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


    Creed 04.21.2008 @ 23:44

    Pay close attention to Post #435 as that was my impression. An e-ticket means nothing. Here’s how the trick is done. The ticket(s) gets you an “audience pass”, the pass has a number on the bottom of it, that number has to be below 300 or you are pretty much wasting your time. And no, they won’t tell you this.

    If you are not there at 3:00 am, you are wasting your time. If a big group arrives, all wearing color coordinated t-shirts, you can be bumped. If you physically challenged, it will be a physical challenge to wait because its outside and the accomodations are minimal. There is no contestant parking on the CBS lot itself.

    The Farmers Market (one block down on Fairfax is a great place to eat) but some of the surrounding areas are a bit seedy.

    My impression was that an e-ticket meant that I was assured of at least being in the audience but as my ol’ Daddy used to say, “Free is often worth what you paid for it?”

    Voltaire 04.22.2008 @ 16:22

    Creed is correct – remember that in fact that tickets are issued in excess of the studio capacity – otherwise what would happen if people don’t show up? An audience with empty seats does not look good on camera – so therefore they book groups of 25+ in advance. There should be no more than 150 in groups for each taping – so if you do happen to get a priority number of 100-150, you can be fairly certain that you’ll get in. An e-ticket DOES mean something though – if you don’t have an e-ticket or a cardstock ticket from the ticket booth, then you CANNOT even get an audience pass (Order of Arrival Pass), or a priority number. The reason why the pages do not tell if you won’t be able to get in if you have a high priority number is because they have no idea how many groups will actually show up ON TIME. If they don’t show up on time (9AM for the 1pm taping or 12:30 for the 4PM taping), they will get bumped to the end of the line.

    If you are physically challenged – there is handicapped parking on the CBS lot – as long as you have a handicapped placard, and you can park right next to the audience holding area. They can also make arrangements for elevator access. Otherwise you’ll have to park at the grove parking garage a block away.

    dave 04.22.2008 @ 18:49

    I am planning a business trip to CA in June 2008. I notice that when Bob was still hosting the show you needed to be in line the previous night. Have things changed? I would like to attend the Tuesday taping, any idea what time I should be there?

    CARI 04.23.2008 @ 20:47

    Hi Voltaire- I had a great time at the show on the 22nd. I went to the 4pm taping. No one hit the million on the 1stor 2nd show. I met a lot of great people. The first person in line was at 9pm the night before. I was in line 2am and was number 109 in line. I did notice you must be in line by 4am and no later. I hope that helps you Dave.

    Ceiling Roses 04.25.2008 @ 01:13

    This blog is amazing. Anyone know about bags…what if you have a bag & can’t find anywhere to put it during the show? I’m hoping to find someone in line that will let me put it in their car. Take care!

    CARI 04.25.2008 @ 09:30

    You can bring a bag into the show and snacks and water ….. I had a plastic bag !!!!!

    Voltaire 04.26.2008 @ 00:51

    A plastic bag/purse should be OK but I know for sure they won’t allow you to bring in backpacks or luggage – and they don’t have anywhere you could store that on the lot. You could probably ask someone in line going to the show who has parked nearby if you could leave your bags with them or perhaps you could go across the street to the Farmer’s Daugher hotel and ask the concierge there to hold your bags for you.

    Keep in mind that last week was a $1,000,000 spectacular taping – and I’d expect the lines to not quite be as long as they were for these tapings. The last person at the 1PM Tuesday MDS taping arrived at 5:30 AM. If you arrive anytime before 5 AM I think it’s a fairly safe bet that you’ll get into either taping if you plan on going any time soon (say in June).

    dave 05.03.2008 @ 20:49

    Thanks for the follow up to my question! I’m looking forward to going!

    Elvis 05.03.2008 @ 21:05

    I have an eticket for Mon. June 9. I’m taking my Mom for her 80th birthday. What time would i have to be in line to get in? It would be a shame to fly across the country and not be able to secure a spot.

    stephanie 05.08.2008 @ 21:32

    Can you bring sleeping bags/chairs to keep warm/stay comfortable while waiting in line? After you get a ticket around 6am you are aloud to leave for a couple hours right? I am assuming this would give you enough time to get rid of stuff you can’t take into the studio. I am going May 19/20(Monday/Tuesday) should I be in line by 5am?

    Voltaire 05.10.2008 @ 19:38

    Yes – you are allowed to bring sleeping bags/chairs to stay comfortable while waiting outside of the CBS gates. As far as I know, the only thing that they don’t allow now is tents – you used to be able to bring tents but for some reason that’s not allowed anymore. At 6 AM after you receive your order of arrival pass you should get a break of about an hour to an hour and a half (Depending on what the pages tell you – usually they’ll tell you to return around 7:30 or so) that should give you time to put away anything you can’t take into the studio.

