When Did BTS Film ‘Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ in NYC? An Investigation

BTS fans have been feasting since Map of the Soul: 7 dropped on Feb. 21. Upon the comeback album’s release, the South Korean band spent some time in New York City for promotions, gifting ARMY with moments to last a lifetime. But even so, there’s still more content to look forward to, particularly the special BTS appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Feb. 24. That said, the seven members — RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook — recently returned to Korea for their Global Press Conference. So when did BTS film The Tonight Show? The group is always one step ahead of the game.

The air date and time for the BTS ‘Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ special episode

RM, host Jimmy Fallon, (bottom row l-r) Jin, Jungkook, V, a Katz Deli employee, SUGA, Jimin, and J-Hope of BTS on February 24, 2020
BTS, Jimmy Fallon, and Katz’s Delicatessen employee | Andrew Lipovsky/NBC

On Feb. 13, NBC announced BTS’ Tonight Show special takeover. According to the network’s press release, the entire episode will be dedicated to the band. 

“The show will not only feature an interview and performance by the band, but will also act as a celebration of New York as Fallon and the group visit iconic local spots over the hour,” the release reads.

Most notably, fans will see BTS perform in Grand Central Terminal. They will also pop by the famous Katz’s Delicatessen and answer fan questions on the subway. 

So what time will BTS’ Tonight Show appearance start? Tune in to NBC on Monday, Feb. 24, at 11:35 p.m. EST for the hour-long special episode. But as always, check your local listings for details and possible changes.

‘The Tonight Show’ filmed the BTS special before Feb. 24

Now, it’s clear the BTS episode on The Tonight Show was pre-recorded, even the interview segments. As mentioned, BTS recently flew back to Korea, so the episode won’t be taped live. That said, it seems the band filmed for the special in early February 2020. 

On Feb. 6, Fallon asked fans to tweet the show questions to ask BTS for their subway interview, meaning the segment was probably recorded shortly afterward. The rich hair colors on RM and Jimin in the Tonight Show promo may also indicate BTS filmed the interview before the Map of the Soul: 7 promotions, as they donned faded colors on the 21st.

Meanwhile, on Feb. 13, Rolling Stone released an article featuring The Tonight Show’s showrunner, Gavin Purcell. He opened up about production for the special BTS episode.

BTS visits the SiriusXM Studios on February 21, 2020 in New York City.
BTS | Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

“In terms of the production side, this [episode] was a pretty heavy lift. I can’t tell you how many people went into the making of this,” Purcell said. “It was the entire staff rallying together to make this really cool show.”

The showrunner added: “And on the BTS side, it was amazing to see how they rallied and how hard they worked. That’s something their fans know, but not only are they incredibly talented, they’re also so hardworking and humble.”

Even so, we can’t help but wonder how BTS got away with filming in New York City for The Tonight Show without being noticed, especially when you consider how big the production was. 

It’s likely BTS taped their performance at Grand Central after closing at 2 a.m. EST and before opening at 5:30 a.m. EST. But how did they get by with their tour of NYC? In an interview with Billboard released on Feb. 18, Katz’s owner, Jake Dell, revealed it wasn’t too difficult.

Dell confirmed BTS filmed at Katz’s during regular business hours. “Yeah, we made it work,” he said. “That was half the fun. We did it a bit strategically so it wasn’t as chaotic as it can be — it wasn’t a Sunday or Saturday lunch.”

Regardless of how the Tonight Show team pulled off the BTS takeover, ARMY knows the band will put on a great show come Feb. 24. So stay tuned. And, as Jungkook would say, let’s get it.

Read more: 7 BTS Quotes About ARMY That Prove the Depth of Their Love Hasn’t Changed Since Debut