Who Attends Talk Shows and Game Shows?

Of the great mysteries of the universe, this is near the top of the list: Who are all these people attending talk shows and game shows?

I know this: Most talk shows (even the ones that air at night) record during the day. Also, many talk shows record multiple episodes in a row. So new audience members aren’t needed for every show.

But where are these people coming from? Who has time to take a few hours out of their day to be attend a talk show? I fully understand that it would be fun to be a part of a TV show recording, but there must be thousands and thousands of people required every day to fill those seats. How is that possible?

Here are my best guesses:

  • Tourists: Many talk shows are filmed in California or New York, two areas that attract a lot of tourists. Perhaps some of the tourists seek out specific shows, or maybe there’s just a steady supply of people available to be recruited.
  • Retirees: This is a half-hearted guess at best, because I don’t see a ton of old people in studio audiences.
  • People with Night Jobs or No Jobs: Maybe this is how some people like to spend their free time?

There must be some big, obvious answer I’m missing. Do you know? Have you ever been a part of a studio audience?