Saturday Night Line! One Fan’s Journey to Get Standby Tickets for Saturday Night Live


Our own Vito Calise really wanted to go be in the audience for this season, so we decided to sponsor his bid to get standby tickets. He especially wants to see his hero, Donald Glover, host.  After a lot of research on how to get tickets, he got in line at 9pm on Thursday night, armed with recliner chairs, food and information. He and his buddy Ian got there early enough to be eight and ninth in line and we’re going to follow his night sleeping on the mean streets of midtown. He’s sacrificing his comfort so you can be informed.

HOUR ONE: Thursday May 3: 9:00 to 10:00pm

Ian and I get to the line. We set up our recliner chairs and made friends with the people around us. The first person in the line is a girl who got here at 3 pm. Behind her are a father and son who have waited on line for tickets many times before and say this season has been great for Standby.

“The father and son look exactly like each other, it’s kinda freaking me out. Bald white dudes with glasses.” -Ian

The recliner chairs (sponsored by The IBang!) were totally worth the money. I’m wondering now at which hour I’ll lose my shit.

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HOUR TWO: Thursday May 3: 10:00 to 11:00pm

We are directly across the street from 5 guys, I decided to run in and grab a bunch of people peanuts from the free barrels they have inside. Ian is not a big peanut fan and wishes we had some almonds. The others were really excited about my peanut plan and described it as “resourceful”.

My friend Cool Disco Dan from SiriusXM brought us some Chick Fil A as our first real line meal. He brought a bunch of extra Chick Fil A sauce, I gave the girl in first place some because they messed her order up and she really wanted some.

“Dan’s a nice guy and all, and I’m super appreciative of the chick fil a, but he gave me the literal worst dap I’ve ever received in my life” -Ian Lane

Line freaked out over a cockroach and one guy ran over like the hero and killed it. One girl looked on in disgust.

It’s rained a few times. Once we ignored, the second was strong enough for us to decide to take cover.

“I think Vito just didn’t want to get his fries wet” -Ian

Right now everyone is talking about Ben and Jerry’s being open till 11 and the bathroom situation. The bathroom is in the Rock center concourse. I’m not using that because Sirius is across the street. The WiFi connection is actually crazy strong so we took out Ian’s laptop and we’re watching the 76ers Celtics playoff game.

“The 76ers are blowing this shit. If they don’t win this game then they’ll lose this series” -Ian

A group of girls just showed up who were gonna come in the morning but because the line is building they are going to stay. Our friends right behind us have been freaking out about not having chairs. There are 4 of them, 1 more of them gets here at 10 AM and one currently here has to leave for an hour to take a Spanish exam. They tried to buy a couch on let go but have decided to make a quick target run for chairs. They actually ended up teaming with the group of girls who strolled by and are sending a mixed group of teams to target for chairs.

Our chairs are fuckin ridiculous though. They’re clearly the Ferrari’s of this line, everybody else has Hyundai’s.

Line count: 26

FIRST VIDEO: VITO IS A ‘FREE PEANUT’ HERO

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HOUR THREE: Thursday May 3: 11:00pm to midnight

We took our first bathroom break. The people of the line were cool enough to let us go together so we ran to the SiriusXM offices and grabbed an orange juice and relieved ourselves comfortably.

When we returned there was a group of girls with an air mattress. The guy next to us (who is an aspiring actor) ended up returning with a full couch, they found it on an app and carried it back 10 blocks. They just made our awesome chairs look like total shit.

“We gave the dude one of our waters.” — Ian

Ian and I ran to the 24-hour Deli 48. It’s an 8/10 store. We bought a bag of ice and filled a cooler bag with bottles of water because it’s getting humid out. The cockroaches like that. Ian also bought gummy bears and went around feeling cookie textures because he’s a giant child.

“I broke one by accident.” — Ian

The energy is amazing on the line. Everyone is super excited and we’re all discussing live show vs dress rehearsal. Some people brought spiked punch and the vibe is turning into something like a college tailgate party. We’re really looking forward to the daytime aspect.

Thomas has quickly become kind of the mayor of the line. He’s made sure to get everyone’s name and story and enjoys checking in and talking to people. He’s waiting on line with his girlfriend. Thomas also said he saw mad cockroaches. We aren’t sure If we believe him.

Line count: 29

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HOUR FOUR: Friday May 4: midnight to 1:00am

Some high-intensity drama hit the line. Some drunk guys came up the block screaming and walking towards a parked car. When they got to the car they began to scream at the people on line, yelling “I came here to piss, I didn’t ask you to wait on no fucking line so I’m gonna piss” he then opened up the drivers door of his Honda Accord and pissed into the curb about 1 foot from these peoples heads. By the time we realized what was happening they drove away.

“The piss was really loud and long. I heard it very clearly from like 20 yards out” – Ian Lane

Soon some security guys came out from finishing a shift. One of them was a huge Gambino fan and was shocked at how many people were here Thursday night. He told us the Today Show would be setting up soon and that the barriers would be set up. He asked the people ahead of us where they were from and said he could “smell the New Yorker” on Ian and me. He turned to his friend, said “I’ll probably be working this line tomorrow” and left.

