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The best comedians can make it seem as if getting a crowd to laugh is easy and natural. In fact, joke writing is a cerebral endeavor that requires intelligence, wit, time commitment, dedication, and a willingness to risk and fail. In this introductory course, students will learn the scientific structure of joke writing, practice it repeatedly on their feet, and leave with a “tight five”—five minutes of material completed and ready to perform. Students will learn how jokes are structured and how to “punch up” their jokes in order to support their already-developed, intuitive sense of what is funny. We will watch some professionals at work and discuss how their material fits within the joke-writing structure we will be learning. Students will also have the opportunity to write new material each week and practice delivering it in class. This course is for those who are new to comedy or stand-up comedy and wish to explore what makes a joke tick, those who do or have done some stand-up and want to solidify their conscious process for developing and honing material, or actors or performers who think “I’m not funny” and wish to crack the mechanics of joke writing and joke performing.
Fluency in English and a high level of participation is required to benefit fully from this course.
KATE RUBIN Comic; Writer; Actor
Kate Rubin has taught at American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, Capital Stage, and various theaters nationally. She is a professional screen and stage actor. Her stand-up comedy special "What. The Hell. Is Happening?" can be seen on Amazon Prime and YouTube. Her shows are designed to awaken humanity while making it laugh. Rubin received an MFA in acting from UC Davis.
Textbooks for this course:
(Required) Judy Carter, The Comedy Bible (ISBN 9780743201254)