FanX crowds got to spend an hour Thursday with the cast of "Studio C," which has been mostly revamped following the departure of the show's founding members to launch JK! Studios. Based on the audience's reaction, it looks like viewers will have fond memories of the classic cast, but will still get a kick out of the still (mostly) family friendly show when it premieres Sept. 30 on BYUtv.
Most of the new cast was available for a panel discussion (and later for autographs). Although most hail from beyond the halls of Brigham Young University, which laid the foundation for the show, they seemed upbeat and winsome. At least two of the additions hail from Utah (Sandy and St. George, to be specific).
Most of the eight comedians on stage (wearing differently colored tracksuits emblazoned with the show's logo) were quick witted and happy to take an "anything goes" attitude with throwing up jokes. For example, Jessica Drolet greeted the crowd with "Welcome, everyone. Welcome to my wedding." Tanner GIlman took up the joke and said that the wedding was for him and Drolet.
In addition to meeting the cast, the three sketches were screened, which generated solid laughs. Let's hope it's a representative sample of the upcoming episodes and not the best of what's to come.
(One of the sketches follows a lackey who's been ordered by his mob boss to "take care" of someone. Ultimately there's a gun and hijinks, so it's not entirely G-rated but that's still relatively par for the course for "Studio C.")
While the audience appeared to enjoy the sketches, it seemed like it took a little while for them to warm up to the new cast that is taking over from familiar faces that have been on TV for nine seasons. Many of the questions were directed at Tori Pence, who joined the cast two seasons ago.
She explained to the audience that she and two others (Dalton Johnson, who's returning, and Aaron Fielding, who has moved on) were added a couple years ago to help transform the show into something that could cycle through and become fresh and new.
"They brought us on two years ago because they wanted to keep 'Studio C' going," Pence said.
Many fans understandably asked if the new cast would reprise any characters originated by the previous cast or if there would be any "crossovers" between the casts. The newer cast didn't want to reuse characters that were done well by their predecessors. They appeared game to have the older cast drop by for a visit and have them perhaps revisit their old roles, but they noted that the original cast is very busy.
Toward the end, the audience seemed willing to ask questions of the entire panel, including what the actors' favorite sketches were. (There were also a couple of relationship-type questions, which seemed to be an outgrowth of the family friendly nature of the show and the fact that the prior cast often played fictional characters while using their real names.)
It will be interesting to see the new show when it airs at the end of the month. In addition to the new cast, BYUtv has partnered with Kaleidoscope Pictures to produce the show.
Based on the three screened sketches, "Studio C" appears to be making a mostly smooth transition. The sketches are very similar to those from the past. There's also a mix of prerecorded and live-in-studio segments (which I think is optimal — it's good to have a studio audience to laugh along with at times).
I will be curious to see how the audience reacts to the new show. The faces are different, but the humor seems to be in the right place. Based on the decent, yet not overwhelming crowd, it may take a while for some "Studio C" fans to make their way back to the show.
Cast member Austin Williams joked that they initially wanted to be called "Studio D" because they're following the original cast. That was dropped, but from what I've seen they definitely aren't the B team.