The current version of Jeopardy! – the beloved daytime game show hosted by Alex Trebek that we’ve grown to love – has been a U.S. television staple since 1984. Amazingly, more than 8,000 episodes have now aired, and the show is currently in its 36th season. And while the studio audience has always been an important part of the program, you may be surprised to hear about some of the strict rules by which its members have to abide.
20. Tickets MUST be confirmed five to seven days before the filming, or they could be canceled
According to the official Jeopardy! website, audience members need to verify their seats “within five to seven days” of the show date. The instructions on how to do this are simple. You have to call the relevant phone number and leave your surname, first name and the digits of the phone you called from when you first registered for tickets.
If you do not do this within the stated timeframe, the website continues, “your tickets will be subject to cancellation.” So, even though it may seem like an irritating extra step, this instruction is a crucial part of any quest for Jeopardy! tickets and ignoring it could have consequences. If you’re serious about those seats, then, it’s best to make the call and not risk missing out.
19. You are responsible for all travel, accommodation and living expenses while attending the taping in L.A.
Tickets for Jeopardy! tapings are free and new tickets are released on the first day of every month. Given that the program is one of the most popular game shows in history, however, they are highly sought-after and therefore difficult to obtain. If you are lucky enough to reserve a space in the audience, you’ll soon need to start planning your trip to Los Angeles.
As the website states, “Tickets and parking in the Overland structure are free, but any other expenses incurred are the responsibility of the participant.” This means that the show will not pay any travel or accommodation expenses for you or any of its audience members. So, if you do plan on going, everything will be coming out of your pocket.
18. You can either book for the morning taping or the afternoon taping
Jeopardy! tapes five episodes in one day, so prospective audiences have two taping slots to choose between. There is the morning block, in which three programs are taped, and the afternoon slot, where the two remaining shows are shot. While timings may vary, each taping spell could last between three and four hours, once set-up and wait times are taken into account.
The show’s official website lists the morning block’s start time as 10:30 a.m. and says that, depending on how smoothly the production unfolds, the audience “will be released at 1:15 p.m.” Audiences for the afternoon slot will be in their seats for 2:15 p.m. and can expect to “be released at 4:00 p.m.” So, if you’re in a hurry, the afternoon taping might be the better option.
17. Arrive at least 45 minutes before the taping
The fact that the Jeopardy! production team shoots five episodes in one day should tell you something about its need for punctuality. There’s a lot to accomplish in one day, so the set must operate like a well-oiled machine. In order to do this, the production staff need to make sure everyone else is as efficient as they are, including the audience.
Each audience member is asked to arrive at the studio at least 45 minutes before the taping is due to start. They are encouraged to plan ahead and to make sure they get there early, as there is a lot to be done before they can take their seats. There is even the chance that you may be denied entry if you arrive late.
16. You MUST bring a government-issued photo ID with you
Because passes to Jeopardy! are free of charge, audience members do not receive the physical token that comes with the formal purchasing of tickets. Every prospective spectator must, therefore, apply with their personal details, and when they do so they are instructed that they “must bring a valid government-issued photo I.D.” with them to the studio. In the absence of a standard ticket, this is what will confirm entry.
According to the staff editor of the WikiHow Community Q & A section, “Usually the person who booked the tickets has to be present for the tickets to be valid.” If the ticket booker is unable to attend, though, there may be a solution. By calling the service number that is provided with the passes, tickets can be transferred to someone who will be able to attend.
15. You will be given a number and wristband, which dictates where you are seated
Jeopardy! is filmed at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California. Since there are many other programs that are filmed at the same studio, when audiences arrive for the show, they are given a colored band that clearly identifies them as members of the Jeopardy! audience. Each wristband is numbered, and the numbers determine the order of entry into the studio.
According to a TripAdvisor review posted in 2012, having a lower-numbered band is a good thing, as it leads to better seating in the studio. In fact, this review seemed to indicate that the person’s wristband number was low because they phoned ahead and arrived early, as requested. Clearly following the rules can sometimes pay off.
14. You must pass through a metal detector
This rule is very much a sad representation of everyday modern life in the United States. Metal detectors have long been fixtures at airports and courthouses, due to security concerns. But since 1991 they have also been present in many school districts across the country – something that has proven controversial in certain quarters.
