Steve Martin Teaches Comedy Masterclass was an online comedy training class I was worried about taking. Why? Because I love Steve Martin’s comedy chops.
So when I came across Masterclass’s Steve Martin Teaches Comedy, I knew that if I took this comedy masterclass, it was either going to make my standup better, or it will humble me to know I may never be as good of a comedian as Steve Martin.
I have always wanted to amateur night at the local comedy club.
People around me always mentioned how funny I am, but I never knew how to put my everyday humor on paper that was worthy of a great standup routine.
But, I learn better visually from how-to videos compared to reading how-to comedy manuals.
So when I looked at taking Steve Martin’s Comedy Masterclass, I wondered if this comedy training class will help me learn visually to become a better comedian.
If you are like me who has always thought about performing standup on stage at a comedy club and making people laugh, then hopefully this review of Steve Martin Teaches Comedy Masterclass will encourage you on your quest to be funny.
My Steve Martin Teaches Comedy MasterClass Review
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Steve Martin Masterclass Intro
Steve Martin was born in 1945 and raised in Inglewood, California. An imaginative youth, Steve nurtured a love for performing at an early age and became a talented musician and magician in college before turning his focus to comedy.
He began writing for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour while in college, and in 1969 won an Emmy Award for his work on the show.
Steve cultivated a small but dedicated fanbase in the 1970s for his stand-up routines, but it wasn’t until his 1976 appearance hosting Saturday Night Live that he became a renowned comedian.
Following his breakthrough, Steve transitioned from stand-up to acting and cemented a reputation as a blockbuster movie star with films like The Jerk (1979) and All of Me (1984). To date, he has acted in over 45 films and written 11.
If Steve started with nothing, so can you! Developing the con- fidence to free your mind will take time, but the process will teach you about yourself and comedy.
There are many qualities that make people cut out for show business. One is that they see something on stage or screen and immediately think, “I could do that,” or, “I could have written that.”
Steve says that often-times (but not always) comedians are introverted and will learn to expose their innermost thoughts and feelings for the audience’s enjoyment, one small step at a time.
What To Expect With Steven Martin's Comedy Class
If you are thinking about what can Steven Martin do to help improve your comedic timing, right from the start of the first-class introduction of “Hi, I’m Steve Martin and welcome to your nonrefundable Masterclass in clawhammer banjo“, you know Mr. Steve Martin is there for you.
With a warm welcome, Steve Martin settles down to let students know the comedy instruction course will be a blend of practical knowledge and motivation.
You can tell right off the start of the course that Steve Martin will be there every step of the way to make your learning experience the best it can be.
When it comes to the keys of comedy, Steve Martin begins the introduction with a breakdown of the fundamentals of comedy.
Topics like, How to perform comedy, how to write your material, how to edit your material to make it the best it can be to perform in front of an audience.
After the introduction, he sets out what type of person will get the most out of his comedy teaching masterclass. Something to keep in mind when taking this masterclass is that you don’t need a special gift or talent to perform comedy.
What you need is the drive to believe that when watching a stand-up comedy routine that you wished you were on stage instead of the comedian.
But what if you are shy and introverted, and terrified to step on stage and perform? I want to put your mind at ease if you have these feelings inside and that is, most of the popular comedians we see today all started as introverts.
Being introverted actually helps comedians because once they step on stage, everything they have been holding inside is brought out into the open for others to hear. Merely think of it as seeing a psychologist without being billed after your session.
Since I have completed the whole Steve Martin Masterclass course, what I have learned from Steve Martin is that he is a very humble person.
At the beginning of the course, he really undersells the course, but there is so much that can be learned from this comedy class.
How You Should Take This Comedy Masterclass
Let me start off by saying that if you really want to learn a lot about performing and writing comedy, the Steve Martin MasterClass will not disappoint.
The comedy masterclass course is broken into 6 weeks. While at the beginning of the course you may be pumped to take everything in and binge every class in a week, but don’t.
I was so excited about this masterclass at the start that I just kept watching and not digesting what was being taught in the course.
This Comedy MasterClass is a very structured course that demands your time and attention.
The structure is set up for those looking on starting or building a comedy routine, to have it tweaked, tested, and perfected so you can hit the stage with confidence.
I have gone through this comedy class more than a couple of times now and with each time I have followed in the correct order, I still get a lot of value out of it.
I just want to remind you that I never did standup before taking this class. I did a few comedy short films here and there, but never stood on stage and told jokes before this class.
If you have been on stage and performed, this course still can provide some helpful tips that can make your set even better.
But, if you are a beginner looking for help, then follow the course as it’s laid out, to get the most out of it.
Steve Martin Teaching Comedy Course Breakdown
Getting Started in Comedy – 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.
Gathering Material – Inspiration is all around you if you know where to look. Steve teaches you how to keep your eyes open and reveals some of the most abundant sources of comedic material.
Finding Your Comedic Voice – Figuring out what you have to say can be one of the most daunting tasks a comedian faces. Steve provides some effective techniques for identifying your own unique voice and channeling it into comedy.
Developing a Comedic Persona – It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it. Steve explains how his own stage persona emerged and teaches you how to cultivate one that will take your material to the next level.
Jokes and Bits – There are a million ways to get someone to laugh. Steve refutes the myth that you need a punchline to be funny and analyzes a number of joke structures that you can use to keep them in stitches.
Delivery – The difference is in the delivery. Steve offers techniques for pacing, physicality, and timing to help you hone those jokes you’ve written for the stage.