The tiredness is kicking in. The night breeze isn’t hitting as well and it’s starting to get humid with light mosquito action. There’s a rumor of a new Childish Gambino track debuting tonight we’re hoping is true and just listened to the new Kanye track that released. Ian is a much bigger Kanye fan than me so I’ll let him review the song.

“Ian here. Off one listen — It’s pretty good. I actually rocked with Uzi. The beat is kinda cooky but cool. Travis comes with his regular Travis shit, but the overall sound on this one seems more promising than Birds in the Trap… excited for Astroworld. Ummm but Kanye kinda snapped. Makes sense that they’d release it now after all his shit in the news. ”

He’s talking about some stuff that’s been coming up with his TMZ and Charlamagne.

HOUR FIVE: Friday May 4: 1:00am:to 2:00am

The barricades went up at 1 AM exactly. It was an exciting moment and we got more room than we thought we would.

Two words: Guitar Man. The legends were true— directly across from us is what looks like a building that’s been either abandoned or carpet bombed. In the doorway of this building stood what looked like a zombie, with an electric guitar, jamming.

3 groups of us have created a community and we turned all of our chairs into a semi circle. We now have a living room. The community aspect of the line has gotten amazing. Team Couch consists of a 21 year old engaged couple and their best friend / roommate. They’re celebrating the soon-to-be-groom’s fiancé and they’re really cool people. They’re trying to party a little more than us because they’re college kids and loaded us up some Hawaiian Punch vodka drinks.

Guitar Man was approached by a finance bro who was yelling at him requesting sweet child o mine. Soon, 2 of the people of this new community approached Guitar Man. He got angry and shut the door on them, jammed in the hallway for a while before leaving.

VIDEO NUMBER 2: GUITARMAN

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HOUR SIX. Friday May 4. 2:00am to 3:00am

To pass the time all of us decided to use the Wu-Tang name generator that Donald Glover used to get the name, Childish Gambino. Ian got Phantom Criminal and I got X-Cessive Wanderer. Things are winding down and people are passing out.

Ian went on a McDonald’s run and I went with a few members of The Community to find a bathroom. The 30 Rock security guards refused to let us in even though some line experts said the bathrooms are usually open. We were walking around the Rock concourse to find somewhere to go. The Today Show is being set up so screams will wake us up in a few hours. We were directed back to “Delis 48” where I got the ice to use the bathroom. As I got back, Ian returned with the chicken nuggets and fries.

“Vito ate the McDonald so fast. I sort of regret buying it. I will be doing a lot of ab work in the gym next week because I’m probably gonna put on like 5 pounds before Saturday.”- Ian

A second line has been started a little further down the block. Our line is better than the second line, for sure.

I’m actually optimistic about the amount of sleep we’re bout to get. I don’t care about no Today Show fans.

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HOUR SEVEN. Friday May 4. 3:00am to 4:00am

I had full intention of sleeping around 3, but around 3:25 I was woken up by the same security guard who wouldn’t let me in the bathroom who decided it was the perfect time to make us move our chairs closer together. When this same security guard denied us from the bathroom, another one said “this is stupid you should let them go” and he simply said “closed” and walked away.

What he did next was ridiculous. Obviously, the couch was a big piece of furniture. I read the rules and saw they were weird about air mattresses and tents so this thing probably couldn’t last, but it was in the barrier and was here for hours with nobody saying anything. When the person came by and set up the barriers 2 hours ago he saw it was a couch. It didn’t block traffic and nobody complained. The new security guard who seemed like a manager and denied us from the bathroom told them they had to move it.

Couch crew asked if they could keep it until morning because nothing was open and they just wanted somewhere to sit that wasn’t the ground, they couldn’t find chairs anywhere before getting here and that sofa was the only option. They weren’t being rude they weren’t being dicks they just wanted somewhere to sit. He really wouldn’t meet them halfway and just demanded they move it right now, as they tried to figure out what was happening and what to do he came back 5 minutes later and told them to hurry up.

I felt so bad they were considering leaving the line that I offered to run to my apartment and grab them 2 extra picnic chairs I had. They were extremely grateful, I took a Citi bike to my apartment and then cabbed back with the chairs. They were incredibly appreciative but our living room setup was murdered by the security guard who may end up being the villain for the rest of this story.

Ian was asleep for this entire exchange.

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HOURS EIGHT AND NINE. Friday May 4. 5:00am to 7:00am

For the 4 AM hour I tried to sleep but I was directly under a light. Then an alarm went off and it got chilly. I just wanted to sleep but nothing was working. I’m nervous about how weird and tired I’m going to get. Ian was out cold.

At 5 AM on the dot they woke us all up and said get your stuff together and wait for instructions. It’s been an hour and we’ve still heard nothing, we’re just sitting here thinking we may be moving because Meredith, person number one has told us this happened before.

The bright spot of the morning was a visit from with a bag full of Ham and Egg McMuffins. We shared them with our line friends and are still awaiting instructions. It was amazing.

We’re making the best of the situation but people are pissed. They woke us up, it got bright out and now the Today Show is starting with an all nurse audience for national nurse day. There are just nurses everywhere sporadically wooing and loud music has begun.