The Jeopardy! website states, “By entering the Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) lot you will also be required to undergo a metal detector screening.” This shows that the program’s producers take potential security threats on their premises very seriously. Even though the vast majority of fans who attend a Jeopardy! taping will not be dangerous, security staff still have to be vigilant.
13. Your bags will be searched, and you will be under video surveillance
As is somewhat standard practice now at events that attract large numbers of people, members of the Jeopardy! audience are subjected to “a bag check” after they have passed through a metal detector. They are asked to “refrain from bringing extra personal belongings” and oversize bags and rucksacks are forbidden.
Obviously, the producers don’t want anything dangerous being brought into the studio in an audience member’s bag. But another interesting thing is that it says on the Jeopardy! website, “By entering the SPE building, you hereby consent to video surveillance.” So, even if the security team misses something during searches, it may be picked up on C.C.T.V. – also known as closed-circuit television cameras.
12. Smoking and weapons of any kind are also banned, and your vehicle may even be searched
Smoking has long been banned in the public places of California, so it’s unsurprising that it is also forbidden inside Sony Pictures Studio’s premises. It is also not unexpected that “weapons of any kind are strictly prohibited.” It would seem like common sense to not bring a weapon with you, but as there are procedures put in place to combat this, perhaps it’s not as rare as one might like to think.
Another key rule that is highlighted on the official Jeopardy! website concerns an extra security search. And it’s not the audience members themselves that are being searched here. If security staff deem it necessary, they will search your vehicle. And, by “entering the SPE building,” you have technically consented to that inspection.
11. You must stay quiet in the audience unless you are told to cheer or get excited
Unlike some other shows with a live studio audience, in which noisy crowd participation is encouraged, Jeopardy! spectators are expected to remain silent throughout the taping. Supposedly, it helps maintain the atmosphere of the show. But it also serves as a deterrent against the accidental blurting out of answers from those audience members who may be used to hurling their responses at the TV screen when watching the show at home.
If an audience member did do something silly such as shout out an answer, they would be ejected from the studio and not allowed back. It might seem fun to play along as you would in your living room, or let yourself get caught up in the excitement of the day. But you don’t want to ruin the experience for yourself or for anyone else by not heeding this rule.
10. Strictly no children under the age of eight are allowed in the audience
Jeopardy! has been an institution on U.S. television for decades, with people of all ages regularly tuning in to watch it. The majority of contestants on the show are adults, but there are also special episodes that star young competitors. “Kids Week,” “Back To School Week” and “Holiday Kids Week” all feature contestants between the ages of ten and 12.
However, there is a strict rule when it comes to young children being in the audience for Jeopardy!. The show’s website states, “Children under the age of eight will not be admitted.” This is likely because it is much harder to keep children of such a young age as quiet and placid as would be required for Jeopardy!’s long, quiet taping blocks.
9. The audience (and contestants) aren’t permitted to go to the studio cafeteria
Heading out to Sony Pictures Studios and taking a seat in the Jeopardy! audience is an exciting thing for fans. It will also take up a large chunk of time. Naturally, people will likely get peckish over the course of the show’s long filming day. However, according to the 2012 TripAdvisor review, “No commissary (studio cafeteria) visits are allowed for contestants, nor audience members.”
The official website does mention, “There are no public restaurants on the SPE lot, but a variety of options are available within walking distance.” On the one hand, it makes sense; this is a working television studio, not a tourist attraction. But it still does sound slightly harsh on the audience and contestants.
8. Food and beverages are not allowed in the studio
Not only are the show’s spectators unable to visit the studio cafeteria, but prospective audience members may also be dismayed to find out that food and drink items are “strictly prohibited” inside the studio, too. There are a variety of reasons why this rule might have been put into place. Most of them are connected to how members of the audience look and sound on camera.
With no food available to the audience, this regulation reduces the risk that someone might spill something on their clothes, which would, of course, look bad on camera. It also means that no one will be captured with their mouths hanging half-open. And it also ensures that there will be no rustling or crunching of wrappers picked up by the studio’s microphones, either.
7. Unauthorized use of cameras or recording devices is prohibited
In June 2019 a video that enraged the producers of Jeopardy! began to circulate on social media. It spoiled the ending of contestant James Holzhauer’s unprecedented winning streak on the show. But, worst of all, it opened the world’s eyes to the fact that the show wasn’t the must-see live event it had always been portrayed to be.
