Writing comedy whether for concise narratives, novels, poetry, essays, memoirs, articles, or live performance through stand-up can be an extremely challenging art for many individuals.
If you are not one of these individuals and wish to give comedy a try, but do not know where to begin, perhaps considering a comedy workshop is precisely what you require.
There are numerous online comedy writing courses, often led by professional comedians, who generously share their wisdom from the stage.
Online comedy lessons are a convenient approach to mastering the basics of writing and delivering comedy, providing a foundation for enhancing confidence in your material.
Comedy courses – much like any other course – will not inherently make you a master of the craft. However, they can provide you with the necessary skills to write and perform humorously.
Presented below is a compilation of the top 15 online comedy writing classes available:
1. MasterClass: Steve Martin Presents Comedy
If you seek to acquire tips and tricks of the trade from an established comedic icon, there is no better choice than American legendry comic Steve Martin.
Making use of the MasterClass platform, this one-time $95 package grants you access to over 5 hours of video lessons presented by Martin himself.
Martin has meticulously curated these lessons, offering students advice based on his extensive experience in comedy. He delves into topics such as finding your comedic voice, cultivating a comedic persona, and honing your delivery skills.
Complementing the video lessons is a downloadable workbook that aids in organizing lessons and provides supplementary materials.
The videos can be viewed at any time and allow you to pause, rewind, fast-forward, or re-watch them as needed. Although the classes are pre-recorded, there are occasional opportunities for live interaction with fellow students.
2. The Second City
The Second City is a globally renowned comedy organization known for producing all forms of comedy. Whether you are interested in sketches, improv, satirical writing, comedic playwriting, or any other form, The Second City has something to offer.
With a long list of notable alumni including Bill Murray, Steve Carrell, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, and Amy Sedaris (among many others), The Second City has played a crucial role in nurturing some of the greatest comedic talents since its establishment in Chicago in 1959.
Fortunately, you can now access their courses from anywhere in the world through their online options.
There is a wide range of choices, including the “Online Sketch Writing 1” course, which costs $299. This course is conducted via email and online correspondence with a writing instructor.
It is worth exploring to determine if they offer the course that suits your needs in an online format (prices and durations vary, so take some time to research).
3. Universal Class – Humor Writing 101
This comedic writing class aims to equip you with the necessary tools to recognize where humor can be found and how to translate it into words. Its primary objective is to establish a solid foundation for your future in humor writing.
Humor Writing 101 consists of 12 comprehensive lessons, each focusing on different elements essential for cultivating your ability to write humorous content. These lessons are designed to inform and evaluate through a variety of mediums, including video lessons, articles, polls, assignments, and quizzes.
The course is self-paced and can be undertaken for either $65 or $90 (the higher pricing includes a completion certification). You can enroll at any time, and your work will be evaluated by the instructors.
4. Humor Writing: How to Think, Write, Speak and Be Funnier
For those seeking an affordable comedy writing course that provides substantial content, Udemy’s “Humor Writing: How to Think, Write, Speak and Be Funnier!” may be the perfect fit.
This course is suitable for aspiring stand-up comedians, public speakers, and writers of all types. Taught by instructor Dave Fox, this writing course offers in-depth content for the low price of £15.
With 59 lectures covering a wide range of topics, including set-ups and punchlines, tightening and pacing, the course offers all the necessary components to improve your comedy writing skills.
The course can be accessed through any browser, and upon completion, you will be awarded a certificate from Udemy.
5. Gotham Writer’s Humor Writing Class
Gotham Writer’s Humor Writing Class is available in both online and in-class formats in New York City. This intensive course aims to assist aspiring writers of humorous fiction or non-fiction in incorporating humor into their work.
The class adopts a systematic approach for breaking down writing, enabling you to fully grasp the fundamentals and learn how to generate material from scratch.
Primarily focused on literary writing, the workshop spans 10 weeks and costs $399 for online enrollment. Over these ten weeks, you will gain familiarity with various forms of humor in prose, comedic techniques, and how to market your work.
6. Expert Rating – Humor Writing Course
This course aims to cultivate a skill that many people desire but few possess – the ability to spontaneously generate jokes and witty remarks and create material for performing in front of an audience.
With guidance from an experienced comedy writer, this class will introduce you to various sources of comedy and teach invaluable skills and techniques, such as writing one-liners, utilizing physical humor, and finding humor in everyday life.
This entertaining and informative six-week course will help you develop your unique style and connect with your audience. A final examination is required to receive certification upon completing the course.
The course consists of classes on Wednesdays and Fridays and costs $129.99 to enroll.
7. Stand-Up Comedy Classes by StandUpComedyClass.Com
This ten-week class aims to help you transform your thoughts, experiences, and observations about life into high-quality stand-up comedy.
With numerous well-known alumni, including writers from shows like Friends, Ellen, and Reno 911, this class is described in testimonials as fun, supportive, and inspirational. The classes are available in Los Angeles or online.
Upon completion, participants are provided with a basic, practical toolkit for creating their own well-received stand-up comedy routines. The class costs $700, with flexible payment options. Students of all skill levels are welcome.
