Laughing Towards Election Day

It’s the one day Americans get to speak their mind and tell our leaders exactly what we think and what we want. Its Tuesday. Election Day in this country. For those of us in the world of broadcast news, its our big day too. Some call it the “Super Bowl” because it’s a story that has so many layers and so many twists and turns and it unfolds live before us over the course of election night.

However, along with the importance and excitement of this day, there is that general sense of cynicism. We have been barraged by negative ads and mudslinging. Voter participation in mid-term elections tends to be on the lower side anyway. The latest back-and-forth between candidates, in my opinion, will not drive people to the polls. However, I still look forward to see what those brave souls who still want to take part in the process have to say.

I decided to get in the right frame of mind for Tuesday by going to the Byham Theatre in the Cultural District and catch the “Capitol Steps“. If you haven’t seen or heard of them before, you really have missed something. Before “The Daily Show” and the “Colbert Report”, there were the “Steps”. The group started in 1980 with a group of legislative staffers and aides in D.C. who moonlight with a comedy review of the workings in Washington.

What began as a part-time job, became a full-time show that appeared on NPR, various network TV shows and they have produced over 30 comedy albums. While the cast has changed over three decades, the stinging commentary continues. This Sunday, they took shots at the President, Congress, Republicans, Democrats, etc. Its done through music and comedy bites and done without the foul language you might find elsewhere.

The full house in attendance laughed and laughed. It was genuinely funny and creative, skewering everything from healthcare reform to the environmental movement. Perhaps it was so funny because, as with all jokes, there is a bit of truth …. enough truth to make voters angry with the process and those in power.

In a year where there is no doubt tension and voter anger, it was nice to spend a few hours laughing at the absurdities of our political process before America gets serious on Election Day Tuesday.

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