In order to combat eventualities like this, there is an audience rule that says Jeopardy! “strictly prohibits the unauthorized use of cameras or any other recording devices – including cell phone cameras.” The Holzhauer leak could have proved devastating for the show, which was built on the idea that anything could happen. Thus, the only recording devices allowed “must be approved by or at the direction of the Audience Coordinators.”
6. Cell phones must be turned off during tapings, not simply put on silent
An inability to film inside the studio is not the only tech-related restriction Jeopardy! audiences face. “Cell phones must (also) be turned off during tapings,” the guidelines state. Obviously, most phones these days have excellent cameras, so turning those off is a must for the producers. If an audience member is caught taking photographs or trying to film anything on their phone, they risk being escorted from the studio.
A Reddit post from 2019 told of a young audience member who did just this. The poster wrote, “He was caught by one of the production crew who told him not to record and to delete the footage from his phone.” However, he reportedly ignored their warning and, so the Reddit user suggests, went on to share the video with his friends via text. It seems like pure luck that he wasn’t thrown out by the staff.
5. You’ll get to ask Alex Trebek questions during the filming breaks
Canadian host Alex Trebek is a legend in the entertainment industry and has hosted Jeopardy! since 1984. Amazingly, at the age of 79, he is still hosting the show and is currently contracted until 2022. And during taping days, lucky audience members may land themselves opportunities to talk to Trebek when shooting pauses for much-needed breaks.
A glowing 2019 Reddit thread from a fan who attended a taping spoke of how “kind and funny and engaging and humble” Trebek was when interacting with the audience. The user wrote that each audience member had time to get “multiple questions in to Alex.” In the end, it’s likely that the audience is told to think of topics to talk about with the presenter, considering the likelihood of him engaging with them.
4. You will be asked not to reveal anything about the game results before they’re aired on TV
Contestants on Jeopardy! are required to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements (N.D.A.s). This is intended to stop them from disclosing any results before the show airs on television. And if the competitor violates this agreement, they will not get the money they’ve won. Former contestant Kathryn Keinholz even revealed she had to wait for 120 days after her episode aired before her winnings were paid.
But how does the show police the audience? They could just as easily talk about the results with friends and family, or post them on social media. Interestingly, they aren’t required to sign N.D.A.s as the contestants are. They are simply politely discouraged from talking about what they saw and, generally, abide by this out of respect for the traditions of the iconic show.
3. You will have scheduled bathroom breaks between episodes
As the shooting blocks of Jeopardy! last between three and four hours, spectators cannot simply slip in and out of the studio to go to the bathroom. The producers don’t want empty seats, or to have the sound of someone scuffling away picked up by the microphones. Therefore, the audience is afforded bathroom breaks between each episode, according to a Reddit poster from 2016.
However, this would still entail periods of an hour or more where you aren’t able to use the restroom, which is located in a separate building from the studio. Another Reddit user’s father had gone through prostate surgery and needed to use the bathroom every hour. The uncertainty around this matter understandably presented potential problems for them and caused anxiety.
2. You won’t get to go backstage or onto the stage itself
Anyone who attends a convention, a concert or any other event tends to have this goal in the back of their mind. They may be aware that it’s highly unlikely, and they might not even know how they’d react if it were, by some miracle, to actually happen. But, the idea of going backstage to meet our heroes and get an inside look at the inner workings of a show is undoubtedly an exciting one.
However, according to a TripAdvisor reviewer, you’d be best not to get your hopes up if you’re paying the Jeopardy! studio a visit. “Audience members don’t get to see backstage or get on the stage itself,” the poster wrote, “nor did I see anyone invited in [to] do so.” The experience of watching all the action in person and right as it unfolds will have to be exciting enough for Jeopardy! audiences.
1. If your friend or family member is a contestant, you will be kept separate from them
According to Shannan Younger, a former Jeopardy! contestant and contributor to website Better.net, “contestants are allowed to bring a few guests.” Younger brought her husband and teenage daughter with her. But she soon revealed, “They had to travel to the studio separately and were given strict instructions to not communicate or even make eye contact with contestants.”
A 2012 TripAdvisor review stated that the friends and relatives of contestants were separated from the other audience members. This was accomplished with a “low-rise black divider” that meant they could be seen, but not heard, by the regular audience. This is simply another example of how cautious the Jeopardy! production staff are and just how carefully controlled the show’s filming really is.