    If you plan on being in line at 5 AM – you should safely get in to at least one show – depending on how full the first show is you may want to consider just going to the 2nd show to be sure you at least are able to see one show. However, if it doesn’t appear to be a bunch of people (like say less than 300 Order of Arrival Passes) then there’s a possibility you may be able to get into both tapings and you should go to the first taping of the day. Be careful about arriving any later than 6 AM – remember that groups will bump you to the end of the line (even though they arrive at 9 am).

    I will be attending on May 12 and 13 – if you’re there, come say hi – I’d like to meet you!

    Cooney 05.11.2008 @ 14:16

    i will be on the show tomorrow, May 12th!!! I’m a young looking kid with a BYU sweatshirt on! it was my life long dream to be on the show, and we drove all the way from seattle! it was my first taping!!! it was amazing..i had school during the million dollar show..otherwise that would be spectacular!

    jake 05.11.2008 @ 18:31

    Hey there,
    I have tickets to the 4pm taping of the show tomorrow. What time is the taping usually done and is a drivers license and credit card good enough as two forms of ID?

    John 05.30.2008 @ 00:48

    Hey – I have e tickets for the 6-02 show at 4pm, but my grandma is in a wheelchair, any recommendations? I don’t mind getting in line early – but she’s in town and I want to make sure she’s in the audience. What time should we get there for the 4pm show? Thanks –

    Leo 06.03.2008 @ 09:07

    Is there still a shortage of contestants? Trying to figure out what time to arrive on June 25th. Driving cross country for this! Anyone else from this blog going email me! leoslist@gmail.com

    Porsha 06.04.2008 @ 01:00

    My family is going to TPIR on Monday June 9th to the 4pm taping I know this has been asked a million times but… what time should we get there? I have kinda scanned through all the comments but I thought I saw something that said you get bumped up in line if you are all wearing matching tshirts. We have a group of 11 and all have tshirts, would we get bumped up? Also, on the website it says no one under 18 but I read here that someone had a baby with them. I want to take my daughter who just turned 1, is it possible?

    David 06.13.2008 @ 22:39

    Just what CBS (and 11 million viewers) wants — a crying 1 year old on national television.

    Elvis 06.14.2008 @ 21:56

    Leo, i was there on June 9th. I got there at 4:30 and was number 60 in line. Although there was plenty of people on the 9th, they still have to hire a professional audience sometime. I highly recommend staying at The Farmers Daughter Hotel. Its nothing fancy, but its nice, clean, and CLOSE!! (right across the street) Be prepared to be there ALL DAY. Have Fun.

    party planner 07.25.2008 @ 10:27

    I am surprising my husband and taking him, along with 3 other friends to a taping of TPIR. We plan on attending the Monday taping on October 6th and I am trying to prepare the best I can. I am wondering if anyone has been there recently and if they can guide a little. I was not sure if the number of people attending the tapings has decreased due to flight and gas prices? What time should we be in line? Is 5am going to get us in the door or is camping out the night before still encouraged?

    I have seen lots of advice on this but an looking for more updated info. Thank you for any help you can give.

    Elvis 07.30.2008 @ 05:41

    Party Planner, 5am might be just a little too late. I would get there at 4 or 430 just to be sure. Stay at the Farmers Daughter and the night clerk will monitor the line and call your room if it starts getting long. At 6am they hand out numbers which are your place in line. At that point you can leave and have breakfast, shower, etc. If you go to the 1pm taping you have to return at 8:45. If you are going to the 4pm taping, you come back at noon.

    party planner 08.02.2008 @ 07:06

    Thank you Elvis, I will plan to be there at 4 just to be on the safe side!

    colorado fans 08.13.2008 @ 09:20

    We just returned from the Price is Right on Aug. 5th. We stayed right across the street at the Farmers Daughter hotel. Very convenient, but also very pricey. 185.00 a night plus 17.00 a night for parking. But we walked across the street to get in line at 5:15 am and was no. 60 in line. We had fun, but it is a very long day.It’s o.k. for a one time experience. Drew Carey is the best part of the whole show. Have fun. Colorado Fan

    Dhaisy 08.16.2008 @ 22:33

    I’m going for my 30th bday at the end of October.. i’m cute, bubbly blonde – so I’m hoping that increases my odds as explained from someone above. I also have a 2 yr old boy (whom is well behaved) – and I read that sometimes they let you go in with your child?!
    Do the line-ups increase or decrease according to season? I’m won’t mind arriving by 5am, but can you bring a stroller? (to return it later after you get your priority number)?

