Get Funny!

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Description

About This Course

The ability to create humor is a skill many people don't have, yet wish they did. If you're interested in learning how to come up with jokes or witticisms on the fly, punch up dull material for an audience, or make a living as a comedy writer, this course will get you going.

Your instructor, an experienced comedy writer and working actress, will guide you through a wide range of comedic sources. You'll learn how to write a one-liner, use physical humor, target your audience, find the humor in everyday events and much, much more.

Once you've learned some of the methods of creating humor, you'll be ready to apply it to all aspects of your life. Punch up speeches and present…

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About This Course

The ability to create humor is a skill many people don't have, yet wish they did. If you're interested in learning how to come up with jokes or witticisms on the fly, punch up dull material for an audience, or make a living as a comedy writer, this course will get you going.

Your instructor, an experienced comedy writer and working actress, will guide you through a wide range of comedic sources. You'll learn how to write a one-liner, use physical humor, target your audience, find the humor in everyday events and much, much more.

Once you've learned some of the methods of creating humor, you'll be ready to apply it to all aspects of your life. Punch up speeches and presentations so that the audience is instantly on your side. Mix laughter with learning in the classroom, and watch your students' attention spans grow. Add some humor to your web page and watch the hits explode as word gets out. Use your newfound sense of humor to entertain your friends, meet interesting people, and even make new friends!

For the aspiring comedy writer, there are invaluable techniques for finding the methods that work consistently and without the worries of whims, moods or blocks. There is even a section on marketing your humor, giving you the inside information you'll need to find your niche.

Learning should be fun, and this course is no exception. Filled with opportunities to laugh as you learn, "Get Funny" promises an entertaining and informative six weeks.

About The Instructor

This course includes a knowledgeable and caring instructor who will guide you through your lessons, facilitate discussions, and answer your questions. The instructor for this course will be Joanna Sandsmark.

Joanna Sandsmark graduated with honors from The University of Wisconsin - Madison with a degree in Communication Arts: Radio/TV/Film. As a voice actress, she's appeared in numerous commercial, industrial and animated projects, including the popular animated television series, "Rugrats". As a writer, she has written for DC Comics, was a staff writer on TV's "Weird Science", and has written five books, including "The Wisdom of Yo Meow Ma', and 'A Girl's Best Friend: Why Dogs Are Better Than Diamonds". She has taught both writing and voice-over in various formats, in the classroom and out, and is a member of the Writer's Guild of America, Screen Actors Guild, and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

Syllabus

A new section of each course starts monthly. If enrolling in a series of two or more courses, please be sure to space the start date for each course at least two months apart.

Week 1

Wednesday - Lesson 01

We'll start the course with a capsule review of comedy's roots. From ancient Egyptian graffiti to slapstick Viking sagas, humor has been a part of our world since humans first walked erect and realized that their hands were now free to applaud Ogg, that funny guy in the 9th cave.

Friday - Lesson 02

"It's funny because it's true." Honing your powers of observation is the first step toward sharpening your wit. This lesson will help you understand some of the secrets of the great observational comics like Steven Wright, and Jerry Seinfeld. Bring a notebook, a pair of eyes, and a willingness to use them.

Week 2

Wednesday - Lesson 03

Now that you've observed reality, you need to learn to look at the world sideways and apply that knowledge. Clever wordplay can be a fast-track to a laugh. In today's lesson, you'll learn how to construct a joke, write a pun, twist a cliché, use the unexpected, and begin to dazzle with your humor.

Friday - Lesson 04

Today we'll look at absurdity and exaggeration—two time-tested and wonderful sources of comedy. Absurdity is about finding your inner strangeness. Exaggeration is a major source of comedy. Really. It's HUGE.

Week 3

Wednesday - Lesson 05

Low humor, mean humor, sexual innuendo, bathroom humor—let's face it, they're all really easy. But do you need these crutches? Heck yeah. This lesson also includes a discussion of mean humor and gallows humor. What do they all have in common? The ability to offend people. In today's lesson, you'll learn how to walk that line without stepping over it.

Friday - Lesson 06

Today's lesson: Pop Culture, or "If I See One More Brady Bunch Reference, I'm Going to Throw a Football At Your Nose." Pop culture is a humorist's best friend. From television and movies, to music and consumables, to politics and social trends, you'll find a wealth of material to aid you in your quest for amusement.

Week 4

Wednesday - Lesson 07

Good slapstick or sight gags are tougher than you'd think. It's important to learn how to communicate without words. Few things are as memorable or as funny as a perfectly executed piece of visual humor. In today's lesson, you'll learn by looking at examples from the comedians of the silent screen to Lucille Ball and beyond.

Friday - Lesson 08

Why think up original material when there's so much stuff out there you can just make fun of? Making fun of TV shows, movies, songs, social habits, or politicians can help you tap into brand new pockets of humor within you. Whatever your interests, there are opportunities for you to turn your wit toward the object of your admiration. This lesson will guide you in that quest.

Week 5

Wednesday - Lesson 09

Nothing hones your wit and pumps up those comic reflexes like improvisation. It's the perfect workout regime for the budding humorist. Today you'll learn the rules you need to follow to perform improvisational comedy—rules that can help you sharpen your wit and quicken your comebacks.

Friday - Lesson 10

There are countless ways to use humor every day. This lesson will guide you through using your newly honed sense of humor in business and social situations. You'll find out the remarkable benefits laughter has on our health.

Week 6

Wednesday - Lesson 11

You know how to be funny, now let's apply it. Today we'll explore comedy writing. Using the example of writing a script for television, you'll learn the blow-by-blow process of how to write and sell a script from someone who's worked in the industry.

Friday - Lesson 12

Now that you're a comic genius, you have an opportunity to cash in! In our final lesson, we'll explore some of the many markets open to you as a comedy writer: greeting cards, t-shirts, bumper stickers, comic books, comic strips and panels, gag writing, speech writing, advertising, print humor, and Web sites.


Requirements

Internet access, e-mail, and the Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox Web browser.

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