On a recent 1360 WCHL newscast, correspondent Babe the Pig offered her thoughts on chocolate-covered bacon at the N.C. State Fair.
Babe the Pig was in fact local comedian Molly Buckley. She, along with the rest of Carrboro’s Dirty South Improv Comedy Theater, has been satirizing the news daily on WCHL since May.
Their segment, called DSI Witness News, is written and performed by members of the theater.
Zach Ward, executive producer and artistic director of the improvisation theater, and Kit FitzSimons, theater manager, were responsible for starting and organizing DSI Witness News.
“People get shocked by things because we’re so used to having a normal day-to-day nonpolitical existence,” FitzSimons said. “Putting it in comedy moves things to where someone can deal with the issue and move forward from it.”
The theater has done satirical news skits since 2006, but the partnership with WCHL started in May, FitzSimons said.
“Our interest is in more local comedy, immediately connecting to our audience,” he said. “With WCHL’s hyper-local content, we fit right in with what they do.”
In September, they reported former Chapel Hill Town Council member Bill Strom resigned and moved from Chapel Hill after becoming frustrated with downtown 20 mph speed limits, the color Carolina blue and long lines at Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen.
This year’s mayoral candidates have been a popular target for the comedians, including Matt Czajkowski, whose campaign had raised more than $23,000 as of mid-October.
Augustus Cho and Mark Kleinschmidt are also running.
In a skit earlier this month, Chapel Hill High School junior Pat Czajkowski outspends his opponents in the race for student body president and responds to accusations of trying to buy supporters’ friendship.
“I just spend money so people will like me more,” the fictional Czajkowski said.
Comedians also called on former mayoral candidate Kevin Wolff to resume his campaign in order to provide them with skit material.
“The plan all along was to add some humor and laughter to the community,” said Zina Almers, WCHL president and general manager.
Every week a team of 10 to 12 theater members meet to search the news for material and present ideas gathered throughout the week, FitzSimons said. He and Ward write final scripts, perform a live episode Monday and then record the rest of the week’s material with theater members.
“Our character pieces often take a playful poke at local celebrities, but no one has been insulted by it,” FitzSimons said.
LISTEN TO DSI WITNESS NEWS
Time: 8:20 a.m. Monday-Friday
Station: WCHL 1360 on NewsTalk with Ron Stutts
Contact the City Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.