Steve Martin Teaches Comedy in Master Class

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Aspiring comics hoping to develop their wisecracking skills can tune into the wild and crazy guy, Steve Martin for an online Master Class on comedy.

The legendary comedian, actor, and writer teaches via a 25-video program. It includes a downloadable workbook and “office hours” enabling students to upload videos of their performance that might be selected for critique. “Steve Martin teaches you everything from finding your comedic voice to nailing your act,” the website says. He breaks down his unique process in creating his offbeat, absurdist comedy routines, and delves into how to perform, write, and edit comedy.

Martin started as a comedic writer and soon became a stand-up comic sensation on TV shows including The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and Saturday Night Live. Indeed, audience viewership on SNL would spike whenever he appeared on the show and this popularity lead to the release of Grammy-winning comedy albums Let’s Get Small and A Wild and Crazy Guy featuring tracks such as “Excuse Me” and his song “King Tut.” Although Martin packed houses on his national tours, he now insists, “I never actually thought I was funny. You may think I don’t have any talent. I guarantee you: I had no talent. None.”

Martin continues, “Everything you see, hear, experience is usable. Whatever makes you unique as a performer, do it. And know that there’s room for you.” Indeed, Martin incorporated innumerable aspects of his life into his stand-up routines. Whether it be his love of banjo playing or early experiences of doing stand-up at drive-in movies where audiences honked if they liked a joke, Martin threw it all into the mix. Other ways Steve incorporated his life experiences into his routines include his early work at Disneyland where he performed tricks, juggled, and created balloon animals for the customers. These skills would end up in his performances over the years, starting with his first TV appearance on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

Although he first aspired to be a theater performer, as fate would have it, he ended up majoring in Philosophy in college. Inspired by his studies, Steve contemplated becoming a professor instead of an actor-comedian for some time. As he once described it, “In philosophy, I started studying logic, and they were talking about cause and effect, and you start to realize, ‘Hey, there is no cause and effect! There is no logic! There is no anything!’ Then it gets real easy to write this stuff because all you have to do is twist everything hard–you twist the punch line, you twist the non-sequitur so hard away from the things that set it up.” He eventually transferred to UCLA and switched his major to theater.

Steve’s rockstar-like comedic popularity took him by surprise and he describes it as “just an accident” on his way to pursue acting. He later would go on to star in movie classics like The Jerk, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Roxanne, and Parenthood.

Pre-enrollment for Steve’s online class is open now for a $90 fee.

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