Ian’s thoughts: We’ve settled down a bit. We think that they’re gonna move us but we are still “waiting for instructions”.

I slept like a baby, and could have probably slept another 3-4 hours if they didn’t wake us up. I think all of our brains are gonna be fried sometime by 1pm.

 

HOURS TEN, ELEVEN AND TWELVE. Friday May 4. 6:00am to 9:00am

Not a lot of updates here because I’ve been in and out of sleep. We soon realized we may not be actually getting moved, they may just not have wanted people to seen our sleeping corpses who were here for the Today Show. Starting to go a little crazy because I’m exhausted and my body wants to sleep but the screams and cheers from Today are waking me up.

The only drama of this period happened when I was sleeping and got suddenly woken up by people screaming. I get up and a van is near the curb and apparently almost hit some of my line people. There was a guy helping “guide” the car in who then began to yell at us line folk and say “it’s not illegal to park a car but it’s illegal to sleep on the street”. That guy was a dick. The security guard came over and said you almost hit these people but he just ignored and kept making he dumb ass point about us apparently breaking the sacred “thou must not sleep on the sidewalk” law. The guy all the way to the left is the dickhead.

Ian’s been knocked out cold this entire time.

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HOURS THIRTEEN & FOURTEEN. Friday May 4. 9:00am to 11:00am

I went back to Sirius to use the bathroom. Walking through the building a co workers saw me and asked if I was alright because I look terrible. I was so loopy and tired all I could get out was “I’m sleeping outside” and walked away.

Returning to the line: it’s gotten huge, it’s reaching all the way to 6th Avenue. The line has gotten so long that they asked we condense our spaces and get closer to each other. The security guard dealing with us this time was much nicer and reasonable.

We’re keeping it kind of low key now. Everyone is awake though and we’ve turned our chairs towards each other for the day. We’ve all read the same blog upon coming that gave the low down on how the line works and we’ve pretty much referred to it like it’s official laws.

The hi-light of this period was when a girl walked by counting everyone. I asked her how many people she counted and she said 67. She said she comes most weeks and she’s never been a number larger than 30 and this is insane. Soon after talking to her Thomas came by with Chicken biscuits from Chick Fil A to share with everyone.

Ian and I are still debating going to the live show vs dress rehearsal. Ian is “team live show” and I’m thinking with dress we get to see more Donald. The debate lives on.

LINE COUNT: 67

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HOUR FIFTEEN Friday May 4. 11:00am to noon

This is ian, taking over for a little.

I’ve slept like a rock on two different occasions. We’ve all been taking turns getting food, and we all agree on is that most of this wait will be spent thinking about food.

There was a MEGA douchebag standing right next to the line yelling on his phone about how he was going to be late somewhere. He refused to move out the way as people walked by and tried to move him and didn’t respect the fact that he was basically invading our home.

Everyone’s in good spirits. We also found a guy who has allegedly been to this every weekend for the last 260 shows? Wtf? We’ve deemed him our Second Line Legend; the first being Guitar Man.

A tourist from India also tried to barter with us and buy or spots on line so he and his nephew could take our spots. You get the most annoying people asking questions. He asked where we get tickets … the line. He asked if we have to camp out tonight … yes. Then he asked if we get to go home tonight …check the previous answer buddy come on.

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HOUR SIXTEEN. May 4. Noon to 1:00pm

This was a frustrating hour for us. We went to to piss and drop off our portable chargers for a while. The line has gotten so crowded, upon returning there were 4 different line sections now with close to 100 people waiting to get in.

When they came back they really condensed the line space. They pushed the barriers in 2 feet and squeezed us closer to each other. Our reclining chairs may now be useless.

A game Ian and I came up with was deciding what is worse. If when we were sleeping a soft dick hit us in the head or a hard dick. 6 others on the line said hard dick no question. We are getting tired and weird. The weather is nice.

To add to the frustration an old man came by and just tossed bird seed on the floor next to us. A crew of us had to kick it all into the street so the birds wouldn’t come and shit on us. I literally screamed no and he disappeared into the street. Seconds later the strangest thing we’d seen so far approached us. A man going backwards in a wheelchair on a crowded street … but using his legs to propel himself.

It’s getting hotter. The clouds are going away and the sun is coming out. Time feels like it’s moving pretty quickly, but then again we still have 16 hours to go. We will complete this mission.

“Everybody in Vito’s office laughs when he says he’s doing this” -Ian Lane

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HOUR SEVENTEEN. May 4. 1:00pm to 2:00pm

We’re getting exhausted. The sun is beating down. A nap is probably coming up soon. Everyone is getting really tired and talking has slowed down. We are going to make a run for water soon. I borrowed a blanket from the engaged couple from couch crew (Elliot and Natalie) and I didn’t realize they had a dog so my dog allergies and flaring up and my neck is getting a rash.

We have a new addition to the group, Angelo is a friend of Elliot and Natalie. They saved him a spot by having another friend wait until he flew in from Orlando where they are all from. They also used a teddy bear to save his spot. They’re here for a cool reason, we mentioned before it’s Elliot’s birthday but it turns out he only went to NYU because he idolizes Glover and wanted to go to the same college as him. That’s why they all decided to do this wait.

