Comedy Intensive LA


Availability: In-person
Duration: 2 Days
February 24 – February 25, 2018
9:30 AM – 5:00 PM (Day 2 starts at 10:00 AM)

Location: Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel 
 2500 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505
Fee: $397
Member Fee: $337.45

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Whether you’re writing a comedy screenplay, working on a sitcom script, or producing or directing a comedy film or television series, Steve Kaplan’s Comedy Intensive is a must for any serious professional. Find out why the top writers, producers and directors from companies such as ABC, Disney, BBC, Dreamworks, Aardman Animation, NBC, Touchstone Television and others regularly attend his famed class.

The Comedy Intensive is a two-day course that explores the hidden tools and principles of comedy: what it is, how it works, why it works, what’s happening when it’s not working and what you can do to fix it, and offers proven and practical methods and techniques. On Day 1, we explore the Hidden Tools–useable, practical tools that you can apply immediately to your work. Day 2 focuses on character, structure, comic premise and specific ways of applying the tools to text.

The workshop covers includes interactive exercises, solo and group writing activities, as well as a liberal use of clips from current and classic comedies to illustrate our points and principles.



I. Premise   


  •  Introduction and Overview
  •  Dying is Easy, Comedy is Hard
  •  Comedy Perception Test – Are you seeing 20/20?
  • Funny vs. Comic – The difference
  • The Comedy Equation  

II. Set-up


  •  Winning 
  • Non-Hero 
  • Metaphorical Relationships
  •  Positive (and Negative) Actions
  •  Active Emotion
  • Straight Line/Wavy Line
  •  Four Elements of Jokes
  • The Tools Applied
  •  Learn how to use these essential tools in your work

III. Development


  •  Entire History of Comedy…in 15 minutes.
  •  Comedy Archetypes
  •  Comic Premise—The Lie That Tells the Truth
  •  Developing the Comic Premise
  •  The Comedy Paradigm

IV. Payoff


  •  The Comic Hero’s Journey
  •  Art of Romantic Comedy
  •  Sitcoms & Pilots
  •  Final Q&A



This course is ideal for Screenwriters, TV Writers, Directors, Producers, Actors and Creative Executives. It covers story ideas, formats and approaches to different styles of comedy. Reveal and understand comedy from the inside out.



Steve Kaplan has been the industry’s most sought-after expert on comedy. In addition to having taught at UCLA, NYU, Yale and other top universities, Steve Kaplan created the HBO Workspace, the HBO New Writers Program and was co-founder and Artistic Director of Manhattan Punch Line Theatre. He regularly serves as a consultant and script doctor to such companies as DreamworksDisneyHBOParamountTouchstone and others.

In New York, Steve was co-founder and Artistic Director of Manhattan Punch Line Theatre, where he developed writers such as Peter Tolan (Analyze This, Finding Amanda), writer and producer David Crane(Friends, Joey, The Class), writer/producer Tracy Poust (Ugly Betty, Will & Grace), Michael Patrick King (The Comeback, Sex and The City, Will & Grace),David Ives (Venus in Fur), Will Scheffer (Big Love), Howard Korder (LAKEVIEW TERRACE starring Samuel Jackson and Ashton Kutcher), Lisa LoomerTom DonaghySandra Tsing Loh (CHICKEN LITTLE), Kenneth Lonergan and Mark O’Donnell (HAIRSPRAY starring John Travolta) and introduced such performers as Lewis Black, Mercedes Ruehl, Oliver Platt, Helen Slater, Fisher Stevens, Veanne Cox, Sam McMurray, Vickie Lewis and Illeana Douglas.

In Los Angeles, he created the HBO New Writers Project, discovering HBO Pictures screenwriter Will Scheffer and performer/writer Sandra Tsing Loh; and the HBO Workspace, a developmental workshop in Hollywood that introduced and presented performers such as Jack Black and Tenacious D, Kathy Griffin, Bob Odenkirk and David Cross (Mr. Show), Josh Malina and Paul F. Tompkins. At the Workspace, he was Executive Producer for the award-winning HBO Original Programming documentary DROP DEAD GORGEOUS. Steve has directed in regional theaters and Off-Broadway (including Sandra Tsing Loh’s ALIENS IN AMERICA at Second Stage) and has developed, produced and directed other one-woman shows with actress Lauren Tom and comediennes Nora Dunn and Kathy Buckley.

Steve has been teaching his Comedy Intensive workshops to thousands of students for more than 10 years. He is currently presenting his two-day Comedy Intensive workshops around the world, with workshops scheduled in Los Angeles, New York, London and Singapore.



If you cancel 10 days or less from the event date your full fee will be forfeited, but you may apply it to future seminars within one year of your first scheduled seminar. If you cancel more than 10 days prior to the event date then a $75 fee will be retained to cover administrative costs.  

Please Also Note:

No taping or recording of the seminar is allowed.

A list of local restaurants will be made available at the event.

Lap tops permitted only if they do not disturb other students.

Please arrive one hour before the seminar to sign-in and get your materials.

Additional information



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