Course code:



IM - Introductory/Intermediate

Meets the following requirements:

  • AD - Arts & Design

Lab fee:


This course explores the nature and history of modern comedy and investigates the tools and techniques of great comic performers.

We’ll cover the evolution of comedy aesthetics from vaudeville and silent film to contemporary stand up and television and we’ll explore what, if any, sort of ‘funny’ is timeless.

The course uses film, video, live performance, and readings. Students gain practical experience through work on classic routines, physical comedy skills and sketch development as well as experimenting with the peculiar mathematics of comic timing. Together, we will try to pinpoint what actually makes something funny and, as importantly, why people crave laughter so much in the first place. There will be at least one field trip.

Evaluation is based on participation in activities and discussion as well as a portfolio of short topic responses and a final presentation/paper.




Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.