Ian’s addition to this entry

“I didn’t know anything about that idolization part. That’s really cool”

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HOURS EIGHTEEN & NINETEEN. May 4. 2:00pm to 4:00pm

This was a pretty busy hour. We were so hot the shirts came off for a little.

We needed Ice for our cooler bag of water but no stores sold ice and the one that did sell a bag last night said the night shift turned off the machine and messed everything up. I ended up going to Five Guys where I asked the manager if I could fill up my bag with ice and offered to pay. She said merry Christmas and let me just fill it up. Five Guys on 48th in Manhattan has just become in my eyes the single greatest franchise known to man. We’re sitting here with cold waters living our best life.

We were a little hungry so I ran into the kosher deli we were sitting right outside of and bought us some $5 hot dogs. They were good but not $5 good.

The pigeons we were worried about from before soon arrived and started to feed on the seed after one bird figured out the food situation and they all became self aware. The other stray observation for this hour is the guy who has been here since 11 PM with no chair or pillow or anything, dude has just been laying on the concrete like he saw this line and decided it would be fun to hop on.

We’re all back in good spirits. Some of this college kids even got off line for 90 minutes each to go to class but they’re behind us so that’s not our problem. Live that best life kids.

We spent this time getting to know staff members. Ahmed from security is cool as hell. He was chilling with us, telling us this is an impressive line. Soon after that we met the page who said he’d be the one giving us tickets tomorrow. His name is Brian. Brian is still wearing his shirt from the Today show this morning that says Today (Hearts) Nurses. Be said we should be fine which really put us at ease.

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Hour TWENTY: Friday May 4. 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Another slow hour. Everyone is dozing off and taking mid day naps. Getting to the final half day is super exciting. We all feel like we’re in the home stretch. There’s not much to update in this hour. Some of this people fall asleep in the most creative ways.

I can’t fall asleep out of my bed but some of these dudes just have their head on concrete and others are in a yoga position while sitting in their shitty picnic chairs. My battery charging case died so I’m pretty fucking mad about that.

Ian and I are sporadically arguing like an old married couple over the dress rehearsal vs live show thing. Every time other people bring up something I’ve said to defend the dress rehearsal I look at him like a disapproving wife.

This line has gotten insane and now reaches all the way around 6th Avenue. Most of the people are here for Glover and not just to see a random SNL show and it’s mostly college age kids which makes us feel kind of old.

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Hour TWENTY ONE: Friday May 4. 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

I’ve been using some friends as a means for delivering us food which has been incredibly helpful. Cool Disco Dan was number one, he brought the Chick Fil A, then the great Ron Bennington blessed the line with some McDonalds and now Gabe Torres drops off some Pizza from Harry’s in Rock Center. We went 1 pepperoni and 1 sausage each.

Elliot grabbed some food trays from his college’s student center because they charge a $50 fee per semester for “broken and lost” plates so why not make the best of them? He lent them to us for our pizza.

The interactions we’ve had with people continue to get more and more interesting— the latest one was a young lady who runs social media for SNL. She came up and asked if we were the guys writing about being on the standby line which felt incredible. She had us record a video which she says she is going to try and get to Donald and that’s the dream folks. Hopefully, Ian gets his birthday dream and we somehow get to interact with Donald Glover. According to her we are looking very good for tickets at our prime spot in line.

Ian and I have started a fun new game also. We just take picture of people struggling to get to the parking meter separated by us line folk. Here are some photos from the game.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I have a feeling that it’s going to work.” – Ian Lane

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Hour TWENTY TWO: Friday May 4. 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Ian taking over for Vito again for a quick second while he takes his first nap since 5 AM. He was really starting to lose it so from now on I’ll be monitoring his sleep

Dan gave me a slider from Bill’s Burger. 8.9/10. I don’t think there’s been a period of more than 10 minutes where everyone from this group of 8 has been conscious. We definitely all hit the proverbial wall. My brain is fried and my body hurts. I never thought that sitting down for so long could hurt.

As I write this it turned 7:00pm. 12 hours to go. We’re about to see if we can get some “adult beverages” going to celebrate. I think this is the closest I’ll ever get to running a marathon. So far; I can honestly say; I have 0 regrets. I was a little worried that I wasn’t going to make it, but we’re entering the home stretch and I’m feeling confident as fuck. I’ve seen just about every Gambino concert he’s done as of late; from Pharos in LA to the Citi Bank concert— bought tickets for his September show at MSG and tickets for his show in New Zealand in November. PRETTY FUCKING EXCITING.

Hour TWENTY THREE: Friday May 4. 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

We had a second to talk to Meredith who got here at 3 PM on Thursday and was the first person on the standby line.

Meredith (has been on line 7 times)
Has seen: /Vampire Weekend, Christmas Episode with Fallon/Timberlake, Paul Rudd/One Direction.
Favorite show: Christmas Episode- she got to sit next to Katie Holmes for that episode.
Favorite thing about being on line: The anticipation, meeting interesting people from different walks of life.

