Harry Potter walks into a bar and mistakes Gandalf for Dumbledore. I’m not telling a joke here, I’m describing the very first sketch of an American comedy group – Studio C – I have ever seen. And that was the beginning of the roller coaster of fun.
How it all started
Back in time one of Brigham Young University students, Mathew Meese, got struck with an idea for a family friendly and ‘clean’ kind of entertainment. He formed a group called ‘Divine Comedy’, performing mostly for fellow students. After a while the mentioned group evolved into ‘Studio C’ and got broadcasted by BYUtv. This way their sketches could be watched all over the world. But they did not stop there. All of the episodes can be also seen at their official YouTube channel – for free!
What’s so special about Studio C?
It’s not only about the humor. Obviously, there are many comedy programs out there. The most famous is probably long-running Saturday Night Live; but recently to find a good sketch there one needs to dig through twenty weak ones. And have to watch them after 10 pm, when no minors are within an earshot. Studio C is different. Their sketches can be watched even with kids around.
There is no obscenity. No dirty jokes. No foul language.
Instead, a refreshing variety of creativity, occasionally seasoned with a healthy dose of nonsense. Also, many references to the modern culture. It all just feels familiar.
Now, a few words about the actors
They are great. Period. No, really. It’s hard not to appreciate Jason Gray as Snape on the TV show Bachelorette. Or Matt Meese as the Facebook philanthropist, supporting important causes by ‘liking’ them on FB. There is also Mallory Everton, great in roles of refined ladies, mad garbage women or pregnant ninjas. Whitney Call is not only an amazing actress but also a skilled writer; her sketches have their distinctive tone. Jeremy Warner is probably the nicest heavily mustached guy in the world. And no one can play awkward characters as great as Adam Berg.
Here’s the thing – each one of the cast (including also Natalie Madsen, James Perry, Stacey Harkey and Stephen Meek) bring their own, unique qualities to form together the cocktail of fun. What is more, they are all not only talented, they seem to be really friendly lot too. The kind you would totally like to hang out with.
So it’s really a mix of popular and well-known themes, personal charms of the actors, great writing and accessibility which altogether makes Studio C so appealing to the audience.
What makes us laugh?
The ideas behind the sketches are sometimes very simple, with Scott Sterling probably the simplest of them all, but also most popular on YouTube (66 millions views).
Some of them answer such burning questions as: how would Sleeping Beauty’s breath smell after such a long slumber? What happens when someone calls Benedict Cumberbatch ugly? Whom Katniss Everdeen should really marry? Other dwell on bizarre ideas (Awkward Avoidance Viking series), reverse well-settled themes (Third wheel friend) or challenge actors (Tongue Twisters series).
What is happening now
Sadly, the main 10 members of the cast decided to leave Studio C and had started a project of their own. You can also find it on YouTube. It’s called ‘JK! Studios’. The form is different: instead of sketches it’s more of a comedy mini series. ‘Loving lyfe’ is mocking YouTube influencers and fashionistas. ‘Freelancers’ is about a group of friends who struggle for their big breakout as Video Production Company. Now, I personally feel that these series could be much better as few short sketches. When stretched to full episodes, some jokes seem forced and that weakens the impact a lot.
But as they are really just starting (JK! Studios being formed in January 2019), I’m still watching their efforts and rooting for them.
Meanwhile, after casting for new crew, Studio C will launch season 10 during the fall. It will feature new actors and new writers, so I guess fans are waiting with the mix of anticipation and anxiety. Who knows what will we get, but my hopes are actually pretty high. Humor and clean, family friendly entertainment. What can possibly go wrong?
So if you want to check the sketches linked above, hear the warning first: this stuff is addictive. You’ll want to watch “just one more” and will end up seeing the whole season. But if addiction to fun sounds good to you – by all means go ahead!
And of course let us know in the comments which sketch you like best.