Comedy classes

Date: March 18, 2010 1:01 PM
Subject: Comedy Classes

I am looking to take stand-up classes and/or improv classes. Do you have suggestions of where should I go?


Carolines School of Comedy
Even amateurs can find catharsis in comedy, says teacher Linda Smith.In her stand-up classes, she encourages honesty: “If you’re gay, be gay; if you’re fat, be fat—because it makes you human.... Audiences really love that.” 853 Seventh Ave between 54th and 55th Sts (646-863-9539, Thu 7--9:30pm, $395 for six classes; starts Apr 29

Chicago City Limits
Besides regular improv classes, this troupe has a special course track for music-based comedy, perfect for anyone who considers “Lazy Sunday” to be the apex of humor. Aside from its standard eight-week enrollment, CCL offers single-day improv classes priced at $35, including one on Sunday 25. 318 W 53rd St between Eighth and Ninth Aves (212-888-5233, Tue 6:30--9:30pm, $275 for eight classes; starts June 1

Manhattan Comedy School
Get guaranteed stage time at premier comedy cellar Comix and a DVD of your performance to help jump-start your stand-up career. Founder Andy Engel says, “The most important thing you need to get an agent, a manager or into a comedy contest is a great DVD.” 353 W 14th St between Eighth and Ninth Aves (212-462-3200, Wed 7--10pm; $399, starts May 26; free workshop May 22

New York Comedy Club
“You can accuse me of a lot of things, but you cannot accuse me of ripping people off,” says comedian and teacher Buddy Flip. His modestly titled “Best Stand-Up Workshop Ever” is only four classes long (“I have my own attention-span issues,” Flip jokes) and leads to a slot at the host venue. Beginners beware; most of Flip’s protgs have been working on punch lines for at least a few years. 241 E 24th St between Second and Third Aves (917-446-9670, $200 for four classes, starts May 23

The Peoples Improv Theater
Think of the funnest job imaginable; PIT probably has a class about how to get it. Course titles include “Writing for The Colbert Report,” “SNL Audition: Characters and Impersonations” and “How to Pitch and Sell TV Shows.” The next intro improv class starts April 29, and for young talents, workshops are available for kids as young as nine. 154 W 29th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves (212-563-7488, Level 1: Intro to Improv, Thu 7--10pm, $325 for eight classes

Upright Citizens Brigade Training Center
Considering its alumni—including players on 30 Rock, SNL and The Daily Show—the UCB has earned its spot as the city’s improv shrine. The theater’s notoriety explains the training center’s popularity; most of the current improvisation and sketch curriculum is full. For dedicated humorists, space remains in a weeklong, intensive intro course,which demands six hours per day. 145 W 30th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves (212-366-9176, Improv 101 Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri 11am--2pm, 3--6pm, $425 for eight sessions; starts May 17

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