The Capitol Fools hold up a mirror to our crazy political culture, providing hilarious song parodies and foolish reflections that continue to inspire belly-laughter. Audiences will continue to see cast members from past seasons of the Capitol Steps performing all the beloved bits, the mind-boggling backward talking spoonerisms, break-neck costume changes, over-the-top impressions, and all-new song parodies reflecting the day’s news.
The Capitol Steps started in 1981 by some US Senate staffers in Illinois Senator Charles Percy’s office to provide Christmas party entertainment and to rib the people that employed them. Soon, they were touring the nation chronicling the humor found in current events through clever song parodies. Struggling like many performing arts organizations during the coronavirus pandemic, the Capitol Steps shut down in 2021
After receiving the sad retirement news, long-time Capitol Steps performer Jack Rowles, Steps co-writer Mark Eaton and Michael Pauken, general manager of the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, Illinois worked together to set the stage for the Capitol Fools. The premiere performance took place in Skokie, IL in April 2022.
“The creative process is pretty much what it has always been,” said writer Mark Eaton. “You see a headline or news story, and you search to find the funnier parts. As for the new group—this is not going in with a bunch of strangers—the cast includes some of Capitol Steps top notch performers who just don’t know when to throw in the towel. I do hope political satire still has a place in the comedy world because it’s important.”
When asked if the troubling events of January 6th make it difficult to keep putting the ‘mock’ in Democracy, Eaton commented, “I don’t think the mock should ever be removed. Our government officials and folks in power don’t like being made fun of. I suspect they would rather be attacked in the media than be ridiculed and made to look stupid. Regardless of which side you support, there is plenty of humor to be mined. And when it comes to politics, if you don’t laugh at some of this nonsense, it will drive you crazy!”
“Because we CAN, SHOULD, and NEED TO,” declares Jack Rowles on why political satire should continue. “We CAN is a tribute to living in a great country. SHOULD refers to the medicine of laughter, especially when dealing with the bat-shit craziness of politics. NEED TO…there is nothing more powerful than sitting in a room full of politically astute patrons from all political persuasions sharing laughter and making fun of folks from both sides of the aisle.”
No matter who holds (or doesn’t hold) office, there is never a shortage of material. Mark Eaton adds, “We’ve always said our show’s greatest enemy is a competent government. Therefore, we should be around for a long, long time.”