Where are my Family Feud fanatics? We certainly are. When we had cable, we watched it every single night. We were that couple yelling out answers to the TV, and face-palming every time someone said something stupid.
The show is actually filmed in Atlanta, so I decided to sign us up. I ended up surprising Ken with the tickets for Father’s Day this year (it still counts as a gift if it’s free, right?). We took the day off on Tuesday went to the taping.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any photo evidence of this experience – forget about bringing your phone or camera inside the building! So I’ll do my best to sum up the Family Feud taping experience, for anyone who’s thought about doing it.
At first, you’ll wonder if you’re in the right place.
The Atlanta Civic Center (where the show is filmed) is in need of a facelift, to put it mildly. From the outside, you’d never think a major TV production was filmed here. Parking for Family Feud is around in back, in a somewhat sketchy-looking lot.
Then you’ll feel like you’re at the DMV.
We had regular “seat request” tickets, which aren’t guaranteed tickets – sort of like flying standby. So we arrived an hour before the time on the ticket to get a place in line. There were already about 30 others waiting. We stood for about half an hour, and then spent the next 2 hours being moved from one holding area to the next, waiting to see if we had a spot. I was surprised by how many people were there on a random Tuesday!
The first priority goes to the families of the families who are playing. Then, it’s “priority” ticket holders, those who were among the first to sign up online. Then, they let the regular folks through on a first-come, first-served basis.
Then you’ll be like…WHOA! SHINY!
We did make the cut (obviously), so we finally got to go into the studio. We were mesmerized by the set! It’s really big, bright and flashy, just like on TV. There was a new car on a pedestal toward the back. It’s also just fascinating to see the crew working.
They will get you really jazzed up.
There is a dude whose actual job title is “Hype Man.” He’s part comedian, part cheerleader, and comes out about half an hour before the show starts to basically get the audience amped up and lay down the rules. While high-energy music pumps in the background, he tells jokes, has audience members participate in games on stage, and other warm-ups.
You will clap till your hands hurt and yell until you lose your voice.
As the audience, it’s your job to clap and cheer at everything. They want you to look as excited as possible. When there’s a wrong answer, you’re supposed to go, “Awwww,” and sometimes you get to yell out “FAST MONEY!” (that one was my favorite). We both actually felt drained afterward from all the clapping and wooping. It was a workout.
You will become an even bigger Steve Harvey fan.
This guy had us in stitches. He’s even funnier live and unfiltered. In-between shots, he would come down and interact with the audience. We had the opportunity to write down a question on a card to ask him, and the crew would give them to him if they were looking to fill some time. He answered honestly and hilariously. He picked on people. He cussed. He really feeds off the energy from the live audience.
After the 2 games were over, he even came out and gave a motivational speech of sorts to the audience about following their dreams. Great guy, that Steve.
You will realize you’ve been there all day. But it will be worth it.
Our tickets and confirmation e-mail never gave any indication of how long the whole thing would take. I assumed maybe 2 or 3 hours. Nope! We first arrived at 8:30 a.m., and didn’t get out until around 2:30. But all-in-all, it was a good experience.
Here are some quick pointers, if you want to attend a taping.
- No kids under 16 are allowed, so plan on getting someone to watch the kids.
- Get there early. Your ticket doesn’t guarantee you a seat, so you need to get a good spot in line.
- Leave your phone and camera in the car. Ain’t no way you’re getting in with it. You’ll be searched.
- Bring a book or magazine. You won’t have your phone to entertain you!
- Bring snacks. You’re going to be sitting there a while.
- Bring a sweater or jacket. It’s COLD in the studio.
- Go to the restroom before you go in the studio. Once you’re inside, you’re in your seat until the taping is over.
Now that we’re experienced studio audience members, I’m curious…are there any similar experiences you’ve done, that we should check out in Atlanta?