Georgetown Student Starts First-of-Its Kind Political Comedy Show
December 9, 2019 – Alexandra Bowman (C’22), a passionate viewer of political late-night TV shows and the television offerings of Monty Python, decided to start her own political satire web series – the first of its kind – at Georgetown. Though the student-run group is in its first semester, it has already released five episodes as of December 9th and has a steadily growing staff.
A New Way to Get News
The Hilltop Show is a political comedy show whose primary goal is to inform the Georgetown community and beyond about issues happening on and off campus in an entertaining way. It is an independent creative student organization, so it does not fall under the same restrictions as other on-campus groups. This gives its writers more liberty to pursue the topics and subjects of their choosing, which is exactly what its founder, Alexandra Bowman wanted.
“Our show is the only available organization on campus for students who want to regularly write and perform (mostly) unfiltered comedy,” says Bowman. “We can endorse or not endorse candidates, take stances on the issues, and generally discuss what we feel the student body needs to know.”
Bowman’s goal is also to make The Hilltop Show a place for students to discover the opportunities available on campus.
“The university has so many things going on and so few students know about them,” says Bowman. “In an interview I did with Mo Elleithee, executive director of Georgetown’s Institute of Politics, he informed me that Michelle Obama’s speechwriter wants to have coffee with any and all Georgetown students, and only three people know about it. These are the things that we want students at Georgetown to know about and take advantage of while they’re here.”
More than that, Bowman is conscious of the fact that Millennials and Gen Z are more likely to disengage from traditional forms of news. She thinks The Hilltop Show can help spark student interest by presenting information in a satirical interview or talk show format.
“We know that students are much more likely to learn about and ultimately care about news if it comes in an entertaining package,” Bowman says. “But for anyone to back out when their civic engagement is needed most is a tragedy. Political comedy can help reengage individuals. We want to entertain by poking fun at issues that affect students, ideally with the goal of making a point, or even a tangible impact.”
A Day in the Life
Bowman had the epiphany to create the show during the spring semester of her first year. By the beginning of the fall semester, she had a team of 21 students. Since the web series began, she and her team have been working tirelessly to create and produce an engaging show.
The team meets on Sundays to pitch sketches and ideas based off of the emails they receive and create a roster for the next show. Each show contains about seven different sketches that must be written, filmed, and edited in a 12-day span. Bowman oversees this in addition to managing the marketing for the show. Here she pulls from her experience with art and political cartoons to design The Hilltop Show’s unique logo.
Making a Positive Change
Though running The Hilltop Show is no small task, Bowman and her team are passionate about what they do and believe in the possible impact of their web series.
“Media has the potential for unmatched reach to parents and families,” Bowman says. I was lucky to have parents who read to me every night and I gained so much from that. It’s so important for kids at a young age to ingest valuable media. The same can be said for adults of all ages – the more that we can show quality content about real issues on our campus and off, the more we can inform those at Georgetown and make a positive change”
-by Shelby Roller (G’19)