“An oasis of good-natured ribbing in a fiercely partisan world” —The Washington Post
The Capitol Steps are a troupe of Congressional staffers-turned-comedians who travel the States satirizing the very people and places that once employed them. The Steps perform over 500 shows a year all over the country.
The Capitol Steps were born December, 1981 when three staffers for Senator Charles Percy were planning entertainment for a Christmas party. Their first idea was to stage a nativity play, but in the whole Congress they couldn’t find three wise men or a virgin! So, they decided to dig into the headlines of the day, and created song parodies & skits which conveyed a special brand of satirical humor that was as popular in Peoria as it was on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Ronald Reagan was President when the Steps began, so co-founders Elaina Newport, Bill Strauss and Jim Aidala figured that if entertainers could become politicians, then politicians could become entertainers! Most cast members have worked on Capitol Hill, some for Democrats, some for Republicans, and others for politicians who firmly straddle the fence. No matter who holds office, there’s never a shortage of material. Says Elaina Newport, “Typically, the Republicans goof up, and the Democrats party. Then the Democrats goof up and the Republicans party. That’s what we call a two-party system.”
Although the Capitol Steps are based in Washington, DC most of their shows are out-of-town or for out-of-town audiences. Whether it’s the National Welding Supply Association, a University audience, high schoolers, or State Legislators, people love to laugh at the foibles of Jerry Falwell (“Loonies of the Right”) or even Bill Clinton’s new office (“In the Ghetto”). In fact, the Capitol Steps have performed for the last five presidents (six if you include Hillary). The only complaints the Steps seem to get are from the politicians and personalities who are NOT included in the program!