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Arts & Entertainment

Final Thoughts

Steve Martin

Lesson time 04:59 min

Steve concludes his class by offering some parting advice and words of inspiration.

Steve Martin
Teaches Comedy
Steve Martin teaches you everything from finding your comedic voice to nailing your act.


I think when this class is done, depending on your personal interest-- let's say you're interested in comedy or performing stand-up comedy, and maybe you've made a couple of notes, and maybe you've been inspired, I'd say phone a friend. Someone with the same interest, and go over what you're talking about, what may be you picked up. I don't call it learning because the learning is going to take place on stage and in practice. But pitch those ideas around. I love the idea of collaborative schmoozing with people, with similar interests, and similar willingness to explore things at a little bit of a deeper level, because that inspires you. When you get a manifesto and you get a premise to work on and to apply to yourself, it's fun. Find the smallest place where you can go. Maybe it's a cub scout meeting, maybe it's something where there's a festival going on, find a little place to get up, talk to people. Always make it very small, at first. Very small, where the loss won't be taken so hard, because it is going to be tough. I always picture someone in a club at the lowest ebb of their career, kind of fighting against depression, and the response that isn't there, and the people talking, and the crash glasses, and I always have such a deep respect for comedians. I feel like I have an empathy with them. And I feel I could walk up, and go, I know, and they go, yeah. There's many people who have gone before, and gone are going through exactly what you did, so you have allies. You have allies while you're on stage, who have experienced the very thing you're doing, and have survived. I close the first chapter of my autobiography and just about this thought-- how difficult it is doing stand-up comedy because being alone onstage is the ego's last stand, and that's what you're taking on. No one is more vulnerable than a stand-up comedian standing alone. The one thing I'd like you to walk away with, as a student, is that it can be done. Whatever your level of talent is, it can be overcome, and overcoming a lack of talent often makes you unique, you're filling in. Instead of conventional singing, you're going to sing in a different way. Instead of conventional dancing, you're going to dance your own way. In fact, conventional is not so good, and that there will be room for you. The stage is always changing. It's always in flux. People come in, people go out, they're famous, or not famous, they move on, and you can be waiting in the wings there if you prepare yourself artistically, talent-wise, and be in the right place at the right time, which you can manipulate. I've really enjoyed doing this Masterclass with you. I hope you've gotten something out of it, whether it's something you can use, or something that will inspire you, and I hope that one day, if you have great success, you'll pass it along to someone else. Bye. OK, buddy here we go. [MUS...

A comedian walks into a classroom...

One of Steve’s first gigs was at the drive-in movies. When the audience liked a joke, they honked. In this comedy class, Steve shares insights from performing for cars and humans over a 50-year career spanning sold-out arenas and blockbuster films. Learn how to find your voice, gather material, develop an act, and take your comedy writing to the next level.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

What a talent. Loved this class and learnt so much. Thanks Steve.

I need to review this again but the information made me reach out to others for feedback, watch comedians and movies with a critical eye, and review my material with objectivity for where it worked and where it flopped. And flopped is good information. I felt virtually supported for the act of failing/flopping/being scared and that's a pretty tough process over a computer. Thanks!

I've taken about 5 other classes on this site and this was the most impressive. I felt like Steve shared the most relevant info and covered pretty much all of the bases for aspiring standup comedians.

This was my first MasterClass, and I chose it because I'm a huge Steve Martin fan. It was a glimpse into his approach to the craft, an intimate session that explained some of his genius yet maintained enough mystery to keep him special.



I took this class just because I love Steve Martin. I'm not a comedian, I'm a 4th grade teacher. What is interesting is that there are certainly times as a teacher when being able to get a laugh really helps everyone, so this was great for me. I had no idea how hard comedians work at their craft. I also loved his writing tips! I do write, and I teach writing to the 4th graders. Obviously they are not at the level of writing that Steve is at, neither am I by far. Still, so many of the things he said about writing I wrote down, and will incorporate into my lessons because they were solid, practical, writing tips that if learned at an early age will certainly serve them well throughout their lives. Thanks for the experience, this was time well spent. I loved it. Laura B.

A fellow student

As a C-suite executive for a healthcare society, I've observed other leaders using humor to connect with constituents and/or ease tension when there are conflicting opinions in the board room. I wanted to learn how to develop humor when it does not come naturally to me. Steve Martin's master class helped me to think creatively in developing humor and wit in the ordinary everyday things around me. Thank you, Steve!

William D.

Steve is not only a great comedian, but also a terrific teacher. He concluded by helping us feel good about ourselves, instilling confidence, and also cautioning patience.

A fellow student

Thank you Steve, I got the feeling that remembering is the most important thing in looking for humor, you've got to remind yourself to remember, to observe and hunt your humor. Thanks Steve, Prepare self, prepare script, improvise, rewrite, put yourself in the right place at the right time you can do it,,,,, you can schedule, this. Play Banjo.

Jim Sachs

I have been a fan of Steve Martin throughout his long career, but until now I had never really heard him speak honestly from the heart. Whenever he was being interviewed or hosting The Tonight Show, he was always "on" -- thinking of the next joke instead of really connecting. How refreshing to finally see the real human being beneath the funnyman façade.

Cecilia T.

Really help me how can I do an inspection about me, been more focuse in little details outside and inside me. In some way shows me another way to improve my self.

Kathy Cramer Realtor -.

I think you have to be brave to be funny. Steve Martin had several good points that I can use. I will keep an eye on my peeps for material. lol

Doug K.

Really enjoyed this class, especially the sample clips from past comedy shows to illustrate a point.


Steve Martin has been a favorite of mine since SNL. Maybe I'm a wannabe stand-up. I've always admired this genre and dreamed about what if? But like most fleeting ADD thoughts, poof! Gone. I went from sales into substance abuse counseling where I believe irony and humor have a place. This class has helped me to understand my beliefs, thoughts (fears) and behavior as well as how to move on - accepting.

Carolyn M.

So helpful to me, encouraging me to bring my unique perspective (including humor) to my life and work.