photo_raquel zaldivar. words_kristen calzadilla.
The comedy sketch troupe The Capitol Steps made a very welcome (and hysterical) appearance at the University of Miami on Wednesday, September 12th in honor of the election this coming November. With a fantastic array of (mostly) kind-spirited, bi-partisan jokes, the Capitol Steps made it okay to laugh at the very things that have been causing severe frustration the past few months in this marathon election season, including the severe lack of bipartisanship in Congress, gay rights, Iraq, the birth control controversy, and the Greek bailout. Props to University President Donna Shalala for a great cameo!
Following the show I got the chance to catch up with two of the troupe’s standout performers for a quick Q&A, where we spoke about Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert being real journalists and Clint Eastwood saving a boring election.
What is your political background?
Kevin Corbett: Umm…I don’t have one. I never worked on the Hill. I’m a ringer. They brought me in for my other…making fun of stupid people talents. But Janet worked on the hill…
Janet Davidson-Gordon: No, I did not work on the Hill.
Kevin Corbett: We’re both ringers!
Is there anything you won’t joke about?
Davidson-Gordon: Probably animals? People don’t like any comedy that deals with pets or anything.
Corbett: I won’t make any jokes that have to do with kids, like the Penn State thing. That’s off-limits to me. That bothers me…but everything else? (Laughs)
Davidson-Gordon: And sports don’t get a lot of reaction from our audience. We don’t do a whole lot of sports stuff.
Corbett: But we still try!
Davidson-Gordon: We try! We try.
Is it tougher to connect with the Facebook generation?
Corbett: You know, I don’t think it is. We used to perform for National Youth Leadership Conference and Presidential Classroom in which we performed for all students so we would come up with material that was geared just for them. But, you know, the economy was bad and they ran out of [funding] so we couldn’t do our shows anymore so we just don’t get to perform for them as much. Tonight seemed to go over pretty well with most of the students, but I think it helps that they’re politically involved or they follow world events. When I was in college, I didn’t pay any attention. Except for the fact that, you know, the President was in a sex scandal. That’s all I cared about.
What do you guys think of the fact that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are revered by my generation as real newsmen?
Corbett: They’re revered by us as real newsmen. I get my news from them, because even though they do it with comedy, they point out the actual truth. You can’t get that from any of the networks. We love them, too. Right, Janet?
Davidson-Gordon: Yes, Kevin! You’re right!
What election stands out in your heads as being great for the comedy business?
Corbett: Janet, which election?
Davidson-Gordon: Has to be Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton, I mean, you know… he was golden. He was a good President, but he also gave us a lot to make fun of.
How is this election for you guys?
Davidson-Gordon: It seems a little bit, kind of lackluster… but hopefully it’ll kick into gear.
Corbett: Just when you think it was totally boring, something like Clint Eastwood happens.
Corbett: Bill Clinton stealing the show at the Democratic convention.
Davidson-Gordon: Exactly, so there’s something that’s always likely to be happening to spark some humor.