The Capitol Steps FAQ

1. How did the Capitol Steps begin?

The Capitol Steps were born in December, 1981 when three staffers for Senator Charles Percy (Elaina Newport, Jim Aidala, and the late Bill Strauss) were planning entertainment for a Christmas party.

Our first idea was to stage a nativity play, but in the whole Congress we couldn't find three wise men or a virgin! So, we decided to dig into the headlines of the day and created song parodies and skits which conveyed a special brand of satirical humor that was as popular in Peoria as it was on Pennsylvania Avenue.

For more than thirty-five years, the Capitol Steps have recorded dozens of albums and appeared on "Good Morning America," the "Today Show," "20/20," "Entertainment Tonight," "Nightline," CNN's "Inside Politics," and dozens of times on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered."

For the past thirty years, we've produced quarterly specials for public radio and have been featured in three national specials for public television. We've performed for five U.S. Presidents (six if you include Hillary.)

2. How do I inquire about booking the Capitol Steps?

For questions about our fees, please contact our Bookings Manager by visiting our contact page and select "Hiring." We also work with agents and/or theatres.

3. When do you hold auditions?

On rare occasions, the Capitol Steps hold auditions in Washington, DC. Auditions are announced in the Washington Post. We also keep resumes on file, so feel free to e-mail a resume through our web site or send it snail-mail to Capitol Steps, 210 N. Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

4. Can I send you a song I've written?

All Capitol Steps songs are written within the group. While our life would be much easier if this wasn't the case, that's how we advertise the show and we would hate to make liars out of ourselves!

5. Where can I buy CDs/cassettes?

All Capitol Steps CDs/cassettes can be purchased online here or downloaded from iTunes, and Rhapsody. See our album page and catalog for details. For those who prefer to hear the voice of an actual human, please call (703) 683-8330 x305. Please note our 3 most recent CDs are always sold at our public shows.

6. Where do you perform?

The Capitol Steps perform every Friday & Saturday year round in Washington, DC at the Ronald Reagan Building (1300 Pennsylvania Ave, NW) : Read all about it here.

The Capitol Steps also perform at various venues around the country! See our frequently-updated public show schedule.

Please note you can not buy tickets directly through the Capitol Steps office for any Capitol Steps performance. All tickets are handled by outside sources, be it Ticketmaster, a venue or a despotic regime. The Capitol Steps are not responsible for refunds or lost tickets.

You can sign up here for our mailing list to receive e-mail notification of when we're coming to your town!

7. How do the Capitol Steps get away with their song parodies?

Asking legal advice from a comedian is like taking driving lessons from Billy Joel. Don't do it! However, we would refer you to the Supreme Court decision Acuff-Rose v. Campbell. And if you need actual legal advice, we hear John Edwards is available and looking for a job.

8. What is the backwards talk called? Where can I get a copy?

The backwards talk is called "Lirty Dies." (Just whip your flords and you'll het the gang of it) You can find copies of our backwards talk online here. We also distribute these frotally tee at all our public shows.

9. Where can I hear the Capitol Steps on the radio?

The Capitol Steps perform our radio special, "Politics Takes a Holiday," twice a year (New Years Eve & 4th of July) nationally on public radio. To see a list of participating stations, click here. Please note copies of this special are not for sale, but can be downloaded online at this link. The Capitol Steps perform their radio shows in front of a live audience at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC.

10. Do the Capitol Steps have a scaled down version of the show? Can I hire just a couple of performers?

No. A Capitol Steps show always has a minimum of 5 performers and a pianist, and we don't offer a smaller version of the show. While we understand some groups might not have the budget for the full show, we don't want to be competing against ourselves by offering a scaled down, less expensive show. If you want a slice of the Steps, you have to buy the whole pie.

11. Where can I find photos of The Capitol Steps available for download to use for my event/newspaper article/military tribunal?

Please visit the Capitol Steps online press kit. Once there, you will find our group bio, high resolution photos (please give credit to the corresponding photographer), newspaper clippings, and other helpful information.

12. Have the Capitol Steps ever considered running for office themselves?

Many of the performers have worked on Capitol Hill, some for Republicans, some for Democrats, and some for members who sit firmly on the fence. In fact, the current cast of the Capitol Steps has at one time or another infested the offices of eleven US Senators and seven Members of the House of Representatives. Most of these politicians have since been defeated or placed under investigation, so we think we'll just stick to singing.

13. Are the Capitol Steps appropriate for young children?

If your child can understand the subjects the Capitol Steps refer to or is old enough to appreciate a night on the town, then please be our guest. The Capitol Steps' language is a lot cleaner than Dick Cheney's, that's for sure.

The Capitol Steps do not use any profanity in their routines. However, according to the scandal of the day, some songs/subjects/routines may include suggested innuendo. Would this go over the heads of most children? Maybe, maybe not -- the Capitol Steps encourage you to do your own research.

Be sure to read an example of the text of our backwards talk routine: Lirty Dies. This will give you an idea of the closest the Capitol Steps will come towards an FCC violation.

14. NEW How can I subscribe to podcasts?

If you use iTunes, subscribe to our podcasts by clicking here. You can also copy and paste this URL into your favorite podcasting tool:

More questions? Contact us here.