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'Slant Show:' Students plan variety sketch show

Ross Tague and Corinne McGoldrick sat facing each other in their usual booth. They added their voices to the cacophony inside Pulley Dinner, talking about late night television. Both of them wanted to go into TV when they graduated. After talking for a while, they came to a conclusion that there was nothing like late night TV.

And then they had a thought: They could make a late night TV show for Miami.

"Thus 'Slant Show' was born," Tague said.

Last spring, the pair, both sophomores, came up with the idea for a student group that would produce late night style videos. However, they put off actually creating a group and making their videos until this semester.

"Getting everything together has been a lot less work than we initially thought," Tague said. "When we finally decided that we were going to have regular meetings and assign positions everything just kind of fell into place."

The two aim for the show to fill the entertainment hole in Miami media.

"It just kind of hit us that there wasn't anything like that here on campus," Tague said. "Sure, there were news shows and radio shows but no filmed show meant solely for entertainment."

Their influences come from places like "SNL," "Conan" and "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon." Not only are these programs McGoldrick and Tague's inspiration, but they've also served as tool for learning how to put on the show.

"Slant Show" would bring entertainment to Miami students and others as well.

"We will have some aspects of Miami in it, like having the name 'Slant Show' based on Slant Walk," McGoldrick said. "We also want to use the show to promote other student orgs, sports, etc. But the jokes we make should be understood by anyone."

The group's videos won't run as often or as long as their late night inspirations, though.

"The plan is to post a skit or segment to YouTube once every few weeks, so nothing too crazy," Tague said. "But we want to work toward an end-of-the-semester show, which would be around half an hour long and a culmination of new skits that we spent the entire semester working on."

Over J-term, McGoldrick took part in the university's Inside Hollywood program. As part of the program, she went behind the scenes of "Conan."

"I shadowed the stage manager at 'Conan' for one day, and I learned more about the writing process for segments that we are trying to do on 'Slant Show,'" McGoldrick said.

The duo also took advantage of Miami alum Rick Ludwin, the former NBC executive vice president of late night and prime-time series.

"He knows comedy, and shows like 'Conan' and 'The Tonight Show' still ask for his opinion, so getting his advice and hearing he loved the idea was amazing," McGoldrick said.

After months of planning, the group is almost ready to start creating their videos. They've found a group of people who want to be a part of their vision and bring the videos to life.

Ieva Juska joined in order to have an outlet for her creative side.

"I decided to join because I've always been interested in late night television shows, like 'SNL,' and the production of them," Juska said. "Being a biology major, I don't get to tap into that interest or the creativity that surrounds it, so being a part of 'Slant Show' allows me to do that."

Since they are just starting out, the members of the group fill whatever roles they have to, and Juska is no exception.

"My assigned jobs are hair and makeup and acting, although I still help out with coming up with ideas for skits, talking about the logistics of the organization and other general things like that," she said.

Tague and McGoldrick have high hopes for their brainchild but don't plan on rushing its production.

"We're still not totally finished working things out, but we really want to make sure it is as high quality as possible," McGoldrick said. "We want the show to last after we graduate, so we are taking our time to ensure the show is ready."