Studio C’s Tori Pence and Dalton Johnson Chat Season 9, Behind-the-Scenes Secrets, & More

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Manhattan Center’s Hammerstein Ballroom was packed with excited fans as the cast of the sketch comedy show, Studio C, took center stage. For the first time ever, the group treated their supporters to an intimate live taping of never before seen content, right from the Big Apple. And as an added bonus, they teamed up with Saturday Night Live’s Kenan Thompson for a few of their new sketches.

From start to finish, the energy in the room was at an all-time high. The crowd couldn’t go five minutes without bursting into laughter, and even between the scenes, fans were lucky enough to interact with some of their favorites. Stacey Harkey also introduced the newest members of their team, which include Aaron Fielding, Tori Pence, and Dalton Johnson. After seeing them in action, got to chat with Tori and Dalton about life behind the scenes, their time with Kenan, and the upcoming season, which is set to premiere September 10 on BYUtv.

After a whopping eight seasons in six years, this will be the final season to include the original cast. And since we’ll be seeing more new faces going forward, the cast thought it would be fitting to do something special for the fans by going to New York.

Tori explained: “The whole reason we started this was so we could bring happiness to more people. What we’ve been able to do here [in Utah] with live shows has been nice, but why not do that for people way out east? We’re all kind of a family and we’re all friends here, having a good time, and we wanted to share that experience. It’s something you can’t feel over YouTube or the TV. To be able to come and personally have that experience and be like ‘Hey, we see you and we’re having a great time together,’ that was really nice.”

Judging by the number of screaming fans that greeted them at the taping, it’s safe to say that this was a dream come true for their New York fanbase. But what made this experience even more special was the fact that they got to see the cast’s chemistry in person.

Though the stars were carefree and playful with the audience, these guys flew through their sketches like total pros without breaking once. And according to Dalton, it’s not always as challenging as it seems. He said: “When you’re actually doing it, there’s a surprising feeling of ‘I really don’t want to break.’ It’s just like when you’re on set for a full day and you laugh, and you might ruin someone’s perfect take or another cast member’s best performance you’ve ever seen. When I see them do very well, that makes me want to laugh even less because I’m like ‘I don’t want to ruin this shot.’ So as fun as it is to break, there’s like a certain feeling of guilt when we do.” It’s no wonder why they delivered their lines so perfectly!

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But in those rare moments when they do slip up, the cast usually enjoys getting creative with their mistakes. Tori said: “If anything goes weird on set or if somebody messes up on set, we’ll play around with it. And I enjoy moments like that because getting to play and having the audience be able to see us play is one of those awesome and special moments.”

Since the group is practically one big family, it comes as no surprise that they have tons of fun behind the scenes. In fact, while a few of them were filming a sketch for season nine, they had to do countless takes because they were laughing way too much. Dalton said: “Basically in the sketch, I’m the roommate that keeps stealing other the roommate’s things and there’s like a whole meeting to decide who it was, but there’s obvious clues as to that I’m that roommate that’s stealing food. There was one moment where I had to spit out chocolate cake, it was supposed to be crumbs that I was spitting out… But it was kept in my mouth for so long that it was no longer crumbs, it was just a disgusting pile of brown. And just, the whole set, we couldn’t stop laughing, it took forever us to get our composure for that shot. Even when the future shots got better, we were all just in tears laughing.”

And according to Tori, along with these funnier moments come the more heartfelt ones, like when kids from the Make a Wish foundation got to visit them. She mentioned: “We have Make a Wish kids come to set sometimes, and those I think are some of the most beautiful moments. If we’re gonna talk about the most poignant and important moments, we have kids come to set who really love what we do. We’re able to see right there why we’re doing what we’re doing.”

As for what to expect for season nine, there will definitely be more creative sketches, as well as a few appearances from the hilarious Kenan. Both Tori and Dalton got to work directly with the SNL star, and from the looks of it, he was an absolute joy to work with.

Tori said: “[Kenan] very easily could’ve been like ‘Alright I’m coming and I’m gonna do this thing and then I’m gonna leave,’ but he was very gracious and very conscious of the time we were all taking to make a really good show. He was really thoughtful about the time we took in preparing for sketches, and the effort he put in talking to us outside of just the sketches. It was really nice to feel a lot of respect amongst us, [from one] comedian to another.” It sounds like they had a blast together, and maybe this could mean even more appearances from Kenan in future seasons… you never know!

Though we’ll miss seeing our favorites from the original lineup, we’re even more excited to see fresh faces and the new directions that this show will take. If you’re anything like us, you’re probably already counting down the days until the new season premieres. But if not, then you can set your alarm for Monday, September 10th, at 9 pm EST, where you can catch Tori, Dalton, and the rest of the gang on BYUtv.

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