And Jeopardy! isn’t the only television show that stipulates some rather strict rules for its audiences. Popular talk program The Ellen DeGeneres Show has been operating smoothly since 2003 thanks to the help of a few hidden rules that Ellen herself has imposed upon her spectators. Here’s a look at 30 bizarre regulations – covering everything from mandatory dancing to forbidden snacks – that audience members apparently have to follow when they visit The Ellen DeGeneres Show’s Warner Bros. set.
30. Leave your knitting needles at home
If you fancy making a sweater to beat the boredom of waiting in line for The Ellen DeGeneres Show, then you’re out of luck. You see, the daytime hit strictly prohibits people from taking any knitting needles into the studio. And that’s not the only no-no stated on the show’s official website.
In the FAQs section, prospective audience members are also warned that they are not allowed to bring any other type of sharp object with them – and this rules out knives and scissors, of course. To little surprise, weapons of any kind are strictly forbidden, as is the self-defense spray known as mace.
29. No shouting out things
The Ellen DeGeneres Show’s audience members are constantly whipped into a frenzy by the warm-up guy. Barely a minute goes by without them being asked to dance like no-one’s watching or whoop and holler like cheerleaders. However, it turns out that there is still a limit to that crowd participation.
Yes, while fans are asked to be as vocal as possible when DeGeneres and her celebrity guests enter the stage, there’ll be trouble if they try to make their voices heard while the show is in full flow. Screaming things from the crowd – no matter how complimentary – is another big no-no.
28. Metal detectors are used
“Think airport security: if you can’t take it into the airport, it is not allowed at WB.” That’s the advice given on the FAQs section of The Ellen DeGeneres Show’s official website. And anyone heading to the Warner Bros. studios for a taping should be aware that the airport security reference isn’t an exaggeration.
Indeed, in a report for Australian website news.com.au, an unnamed insider gave the lowdown of what it’s like to be an audience member on the hit daytime show. And one of the many areas that they discussed was the various security measures in place. In particular, the anonymous source revealed that anyone entering the studio must first walk through a metal detector.
27. Prepare to be cold
Given the array of dazzling bright lights, you may expect The Ellen DeGeneres Show’s studio to be more akin to an oven than a freezer. However, that couldn’t be further removed from the truth. In fact, audience members are far more likely to catch a chill than to work up a sweat.
Indeed, if you’re attending a taping, then it might be advisable to wear as many thermals as possible since the air conditioning remains high throughout. As the show’s warm-up man constantly encourages the crowd to bust some moves, though, the constant coolness may sometimes come as a relief.
26. No autographs
Autographs may be considered relatively old-fashioned in the age of the selfie. But if you happen to be something of a camera-shy fan and want proof that you have been in the presence of daytime TV royalty, then it’s tough luck. That’s right: DeGeneres doesn’t ever sign her name for audience members.
Both the size of the audience and lack of time are cited as reasons why DeGeneres doesn’t put pen to paper. And these are also excuses for why the star doesn’t engage in any physical contact. Yes, while the show itself may have a touchy-feely vibe, hugs with DeGeneres are strictly forbidden.
25. Arrive in the biggest car you can
Thinking of heading down to the famous Warner Bros. studio in your own vehicle to watch a taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show? Well, you may want to think again. Indeed, paying a visit to the nearest car rental place before your trip may ultimately prove to be extremely lucrative.
What’s more, audience members are advised beforehand to arrive at the studio in the largest cars that they can get their hands on. Why? Well, the bigger the vehicle, the more space there is available to cram in the freebies. And those who attended the Mother’s Day episode in 2017 were able to leave with a mountain of gifts – including high chairs, strollers and car seats as well as an Amazon Echo each.
24. Fans have to dress for the occasion
If your fashion sense can be described as gothic, then chances are you’ll be turned away from The Ellen DeGeneres Show set. That’s because – as you’d probably expect from a show that’s all about positive vibes – audience members are encouraged to wear their most colorful outfits. All-black – and even all-white – attire is therefore a big no-no.
The show’s producers also frown upon most denim pants, with only “dressy jeans” being allowed. In fact, the guidelines advise ticket holders to aim for “business casual or upscale/trendy attire.” Fitting the syndicated hit’s super-happy brief also means that beachwear, shorts and tees emblazoned with your favorite brands are similarly outlawed.
23. Coordinating outfits isn’t allowed
A ban on all-black and all-white attire isn’t the only major fashion rule that The Ellen DeGeneres Show implements. Groups co-ordinating outfits by color are also frowned upon for reasons unclear. This has led some to speculate that the host doesn’t want anybody in the audience to take attention away from herself and her various celebrity guests.