8. Write Your Screenplay – TV Comedy Workshop
Comedy flourishes not only on stage but also in the realm of television. This workshop is primarily intended for those seeking to excel in writing for TV comedy programs.
Taught in an actual writer’s room, the class is led by instructor Jerry Perzigan – a professional showrunner who has previously worked on successful half-hour comedy shows such as Frasier and The Golden Girls.
The classes are held in New York City, but you can also participate online via computer, headset, and a high-speed internet connection. You can join as though you were physically present in the room.
This course comes at a cost of $1,200, but a payment plan is available. It includes 10 weeks of classes and the opportunity for one-on-one mentorship.
9. Globejotting – Professional Humor Tricks for Writers, Speakers, and Other Misfits
Making a second appearance on our list, Dave Fox’s Globejotting hopes to provide aspiring writers and speakers with the tools for constructing effective humor.
Boasting proven tricks to create or strengthen your ability to construct jokes, this course aims to maximize the impact of your humor by helping you fine-tune your comedic timing and phrasing to prevent punchlines from being overshadowed by excessive wording.
The basic course is affordably priced at $20 to $35, and additional critique packages can be purchased separately. The first critique costs $50, subsequent critiques cost $85 each, or you can opt for a package of three critiques for $195 ($65 each).
10. How To Write Comedy – Skype / Coaching Lessons by Jerry Corley’s Stand-Up Comedy Clinic
Jerry Corley’s Stand-Up Comedy Clinic offers instructive classes for aspiring stand-up performers and those who want to find humor in everyday life.
The classes focus on teaching students how to write comedy material effectively while providing the necessary foundation to perform confidently. Besides in-person classes in Los Angeles, Corley also offers online classes via Skype.
Individual classes cost $125 and can be recorded for future access. Simply email Corley to arrange a class session and complete the payment through PayPal. During the session, you will have the opportunity to learn and ask any questions you may have.
11. Killer Stand-Up Online Course
The Killer Stand-Up online course offers eight Core Training Modules comprising 28 lessons, with the aim of developing your skills to perform headline-level stand-up comedy.
The course demonstrates that once the basics are mastered, it becomes easier to recognize and apply structure to your material, ensuring its success on stage.
The Killer Stand-Up Course also includes five modules, with the first module available for free. In the initial module, students get a glimpse of what to expect from the rest of the course and receive introductions to key aspects of stand-up comedy.
Delivered by comedian and instructor Steve Roye, this course and other stand-up lessons can be accessed by registering on the site for $99.95.
12. Phillipe Schafer’s Ultimate Beginner’s Class to Learn Stand-Up Comedy
Offering an introduction to performing comedy, this affordable guide by Phillipe Schafer is an excellent starting point for those interested in pursuing a comedy course.
The guide tackles various areas, including overcoming the fear of public speaking, making stories funnier, and finding your target audience. It provides access to 37 lectures comprising workshops, videos, and quizzes. The course costs £10 and is available on Udemy.
13. The Rik Roberts School of Laughs – Online Comedy Class
This stand-up comedy class offers three package options to accommodate different budgets and needs. Each package provides benefits of varying degrees, making them suitable for beginners and those with previous stage experience.
The Silver Package, priced at $97.77, is perfect for beginners and grants 90-day access to course materials, including a 114-page companion workbook. The Gold and Diamond Packages are designed for individuals with some stage experience who feel they can improve further. These packages offer additional advantages, such as one-on-one phone calls with instructor Rik Roberts. Each phone call can be scheduled separately for $75 per hour.
Testimonials for Robert’s classes speak highly of the course, with students reporting improvement in the quality of their material.
14. Robert Mills’ Create Comedy like A Pro – And Improve Your Own Writing
This comedy writing course aims to equip students with the skills necessary to write their own comedy monologues, sketches, and interviews.
This course is suitable for anyone who wants to learn more about comedy and make people laugh, regardless of the intended medium.
Instructor Robert Mills covers everything from the history of comedy to the anatomy of a joke over 109 lectures. The lectures are divided into several modules, including monologues, sketches, interviews, and more.
The lessons are presented in various formats, including video, audio, and written documents. Access to the course is available for £15 through Udemy.
15. Online Comedy Class by John Roy
The main distinction between John Roy’s Online Comedy class and the others listed here is that this one is completely free.
However, despite being free, John Roy’s lessons cover all essential aspects of comedy in great detail. He originally posted these lessons for aspiring comics in 2013 and continues to make them available on his Tumblr account.
The class consists of 12 lessons aimed at providing readers with the fundamental principles of stand-up comedy. Roy does not instruct on what to talk about while on stage but rather equips readers with the necessary tools to develop their own material in their preferred style.
The lessons are structured to provide a significant amount of “homework” and are meant to be spread out over a twelve-week period.
As Roy puts it, even if the class does not prove helpful, it will have cost you nothing to give it a try.
“15 Best Online Comedy Writing Courses” is an article from Writing Tips Oasis. Copyright © 2014-2017 Writing Tips Oasis. All Rights Reserved.
[author_info]Paul occasionally thinks he’s funny. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @paulpaulkeegan[/author_info]