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HOUR TWENTY FOUR: Friday May 4. 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM

So for the 24th hour of the journey we decided to have a few beers because it just feels nice in what feels like a summer night. People are EXHAUSTED. We actually started a trend where people began getting their own friends to visit them and bring coffee, snacks and food. We just found out there’s a line legend who has been first in line for pretty much every show but she’s strangely not here for this one. Nobody knows the reason why.

The big question everyone is probably wondering, what’s the most annoying thing about waiting on this line. That’s actually the easiest thing I could answer. It’s how many people come up and say “what are you waiting for?” So I’ve come up with my own answers because the signs people put up don’t help, they still ask questions.

Answer 1) We’re waiting to get into this deli, best pastrami in NYC.

Answer 2) We’re here for a “tennis shoe” release

Answer 3) we’re waiting for SNL tickets (they ask who is hosting) GWENYTH PALTROW!!!!

The line is now up to 150 and it goes all the way to the guy selling art on 49th and 6th. One peasant all the way at the back of the line heard the people behind him deciding to leave and they asked if they could stay until his friends got there to swap seats. Some people are just getting here now with high hopes of getting in. It’s a bizarre mix of people.

One interesting event was seeing a girl get a chair delivered to her via amazon prime and seeing the delivery woman search the line for her. The chair was delivered right as night fell upon us which is interesting because she got a roof on top.

10 hours to go feels nuts, it feels so close in the big picture but an important thing to do for anyone who waits on line in the future is to remember it’s still 10 hours. Even though you’ve been here for 24 at this point and 10 feels like nothing, you would be stressed about being at work that long so a line outside on the streets of manhattan is no different.

LINE COUNT 150

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Hour TWENTY FIVE: Friday 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM

We formed a supergroup with a trio of girls from Fordham University. They’re each line veterans who have been on 5 times, 4 times and 2 times. They were some main voices to calm our nerves in the beginning letting us know that they’ve usually been around 30 and always gotten in. They also say the entire process the staff lets you know you probably won’t get in and not to get your hopes up but they’ve gotten in regardless of those words.

Together with couch crew (Elliot, Natalie and Angelo) and Thomas we joined these girls (Emma, Gabby and Alex) for a card game called Mafia. It lasted about 30 minutes and Ian and I got bored quick and decided to be the others accomplice when they got named murderer. We ruined the game a few times and nobody noticed. Soon the conversation digressed into talk about the Disney princesses and which ones were the most important, specifically if Meg from Hercules is a princess or not.

Personally I’m pretty fucking pissed because Ian is watching the latest episode of Atlanta on his own even though we agreed to watch it together. I sound like a nagging wife and I’m not even a little ashamed.

Guitar Man made a brief appearance at about 9:15 but didn’t play any music, just smoked in the stairwell. Then he showed up again at 9:45 and played for 5 minutes before disappearing.

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HOUR TWENTY SIX AND TWENTY SEVEN: Friday May 4. 10:00 PM – midnight

For our last meal, Ian and I were offered a bunch of apps from Johnny Utahs by my friend Emily. It’s a 2 block wall through the concourse and it was the perfect way to just get nice and full and lay back on the chairs. It’s a weird thing to only have this experience with people you’re sitting with for hours on end because now we’re just referencing stuff that happened early in the day. Everyone is loopy. Our group is hanging out and trying to stay up but it seems like everyone else just wants to pass out.

Our bodies are shutting down. The people who have done this a few times are shocked that we chose to wait this long. It’s worth it but our bodies all hurt. I tried to sleep on my side last night and now I feel like I have no control of my elbow. I know I’m being a child about it but the pain is worse than I thought and there’s no way to sit comfortably with it, but the experience is 100% worth it.

It’s a Friday night and almost midnight in Manhattan. People are out. This isn’t a residential neighborhood, there’s nobody just walking by walking their dog or going to the store. It’s all people out to get fucked up which is a weird dynamic. It’s not crowded by any means. There’s not a lot of foot traffic it’s just the point that anyone who does walk by is most likely coming from or heading to a bar.

Now Ian’s analysis:

There’s a weird sensation going on in my face that id rather just sleep to forget than try to comprehend. I’m a little worried that I won’t be able to fall asleep, but we’re just 7.5 hours away from #tickettime. Vito and I think that we’re gonna do the live show now, but he’ll probably change his mind before the morning.

I’m now hoody’d up, hat is on, chair alllllll the way back. Gonna see if this sleep thing will work. Hopefully I can get more than 2-3 hours.

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HOUR TWENTY EIGHT: Saturday May 5. midnight to 1:00am

I strangely want to stay awake on the line because it is a fun experience but my body is saying otherwise. I just took my shoes off for the first time and threw on sweat pants because it’s getting chilly. The only thing keeping me up are the drinks outside Sean’s bar and the constant car headlights flashing right at me.

The couch squad lent me a blanket last night but it was covered in dog hair and I’m actually allergic so that’s caused my neck to chafe for the entire day.

I mentioned this in my last post, but seriously, fuck all of these people stopping to ask about the line. Some of these maniacs are pulling up to us, doing a slight honk to get our attention and then asking. Others will come up, ask what the occasion is and then once we say it’s for SNL hosted by Donald Glover they look in disgust.