And the strict dress code doesn’t end there. Because although audience members are encouraged to buy Ellen-related clothes in the backstage hangout known as the “Riff Raff Room,” they can’t show them off on television. Yes, fans won’t actually be allowed to enter the set if they are sporting any official Ellen merchandise.
22. Even celebrities have to dance
The Ellen DeGeneres Show is renowned for encouraging its audience members to show off their best dance moves. Even in the 30-second pauses for the commercial breaks, fans are told to throw some shapes. And it turns out that even the celebrity guests aren’t safe from the constant demands.
In 2017, for example, Octavia Spencer appeared on the daytime hit to promote her acclaimed space race drama Hidden Figures. Then, after being interviewed by the host, she ventured into the audience to enjoy the rest of the show. And while there – and just like everyone else – Spencer was asked to dance along during one of the commercial breaks.
21. You must take care of your own accommodation
Some fans are lucky enough to live within walking distance of the Warner Bros. set. Others, however, have to travel thousands of miles to appear in the audience of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. And if you find yourself in the latter category, don’t expect any advice from the behind-the-scenes team when it comes to finding overnight accommodation.
One of the questions on the show’s online FAQs section is “Do you recommend a hotel in the area?” – the answer to which is quite simply “No.” Instead of being provided with a list of places to stay, audience members are instead advised to find their own hotels on the internet using the 91522 zip code.
20. Fans with special needs must give two weeks’ notice
The Ellen DeGeneres Show prides itself on being inclusive to fans from all walks of life. But those with certain requirements or needs who are attending a recording must give the show’s organizers plenty of warning in advance. In fact, such ticket holders are required to alert producers two weeks beforehand so any arrangements can be made.
This particular rule may seem a little excessive to some. But during this lengthy period of notice, producers can then ensure that any potential issues are ironed out in time for the taping of the show. Besides, all fans reportedly have to do is contact the email address that is listed with their ticket confirmation.
19. Anyone under 14 is out of luck
Of course, not every fan of the comedienne’s multiple Emmy-winning show can be accommodated. If you’re under the age of 14, in fact, the only way you can enjoy the show is by watching it at home. But if you happen to be in your early teens, you can actually attend a taping – as long as someone aged 18 or over accompanies you.
Young fans thinking of trying to sneak into a recording should think again, though. You see, anyone who doesn’t yet look old enough to drink reportedly needs to bring along an official legal document stating their age in order to get into the studio. This rule means, however, that many celebrity guests – such as 13-year-old yodeling sensation Mason Ramsey – wouldn’t technically be allowed to take a seat in the audience.
18. Fans have to line up outside
The Ellen DeGeneres Show’s producers seemingly like to create a sense of anticipation before letting in its audience. After all, fans hopeful of getting a front-row seat to the syndicated hit are first asked to wait outside the Warner Bros. lot in Los Angeles. This includes even those people who’ve already been promised tickets.
Luckily, the City of Angels isn’t particularly renowned for its rainfall. Yet if there does happen to be a sudden shower, fans can likely take refuge in one of the several eateries nearby. It’s been reported, however, that audience members can sometimes end up waiting for hours before producers are ready to let them take their seats.
17. Fans need to be there super early
Getting into The Ellen DeGeneres Show certainly appears to be a lengthy ordeal. If you don’t have guaranteed tickets, after all, you just have to cross your fingers and hope you’re one of the lucky few to get their hands on standby ones. But to be in with any chance of this happening, it seems that you have to be outside the studio super early.
In fact, the show’s official website states that the studio opens up at 9:00 a.m. – but that “it is not within [the producers’] control as to how early people arrive.” So it’s likely that fans without tickets get to the Warner Bros. lot hours earlier to improve their chances of making it inside. And with the taping only typically starting at 12.30 p.m., that makes for one mightily long day.
16. Snacks are forbidden
Audience members aren’t allowed to bring any snacks or beverages with them into the studio. So despite the fact that the taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show can be a long process, ticket holders must keep their hunger in check until it’s all over. Fortunately, though, food is permitted in the lines outside – and there are a number of restaurants close to the Warner Bros. lot.
