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As original cast members leave, 'Studio C' kicks off new season with NYC live shows featuring SNL's Kenan Thompson

By Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com | Posted - Aug 25th, 2018 @ 1:03pm


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NEW YORK CITY — Cast members of BYUtv’s family-friendly comedy show “Studio C” took their sketches to the east coast Friday with two live shows featuring Saturday Night Live’s Kenan Thompson.

The cast put on two performances of the show at the Manhattan Center's Hammerstein Ballroom, both of which will be combined into a one-hour special that will air as the season premiere of the ninth season of “Studio C” at 7 p.m. Sept. 10 on BYUtv.

“It’s like our regular live show times 300, because we’re going crazy on the extra stuff in between,” cast member Tori Pence said Thursday. “We get to have some fun audience interaction in between sketches, and we get to have a band. And we get to have Kenan, which is super fun and we get to interact with him.”

All proceeds from the ticket sales at both shows will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New York, a charity that Thompson picked out personally, according to Pence.

She said it’s always great to have Make-A-Wish families come to shows since “Studio C” is such an integral part of their lives that the choose to see it.

“I know the cast takes that very seriously,” she said. “We’re getting to meet families who really love the group and we really want to be able to give back.”

The shows included eight comedy sketches, as well as two pre-filmed sketches, Pence said. Thompson performed several monologues, and pop band The National Parks provided music.

Even though “Studio C” already has an audience outside of Utah, cast member Dalton Johnson said he hopes the NYC shows will help expand that audience further.

“Part of the reason we’re doing this in New York is we want to make sure Studio C reaches an audience beyond Utah,” he said. “This show is designed to be for everybody — not just for people within the Utah community.”

Johnson and Pence, who have been “Studio C” cast members for two years, both said Thompson was great to work with and taught them a few things about how to improve their work.

Pence said he improved some of the writing in sketches by adding his own flair to lines. She said Thompson also will add something of his own to the beginning of a line, giving himself a little extra time to read the rest of the line from a prompter.

Johnson said after some initial jitters, it was fun and comfortable to interact with Thompson.

“Before meeting him I think for most people it was a little bit nerve-wracking,” Johnson said. “He’s just been a presence for a very long time, so that was very nerve-wracking for a lot of people, but he’s just been very kind and personable guy.”

The live shows Friday also were a beginning of sorts for a new era of “Studio C,” as all the remaining original cast members are moving on after nine seasons with the show.

The cast members who will stay on with the show expected that change, and they’re prepared for the passing of the torch, Pence said.

“We’re really stoked to be able to move forward and create more things together,” she added.

They want to keep “Studio C” going for as long as possible, Johnson said. The original cast members will move on to produce new types of content for television, he said.

“We’re very excited to see what they do in the future, and we’re excited to see what we can do with the show and what kind of new directions we can take with it,” Johnson said.

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Jacob Klopfenstein

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