Madison’s only regularly running sketch comedy show, “The Whoa Show,” is making waves with back to back sold-out shows.
The show is based on a fictional news show called “The Late Early Show,” which writer Esteban Touma describes as a “show that tries to have everything perfect, but something is always crumbling.”
Since 2015 the show has been performed at the Broom Street Theater every four to six weeks, and lately it has been to packed out crowds.
The show was created by Matt Jordan and Anthony Siraguse in 2015, neither of whom still work on the show.
The creators’ departure didn’t derail the show though, as it continues to be performed every 3 months or so to packed crowds.
Since last September the staff has hired several new writers and increased its video content to include satirical commercials and movie trailers.
“We poke fun at the very mediums we’re using,” said show writer Mike Jonjak.
“I would say the show skews a little absurdist and meta for sure, but it’s also a reflection of the writers,” said artistic director Cynthia-Marie Casebere, who’s been with the show since she moved to Madison a year and a half ago.
The team has grown from three to 10 including six writers and four new comedians, but the positions are voluntary.
“We’ve had the same core writers for about a year now, so now we’re all starting to gel together and create one unified voice, but there’s still unique voices. ” Jonjak said.
The sketches also include Madison-specific content.
“We have a few in-jokes that are about Madison or about the Willy street area,” Casebere said.
“We also do local news jokes,” added Jonjak.
The show also features archetypal characters of Madison like the “Willy street hipsters”
Though every show is an episode of “The Late Early Show,” the content itself is always fresh and relatable to audience members who may have never seen the show before.
In addition to sketch comedy, every show features stand-up comics from surrounding Midwest cities and improv games at the end of the show.
“There’s a very interesting dynamic in the comedy scene in Madison where you have a very established group of people doing improv, very established groups of people doing stand-up comedy, and a very established group of people doing theater, but there’s nothing really tying these things together and that’s my favorite part about what we do,” said Touma.
The next show will be Oct. 1. Though the show isn’t necessarily consider “family-friendly” all ages are welcome. Ticket prices are $7 and the theater is BYOB.