Yet there can apparently be severe consequences if anyone is found to have sneaked a bag of potato chips or a can of soda into the studio. It’s even possible that they could be escorted off the set. So if you ever hear the sound of rumbling stomachs the next time you tune into the daytime talk show, you now know why.
15. Fans might be separated from their friends and family
Some The Ellen DeGeneres Show fans are lucky enough to bag tickets for both themselves and up to two of their nearest and dearest. Such groups may even be allowed to enter the studio together. However, there’s no guarantee that the entire group will actually be able to enjoy the daytime phenomenon beside one another.
On the contrary, audience members may find themselves sitting beside complete strangers, due to the show’s strict seating arrangements. Everyone is allocated a numbered ticket when they first arrive into the “holding area,” you see. And this number dictates the order in which each fan is allowed to take their seat on set. So if one party member’s number happens to be much higher or lower than that of the person they’ve come with, chances are they’ll be seated in different rows.
14. Information about the show is kept top secret
Audiences may know what they’re generally going to get when they arrive on The Ellen DeGeneres Show set: an opening monologue; a couple of celebrity interviews; a musical performance; and the odd practical joke or touching human interest story. But the host seemingly still likes to retain at least some elements of surprise.
In fact, the first time that audiences find out which famous faces will be joining Ellen on the sofa is when the stars walk out onto the stage. That’s because the comedienne and her producers refuse to leak any information about the guests in advance. The official reason for this is that the “details change on a daily basis.” The fortunate side effect is that the gasps of amazement that greet each A-list superstar are entirely genuine.
13. The audience must be prepared to dance
If you consider yourself to be shy and retiring, then perhaps The Ellen DeGeneres Show set isn’t the best place for you. After all, the show practically demands that its audience members bust a move. At times, in fact, you could be forgiven for thinking that you’ve wandered onto the set of So You Think You Can Dance.
In fact, ticket holders appear to spend just as much time on their feet as they do in their seats during the taping of the show. And many have later admitted that being in the audience for Ellen can be exhausting work. So if the idea of dancing on national television fills you with dread, it’s perhaps wise to stick to watching the show at home.
12. Each row has to devise their own dance
In 2017 a writer for News.com.au traveled to Los Angeles to report on a day in the life of an audience member for Ellen. And perhaps unsurprisingly, dancing made up a big chunk of their time. In fact, much to her horror, the reporter revealed that fans are even encouraged to become choreographers during the show’s taping.
According to the article, each row of fans were actually asked by the warm-up act to devise their very own dance move and perform it in unison. Yet the writer recalled how her particular row wasn’t exactly keen on this idea. And instead of wowing the rest of the audience with their routine, they wasted their allotted time just staring uncomfortably at one another.
11. Front-row fans must know today’s pop hits
Being Ellen DeGeneres’ number-one fan is reportedly not enough to bag you a prime spot in the audience. That’s because you apparently also need to be up to date with the current U.S. Hot 100. Yes, it seems that those in the coveted “Dance Row” must certainly know their Lil Nas X from their Lizzo.
For when the host dances through the row to take to the stage, these particular audience members must pull double duty. Not only do they have to bust their best moves, but they also have to sing along to the hit that’s playing at the time. Who needs Lip Sync Battle?
10. Game players must be super chipper
Ellen DeGeneres sure loves playing games. She even hosts a spin-off inspired by the games – such as Danger Word, Aw Snap and Blindfolded Musical Chairs – that appear on her daytime talk show. And perhaps unsurprisingly, it seems that the comedienne only wants those who will become fully invested in all of the fun to participate.
So while it may look like audience members are selected randomly to take part in particular games, it seems that they’re actually chosen before taping begins. According to one blogger who had attended a show, you see, potential contestants are vetted based on their levels of enthusiasm while in the line. And if a crowd member impresses producers with their excited face during an interview process, they could then be allowed to show them off to the nation.
9. Even the clapping is choreographed
Of course, it’s not just the dancing and singing that is highly choreographed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. So while you may think that all the clapping, whooping and hollering that occurs throughout each episode is entirely spontaneous, that’s not actually the case. In fact, the audience are told exactly when and how to respond by a designated staff member.
So ticket holders essentially have to be prepared to follow the choreographers’ directions after they walk through the Warner Bros. studio doors. But there is a benefit to all the pre-show instructions. Yes, the person leading these audience responses might actually give clues as to who the celebrity guests are while whipping the crowd into a frenzy.