Crafting Your Act – So you’ve got some jokes – now what? Steve reveals how you can turn your material into a stage-worthy act.
Opening and Closing Your Act – A strong opening and closing are the keys to a memorable act. Steve talks about the importance of these moments and shows you how to use them to your advantage.
Profanity and Morality – Steve discusses the questions that face every comedian when it comes to vulgarity and political correctness.
Growing as a Performer – Excellence in comedy requires practice just like everything else. Steve examines how to learn from your mistakes, refine your material, and ensure that you are ready to take the next step.
Nerves, Hecklers, and Bombing – Even Steve Martin has a bad show every now and then. But with his help, you can learn how to avoid common pitfalls, manage your stage fright, and make the most out of bombing.
A Life In the Arts – Failure, rivalry, bad reviews: being a comedian is hard. Steve teaches you how to roll with the punches and advocates for a life of being in the arts.
Creating Characters – Steve shares the processes he’s used to creating some of his most memorable characters and bring them to life on screen, based on his experience acting in over 50 films from Father of the Bride to Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
Story Techniques – Steve doesn’t let writer’s block trip him up, and neither should you. He reveals the storytelling exercises he’s employed to write classics like The Jerk and Bowfinger.
Screenwriting Case Study: Roxanne – Steve discusses his experience writing Roxanne, the inspirations behind some of its funniest scenes, and how he adapted a 19th-century play into what became one of his most beloved films.
Editing – Steve believes that editing is one of a comedian’s most powerful tools. In these lessons, he breaks down his own editing processes and illustrates how they can turn something good into something great.
Writing Case Study: Meteor Shower – Steve uses his play, Meteor Shower, as a teaching tool to explain efficient writing, smart exposition, and practical character development.
Steve’s Comedic Inspirations – Steve became the best by observing the best. Learn about the comedy legends that inspired him to pursue his passion and the impact they had on his craft.
Steve’s Journey – Learn how Steve’s love of performing took him from a childhood magic act to selling out arenas. And how he has now, finally, learned to relax.
Final Thoughts – Steve concludes his class by offering some parting advice and words of inspiration.
This is just a rough overview of the Steve Martin Masterclass. With each video and structured homework, the more you dive deeper into each class, the more convinced you will be in putting together a hilarious standup comedy routine.
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What Stood Out The Most In The Comedy Masterclass
When it comes to all the instructional courses available on Masterclass, you get would you put into each class. This is important to Steve Martin’s Masterclass, as with each class the more you put into it, the better your routine will become.
When it comes to the comedy masterclass, there are a few things that stood out for me that made a huge difference in the learning process throughout this course.
Building Your Persona For The Stage
When you look at great comedians, all of the comedy comes directly from his/her persona and building it out from there. There is an exercise at the beginning of this course about creating your own comedy manifesto.
What a comedy manifesto means to a comedian is it defines who you are, what you talk about, how you talk, and exactly what kind of reaction you want from the audience.
Having the right manifesto helps build for your entire act.
Steve Martin’s comedy manifesto “I’m going to try to be really funny without telling jokes. You’re creating an artistic image of yourself on stage determined by the things you put in, things you leave out, its level of intellect (high or low), the use of language, everything is determining who you are as an artistic being on the stage.”
Steve Martin Teaches Jokes & Bits
After understanding the comedy manifesto, the second week is where the Steve Martin MasterClass really begins. The jokes and bits are the heart and soul of joke-writing.
This is where you will dig hard into the material, and much of the homework you will do in the course, but it’s worth the price of admission.
This is where Steve Martin analyses his jokes and jokes of other comedians.
This class examines the misuse of language, how to reverse meaning with facial response alone, and go deep into the varieties of jokes – there are so many different kinds of jokes just like musical notes or ingredients in a recipe.
Plus, you get to study logical fallacies and how to draw false conclusions for comedic purposes. The course goes into irony and how to present social truths in a soft and comedic manner.
Plus there’s an excellent discussion on the nature of punchlines, which extends to a long meditation about whether a comedian can do an act completely without punchlines and what the effect of that would be.
Steve talks about creating and diffusing the tension in many different ways.
The class goes deep into nonsensical bits and 13 different comedic structures from double entendres, incongruity, and observation recognition to compare and contrast and benign retaliation.
Delivery, pacing, timing – it’s all here.
We learn how to physicalize our comedy in many different ways and how to craft the “illusion of the first time”.
I could ramble on forever about all the amazing things an aspiring comedian can learn from this Comedy Masterclass, but you have to see for yourself if this is the right class for you. It was for me.
Is it worth it?
After taking Steve Martin Teaches Comedy Masterclass, it helped me build a routine that I was proud of that gave me the confidence to perform it on stage.
Like I mentioned earlier that I like acting in comedy short films, but I never had the guts to get on stage and make people laugh.
There is so much useful advice on how to create jokes from Steve Martin, but what I loved the most about this course is that it’s taught by a compassionate mentor who understands what it feels like to start off in the world of comedy.
When I signed up for the annual Masterclass membership, I was looking at filmmaking masterclasses from greats like Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, and David Lynch to make me a better filmmaker, but with Steve Martin’s masterclass, it made me a better comedian.
Here is a video of my first amateur night routine I did after taking Steve Martin’s Masterclass a few times.
While it might seem that my routine was a little clunky and some jokes might have not landed as I hoped for, but if it wasn’t for this Masterclass, I would never have walked on stage and made people laugh.
You can check out the Steve Martin Teaches Comedy MasterClass here.