The world loves comedians. They crack us up, make us feel good and can even help us recover from a bad day. There’s just one problem: If you want to become a famous comedian yourself one day, where do you go to learn the craft?
How do you become the type of stand-up comedian people pay money to see?
And how can you become that hilarious person in just a few short months or years?
Do they even offer comedy classes or workshops?
These are some of the questions we explored while researching schools offering degrees and certificates in comedic arts.
Is Comedy Teachable?
Stand-up comedy is like any other skill. You can study it and practice, and get better over time – but it requires work. The amount of time it takes to become a really good stand-up comedian varies, so you may be able to get there more quickly than others.
Some comedians, like Jerry Seinfeld, credit their success to years of trying out new material on stage and attempting new types of jokes to find what connects with an audience and what doesn’t.
Others credit a “eureka moment” that makes them want to pursue comedy as a career.
What is a Comedic Artist?
A comedic artist is a person who uses humor to tell stories, express ideas, and entertain an audience. The art form is most commonly found in stand-up comedy, sketch comedy, improv comedy, and those who write jokes for television or film.
Although comedians are often associated with humor, comedy may be found in a diverse range of fields, including religion, politics, and science. Comedy is sometimes used as a therapeutic tool to help people cope with difficult emotions like anxiety and depression.
Comedy Schools: The Basics
Comedy schools (or programs) vary greatly, so it’s important to find a program that’s right for your goals, budget and skill level. Most comedy programs offer certificates or degrees in comedic arts or entertainment, with a focus on stand-up, sketch or improv.
Some programs offer classes online, in person or a combination of both. And many comedy schools are designed for people of all skill levels, from beginners to experienced performers.
Improv Comedy Classes
Improv comedy classes can teach you how to be funny on the fly, respond spontaneously to your scene partners and make something out of nothing. Improv classes can be helpful for stand-up comedians since improv is also about being able to make up your dialogue on the spot.
Many people think that improv is only for sitcoms, but it can be a useful skill for public speaking as well. If you need to fill in a 10-minute speech with fresh content, you may get stuck with nothing to say. But if you’ve learned the basics of improv, you have skills to help you think on your feet and respond to unexpected situations.
Sketch Comedy Classes
Sketch comedy classes can help you improve your writing, storytelling, and characters. A sketch is a popular form of comedy, as it’s really easy to do with a small group of people. You can use items around your house, and it’s very low cost. You can also get feedback from other people on what you’ve written.
Many people think that sketch is a type of improv. This isn’t true. They’re two different types of comedy, though there is often a lot of overlap between these two art forms. Sketch comedy is often written, while improv is more about responding spontaneously and being creative with your scene partners.
Stand-Up Comedy Classes and Lectures
As mentioned, most people think of stand-up as the hardest form of comedy, and the most difficult to master. If you want to study stand-up as a serious art form, you can take classes or lectures that focus on the art of stand-up comedy. These classes can help you improve your performance, storytelling and jokes.
Some programs offer special insights into the craft of stand-up comedy, with insights from comedians and professors. And some even offer a syllabus or coursework that can earn you college credits. If you want to learn about the history of stand-up comedy, what it takes to succeed in the field and how to improve your stand-up material, stand-up comedy classes are a great choice.
There are many different types and degrees of comedy, and the study of comedy is no joke. Becoming a successful comedian takes years of practice, commitment and a thick skin. If you love to make people laugh and are willing to put in the work, it’s possible to turn your dream into a reality!
Now that you know more about the types of comedy and the different types of comedy schools, you can start exploring which school is right for you. Remember that different programs will have different focus areas, so be sure to pick a program that aligns with your interests, goals and personality.