Studio C (BYU TV)-From what I can gather, there’s a sketch comedy group on campus at BYU in Provo, Utah. Some kids from this sketch group decided “hey, let’s be professional sketch comedians.” I’m sure there are lots of other capable college kids in college sketch groups who have had those same thoughts before reality and student debt hit them. But these kids had two advantages: 1) The college owns a successful TV station with a base that pulls on the Mormon community which includes half the state of Utah and 2) These kids have a distinctive brand of comedy.
BYU, and Mormon culture in general, is watchful of things that are PG-13 rated entertainment-wise. As a result, all of BYU’s content is family friendly which means no swearing and limited talking about sexy stuff. There might also be other stuff they’re not allowed to do on TV- like portray demon worship, express enjoyment towards the Red Hot Chili Peppers, or show people drinking hot tea* — but I have absolutely no idea as I don’t have a copy of the standards and practices in front of me.
*They did a pretty clever sketch with a couple going on a romantic dinner and milk was used a stand-in for wine. Maybe that’s poking fun at a restriction the writers have on using alcohol in sketches?
The end result is a sketch comedy that goes out of its way to be family friendly. The show might be less edgy in terms of blue content but one can admire the way they work with less punchline options to produce more.
Another great thing is that, regardless of your religious affiliation, most parents wouldn’t let their kids skip straight from Sesame Street to Saturday Night Live. This show has the potential to get kids involved in sketch comedy before they’re old enough to watch Saturday Night Live.
The show’s cast was originally comprised of students transitioned from college to the show. They deserve credit for taking the idea and launching it successfully but it was clear that this was a college sketch troupe.
At some point, the old cast went to form a patreon-funded sketch troupe independent of the TV station and there was a nationwide casting call that drew in professional actors to the show. The show now has a new level of polish and a universality (the original cast relied on inside jokes) that takes the concept to a new level.
The cast is assorted with improv theater trained actors, university theater majors (Matt Galvan and Garet Allenn), musical comedians (Jetta Juriansz), and stand-up comedians (Arvin Mitchell).
Juriansz, for example, was on America’s Got Talent where she sang this song.
She brings her ukelele song-writing talents here directly to the show. The above number is performed with larger production values
The BYU TV station is entirely for free where individual episodes can be shown