From Steve Martin's MasterClass

Getting Started in Comedy

No talent? No problem. Steve shares some ways that anyone can jumpstart their comedic journey. He didn't let a lack of talent slow him down and thinks you shouldn't either.

Topics include: What About Comedy Speaks to You? • Go Where the Action Is • Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You • Talk About Comedy • Think About Comedy…All. The. Time.

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No talent? No problem. Steve shares some ways that anyone can jumpstart their comedic journey. He didn't let a lack of talent slow him down and thinks you shouldn't either.

Topics include: What About Comedy Speaks to You? • Go Where the Action Is • Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You • Talk About Comedy • Think About Comedy…All. The. Time.

Steve Martin

Teaches Comedy

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You may think I don't have any talent. I guarantee you I had no talent. None. I couldn't sing, I couldn't dance, I couldn't act. I didn't know how to think of jokes or tell jokes or do anything. I just started doing it because I liked it. And I can remember, I accidentally got a job writing for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. I know that sounds crazy. But I was just a student doing my little comedy act, and I'd written some creative writing nonsense stories. And I submitted them through a friend, and I got hired. And I remember-- because they wanted young people. That was the mantra, you know. Never trust anyone over 30. So they wanted young writers, and I just got lucky. Lucky. And I remember the first day. You know, Mason Williams, the head writer, came over and he was looking at something. He said, OK, now here. Here's your punch line, and I'll just get you to circle it. And then, you draw this line over here, and you just put it at the end. [CHUCKLE] Oh, so that punch line goes at the end. All right. Got it. [CHUCKLE] So don't be intimidated starting with nothing. In fact, if you start with nothing, the work-around can lead you to originality. So the fact that I didn't dance didn't stop me, because I could fake dancing. I could fake dancing and make it funny. And I could fake singing and make it funny. If I had been a real singer or a real dancer, I'd be a real singer or a real dancer. Now, I realize a lot of you people are sitting out there, saying to yourselves, Steve, how can you be so fucking funny? [VIDEO PLAYBACK] [LAUGHTER] There's a gimmick. There's a gimmick to it. I'm being honest with you, there's a gimmick. [LAUGHTER] Before I come on stage, I put a slice of Bologna in each one of my shoes. [LAUGHTER] So when I'm on stage, I feel funny. You know what I mean? People come to me and they say, Steve, is there some way I could be funny, too? [END PLAYBACK] I was thinking, what are the qualities that qualify someone for show business? And I thought, one of them was, when I was starting out-- when you see someone on stage or you see a show, do you think, I wish I was up there? Or if you're a writer and you watch a movie, and you say, I could have written that. That's one thing. Another thing is, are you an introvert? Because many comedians I've talked to, with exceptions-- Martin Short, certainly-- start out as introverts, and this is a way to become something onstage and to get attention. And it just means that there's this well of subconscious that you're suppressing, because you're shy. But on stage, you get to bring that out. What is it? That's the big challenge. What is that mysterious well inside you that you can let out? A friend of mine wrote me, that I went to high school with. He said, I want to be a comedy writer. And I said, well....

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.

Reviews

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

I loved it! I was able to apply many of the things Steve Martin shared and I've seen an improvement in my shows as a professional comedian.

I was needing some inspiration while working on my standup set. I also was looking for some substance. I got both by listening to Steve Martin and by studying logical fallacies. I feel like I'm back on track with my work.

I've learned that I'm a pretty confused clock ticking french canadian ... Steve Martin, you're the best !!!

i will use this to try to have fun with my wife and kids. Thank you very much.

Comments

Jason S.

I had no idea there was a comment/discussion aspect. I paid the $$$, so I'm gonna leave at least one. Ka-I van Morblue mentioned below that think they aged out. Me, too. I'm in my mid 40s. A lot of this class so far seems like it's directed at younger people with more life ahead of them than I. We'll see if this changes as we get deep. Mr. Martin is pleasant to listen to, at least.