Another question I have is directed at Delis 48. Seriously what’s good with this name? Was Deli 48 taken? Is it meant to be “Deli’s 48”? Is it a play on Delish? I want answers. This has been a big issue of debate on the line.

Last night at this time really felt like a party but everyone within 40 spots of me has been here since last night so we’re all exhausted. This line somehow grew to 150 people which makes me extremely happy for Donald Glover as a huge fan of his.

The only thing that makes me want to see the live show as opposed to the longer and what people describe as more fun dress rehearsal show, is to see someone I’ve followed for so long achieve a major accomplishment like hosting SNL in person.

As I was writing this final entry, I got a special donut and coffee delivery from Ron Bennington which means he provided my alliances breakfasts both days. We had to fashion a hideaway for then under Ian’s chair so we don’t attract roaches at night. There’s a shit load of roaches out on 48th street at night.

I’m honestly so loopy and tired right now I don’t even know what I said to Ron when he came by and I physically couldn’t get up out of my chair.

If you don’t see a post from me for a few hours don’t worry, I should still be here I may have just finally passed out and gotten some sleep. Unless Guitar Man comes out to shred and wakes me up which I’m predicting is a 100% probability.

PS…Ian’s been asleep for close to 90 minutes.

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HOUR TWENTY NINE, THIRTY, THIRTY ONE, THIRTY TWO AND THIRTY THREE: Saturday May 5. 1:00AM to 6:00am

I wouldn’t exactly say u just slept for 5 hours. I definitely slept for one, and then was woken up by a screaming homeless person and then fell asleep again and was woken up by honking and then this cycle continues. It got really fucking cold out here and all I have on is a T Shirt.

Me and Ian’s friend Sam recommended we get those thermal blankets they give runners at the end of races because he goes camping a lot and says they keep you very warm. Let me say … fuck you Sam. If I wanted to wrap myself in aluminum foil I would have just bought Reynolds wrap. Everyone else in the line would would end up staring at me as I tried to figure out the best way to get this crinkly cover to keep me warm.

I didn’t get to mention this before because I forgot during the short heatwave period but there was a really weird part of my day where my Sirius XM coworkers had to pass me waiting on the line as they left work. Even the ones I don’t know personally but would recognize me just gave me either looks of being entertained or disgust that they work with what looks like a vagrant.

I was the only one up for most of this period. The parking spot that remained open for the entire day all of the sudden became a hot spot that changed hands 4 separate times while I tried to sleep. People are waking up now and we are in the final hour. I should have brought a hoodie. So one major tip, no matter how hot it’s supposed to be, bring a hoodie and a real fucking blanket.

<<<>>>

THE FINAL HOUR: HOUR THIRTY FOUR: Saturday May 5. 6:00AM to 7:00am

IT’S FINALLY OVER! WE HAVE THE TICKETS! After 34 long hours Ian I have gotten our standby tickets. The tricky part is after all of this we still are not guaranteed admission but the good news is we are numbers 7 and 8 so it looks good for us.

Some real drama hit the line about 5 minutes before Brian the NBC Page came out to give us our tickets. Thomas noticed that someone snuck onto the line at 3 AM after we waited all that time and met up with his friend who was number 3. Thomas told the Rock Center guard and the guard was not anonymous about it at all, so much so it was hilarious. Thomas tried to play it cool and whispered “the guy laying down”, the security guard then walks over to the guy and yells back to Thomas “WHICH GUY? WHICH ONE? HIM?” and when Thomas says yeah the two guys actually get up and leave. What’s crazy about this is that one of those guys was really there the whole time and he legit just got up and bounced minutes before tickets. Screw your friend dude, you should have just told him to kick rocks and gotten a solo ticket.

The donuts from Ron Bennington were a smash hit. We saved them for morning to share with everyone when we woke up. We even went to great lengths to preserve them from cockroaches by wrapping the boxes in plastic and finding a higher ground to place them. We offered our close line allies donuts first and then decided to pass the boxes down the line to anyone who wanted. They didn’t make it past the first section.

At 7 AM exactly the pages come out and begin to take everyone’s name and this journey is over. It was a cool shared experience was weird to say bye to people you know you’ll never see again in your life but just shared something special with. Couch Crew decided to go Dress Rehearsal by the way and snagged up the first 3 standby tickets for that show. This was really one of the most insane experiences I’ve ever been a part of and now I need to get some sleep before I go back to that block around 10 PM for the live show.

Before I go, here are some quick tips I think you should remember if you ever choose to stand in line

1) Bring a spare shirt. I didn’t bring one and regretted it the whole time. For sweat reasons, smell reasons and food reasons.
2)Bring a hoodie and a real blanket.
3) A group of 3 – 5 is probably the sweet spot. 2 can work if you get lucky enough like us to get cool line friends but you don’t wanna be down another persons throat the whole time.
4) You may not need a book or a computer.
5) Bring as many filled portable chargers as you possibly can
6) GET NICE CHAIRS! Having the nice $45 Zero Gravity chairs from Amazon made a world of difference. SPEND THE MONEY
7) Bring a cooler bag and hope to god Delis 48 has ice or you can charm Five Guys into letting you use their machine.

