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Entries in Comedy (2)


Busting a Gut: Humor in Writing and Performance

John Hodgman - who is consistently funny, in person and on the page - once remarked that he has a contempt for and aversion to the punchline. I agree with him. Real comedy - be it delivered in performance (standup, sketch, improv) or in writing (essay, comic memoir, graphic novel) - is more dependent upon freshness of perspective, deep observation, and strength of voice than it is upon hard and fast "rules" of form.

In this class, you can explore the two sides of the same coin - creating and delivering comedic material that is to be spoken, and that is to be read. 

For the past 20+ years, I've been devoting my creative life to the prospect that comedic writing and performance is and should be as substantive and meaningful as drama or essay-writing, or any of the more "prestige-y" forms of expression. Except opera. Opera can suck it.

Likely I am wrong in this belief. But I can say from exprience that people are way more inclined to listen to you or read you if you offer them a laugh along the way. Seriously - you can trick them into rooting for the cannibal, you can seduce them into cheering for the overdog, you can lull them into hearing whatever you have to say, however objectionable it might be.

I'm offering this class at Compass Creative Dramatics - 4001 N Ravenswood, Suite 110.

Wednesdays, 7-9pm

Jan 25 - Mar 1

$325 - payment plan available if you need.

Enrollment limited to 12.

Email interest/questions to



Serious is the Rubber Chicken - The Craft of the Humorous Essay

What: If you read McSweeney's and go "Pssssh. I could do that," then this is the class for you. We'll dissect outstanding examples of the humorous essay and you'll create your own. 

Please note: this is NOT a joke-writing class (though we will be writing jokes); this is not a sketch-writing class; this is not a stand-up class. 

If you've ever gone "Those twee little hacks at the New Yorker are getting on my last nerve," or "Good god, Onion, you've done it again," then come learn how to hone and refine your own stuff, whether personal essay, cultural criticism, or just good old ranting, this is the workshop where you can find and sharpen your comedic voice and learn how to colonize the minds of others with the funny of your words.

When: Monday nights, 7-9pm for 6 weeks

Oct 3 - Nov 7

Where: Bespeak Studio 737 W Wrightwood (E of Halsted)


How much: $395