70 floors of the soaring GE Building, number 30 Rockefeller Center, or ‘30 Rock’ – headquarters of NBC. Anyone can be part of a live audience any weekday morning during NBC’s long-running Today Show, which is broadcast from a glassed-in studio on the corner of 49th Street, but to get a good spot you should arrive about 6am.
If you want to see where hit shows like Saturday Night Live, NBC Nightly News or The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon are made, sign up for the NBC Studio tour at the NBC Experience Store. These behind-the-scenes tours depart every 15 minutes and give you a chance to see the corridors and rooms that influenced the hit show 30 Rock. Each tour lasts about 70 minutes and takes you into a control studio, make-up room, and several studios.
If you’re a fan of political comedy, you can join the studio audience of a weekday taping of Trevor Noah’s satirical news show The Daily Show. In 2015 Noah replaced presenter of 16 years Jon Stewart, whose deadpan political punditry made him a star in the US and abroad. Will Noah’s star rise just as high? Grab a ticket and find out!
You need to book tickets well in advance, then be prepared to line up – rain or shine – for 2-3 hours outside Comedy Central Studios (11th Ave and 52nd St, off map) for the tapings that end about 7pm. Order the tickets online at www.thedailyshow.com/tickets.com.