<<<>>>

UPDATE!! 10:30PM SATURDAY NIGHT….

Today was weird being back home. It felt like I wasn’t supposed to be there. I slept for 8 hours but as I was closing my eyes I felt like I kept thinking I was still on the street. I wanted to shower once I got home but after writing the last update I stood up and collapsed. I physically couldn’t stand. There’s not much to say about the home world because I slept. I still don’t have cognitive speech.

Ian’s take:

Those last hours were tough because there were times when I wasn’t sure if I was awake or asleep. Like, when Ron showed up in the car with the doughnuts, I literally thought that we were all going to get shot. There was just a lot of yelling, headlights, and Dunkin’ Donuts and I couldn’t handle it.

I guess we were awake the last 2 hours and it felt like hitting the homestretch. I had energy, I was excited, and seeing those pages leave the building with empty smiles and the tickets in hand made me feel like I’m going to lie about Christmas to my kids a few years longer than I planned to.

Me and vito thought of that lost joke separately. I told him I had a good joke that I didn’t want to tell him. But he had it anyway. We’re both smart and funny ppl.

UPDATE!!! 10:48PM SATURDAY NIGHT

We are now standing on line at the NBC store. It’s like a weird reunion where everyone is happy to see eachother again which Ian and I have compared it to being like Lost when everyone is in the church during the series finale. Some people asked if we were Ian and Vito and told us they enjoyed the blog and kept up with it all day. As we got here we walked in with another guy who said he’s number 283 … for the live show which means there was an insane amount of people overall. We’re still half panicking about possibly not getting in.

We’re really getting nervous because Thomas hasn’t shown up yet and that’s the homie. Thomas still hasn’t shown up and we are all freaking out that he isn’t here as we go to the next step of possibly getting in. Also a quick side note, most of the ladies who waited on the standby line have shown up in full dresses with what looks like professional makeup jobs. We’ve all reached our final forms.

<<<>>>

FINAL UPDATE!! 2:35am WE DID IT BABY!

We just got out of the live show and it’s truly amazing to see that show live. After waiting in the NBC store they take you through an X-Ray and security check and tell you phones go off. It all happens right away before you have a second to realize what’s happening so get all those last texts out. Some great additional news, Thomas made it with seconds to spare right before we were lead into the elevator and walked into the line to cheers.

“I was about to kill Thomas (if he didn’t make it and I ever saw him again).” – ian

We get lead to a waiting area that is specifically for entrances to SNL. We saw Glover’s frequent collaborator Hiro Murai walking in and Emily Ratajowkski and her husband.

“I said — that’s Hiro Murai. Vito says no. Vehemently. Afterward, it was cleared up that he thought I was talking about Hiro from Heroes because he’s a tired and loopy mess.” – ian

Then we all get into the elevator up to the 9th floor and walk down the famous hallway adorned with photos over the years and get lead to our seats where we somehow manage to get the last 2 seats of the front row center balcony seats. It was interesting seeing people who did stand by vs just getting tickets because the excitement levels were incredibly different

Michael Che does a warmup set and brings out singing Keenan Thompson with background singers Melissa Villasenor, Cecile Strong and Heidi Gardner. Then show show starts.

The cold open was insane, it took over the entire stage with guests Ben Stiller, Scarlett Johansson, Martin Short, and Stormy Daniels. I unfortunately found out about stormy Daniels early because the last thing I saw before my phone was turned off by security was Elliot from the line messaging me about the dress rehearsal.

The first sketch was definitely my favorite of the night and something I’ve actually had plenty of conversations about…why is Jurassic Park allowed to continue after all the deaths. It really seemed like a Donald Glover Derrick Comedy piece so I was wondering if he wrote it. The Digital Short Migos sketch was amazing as well, everything was great to be honest. I don’t know if it was just being there but it felt like the funniest sketches I had seen in a long time. I’m not even excited about the Solo movie but it was cool to see Donald wearing the Lando stuff in person. I was messaged by a friend who claims you can hear me laugh at the dead dad joke during the bedroom sketch.

The songs were both brand new releases and I can’t figure out which one I liked more. The first one could easily be a song for the summer and I’ll buy those “Saturday Night Vibes” shirt the second they go on sale if they’re released. The second, “This is America” was released tonight and it was so good. The light display wasn’t as intense as it looked on TV but it still looked great live. Lisa Boner and Daniel Kaluuya doing the intro for Gambino was cool but a theory we came up with back in the line was that Donald would introduce himself and then run to the stage, which is insane to think now. But, if you watch this show and don’t think Donald Glover is one of the most talented human beings in the world you’re insane.

“This is a major move for a pivotal moment in Donald’s career. The first thing I thought was Bruno Mars, for the first song. He’s going for the masses, and that’s enormously exciting.” – ian

It’s pretty interesting to see Weekend Update live. There are black curtains up on each side that block you from seeing who will be guests on the segment. The chemistry between Che and Jost in person is really cool to see. You also get to see how Che and Jost react to their jokes when the closeup is off them, the audience.