    Colorado Fan 08.17.2008 @ 18:10

    No children allowed at all. To get a priority no. you have to go through the gate, and they would never allow a stroller through the gate. So you are cute and bubbly, well, there were alot of cute blondes there. My beautiful grandaughter is blonde ,19 and bubbly and they even called her goldie locks and paid her alot of attention, and not picked. They pick people that look like someone just off the street and very ordinary. You never know what they are looking for, but good luck! Colorado Fan

    xrayban 09.03.2008 @ 21:34

    I’m headed out in a couple Mondays to stand in line! Are you allowed to take iPods (without having to give them up at security)? It’s not an iPhone…so no camera. Also, do people sleep in line??? And do you have to watch out for line jumpers?

    Party Planner 09.24.2008 @ 16:25

    I am a little over a week out from heading to LA. We will be attending the early taping on Monday, October 6th (or should I say we are hopeful that we will get in). Are there any last pointers from people who have been there recently? Thanks…..I am SO excited. My husband has no clue we are going and I can not wait to surprise him!!

    Gina 10.07.2008 @ 17:01

    HI! My mom and I are going from PA to LA to see the show on Wed., Oct 28th. Signed up for the 1pm taping, but could stay for 4pm if need be. Thanks for ALL the info/comments. I will NOT be there at some crazy 8-9pm the night before. Hmm, maybe 20 years ago! 5am sounds good to me. Is anyone else going that day? I like the idea of getting a group together.

    Kitty 10.23.2008 @ 11:56

    Taking my mom to TPIR next week for her 6oth birthday. This blog is amazing. Has been her dream for a long time and now we will travel 3000miles to accomplish it!

    KH 12.04.2008 @ 12:41

    Daughter and I going to PIR in January..anyone know how the weather is then? We are used to the cold(around 20-30 degrees). We got e tickets for both the 1pm and 4pm tapings. Read a lot of these posts but it seems that when it was Bob Barker, the studio attendance was more desirable.
    What would be the best time to arrive now? We were planning about 3am. Does any think that is early enough?

      David 12.26.2008 @ 07:17

      First, the weather in LA in January is chilly at night — probably mid 40s to around 50 overnight.

      Monday is the busiest taping day, so if you are going on a Monday, arriving at 3:00 is about right. You would probably be fine to be a little later on a non-Monday, but if you’re like me, you don’t want to take chances.

      Try Canter’s Deli (open 24 hours) two blocks up the hill on Fairfax (away from the Farmer’s Market).

      Have fun!

    buford 12.25.2008 @ 19:11

    Yeah, I’m going in January, too. Is the line easier now?

    Mandi 12.29.2008 @ 23:40

    Hi. I’m new to this. Never even been to the West Coast so i’m looking for some pointers. I have an eticket for the Jan.26 taping at 1pm. Does anyone know how long the taping lasts? We are leaving on a cruise at 5:30 pm the same day. Does anyone know if this is possible? I appreciate any advice at all. Thanks!

    David 01.03.2009 @ 06:59

    The taping takes about 75 minutes, so you should be out around 2:30.

    Mandi 01.03.2009 @ 19:22

    Thanks David!

    fran 01.04.2009 @ 17:14

    Hi, I am going on a Wednesday in January. I have been on so many sites to get tickets. Is it better getting it from one or the other. Also I asked for 4 tickets. I don’t now If the rest of are group is going to go. because it is an all day affaire. Is that going to mess us up. If 3 go instend of 4. I read that they put you in another line.

    David 01.04.2009 @ 21:56

    No Worries…just have the three of you go.

    jazz 01.05.2009 @ 13:46

    Clicking on wordpress stuff gave me this. Sorry, nice site though…

    XML Parsing Error: mismatched tag. Expected: .
    Location: http://blogwaffe.com/category/wordpress/
    Line Number 127, Column 83:Update 08.07.2006:

      MDA 01.05.2009 @ 14:01

      Thanks. Fixed.

    Marco 01.06.2009 @ 06:46

    My wife and I are going to the March 23rd taping. Anyone know of a cheap hostel or living room couch in the area? And if any of you have been picked to be a contestant, what did you do/say during your brief interview that you feel made you stand out? Thanks!

    buford 01.26.2009 @ 21:46

    Across the street from CBS right now. Farmer’s Daughter is O.K., very clean, but at $150/mo I expected it to be really fancy. It’s very motel-like, but clean. Also plan on $17/day for unlimited valet parking (mandatory).

    Heading off to bed. Planning to get in line around 5 AM. Wish us luck!

    buford 01.27.2009 @ 08:09

    Well, I just got my order of arrival pass.

    We got in line around 5:15, which appeared to be adequate for a Tuesday taping. It seems we were in the first 100 feet of the line, from what I can tell, but our pass number says 280.

    It really didn’t look like there was 280 people in front of us. So, I am hoping they didn’t start at zero. We’ll find out in the next hour or so.

    buford 01.27.2009 @ 15:30

    MADE IT ON! But just barely. I guess the Order of Arrival passes (brown) didn’t start at zero today. They started at 192. Mine was 281.

