“Studio C” fans filed excitedly into the BYU Broadcasting building in Provo this summer to watch a new cast tape live sketches for Season 10 of the BYUtv comedy show.
Audience members enjoyed getting to know the new “Studio C” team between sketches, but one young viewer couldn’t help but ask about the original cast, which left the show after Season 9 to start JK! Studios.
“We’re standing on the shoulders of giants,” said head writer Austin Williams, who joined the “Studio C” cast this year. “Lightning struck, and what they created is truly incredible.”
Williams said she feels pressure continuing what the original “Studio C” cast made, “but it’s also so incredibly fun.”
“It’s been very positive so far,” Williams said. “Everyone’s been saying that they’ll give us a chance. It’s very sweet to read that, that these diehard ‘Studio C’ fans who loved the old cast and didn’t know if it would work out will watch a sketch and say, ‘OK, it might not be the old cast. It might be something a little different, but we’re still enjoying this and we can’t wait to get to know you the same way that we knew the old cast.’ “
The cast for Season 10, which premiered Sept. 30, includes Williams, Tori Pence, Dalton Johnson, April Rock, Arvin Mitchell, Garet Allen, Ike Flitcraft, Jessica Drolet, Jetta Juriansz, Matthew Galvan and Tanner Gillman.
The actors originate from across North America, from Utah to Quebec, and bring with them experience from projects including “StandUp NBC,” Upright Citizens Brigade and Brigham Young University sketch comedy team Divine Comedy.
“I think it definitely adds a new voice to the show,” Williams said of the group’s diversity. “It’s very important to be inclusive with everyone when it comes to creating stories and television and comedy because everyone’s story is different.”
The comedians worked together this year to create a brand new batch of sketches on a variety of topics from “Dalton Abbey” to a sequel for “Hamilton” about U.S. President William Henry Harrison, who died of typhoid after 31 days in office.
“I came in with that idea because I’ve just been on a Lin-Manuel Miranda kick for like the past two years,” Williams said. “I was like, ‘I wonder what his next musical will be?’ … And then Jetta just absolutely crushed it with the music.”
Each team member contributes unique strengths, experiences and background to the group, according to Williams.
“Jetta is a very musical person, so she and Ike have been writing a lot of musical parodies or musical sketches,” Williams said. “That goes way over my head. I am not a musical person in the least, but then to now to watch them get filmed, I’m just in absolute awe, and I think that’s part of the magic that we are bringing to the show as a new cast and as this new energy.”
Williams said one of her favorite things to do is create comedy sketches based on her pet peeves.
“It’s a blessing because I no longer have actual pet peeves in my life,” Williams said. “Anytime something annoys me, I quickly jot it down in my phone and I then am able to kind of manipulate it into a sketch.”
Catering comedy to family audiences for the BYUtv series wasn’t as hard of a challenge as Williams was expecting it to be.
“Sometimes it is easy to overthink comedy and to assume that a certain demographic won’t find this funny or a certain age group won’t find that funny, when in reality, I think funny is funny,” Williams said. “When it comes to writing it, you can only write what you find funny, and the moment that you try to write for someone specific, you lose your own voice.”
Williams said the new cast is “really finding each other’s voice,” especially after this first season together.
“It’s always interesting to hear what other people laugh at and to discover their sense of humor,” Williams said.
Moving forward, “Studio C” hopes to create a “revolving door aspect” to the cast, similar to NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” according to Williams.
“Through this process, we’re able to continue to have new voices because I think that is the most important part of comedy is to include as many voices as possible,” Williams said.
The team’s ultimate goal is to make viewers laugh, according to Williams.
“It’s not brain surgery,” Williams said. “We’re not trying to really change the world in any way. We’re just trying to bring people back down to reality out of their own individual worlds and have this communal bonding that comes with laughter.”
“Studio C” airs Mondays at 6 p.m. on BYUtv.
“This show’s been an incredible experience, and I feel so blessed to have been a part of it,” Williams said. “I can’t wait to see what’s to come.”