8. No T-shirts or shorts
While some TV series may encourage audience members to bare as much flesh as possible, The Ellen DeGeneres Show certainly doesn’t. No matter how high the temperature outside, fans are not allowed to treat a trip to the studio like a trip to the beach.
Indeed, alongside the rules of no monochrome colors, no clothing with logos, no official merchandise and no co-ordinating outfits, audience members are also forbidden from wearing T-shirts and shorts. Summer hats are also not allowed. And anyone arriving on set in a pair of flip-flops will probably be sent packing, too.
7. Producers check your excitement
If you want to increase your chances of getting picked for a game show segment or gift giveaway, then you may need to down a few energy drinks first. After all, producers constantly scour the lines for those hopefuls who appear to be the most excited about their trip to The Ellen DeGeneres Show. And if the crew like what they see, they’ll take you to a special place named the “bungalow.”
Up to 50 people can be invited to the bungalow, and while there they will then be grilled by the producers. “How excited are you?” and “Who is the biggest Ellen fan?” are just a couple of the questions that you can expect to be asked. Answer correctly, and you will move on to the next stage. If you don’t show enough enthusiasm, however, you’re sent back to the parking garage.
6. Fans must get gifts checked by security
With an estimated net worth of $87.5 million, Ellen DeGeneres is likely rich beyond most of her audience’s wildest dreams. But that doesn’t stop fans from wanting to shower the comedienne with gifts. Anybody who wants to deliver a present to the host by hand, however, will probably be out of luck.
Yet audience members can still bring gifts with them to the Warner Bros. lot. But the presents are only given to Ellen once they’ve been officially checked by security. Fans are also forbidden from striding up to the host to express their admiration – or even to ask for a quick celebrity selfie. This is “due to time constraints and the number of people [the producers] accommodate per show.”
5. Fans get just one freebie
You could argue that just having the opportunity to attend The Ellen DeGeneres Show is reward enough. But the host reportedly makes sure that audience members go home even happier – with a piece of merchandise they can treasure forever. However, try and take more than one item and you might be shamed in front of the world.
On one particular occasion, in fact, Ellen discovered that a cheeky member of the audience had attempted to bag several souvenirs during her studio visit. And the comedienne seemingly wasn’t impressed. So, in an apparent attempt to deter any future greedy ticket holders, the host actually aired footage of the fan caught in the act.
4. Chewing gum is forbidden
If you happen to have a pack of Wrigley’s finest with your belongings, chances are you might not get past the studio door. After all, chewing gum is apparently completely frowned upon for The Ellen DeGeneres Show. And there are reportedly several reasons why popping some in your mouth is a major no-no.
Gum-chewing doesn’t appear particularly attractive on the screen, for one thing. And it could also restrict audience members from singing the current pop hit that plays when Ellen enters the stage. Of course, people’s habits of sticking their used gum under chairs could cause havoc for the show’s cleaners, too.
3. You can’t sell your tickets
It turns out that money can’t buy you everything. Yes, in an apparent bid to ensure that fans from all walks of life get to see her in action, Ellen doesn’t allow tickets for her daytime show to go on general sale. So, if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on some, you won’t be able to make a quick buck from them.
In fact, even auctioning tickets for good causes is strictly forbidden by producers of the show. And the person who arrives at the Warner Bros. lot must correspond with the name that appears on the ticket. If it doesn’t, then there’s every chance that they will be sent packing.
2. Recording the show is a no-no
The Ellen DeGeneres Show is professionally filmed from multiple angles for a 40-minute episode that screens in front of the nation. But that doesn’t stop audience members from wanting to document their experiences themselves. However, any Facebook Live streams or Instagram stories will have to begin and end outside of the studio.
Fans can keep their cellphones, though – as long as they’re switched off while in the studio. Producers have even reportedly been known to confiscate any cells that are in use during the show’s taping. Standalone cameras – digital or otherwise – are also banned from the taping and will likely not make it past the studio door.
1. Travel expenses aren’t reimbursed after a canceled show
Of course, sometimes an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show may be canceled due to circumstances beyond producers’ control. Perhaps Ellen is feeling too ill to attend, for example. But along with the disappointment of missing out on a show’s taping, some fans may find themselves out of pocket, too.
That’s because the show doesn’t reimburse fans for any expenses that they may have racked up in order to get to the studio. This might not particularly affect those local to the Los Angeles area. If you’ve flown thousands of miles to be there, however, the cost could be a small fortune.