If you’re a fan of late-night comedy’s Jimmy Kimmel or Stephen Colbert, with a little “Saturday Night Live” thrown in, “Off the Wire” has you covered.
“Off The Wire,” UMTV’s award-winning late-night sketch comedy show, explores the irony and idiosyncrasies of pop culture, politics and college life. Local Miami personalities, live antics, witty jokes and original comedy sketches are the cornerstones of the show, which is taped before a live studio audience,” according to its website.
Something new to “Off The Wire” this semester is the host, Tej Joshi. Joshi is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in political science and advertising. His playful charm and experience behind the camera make him a fitting host for the live comedy show.
Joshi joined “Off The Wire” 3 years ago, during his first year at UM. He was promoted to executive producer during the spring semester of his sophomore year and took on the role as host in January 2018. He has also been the content producer, director and technical director.
“’Off The Wire’ is actually one of the main reasons I decided to attend the University of Miami,” Joshi said. “When I was in high school and took a tour of UM, I saw some bits of ‘Off The Wire,’ and it looked really fun.”
His first episode as host aired Feb. 8 and focused on the “Off The Wire” team learning Pilates with instructor Francine Acevedo, the perils of artificial intelligence and what not to name a baby.
“It was great to see so many people in the audience, and it was really fulfilling to be the face of a show I had been a part of for so long,” Joshi said. “After my first show as host, I definitely felt as though there were some things I could improve on, and hopefully, I do.”
Joshi is accompanied by two executive producers – Joseph Landing and Justin Stevens.
Landing is a senior double majoring in motion pictures and media management. His primary focus is related to sketch productions of the show.
Stevens is a sophomore studying broadcast journalism and marketing.
“The team behind ‘Off The Wire’ is what really makes it go,” Joshi said. “We have really dedicated and talented writing and production people who make the show so funny and professional.”
“’Off the Wire’s’ faculty advisor is Boriana Treadwell,” Joshi said. “She has been working on the show for several years. Without her, there wouldn’t be a show, and we are very thankful for her.”
“Off the Wire” airs every other Thursday, which gives the team about two weeks to prepare for each episode – and that time does not go to waste.
“We have writers meetings every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday,” Joshi said. “We shoot sketches on weekends and we are generally preparing for shows all the time. I am always looking for a good opportunity to book a cool guest or find ways to promote episodes.”
Joshi is excited to interview Donna Shalala, former UM president and cabinet secretary for the March 8 episode.
The ultimate goal of each episode is to not only have a great show, but to make the audience laugh, Joshi said. He likes to interact with the audience but also present the pre-recorded sketches written by “Off the Wire’s” writing team, who are not always featured in the live show.
Thanks to “Off The Wire,” Joshi met some of his closest friends and realized that he wants to go into political comedy professionally.
You can watch Joshi’s first episode here, and his next episode will air Feb. 22. Follow UMTV’s “Off the Wire” on YouTube and Facebook for the latest information and episodes.