Watching the crew set up the show and all the sets is something everyone needs to witness. The commercial breaks don’t feel as long as they do when you’re at home, they go by in what feels like seconds and tonight had some intricate sets. It’s really fun to watch Wally do the cue cards in person, he’s moving around seamlessly and laughing at some of the jokes. Lorne Michaels walks the stage throughout the show and talks to the host and cast members which for some reason feels insane to see.

After the show Ian and I leave through the gift shop where people on the high of just watching SNL will purchase shirts and hoodies or maybe a mug. We waited for Thomas and hung out with the girl who was first in line, Meredith, for a little while and then headed out. We went with Thomas and his girlfriend to the exit where cast members walk out and greet fans. We walked out right as Leslie Jones was going down the line taking photos but we did get a photo with Chris Redd before we headed out and trying to grab a drink for Ian’s birthday with some other friends waiting for us at a bar.

“I thought Chris Redd was Lena Waithe for more than 11 seconds.” – ian

Overall there’s nothing like seeing SNL live. It’s a show I’ve been watching for pretty much my entire life and something I never actually thought I would get to see. The 34 hours was 100% worth it and made the show feel like a grand prize for some insane line waiting for the contest. They did end up taking our ticket away which I’m pretty sad about, so if there’s an NBC producer somewhere reading this who can get me my ticket back, you would be an angel. The shows over the journey ended and I’m glad anyone could read along with the experience.

Ian: I remember watching my dad watch SNL and crack up. But I never got it. So when I got to watching and appreciate it myself, it started to all make sense for me. I always wanted to see the crew shuffling sets between skits, and oddly enough, that was some of the most exhilarating stuff for me. The there was Donald. Donald was next level. People really need to realize that we have a legend in our midsts.

“Not a single of regret. It was all worth it.” – ian

Vito: If you’re ever thinking about going to SNL and doing what we did, do it, just buy a nice chair.

“PS Leslie Jones; if you’re reading this: ;)” – ian

Read more comedy news.

15 Comments

  1. John Bacardi

    May 4, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    Im enjoying the Shit outta this, Ive been reading this all day at work, really made my day go by

    • Crazyjen

      May 4, 2018 at 7:05 pm

      Team Vito

      • Crazyjen

        May 4, 2018 at 7:19 pm

        Ian rooting for you, don’t give up.

  2. gmail login

    May 5, 2018 at 3:10 am

    They are impressive statistics. A very interesting article. Thank you.

  3. Donnie Love

    May 5, 2018 at 3:10 am

    I have been really enjoying this saga, great job Vito.

    Chris hasn’t done anything this entertaining since blacking out after the Christmas party.

  4. Crazy jen

    May 5, 2018 at 11:02 am

    This was a really really great read. Thank you guys for doing this. Live it.

  5. Crazy jen

    May 5, 2018 at 11:03 am

    This was a really really great read. Thank you guys for doing this. Live it.

  6. Crystal

    May 5, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    Vito really did a great job documenting this experience! My only suggestion is that he post more live video via IG or doing an old school scope. Good work Vito and Ian!!

  7. Sonya Carter

    May 5, 2018 at 10:16 pm

    I have used cyber.surgeon@-o-u-t-l-o-o-k dot c-o-m quite a number of times and he has never disappointed me. He has once help me get my credit score increased and also cleared my debt in my wellsfargo account. He does all types of mobile hack;get unrestricted and unnoticeable access to your partner/spouse/anybodies Facebook Account,email,Whatsapp,Text messages.He also makes changes in any database/website such as your college/university grades..Getting the job done is as simple as sending an Email to ( cyber.surgeon-@-o-u-t-l-o-o-k dot c-o-m ) stating what you want to do. Sure he will help you

  8. Gerry the man

    May 6, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    How big are Vito’s feet? Thinkingnof getting him a good boy prize of nice kicks.
    Address would be good also

    • Danny Trejo

      May 7, 2018 at 4:31 pm

      His twitter is @VitoCalise

  9. Steve

    May 6, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    This was a fun read. Nice job, Vito!

  10. Joshua

    May 6, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    Hey man great write up. Even though we didn’t meet, I was actually in line too a bit behind you and ended up in one of your photos. I’ve done standby many times now and it always seems they let a good share of people in. My friends and I got into dress and we couneed after and figure about 75 standby people or so made dress, maybe even 80. Any idea how many made it into live? I’m always curious. I do know a guy who got in line pretty late given how long the line got and got into live show so I figure it was a large number. Just curious.

  11. Joshua

    May 6, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    Also im so with you on how annoying people asking what you’re in line for is. If they’re nice and just quickly curious that’s one thing, my friends and I were facing away from them in middle of conversation and theyd inturrup us just to ask. One woman even called us rude for not answering questions clearly, like lady do you want to wait in line all day and night and see how you feel making time for everyone’s consistent questions? Since we were a bit back (but still all did get in the show the next night) we also had some people ask us and then basically say why? you don’t have a chance back here or make a remark on how they’d never be crazy enough to wait. I also was jealous all my friends got good 6 hours of sleep over night and I got not a minute of it. Sleeping definitely makes the time in line go by so so fast

  12. Matt

    May 7, 2018 at 11:21 am

    Great read. Well done Vito and Ian.

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