Scoring a Seat for ‘Saturday Night Live’

Ever wanted to be a member of the audience for NBC’s “Saturday Night Live?” The tickets are free, but the trick is getting them.
One way to do that is through an annual lottery that runs until the end of August. Here’s the drill: You must send an email via this site. You have until 11:50 pm Eastern time on Saturday, Aug. 31st to do that.
If your name is chosen, you’ll receive two tickets for a

randomly selected episode. You can’t choose what show you’ll see, and you won’t know if you’re going to see the live, Saturday night show or the dress rehearsal. I’ve seen both, and you’ll be happy with either.

Another footnote: Winners are chosen throughout the season, so you might have to get to Manhattan on short notice.

If that doesn’t work for you, there are always standby tickets given out at NBC’s 30 Rock headquarters ticket counter beginning at 7 am on Saturday mornings (when the show is not in re-runs). But don’t count on getting tickets by arriving at 7 am. Fans began camping out 24 hours or more beforehand. They pitch tents, bring their own chairs and food, and you can’t hire anyone to stand in line for you.

Do a Google search for standby SNL tickets for all kinds of other advice on how to score seats. The best way to get tickets: Befriend someone in the cast or crew of the show

Short Takes

  • Good news for golfers who have played—or always wanted to play—on the lush golf course behind the Wynn in Las Vegas. Former CEO Steve Wynn had elaborate plans to pave it over and build a Disney-like park with a lagoon, a boardwalk, bumper cars, and another hotel/casino tower and convention center. But new management (Wynn was forced out amid charges of sexually harassing his staff) is asking Tom Fazio to re-design his 18-hole course for a 2020 opening
  • Who’s benefiting from the sudden end of cruise ships calling on Havana’s harbor? Key West and Alaska. Large cruise lines including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian had to shift destinations when the Trump administration made it more difficult for Americans to visit Cuba in early June. You may find cruise prices lower than usual to alternate destinations with the unexpected deployment of ships to other ports. Cuba, meanwhile, is suffering badly from the loss of American tourists—cruise lines accounted for about 900,000 visitors last year.
  • I’m old enough to remember the long lines of folks who waited to get into the original Hard Rock Café in London on Piccadilly Road near Hyde Park. The lines are gone, and the Hard Rock folks just opened a 900-room hotel on the site of the “café” that opened in 1971.
  • Uruguay and Venezuela were the first two countries to caution its citizens on visiting the US in the wake of the shootings in El Paso and Dayton. The Japanese consulate in Detroit chimed in, calling America a “gun society” and warning Japanese nationals to “be aware of the potential for gunfire incidents everywhere in the US.”
  • Travel & Leisure provides a list of Paris restaurants open in August here. Because most French citizens take their holidays the entire month of August, some restaurants close. However, because so many tourists are in Paris in August, more and more restaurants are staying open.

How To Do a Very Quiet Getaway

In June, the Wall Street Journal published a long article on “silent meditation retreats.” One writer, a self-described “rookie,” reported on the unusual experience of not talking for a weekend; another writer, a veteran meditator, extolled the virtues of peace, quiet, and “mental spaciousness.” The article also suggested five places for meditative getaways, including one taught by Deepak Chopra. If you have a digital subscription to the WSJ, you can access the article here.

If you can’t, I can share the five programs suggested in the piece, with all credit to the WSJ:
Chopra Center’s Asilomar Retreat (Monterey Peninsula, CA). From $4,775 per week
Garrison Institute (Garrision, NY). $460 for a weekend
Insight Meditation Society (Barre, MA). $35 for a “work retreat” 
Omega Center for Holistic Healing (Rhinebeck, NY). $700 plus accommodations for a week
Shambhala Mountain Center (Red Feather Lakes, CO). $100 plus accommodations 


Fancy A Last-Minute, September Trip With Me?

We’ve got a few slots left for our September, small-group, luxury tours (Scandinavia and Paris-to-Venice) at an attractive discount. Join me! Give MaxaTours a call at for discount details at 628-400-3450. Check out the itineraries here.


— Rudy

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