That One Time We Sat in the Front Row at Jimmy Fallon

December was a bit of a rough month with the D&C surgery. So, when a friend from my freshman floor at Bethel posted information on how to score tickets to Jimmy Fallon, I knew I wanted to try.

In my opinion, his decision to film The Tonight Show live from Minneapolis after the Super Bowl was the best part of the whole Super Bowl being here.

The process of getting tickets was firm and laborious. I made a 1iota account, completed a profile up to 100% including linking my Twitter which I haven’t used in years, and then logged on to my computer ten minutes before the “tickets” were supposed to become available. As soon as it was 10:30, I refreshed the page, requested 4, and was on the waitlist.


Fast forward a few weeks, and I got an email telling me I was off the waitlist and could reserve 4 tickets. It was during lunch, and I was in my classroom with a couple students, who most likely felt concerned when I immediately began jumping up and down. I knew that if my friend Rachel, who had told me about the show, didn’t get tickets, I would bring her and her brother, which is what we did!

The best part? I didn’t tell Ben about any of it until the day before the show.

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I bought a picture frame and put a piece of paper in that said “to be replaced with a picture of us at The Tonight Show!” along with the tickets. He opened it on his birthday, February 3rd, and the next day we headed to the Orpheum.

I was totally under the assumption that we already had tickets, but it turns out that what we had was permission to wait in line for tickets. Which meant we had to wait in a line that wrapped around the Orpheum, for two hours, in NEGATIVE 5 degree weather. I have never felt more Minnesotan or like it was more appropriate to say “yolo”. Enormous shoutout to our lovely friend Holly who drove our van around for an hour so Zadie could sleep while we waited.

When we got to the front of the line, I said “Hi, best friend!” to the woman working because of the circumstances of being outside and finally seeing the end of the wait, and she gave us our tickets and motioned us over to get wristbands. In the car, we looked at the theatre layout and discovered our tickets were in ROW A. The first row. When we got there, they added two rows where the orchestra pit usually is, but still, ROW A.

Our amazing friend Hilary hung out with a sleeping Zadie so we could go. We arrived back at the Orpheum around 9:15 pm- thank you for the ride, Lauren & Kevin! No one is allowed to leave once you sit down or they would fill your seat and the show didn’t officially start until 11 pm. A girl in front of us asked two different times if she could go use the restroom and was declined both times, which honestly made sense, because they told us all before we came in and if they let her, then they would have to let everyone. We didn’t start exiting The Orpheum till about 12:45 am. Also, no phone use allowed during the actual screening or they would go through it and empty any photos you had taken.

While we waited and during commercial breaks, The Roots played, which was my favorite part. We got to watch a reel of funny Jimmy moments on the screens, and we were prepped for being a live audience (watching signals of when we could cheer and when we needed to quiet down). Justin Timerblake performed first as the official start to the show, in addition to a middle of the show and after show performance. Then, Jimmy came out.

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From where we were seated, there was no one in between us and the couches that guests sat on, so it was pretty surreal to be seeing so many celebrities so close. Justin Timberlake was a bit tired/drunk/quirky, and I don’t really understand his relationship with Jimmy Fallon, but they were having a jolly good time. I loved seeing the cast of This is Us. Everyone was so kind and happy to see us. I did a project on Mandy Moore in 6th grade, and can’t believe how beautiful she is in real life. Dwayne Johnson is enormous in real life as you might imagine. I love how quickly he jumped into his authentic experience growing up. I can tell he is a really solid guy, but both Ben and I just kept picturing Maui from Moana while he talked!

Jimmy, of course, was a highlight and made me laugh. I don’t know how he ended up where he is, but he basically gets to be a grown-up kid, and that makes me happy for him.

Ben laughs at me when I admit this, but honestly, the last couple months have been really rough for us, mostly me, emotionally, and I really feel like God gave us this opportunity to go laugh, be young, and experience something new and cool together.

So- thank you God for letting my name be picked in the lottery so we could see Jimmy Fallon for free and not even travel to New York.


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