“We get into this weird thing, that if politicians don’t get made fun of

[by The Capitol Steps] they get mad.” – Mark Eaton of the Capitol Steps

Today I interviewed Mark Eaton of The Capitol Steps.

The Capitol Steps began as a group of Senate staffers who set out to satirize the very people and places that employed them.

The group was born in December, 1981 when some 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 they created song parodies & skits which conveyed a special brand of satirical humor.

In the years that followed, many of the Steps ignored the conventional wisdom (“Don’t quit your day job!”), and although not all of the current members of the Steps are former Capitol Hill staffers, taken together the performers have worked in a total of eighteen Congressional offices and represent 62 years of collective House and Senate staff experience.

Since they began, the Capitol Steps have recorded over 35 albums, including their latest, The Lyin’ Kings. They’ve been featured on NBC, CBS, ABC, and PBS, and can be heard twice a year on National Public Radio stations nationwide during their Politics Takes a Holiday radio specials.

In this episode we speak about:

  • What motivates the Cap Steps to leave their Senate jobs and become improv comedians.
  • The grossest things that Senators do.
  • How they find ways to perform for people of all political persuasions.

Then Melania talks to Mark’s impression of Bill Clinton about the best way to sneak around the White House and George W. Bush about the pluses and minuses of a second term.

To catch up with our guest: