Talk Show Audience Etiquette

A former 'View' audience coordinator shares his suggestions

Audience entrance

 Scott Olson/Getty Images

You would think it would be easy to be a talk show audience member. Get free tickets to your favorite talk show, save the date on your calendar, show up at the studio and watch your fave talk show host crack wise with celebrity guests and rock out with baller musical acts.

Tip No. 1: Wear something nice

But being an audience member is a bit more tricky than that. For example, there are certain clothes you should wear and certain ways you should act. In other words, dress nicely. Usually business casual or trendy/upscale, especially if you're going to see a daytime talk show that features the audience in camera shots. Wear bright, solid colors. No busy patterns, no logos, no hats, no shorts, skirts or tank tops.

Tip No. 2: Don't bother the host or production staff

After all, as an audience member, you're really a part of the production. How you behave has a direct impact on the flow of the show. Don't ask the hosts questions during taping or beg for autographs during commercial breaks. The host is working, after all. And you wouldn't want to be bothered while you're doing your job, right?

Talk show audience coordinators, like Keith Quinones, former coordinator for The View, wants you to bring your best to the program. They want you to be enthusiastic and involved in the show.

Tip No. 3: Make sure you have photo ID

They also want you to bring your driver's license.

"We expect audience members to bring some form of identification along with their ticket reservation," says Quinones. After all, talk show tickets may be free, but they're not transferable. And "some form of identification" means a driver's license, state ID, or other government-issued ID.

The audience coordinator wants to know exactly who is in his audience, and that they are who they say they are. A lot of that has to do with safety, but it also has to do with controlling the size and make-up of the audience. That's why so many talk shows insist that their tickets—though free—remain non-transferable.

Tip No. 4: Don't bring these items

There are also a number of items audience coordinators want you to leave behind when you come to visit. Those items include cell phones, luggage, backpacks or large shopping bags. This list varies per talk show, too. Some talk shows don't mind that you bring your cell phone, as long as you keep it off during taping. Others will want you to leave it behind until the show is over.

"Most audience members are surprised they can't bring any food or drink inside the building, except water," says Quinones.

Sharp objects like scissors, tweezers, nail files, knitting needles, and pocket knives are also banned. They pose a security risk to both the audience and the hosts.

Don't worry. If you happen to carry your tweezers to the show, talk show security teams will hold all prohibited objects until after the taping. Then you'll be allowed to pick up any confiscated items before exiting the studio.

Tip No. 5: You might be able to bring a camera with you

On the flip side, Quinones says there is one item The View audience members are allowed to bring to the studio that they probably thought would be banned. A camera.

"Most audience members are surprised to learn they can take pictures during commercial breaks with a digital or disposable camera," says Quinones. Live with Kelly & Michael audience members may also bring a camera.

By heeding the do's and don'ts of you favorite talk show—and don't worry, they'll be listed clear as day—you'll ensure that you have a good time and the show pulls off a great program for you to enjoy.