Chapter 2 of 25 from Steve Martin

Getting Started in Comedy

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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.

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

Steve Martin Teaches Comedy

In 25 video lessons, Steve Martin teaches you everything from finding your comedic voice to nailing your act.

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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 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 to the next level.

Watch, listen, and learn as Steve Martin shares wisdom from his five decades in comedy.

A downloadable workbook accompanies the class with lesson recaps and supplemental materials.

Upload videos to get feedback from the class. Steve will also critique select student work.

Reviews

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

Ask me in a few weeks. I feel like I'm still processing . lol. Overall, I'm really enjoying Masterclass. It goes way beyond the usual talk show appearances where these instructors are simply trying to entertain an audience. It gets down to the nitty gritty, the real stuff, the stuff that will make a difference to fellow creatives. Thank you.

Steve is an amazing person and he expressed himself so well as a teacher. I felt that I was being mentored by him in a very personal way. This was a wonderful class.

I am beyond ecstatic right now!!! I have loved my Father of the Bride (Part I and II) forever! My Mama's love for great act

Mr. Martin is the BEST! So funny, great stories, and probably the best smile ever. I've been trying out material on family and friends. If nothing else, their reactions are making me laugh.

Comments

ALICIA S.

Professionally, I’m over the hill to be funny, according to that under 30 rule. Pffft. Well, I like watching comedies. I’m personality-wise best suited for drama, horror... And a makeover :)

A fellow student

I wonder if "Don't trust anyone under 30" is still a mantra in Hollywood... is it ever too late to get into comedy?

Mary Beth P.

Steve Martin, let's meet for lunch. Let's talk. My friends talk about my sense of humor, but it's like my subconscious leaking. It's also quite genetic. I want to take it from subconscious to conscious intent.

Diana F.

i am doing this class because I love Steve Martin and really want some life tips and new ways of looking at things - way too old to be young in comedy! And i love it already - great advice about anything you wish to focus on - be there, think it, live it. And just by doing this i realise i miss the couple of friends i did write skits with in the past- who knows by looking around i might find a friend who wants to do that again.

Santiago M.

Finally you can relax... 25 years later hahaha... Anyone form NYC inspired to collaborate?

Jennifer F.

This was a great into into being "funny" I have always thought of myself as a comedian when in fact my friends tell me otherwise... "I'll show them!" **wink!

Jay G.

The link in the workbook for the Connections category in The Hub doesn't go anywhere. Has anybody connected with classmates to do the assignment from this exercise?

Michael M.

He’s just fun to watch. I came in here wanting to hear from writers, but he’s a writer first and foremost. Plus I get to laugh! Other writers can be so serious.

Mihaela C.

Great start to the Master Class. This is my first Master Class and I wanted to start with something light and refreshing and he is great choice.

Matt I.

So far The material is reaffirming... making me feel more comfortable about ideals that I've been struggling with

Transcript

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....