For anyone who watches the Ellen Show, you know it always looks like a fun time. The audience is happy, dancing, and living their best lives. Part of me always wonders, though, what kind of rules the show makes its audience follow. They are filming a TV show, after all. There needs to be some type of structure. We stumbled on a list of rules that are enforced for anyone in the audience, and it turns out they aren’t all that bad. Although some of them definitely did surprise me.
1. Bring an umbrella.
For anyone who is lining up to get into the show, they need to be prepared for the elements. According to the Ellen website, “some of your time will be outside. Please bring necessary belongings to keep you dry. We will do our best to make necessary adjustments to make you as comfortable as possible.”
The doors for the show open at 9am, which is far in advance of the filming time. However, people who are hoping to get in with their standby tickets will often line up even before that. If it’s raining, you need to be prepared.
2. You’re not allowed to coordinate outfits.
This one struck me as odd, because it seems like something Ellen wouldn’t mind. If you’re heading to a taping of Ellen with a group of your friends, make sure you’re all dressed differently. “Group coordinating outfits are not allowed” according to the show’s website. This probably has to do with how things look on TV. I’m sure you could colour coordinate a little bit, but make sure it’s different enough that the producers don’t notice it.
3. Don’t abuse the “freebie” rule.
This one feels a little obvious, but when you go to pick from Ellen’s table of freebies, make sure you only take one thing. The table is filled with mugs, shirts, and other small souvenirs, and everyone is allowed to take something. One time Ellen caught someone taking more than one item, and she actually called them out on TV! The woman took her fair share of items off the table, and Ellen lambasted her on the show. It was hard to tell if Ellen was just joking, or if she was actually pretty upset, but I bet no one else ever does it again.
4. No autographs.
I was gifted an Ellen mug for my birthday one year and I’ve always thought it would be so cool to have that autographed. If that does happen, it won’t be at a taping of Ellen. According to the show’s website, there isn’t enough time for autographs.
“Due to time constraints and the number of people we accommodate per show, Ellen will be unable to provide anyone with autographs or hugs. Please do not bring any items to be signed with you to the show.”
5. No shorts.
The producers are really concerned about dress code, apparently. Among the list of reasonable attire exclusions like Ellen and/or WB apparel, beachwear, or shirts with large logos, the show also prohibits people from wearing shorts, which is pretty strange considering the show is shot in California.
For reference, here’s the entire Ellen dress code.
“We recommend business casual or upscale/trendy attire. Please wear bright colors, no black or white. Dressy jeans are permitted. Please note that it is often cold in the studio. You may want to bring a light jacket or sweater to stay warm. We do not allow anyone to wear Ellen and/or WB apparel, shorts, beachwear, or shirts with large logos. Group coordinating outfits are not allowed. We reserve the right to deny entrance to anyone inappropriately dressed.”
6. You have to dance a lot.
Everyone knows that Ellen loves to dance, but according to many people who have attended the show, dancing is pretty much a requirement for all audience members as well, and it happens constantly.
“If you ever get the chance to sit in Ellen’s studio audience, I have one piece of advice for you: pack your dancing shoes. I guarantee that you’ll spend more time on your feet shaking your booty during the taping than you have at any boozy wedding in the past […] During the short breaks, Ellen would stay on the set and chat with her producers and practice her opening lines for the upcoming segment. And what did we, the studio audience, do in those breaks? More bloody dancing.”
The stage manager is there to make sure people are dancing and having a good time, so if you don’t feel like getting jiggy with it, maybe an Ellen taping isn’t for you.
7. You can only eat or drink before the show.
When I watch Ellen at home, I usually have snack of some sort planted firmly on my lap. That’s what all good television shows need, right? Well if you’re lucky enough to see Ellen live, you’ll have to make sure you eat beforehand. There’s no food or drink allowed in the studio, so make sure your snacks are eaten while you wait in line. This probably prevents people from having to pee in the middle of a taping. If it sounds a little treacherous to be deprived of food and drink for the whole taping, don’t worry. It only lasts about 50 minutes.
8. No cameras allowed.
If you’re hoping to get a commemorative photo of being at the taping, make sure your phone is charged. The Ellen site says you can’t bring in cameras, but your phone camera is just fine—as long as it’s turned off before you get in the studio.
“You are not allowed to bring any CAMERAS, sharp objects, knitting needles, mace, weapons, knives, and/or scissors,” the site says. “Think airport security: if you can’t take it into the airport, it is not allowed at WB. Cell phones with cameras are okay, but must be completely turned off before entering the studio. We do not hold any belongings and are not responsible for any items that are confiscated!”
9. Gifts for Ellen have to be given to security.
You’re not alone if you’re thinking of bringing Ellen a gift, and that’s totally fine. Just don’t expect to give it to the host in person. You’re more than welcome to bring a gift, but all of them have to be given to security personnel.
Please notify a staff member if you have a gift. You will be asked to declare it at the security checkpoint. No gifts may be handed personally to Ellen at any time.
So there you have it—some of the rules you’ll have to follow if you want to be at Ellen’s taping. Some of them make sense, some of them are strange, but at the end of the day it’s her show and she can enforce what she wants to.
Would you want to see Ellen live?