    At around 8:30 they called tickets 192-279 to get in line to get their magic Orange ticket. That guarantees you a spot in the show. We were two off.

    Then they call all the groups, which pretty much filled up the middle 200 seats. Thankfully about there were about twenty seats left, so those of us with tickets 280-300 or so got orange tickets with eerily similar numbers to the ones on our brown order of arrival ticket.

    Then we got our name badges, and rolled from the Beverly side of the building to the Fairfax side. We waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, about 11:30 we got interviewed – just like the blog describes. Keep an eye on the producer sitting behind the interviewer with the notebook. If she isn’t jotting anything down, you are not memorable enough to be picked. And her pencil didn’t move when I talked, so I knew I wasn’t going to be on the show (and I wasn’t).

    Then we went around to the 3rd Avenue side of the building (south side) and went through security check. That’s where they store all cell phones. They even took an electronic solitaire game. They give you a claim check,
    and you can easily pick it up later.

    Finally, we sat down on the final benches, and managed to make it into the show. It appears the last people in get the front rows, which lowers your odds of being picked.

    They tend to pick one person from each “large” group that comes. You can never be “too” crazy.


    So to recap, I’d say grab a lawn chair (or rent one at the bagel shop) and get in line around 4 AM. We really cut it too close going at 5:00, even for a Tuesday. Get your pass, and head back to your hotel, and take your chair home. Come back with nothing, save your brown pass and ticket at 8:00. There’s plenty of places to sit once you are on the CBS lot. It’s miles of benches like you’d see at a baseball diamond. Outdoors, so bring if a sweater if it’s winter. Today was about 45 in the morning, around 60 during the day.

    Anyway, it was fun! Take a big group!

    buford 01.27.2009 @ 15:33

    Itinerary for anyone going:

    4:30 AM: Get in line with chair and ticket.
    6:00 AM: Get brown pass.
    6:00-8:00 AM: Get breakfast, return chair.
    8:00 AM: Enter CBS lot, wait on bleachers.
    9:00 AM: Staff calls numbers, get name badge.
    11:30 AM: Line moves ’til you get interviewed.
    12:00 PM: Security check.
    1:00 PM: Make it in the studio.
    2:15 PM: Finished with taping, leave studio.

    Nicholas 01.29.2009 @ 12:41

    If I’m going to the 4pm show, can I do the following:

    4:30am: get in line
    6am: get brown pass
    noon: come back and go to the bleachers

    or do i need to be there between 6 and noon?

    buford 03.03.2009 @ 01:52

    No. You can leave. Just come back when they tell you to get back.

    Sam Ourada 03.30.2009 @ 12:17

    Hello–I am going this Wednesday to the 4pm taping…do I even have a chance of getting into the taping if my flight is not arriving to LA until 8am? I wouldn’t be able to get to the studio until 9am at the earliest. Thanks in advance.

    Jhay Dee 04.05.2009 @ 14:48

    Just out of curiosity…What kinda questions do they ask at the interview?

    teresa 04.24.2009 @ 11:07

    They just ask where you are from, what you do for a liviing, things like that.

    Paula T. 04.24.2009 @ 17:27

    Is anyone out there going to the Mother’s Day Special tapping?

    Matt 05.06.2009 @ 03:26

    My wife and I are planning to go to LA in early June and are contemplating going to a taping. Is the itinerary that buford posted back in January still a good way to do things based on how the Spring tapings have been going?

    4:30 AM: Get in line with chair and ticket.
    6:00 AM: Get brown pass.
    6:00-8:00 AM: Get breakfast, return chair.
    8:00 AM: Enter CBS lot, wait on bleachers.
    9:00 AM: Staff calls numbers, get name badge.
    11:30 AM: Line moves ’til you get interviewed.
    12:00 PM: Security check.
    1:00 PM: Make it in the studio.
    2:15 PM: Finished with taping, leave studio.

    Rawxst4r 06.08.2009 @ 23:52

    We’re going to TPiR on June 22nd!! We’re getting a room at the Farmer’s Daughter because it’s the closest with the best reviews… there were a couple other options but the reviews were so bad I decided to fork out the extra $ for something people recommended! I’m 6mo. pregnant and hoping for some tips about what to expect so I can make sure I have what I need – can you bring water/snacks w/you? We have passes for the 1pm and the 4pm tapings… To get into the 4pm taping do we still need to be there at 4am? I’m so excited I hope we get in!!

    Jen F 07.03.2009 @ 10:24

    I’m attending a taping on Monday, July 6th at 12:30pm and I have a few questions:

    What is the best time to be there by?

    As far as two forms of ID is my drivers license and a bank card ok?


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