A fellow student

Outstanding intro. Funny as heck. I’m very inspired. I started listening to Steve in 1977 and have been a fan forever. My name is Mike Koenigs. I’ve been on stage for almost 20 years but have never done comedy. My #1 action item idea is I reached out to a super funny friend of mine, Sean Stephenson (look him up, he’s 3 feet tall) and we’re going to meet weekly to riff via Zoom and work on a routine. Thanks for that simple idea!

Gary J.

I have been doing stand up for seven years. I headline at a number of casinos, do military shows and some corporate work. Having been an airline pilot for over 20 years, this is an enormous change for me. I LOVE bringing laughter to a country that is full of hate and anger. My reasoning for taking this class is to be taught by a pro and to get insight to become better. Be So Good They Can't Forget You

Dominic F.

I wonder if the statement "think about comedy all the time" is less guidance for aspiring comedians than it is an inherent trademark of future or current comedians.

William K.

One thing I need is the money to move where the action is. I am starting out here but the scene here is nothing compared to the places he mentioned.

Jim G.

I enjoyed Steve's introduction and the way he was blunt nad open about what it takes to get started! Looking forward to the next lesson.

Clover

I was sort of expecting some funnier comments... christ. that being said, I do realize that this comment has done nothing to solve said lack of comedy.

Steven W.

I like this so far, main lesson seems to be 'steep yourself in the jokes.'

Andrew Stephen L.

Pale Snails Tails The debate was on between the dolphin and the whale.Should pale snails tails be allowed in the sales?The dolphin wanted to exchange two fish for the delicious sort after dish of pale snails tails, flailed and sundried on nails all the way from Exotic Wales.Unfortunately the whale had never seen a snail but the dolphin assured him that he had one day done a triple reverse flip and seen one on a sailing ship and so he really knew what he was talking about.The whale had recently been released from jail and was on his way to the English Dales; He thought 2fish was worth it for the perfect wish of the most sort after dish of his pale snail tails,flailed and sun dried on nails, deep fried with kale all the way from Exotic Wales. The whale was about to go,so the dolphin,who was also on his way to the English dales to deliver some dolphinian mail,gave a discount of one fish if the whale took his mail quick.The dolphin said that they were VINTAGE pale snail tails,sun dried on nails deep fried with kale all the way from Exotic Wales.Oh VINTAGE PALE SNAILS TAILS,you hadn't said,said the head of the very large whale.The whale agreed to the deal,switched the fish and took the dolphin mail and won the most sort after dish of snails tails sun dried on nails all the way from Exotic Wales .The whale decided to eat the snails tails when he arrived safely in the English Dales,then he swam off with the Dolphin mail. On the way he met a she-whale,they were chatting when she got trapped in a whirlpool; oh no the whale who had already fallen in love had to nudge,nudge and nudge her free,fortunately he was a big whale and saved her that day from the wave that might have swept her away.Phew she kissed him and the happy whales decided to get married on arrival in the English Dales.He was a happy happy whale. 🙂 Off they swam together and he impressed her by offering her some of his vintage pale snails tails, flailed and sun dried on nails, deep fried with kale all the way from Exotic Wales. Todays date was march 2010,they were about to tuck on in when the whale noticed the best before date was December 2008!! What!!! In a rage he realised they certainly were VINTAGE!,He'd been had!He almost came off the rails and went mad! On arrival in the English dales he met a lark,he decided he'd sell most sort after dish of the perfect wish of vintage snails tails,flailed and sun dried on nails, deep fried with kale all the way from Exotic Wales.He decided hey why not?do a quick sale before they started to rot.The lark was very hungry and agreed to buy them for two fish.The whale was about to swap the perfect wish of the most delicious dish of snails tails,flailed and sun dried on nails,deep fried with kale all the way from Exotic Wales,when he realised he might end up back in jail.The whale gave up the idea and gave them away,he swam away into the high tide, with his best princess she-whale to get married in the English dales and decided that on their honeymoon they would return to Exotic Wales to to find some fresh pale snails tails,flailed and sun dried on nails,deep fried with kale;yet really the whales knew not what Pale Snails were, or if delicious their tails!!!!!!!

Amanda T.

What a great introduction. Steve always has a way of making you laugh even with the simple props provided. Can't wait to continue this class :)