Monday at the Price is Right

Filed under: a group of folks,neat!,useless @ 12:12

The short of it is: if you have tickets for the 1:15pm taping of the Price is Right on a Monday, get there before 5:30 or you probably won’t get in (see the table at the bottom of the post).

On to the long of it.

In town visiting Michelle a week and a half ago was her good friend Laura whose greatest desire while in LA was to see Bob Barker at a taping of The Price is Right. Since Laura was just in town for the weekend, going to the studio on Monday was our only option. Unfortunately, Monday is the busiest day there for two reasons: all the out of towners just in LA for the weekend have to go on Monday (they don’t tape on Friday), and there are two tapings on Monday (they don’t tape on Friday). It was going to be a long day.

The previous week, Michelle had gone to the CBS studio to pick up tickets for the 1:15pm taping on February 5th. Apparently there was no line (though there was also no one at the booth for some time), and she, as a ticket picker-uper, was allowed to park in the studio lot for free.

Monday Morning (with deserved capitalization) Greg and I awoke around 4:00am and were picked up by Michelle and Laura at 4:30 here in Pasadena. Without traffic, we made it to the studio, where there was already a sizable line, at about 5:10am. Laura and Greg got us a spot in line while Michelle and I drove around the block to The Grove‘s parking lot (a mall lot that cost us $11 with validation).

We patronized the unenthusiastic coffee/bagel shop across from the studio (location is everything) and waited in line until, at around 6:00am, we were given tickets that held our place in line. I was number 131. At that point we were allowed to leave as long as we returned by 8:00am, so we picked up the car (the lot wasn’t yet taking money that early in the morning, so we decided to move the car while we could and save a few bucks) and drove to a nearby IHOP. We parked back at the grove and went back to the studio to wait for our priority numbers, which we got at about 8:30am. I was number 98; apparently about a third of the people in front of us were there for the later, second taping.

At 9:00am they called us back into formation and started droning on about rules (no disparaging remarks about the prizes, please), taxes (you have to pay them), the line we were sitting in (never leave it or you’re not getting into the taping), and a handful of other things that were repeated ad nauseum. Eventually, we were issued our name tags (Price is Right name tags!) and seating numbers (our fourth non-ticket). I was number 99; it’s unclear why we four were all bumped up a number.

At some point (cell phones and cameras are not allowed on the studio, so I wasn’t able to keep good track of time), they started calling a dozen people from the line up at a time to be “interviewed”. Contestants on the Price is Right are not drawn randomly. They are selected from the crowd ahead of time during this interview process. You only have a few seconds to make your mark, so be creative. We finally got interviewed at around 11:30. We then got herded into… another line! and sat down to play a few hands of UNO with our neighbors.

And then the moment arrived. We finally got into the studio a bit before 1:00pm and got seats. The place was tiny. Watching the show on TV, you get the sense that there are at least a thousand people in the audience and that “coming on down” is at least a 50 yard dash. As it turns out, there’s only about two hundred and fifty people at the taping, and most everyone is within twenty feet of the stage. The display doors (which look massive on TV) are eat-me tiny and the stage itself is about the size of a foosball table. When we first came in, I remarked that Bob Barker must be a midget. Apparently, the TV industry is just plain good at clever photography.

After being prepped by the show’s announcer, the actual taping flew by; everything was extremely fast paced: “Come on down”, bidding, win, play whatever game, cut to commercial, repeat. During “commercial breaks”, Bob would talk to the crowd and take questions. This was just about the only time we actually heard his voice. The staff there get all the audience members to ooh and ahh and scream and shout advice (“higher!”, “$1300”, “the soup!”, “My spleen just exploded”, and so on) with such volume that very little of what’s going on on stage is discernible. I now have a lot of sympathy for the contestants who keep having to ask about the previous people’s bids.

Sadly, none of us was called down. Our dreams (“one dollar, Bob”) were not fulfilled. The guy behind us did get called though, so I bet we were on TV for a second or two (unfortunately, the show aired today and I was too lazy to give anyone advance warning). Despite our lack of luck, I’m glad to have gone. Price is Right, for good or for ill, is truly a piece of Americana, and it was neat to be involved.

Anyway, that’s the boring long of it. For a less mind numbing account, see Greg’s First Post! on the subject.

Below is a table of a person’s final seat number for the 1:15pm taping vs. that person’s arrival time. Somewhere not too far past seat number 150, the people all came from pre-booked large groups which are guaranteed admission (and so don’t have to wait in line).

Final Seat Number Arrival Time
1 11:00pm
10 12:30am
15 2:00am
30 2:45am
40 3:30am
65 4:00am
100 5:10am
150 5:50am


    Bekah 07.14.2009 @ 20:32

    We went this morning to the 12:30 taping and it was great!
    Bring a pen! Have an angle or a cute outfit!
    Got there at 4:30 or so, and were numbers 60 and 61 in line.
    Worked just like everybody said on here, returned at 830a, hung around for four hours.
    Best tips: bring a chair for the early morning wait (rocked!) and we brought a pack of cards and played about 30 games of gin, which helped the wait tremendously..

    Would LOVE to go again!
    Have fun!

    palle 12.02.2009 @ 23:55

    30 ?? you`re crazy… :-)

    Shane 12.29.2009 @ 17:30

    I’m planning on going next wednesday, I was wondering if arriving at 7:30 would at least get me into the 4:00 taping? or possibly the 12:00 taping?

    Thank you!

    Cory Bettinghouse 10.12.2010 @ 20:57

    I google search “times to arrive for price is right” and your blog came up! Thank you for the advice, we plan on getting there at 6am tomorrow morning and hope for the best! Any other suggestions please let me know!

      Mel 10.15.2010 @ 13:30

      I’m going in a few weeks!!! How did the 6am arrival work for you? Any suggestions not mentioned here?

    Emily 11.04.2010 @ 14:26

    Can anyone tell me what time you leave the 12:00 taping? I have a flight out at 3:50pm and don’t know if I would make it.

      Cristina 12.30.2010 @ 06:49

      Did you end up making the 3:50PM flight? I plan on doing the same, but want to make sure I’ll make the flight.

    Jim 01.10.2011 @ 09:37


    I have tickets to both tapings in one day? Is that allowed? And how should I procede to increase my chances of getting on the show?

    Thank you

    Kim 01.25.2011 @ 17:32

    I have tickets to the 12:20PM show on Feb 1-2011. I plan on arriving at 5:30 AM. I hope they have handicapped parking for my hubby. I guess I will bring cards, and a warm jacket.

    Jessica 03.10.2011 @ 10:37

    We went to the 4:00 taping. Our tickets said be there before 12:30pm. We got there at 11pm and were 100th out of 300 and something. You don’t need to wait outside at 5:30am if you want to see the later showing. We had absolutely no problem getting in to see the show.

      Julie 05.18.2011 @ 08:36

      Hi! So you feel like 11AM was plenty of time? was there a huge crowd?

    Gina 03.05.2012 @ 08:43

    We have “Priority Seating” tickets I got online for the morning taping. Do we still need to get there hours early?


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