Last year I wrote a blog post, “Must Comedians Use the “F” Word to Get a Laugh?” that explored the prevalence of the f-word not only in comedy, but in everyday life. The post noted that while many comedians make ample use of the f-word, there are many successful comedians who do not.
Well today the Wall Street Journal featured a story about one of the most successful comedy sketch groups performing today has that achieved sizable popularity on the internet (more than 1 billion views on YouTube), despite—or perhaps because of—its super-scrubbed brand of clean humor.
The troupe is Studio C, and its cast members are current or former Brigham Young students who must adhere to BYU’s honor code.
Writers at Studio C, which launched in 2012, must avoid innuendo, flatulence jokes, cursing, politics—even the word “gosh,” because it sounds too much like “God.” Male cast members must obtain university permission to grow facial hair—dubbed a “beard card” by students.
Some believe that Studio C’s popularity has validated the idea that “the absolute sharpest comedy is clean comedy.”
As Studio C’s popularity has grown, cast members are routinely besieged by fans. While they don’t mind getting the Hollywood treatment and like appealing to a wide audience, some of the cast members have attempted to go in disguise around Provo, home of BYU.
So add Studio C to the list of comedians such as Jerry Seinfeld, Ellen Degeneres, Jim Gaffigan, Brian Regan, and Bill Engvall who have achieved success without resorting to cheap theatrics like cursing and farting.
I wish them continued success. As someone who has avoided cussin’ and swearin’ for the past 35 years, it’s nice to see proof that you don’t need to drop an f-bomb to be funny.
If you are interested in watching their comedic bits, here is their YouTube channel. I’ve also included a few of their more popular clips below. Enjoy!