REXBURG − JK Studios, a popular sketch comedy group, is coming to Rexburg to perform brand new material at the Madison High School Auditorium on Thursday.
Donovan Montierth, tour producer, said this is the first time the 10-person group has ever been on tour in the 11 years they’ve been together.
According to their YouTube channel, Jk Studios is “a comedy network and online repository of ‘your mom’ jokes. We’re safe for all ages, and unsafe for people who die if they laugh or are allergic to guffaws and buffoonery.”
Montierth said they wanted to test the waters with a two-week tour that would stay closer to Provo, Utah, where the group is based out of.
Montierth said they wanted to see if there was an audience for their material performed live and so far the response has been “overwhelming.” He said this will help them get ready for a longer and larger tour next year.
Montierth said the group will touch on topics that relate to current pop-culture like “Spiderman” and the “Lion King”.
They will also touch on a more recent sketch they have on Youtube called “Son of Satan.” Where Satan’s son just wants to be a good guy and his father only wants the worst for him.
Montierth did confirm that they won’t be performing their popular Shoulder Angel skit.
When asked why they chose to perform in Rexburg Montierth said the city had an audience they’re familiar with.
“Rexburg is a big college town especially because of BYU-I,” he said. “They are very excited about staying within their main audience, college and high school aged young adults. They’re all getting older but they still have a core audience of young adults.”
Montierth said their tour, Glowing Up, is all about their coming of age story. Highlighting their journey to adulthood through their performance.
Currently the group has a Youtube channel that they are regularly uploading new content to.
“They’re putting out a lot more written material, not just sketches but TV shows and regular series including one called ‘Free Lancers’.”
Montierth said the studio plans to create movies in the future as well as more sketches.
Stacey Harkey is a performer and co-owner of JK Studios.
He said the group started out in 2008 as Divine Comedy out of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
In Divine Comedy the group did live comedy performances, in Studio C they were doing live performances and creating digital content but in JK Studios they’re performing live, creating sitcoms, movies, podcasts, and digital content for their YouTube platform.
“The world is our canvas,” Harkey said.
Harkey said he didn’t intend to go into comedy as a career.
“Me personally, I didn’t want to do comedy,” Harkey said. “When I went to college I was going to be a lawyer.”
He said he auditioned for Divine Comedy to support a friend and when Harkey got in comedy became a favorite past-time and then a career.
Matt Meese and Stephen Meek, fellow cast members, also agreed that comedy wasn’t the career they planned on.
Meese said there wasn’t anything else to do at the time.
“Honestly, I think for me comedy is really rewarding as a performer,” Meese said. “Because you know if it works or not immediately. If they’re laughing it’s good.”
He said dramatic acting is more difficult because you don’t get the instant gratification that you can get from comedy. You can’t tell if people are enjoying your serious scene.
“It’s nice to make people laugh and bring people together,” Meese said. “We all enjoy laughing together.”
Meek said becoming a comedic actor was something he didn’t see coming.
“I feel like becoming a comedic actor kind of fell out of a blue sky, it wasn’t my plan to go into acting,” Meek said. “I specifically avoided majoring in any kind of acting because I didn’t think I had the talent but Divine Comedy made me feel the community aspect. We did a lot of work on our feet all the time trying new things and it just so happened to turn into something bigger. Now we have a TV show and it’s becoming a career in terms of writing and continuing to act. This was not my plan by any means but falling into it felt really, really right.”
Harkey said this brief tour will allow them the freedom to explore different options and venues, see what works and what doesn’t.
“We have a pretty fun show prepared,” he said.
Meek said all the material they have for the show they’ve been working on for the past four months.
“We’ve gone through the writers room and the whole process to make it just sing, pop!” he said.
The three of them touched on the fact that JK Studios will be creating movies in the future.
“We’re exploring different options,” Harkey said. “We don’t want to give away too much but it will be on brand with our other material. It will be accessible for the whole family. We want to make people laugh and bring them together (through comedy).”
Meek said everyone in JK Studios are great friends and they want to bring that energy to their performance this week.
“We are legitimately good friends, it feels like we’re hanging out,” he said. “On tour you’re gonna see that we make each other brake and we like to goof off a bit.”
Meek said it’s not too late for people to purchase tickets for their Rexburg performance. In fact they have a promo code for locals to use to get a percentage off their ticket price: jkbros.
“We wanted to connect more with people,” Harkey said. “We don’t get to do that with people on YouTube.”
Meek agreed that getting out of the studio was what they all wanted to do.
“We’ve talked a lot about that, the feeling in Studio C, detached in a windowless room writing and then performing on camera but we don’t interact very much with random people. We love Studio C but going on tour we get to really be face to face with the audience, and we’re excited.”
For more information about JK Studio’s Glowing Up Tour, visit their website at jkstudiostour.com