As Divine Comedy performers anxiously wait to enter the stage, the usual pre-show jitters sweep over them. As someone yells “Lights, camera, action!” they realize that this is not their typical show and their audience has increased by the millions.
Starting in October, members of BYU’s premiere comedy sketch group Divine Comedy will be a part of BYUTV’s new comedy series, “Studio C.” The show will air for ten weeks and the style will be similar to that of “Saturday Night Live” or “Monty Python.” The overall goal of “Studio C,” according to Matt Meese, former member of Divine Comedy and head writer for the show, is to take Divine Comedy material and family entertainment and present it in a way viewers of all ages can relate and appreciate it.
“I want a family to be able to sit and watch the show together and not feel uncomfortable that ‘oh my five-year-old just saw that’ or ‘my grandmother just saw that,'” Meese said. “I want everyone to be able to enjoy the show together.”
For the first season, “Studio C” will feature actors and material primarily from Divine Comedy. However, in the upcoming seasons, the show will be open to humor talent of all ages and organizations. By broadening the audience beyond BYU and the LDS Church content, the actors and producers will gain more experience and be challenged beyond their usual abilities.
“It’s a hard niche for us to fill, to find someone that kind of understands and shares our values but at the same time understands how they can still be funny within it,” said Jared Shores, producer of “Studio C” and Creative Development Supervisor for BYU Broadcasting.
Producing “Studio C” is also a big step for BYU Broadcasting as it uses material other than specific LDS content and reaches demographics outside of the LDS Church.
“It’s basically just entertainment, that’s the goal,” Meese said. “So that’s really different for BYUTV, they don’t generally do that, but they’re starting to and this is part of that spearhead of new content to entertain you.”
The benefits of producing “Studio C” resonate much deeper with students and members of Divine Comedy and “Studio C.” The experience helps them become better entertainers, but it also influences their future careers and how they view the world.
“I hope that I can continue to do this the rest of my life because I strongly believe the world needs laughter now more than ever,” said Jason Gray, current writer and performer for “Studio C.”