PROVO — One of the hottest shows on BYUtv. “Studio C” is a clean sketch-comedy program that families can feel comfortable about watching together. Imagine “Saturday Night Live” without the sexual innuendos, language and vulgarity. The popularity of the show is rising and the third season started shooting July 19.
Originating from the BYU broadcast building in Provo, this comedy show gets its name directly from the studio at BYU where it is filmed, Studio C.
The program is filmed in front of a live studio audience. Close to 200 people attend the live tapings and getting tickets can be difficult.
“We broadcast the program via 866 cable channels, DISH Network, DirecTV and the Internet,” said Scott Swofford, director of content at BYUtv. “It’s carried in more than 50 million homes and YouTube videos with over 4 million views.”
One of the changes for season 3 with Studio C is the writing talent.
“My co-hosts and I do a lion’s share of the writing but next season there will be additional writers brought in to help,” said Mallory Everton, one of the four main cast members.
The new writers will attempt to bring fresh ideas and creativity for new sketches. The creative team is also reaching out to local music artists to add depth, quality and variety to the musical aspects of the show.
The set will also get an upgrade.
“We will have two to three walls now on set so we can do more creative things,” “Studio C” producer Jared Shores said. “We plan on adding more flooring and backdrops, too.”
When it comes to sketches, some old favorites will be back as well as new content.
“The ‘shoulder angel’ is probably the most popular sketch but Bane, Gandalf and the Facebook Friends song are also popular,” Shores said. “We will have better music sketches in season 3 that will add credibility to the show. Also watch out for a World Wrestling Federation sketch.”
The “shoulder angel” sketch involves actor Matt Meese physically climbing up a person to sit on a shoulder to give advice in moral situations.
“It doesn’t really hurt when Matt climbs up your body,” said Jason Gray, one of the four main cast members. “I told him he better not gain any weight, though. A prior actor had to wear a back brace.”
Originally the show, inspired by the BYU student comedy troupe Divine Comedy, was planned only for a single season — a test to see if it would work. Now there are thousands of fans.
The popularity of the show is a result of a few key ingredients, Shores said.
“The cast and crew are fantastic,” Shores said. “There’s such a great synergy. Everyone believes in having fun and encouraging people to laugh as a family. It’s nice to not worry about the content of a show you’re watching. We enjoy providing entertainment that people can laugh at.”
Whitney Call, one of the four main cast members, said she is “amazed by the fans of the show that include grade-school kids, teenagers and adults.”
Said Meese: “I think the popularity is due to the fact that people can enjoy it with their family. It is engaging and fun.”
According to Gray, “People who are not LDS have written in and told us they appreciate the show.
“Some people think it is just Mormon humor on TV but when they take the time to actually watch it, I think they are pleasantly surprised,” Gray said. “It would be great if we continue to increase the non-LDS (viewers) that watch the show.”
“I want to thank all of our fans for watching the show,” Everton said. “I consider it a great privilege to be involved. I hope we make you laugh.”
Mallory Everton profile
Divine Comedy tryout sketch: She made a fat suit and impersonated a Latin dance instructor.
Favorite sketch: "Graduation Musical Number."
Favorite sketch to write: Facebook song.
On Studio C: It has been a huge blessing in my life and an incredible experience.
Favorite food: Pizza Hut pizza with pepperoni, pineapple and green peppers.
Favorite boy band: 'N Sync because of Justin Timberlake.
Favorite TV show: "Parks and Rec."
Status: Single and youngest of six children. She has 13 nieces and nephews.
Matt Meese profile
Divine Comedy tryout sketch: Told the true story about a bird using a guitar for accompaniment.
Favorite sketch character to be: Mr. Ecclestone, the drivers ed instructor.
Favorite sketch he wrote: "Five-day Weather Forecast."
Shoulder Angel stats: 5-foot-7 and 130 pounds.
Favorite hobby: Sketch writing. Since he does that a lot, he is thinking about a new hobby like free running.
Favorite dialects to impersonate: British and German.
Status: Single and second of four children. Younger sister part of Divine Comedy.
Whitney Call profile
Divine Comedy tryout sketch: Parody of MC Hammer's "Can't Touch This" from the perspective of the BYU bookstore sidewalk sale security guard.
Hobbies: She likes to write young adult fiction and teach English.
Favorite sketch: "Downton Abbey."
Favorite sketch she wrote: "Candyland." She found it incredible to see how it came to fruition with the set and costumes.
Favorite flavor of Tillamook ice cream: Chocolate Peanut Butter.
Favorite sport: Volleyball.
Married in May 2013 to fellow cast member, Stephen Meek.
Jason Gray profile
Divine Comedy tryout sketch: A medley of impersonations including Severus Snape, Bill Cosby and Matt Meese.
Favorite Studio C characters to be: Gandalf and Darth Sidious
Favorite sketch: "Cowboys."
Favorite movie: "Dark Knight."
Favorite sport to play: Tennis.
Favorite place to camp: Spot near McCall, Idaho.
Favorite things: Batman-themed merchandise. He owns a Joker costume.
Lifelong dream: Play a role in a Batman movie.
Status: Married with no children. Has a Burnese mountain puppy named Bane.
Ryan Morgenegg is a multimedia specialist for the Deseret News.