The Capitol Steps Bring Political Satire to Claremont

By Rachel Hamilton '16 Staff Writer

 

Over 30 years ago, a group of Senate staffers quit their jobs on Capitol Hill and came together to publicly display what most people do in the privacy of their own homes: make fun of the government. Now they are bringing their comedic view on the events in Washington D.C. and the people running our country to the Claremont Colleges.

The Capitol Steps is a political satire comedy group that specializes in song parodies and skits poking fun at political figures, headlines, and scandals, as is summed up by their slogan, “We put the MOCK in Democracy.” In response to the current election season, they have come out with their latest album, “Take the Money and Run for President,” which focuses on the race for the White House between President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney and includes special guests Anthony Weiner, Muammar Gaddaft, Chris Christie and Sarah Palin.

The Capitol Steps have performed shows all across the country, been featured on NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, and NPR, and have a repertoire of 35 albums that has been going strong since the Reagan administration.

“Election year is a prime opportunity to get people laughing at politics,” said Sharon Kuhn, the Events Manager at Bridges Auditorium, who has picked up the planning of this show since Neil Gerard, the former director of Bridges Auditorium and Associate Dean of Students for Pomona College, retired back in 2011.

“Around election year everything is heated, and this will allow people, for a moment of time, to be ridiculous, to lighten up, to see the humor in politics, and to show us that not every candidate is perfect, even for just a few hours,” Kuhn said.

Despite the popularity of The Capitol Steps, however, there have been low ticket sales here at the Claremont Colleges; they are so low, in fact, that the venue is being moved from Bridges Auditorium to the Smith Campus Center, since Bridges seats 2400 people. Currently only 170 tickets have been sold, with many of the ticket-holders being those who have already seen the show or heard The Capitol Steps on NPR. The reason for this is unknown, but Kuhn suspects that “people have had enough of conventions, commercials, and mud slinging” to the point that they don’t want anything to do with politics.

However, if the cause is due to the possibility of offense, there is no need for concern, since The Capitol Steps are an “equal opportunity insulter; they treat both sides as fairly as the other.” As Kuhn described, “they look at the big picture, that both sides have something to say, and they are doing it in a comic way that is not invasive…it will not change the perspective on the election, and it is not meant to.”

So, if you are a fan of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” “The Colbert Report,” or are just looking for some laughs, The Capitol Steps will be performing at the Smith Campus Center on Pomona’s campus Tuesday, October 2 at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $28, with discounts for seniors and military, and will be sold up until the night of the show.

The show is open to the general public as well as students. For more information about The Capitol Steps, check out their website at www.capsteps.com, and for more information about upcoming events and shows at Bridges Auditorium, go to www.pomona.edu/administration/bridges-auditorium/index.aspx.