Leaving my toasty bed before the sun comes up (or before 10 a.m., really) is not something I particularly enjoy. So, when my family and friends traveled to New York in May 2011, visiting The Today Show was not something I was just dying to do. Though I enjoy The Today Show ( the gang’s chemistry is the best of early morning news programs), I prefer to watch Al Roker give the weather report from the comforts of my queen-sized bed.
When we arrived at NBC (about 2 hours before the show, a good time if you want to be on the first row), a breakfast truck provided free coffee, waffles and pastries to those waiting for program. Don’t judge a caramel macchiato from a van. It’s one of the best I’ve ever had.
My group also participated in the sign-making tradition of The Today Show. The April 27th tornadoes had just struck my hometown, Tuscaloosa, as well as many areas in the Southeast. Our signs reflected our Tuscaloosa pride, one reading, “We will praise You in this storm-Tuscaloosa, Alabama” and another saying, “Roll Tide, Y’all.” Security checks every sign before you enter the gates of the lot, and they are a scary bunch.
Various members of The Today Show gang come out to the lot about five times per show. Roker, the showman, gave everyone on the front row (including myself) high fives. The special guest, who was Glee’s Chris Colfer at our show, also visits the lot.
Television screens and speakers allow you to see what’s filmed in the studio, so you’re not bored when none of the on-air talent is outside. The high energy of trying to get on TV is fun if you want your five seconds of fame. As an aspiring member of the media, I enjoyed watching how the producers, directors, assistants and on-air talent prepared for the show. It’s definitely a fast-paced environment, but this group makes it look effortless.
The next time you go to New York, devote a morning to The Today Show. Plus, it’s a free attraction with free breakfast. That’s nearly impossible to come by in the Big Apple.