We managed to snag tickets to Saturday Night Live thanks to the ticket lottery which is held each August. Back in September I got a call saying we were on for the 11/11/06 show. We were both very excited when we found out that we'd be seeing Alec Baldwin and Christina Aguilera.
So, we headed into the city at about 6pm and thanks to theater traffic we ended up dropping the car off and heading to dinner at about 7:51pm. (After already having had to yell at other NJ drivers trying to navigate the merge into the Holland Tunnel.) Because apparently the family of four in the Hyundai Elantra just doesn't care if they're trying to drive us into traffic cones.
Anyhoo, we grabbed dinner and ended up heading over to 30 Rock at 9:30. We had been told to ask for "Kat's Line" and to get there not later than 10:15. By the time we got there there were already three lines formed and at least 20-30 people ahead of us in "Kat's Line." I'm at Rockefeller Center five days a week. I've just never had to actually stand in the lobby in a line after hours with no HVAC before. It was roasting. I should have known better and brought a bottle of water, but the NBC Pages made it very, very clear that going to the bathroom was verboten so I guess it's for the best that I didn't have any liquids on me. At about 10:30 we made our way through the metal detectors and up in an elevator to the 8th floor. This was just meant to bring us that much closer to the studio, to again wait in line. At least, however, we were now in a hallway at NBC which was actually air conditioned. All of us with lottery tickets were on one side of a hallway and all of the actual "Guests" glided right by us on the other side of the velvet rope. After a while the couple in front of us got too tired of standing and decided to sit on the ground (and they also whipped out a cross word puzzle). A bit later, two snooty snotty girls who thought they were Paris Hilton walk past this scene and say "This is soooo awkward." Moments later NBC Page Nazis come by and tell the two in front of us that they *have* to stand up. Meanwhile, we're just standing, waiting... I saw a partner from my old firm wander by with his wife-- sure he was in the "guest" line! Ha! Then we saw Stephen Baldwin, Kirsten Dunst and, much to the husband's delight, Maria Bartiromo (who looks much younger in person, by the way).
At about 11:20 they finally led us into the studio which is actually much smaller in person than it appears on tv. We managed to get front row seats but they were on the far left, but since so many of the skits are done on movable sets randomly scattered about the studio, there seemed to be no good seat and no bad seat in the house. In the moments before the show started we were both reprimanded for having our feet on the railing in front of our row and the husband got a nod of acknowledgement from Tracy Morgan who was sitting on a drum kit basically four feet below our seats.
Then the show started... (and someone explain to me how the partner from my old firm actually had a floor seat-- better, in fact, than even Stephen Baldwin???) Alec, Tracy and Tina Fey did the opening monologue. A few skits in, who shows up in the studio but Steve Martin, Martin Short and Paul McCartney!?! Then, the next thing we know, while Alec is doing his Tony Bennett bit, who comes out (and enters the set from right below our seats) but the real Tony Bennett? (The husband gets kudos for this because for the past week he's been wondering aloud whether Tony Bennett would make an appearance...)
Let's not forget Christina, by the way. There was certainly no lip synching going on during her performance. Let's not forget, too, that Christina and Tony did a duet as well. Anyhoo, it was all pretty neat. Especially being close enough to be able to read the cue cards and see that Alec Baldwin does a lot of spot on improvisation.
Once the show was over, we all filed out, but thanks to the husband's quick thinking we made a detour past the closest exit so we could both walk past the "essence" of Maria and get within close range of Stephen Baldwin. It was pretty cool, sure he's the crazy Baldwin, but who didn't love him in the Usual Suspects? I got to walk right past him on the way out! At the end of the night I blackberried with the partner from my old firm. We both agreed, great show. of course, he was off to the afterparty, we, well, we were off to New Jersey.
I told him to make sure he said hi to Sir Paul for me.