© 2023 University of Missouri - KBIA
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Esther's Follies Take On Washington

Members of Esther's Follies, a political sketch comedy group from Austin, Texas. (Esther's Follies)
Members of Esther's Follies, a political sketch comedy group from Austin, Texas. (Esther's Follies)

What’s happening in Washington can seem like a joke these days, and Esther’s Follies, the campy political sketch comedy troop from Austin, Texas, is raking in the material.

Interview Highlights: Shannon Sedwick and Ted Meredith

Sedwick on how their comedy show works in Austin:

“Sometimes in Austin, I mean, we are the little blue dot in the red sea of Texas, but we do have enough people that are Republicans and Democrats that we have to balance our material …. But these days, when we say ‘Ted Cruz,’ they’re all up in arms and they’re all relishing not liking him.

Meredith on one of his recent Ted Cruz sketches:

“We’re doing a sort of summer-beach-blanket-bingo-themed sketch and Ted Cruz would come out riding on his motorcycle and say, to the effect, ‘Alright, hold it right there, liberals. I would have been here sooner, but I had to circle the block because I never turn left — Cruz control.’”

Sedwick on her inspiration to create the show 30 years ago: 

“It was a very fertile time for comedy, really, in ’77 because there were a lot of different groups doing things. We were not improv-oriented as much, but we definitely like scripts and we liked taking the news into a parody or satirical kind of view. And, of course, everything fell right into place with all of the presidential people that we got to make fun of — up to Bill Clinton and the Bushes — it all just became a never-ending area of comedy.”


  • Shannon Sedwick, founder of Esther’s Follies. She tweets @EsthersFollies.
  • Ted Meredith, cast member for Esther’s Follies.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.