The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

The Capitol Steps Come to Hanover: Student Summary

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We encourage students to submit summaries of Rockefeller Center sponsored and co-sponsored programs.  Read a student's account of a recent campus performance by The Capitol Steps.

With a show full of bipartisan mockery and well-timed satire in the midst of an election season, The Capitol Steps performed two shows at the Hopkins Center on Wednesday, October 2. The Capitol Steps is a politically themed musical comedy group that got its start in the Reagan era as a group of Senate staffers poking fun at their bosses. The staffers were tasked with providing entertainment at an office Christmas party, and decided on political satire over a nativity play. The troupe decided not to stop after this, and adopted their name from a sex scandal that occurred in 1981 when a congressman had sex with his wife on the capitol steps during a nighttime session of Congress.

Over the years, they have produced dozens of albums with songs about the indiscretions of candidates from Bill Clinton to Anthony Weiner, as well as hot topics such as immigration and reproductive rights. While they have avoided retiring crowd favorites such as Sarah Palin and George W. Bush, the Steps are constantly updating their repertoire. They have recently added lines about Romney’s “47 percent” comment and Obama’s “you didn’t build that” gaffe. The Steps further satirized the candidates with a song about Obama titled “If I Taxed a Rich Man,” (to the tune of “If I Were a Rich Man”) and a rap from Romney called “I Like Big Bucks,” (to the tune of “I Like Big Butts”).

As the Steps pointed out at the end of their show, politicians continue to make their job easy for them. They said they’d be out of work if the scandals stopped, though it’s clear that the group does not need to be worried about their future. As they have been for over 30 years, the Steps will be making audiences laugh for a long time to come.

- Sasha Dudding ‘15

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences