Manhattan Comedy School

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Funny How You Can Learn to be Funnier

Posted on by Emily Rosenberg

Climb into the trenches to create your comedy material with an industry pro as your drill sergeant. Join instructor Cory Kahaney for Stand-up Comedy-Writing Boot Camp, starting Tuesday, September 29th.

During this intensive six-week course, you’ll learn the basics of writing and performing stand-up comedy. Become skilled at the craft of joke-writing, structuring set-ups, and tailoring punchlines for maximum effect in your set. The class meets every Tuesday from 7:00 to 10:00 PM.

What’s special about this course? For starters, class size is small, so you get individualized attention. You’ll also get feedback on your recorded set from a major comedy booker and/or Chris Mazzilli, owner of Gotham Comedy Club and booker for AXS.

What’s more, students of this class are booking jobs on shows like NBC’s Last Comic Standing and AXS-TV’s Live at Gotham Comedy Club, as well as hosting shows at Gotham and other major clubs in New York City.

Register before Saturday, September 5th, and if you use a credit card, you’ll receive a rebate of $100. You must receive permission from either Andy Engel or Cory to participate this class.

Maybe you want to become proficient at improvisation. In that case, join industry pro Marc Adam Smith for his course Improv for Stand-ups–an experience that feels more like getting together with a group of friends to play games, even while you’re learning the fundamental skills of the craft.

Starting Saturday, September 12th, the six-week class meets every week from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. There will also be a graduation performance. Register now while there’s still room.

Either way, you’ll be funnier after just a month and a half!

 

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What Becomes a Legend Most: You

Posted on by Emily Rosenberg

None other than George Wallace stopped in to do the New Talent show last Wednesday, to the delight of both the audience and the lucky comedians who were also there to perform.

As fabulous as George’s drop-in visit was, it’s not unusual for a comedy icon to stop by to do a set. Gotham Comedy Club has been getting a lot of surprise visits from headliners at Manhattan Comedy School and New Talent shows–among them, Louie C.K., Amy Schumer, Jim Gaffigan, and Jerry Seinfeld. It’s a regular police line-up of faces anyone could identify as comedy legends.

If you want to be part of these incredible moments, but don’t want to quit your day job to do it, now’s your chance. Register today for seasoned comedian Karen Bergreen‘s class, Stand-up Comedy: Level 1, starting Wednesday, September 2nd. The class meets every week for six weeks from 7:00 to 10:00 PM, with a graduation performance that will showcase the skills you’ve mastered.

Or maybe you want to try improv. Industry pro Marc Adam Smith is teaching Improv for Stand-ups–an experience that feels more like getting together with a group of friends to play games, even while you’re learning the fundamental skills of the craft. Starting Saturday, September 12th, the class meets every week for six weeks from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. There will also be a graduation performance.  Register while there’s still room.

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Laughter is the Best Air Conditioning

Posted on by Emily Rosenberg

Polish up your “how hot is it?” jokes this summer with a class at Manhattan Comedy School.

Starting August 19th,  you can learn the basics of stand-up comedy with Karen Bergreen, an established pro who’s appeared on Comedy Central and at the Kennedy Center; she also performs regularly at all the major New York City clubs.  Karen will guide you in identifying your persona, developing and refining your set-ups, and testing new material in front of your fellow students in a professional setting. In addition, your graduation performance will take place in front of a live audience at Gotham Comedy Club.

The course meets every Wednesday for six weeks from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM in Manhattan. Register today while there’s still room.

Another great class will hone your improvisational skills so you can pretend the temperature is whatever you want it to be. With Marc Adam Smith at the helm, Improv for Stand-Ups doesn’t feel like learning at all–it’s just like playing games with a group of really fun friends. Special guests include Jimmy Failla, Ryan Reiss, and Chloe Hilliard.

The six-week course starts August 22nd, and meets every Saturday from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM in Manhattan. In addition, there will be a graduation performance on a date to be announced. Register today!

When the colder weather means you need new material about snow and frostbite, try the Stand-Up Comedy: Beginner Level 1 course at Levity Live in West Nyack, NY. Kerri Louise, a regular correspondent on The Oprah Winfrey Show who went to the finals on Last Comic Standing, teaches this information-packed, six-week course starting October 14th, with a graduation performance on a date to be announced.  Register immediately!

And stay cool by staying funny.

 

 

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Get Schooled in Comedy

Posted on by Emily Rosenberg

A Prayer in Spring
by Robert Frost

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
To take a class at Manhattan Comedy School

The Stand-Up Comedy: Level 1 class with Karen Bergreen begins Monday, May 4th, so register this second. This class meets in Manhattan, every Monday for six weeks from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., all on a Springtime’s delicate eve. In addition, you’ll participate in a graduation performance (date to be announced) on the professional stage at Gotham Comedy Club.

You also have the choice of joining the Stand-Up Comedy: Beginner Level 1 class at Levity Live in West Nyack, NY. Led by Kerri Louise, it starts Wednesday, May 6th, meets every week for six weeks, and also includes a graduation performance at an established comedy club.  Register as soon as humanly possible!

Both instructors are proven professionals with years of performing and writing under their belts. Under Karen or Kerri’s guidance, you’ll learn how to write a joke, create an original set, develop stage presence, and more. As a result, you’ll polish your performance and build your confidence–invaluable skills whether you’re an entertainer or you appear in public in a professional setting.

MCS classes offer you the unique opportunity to perform live for six consecutive weeks, all  while getting direct feedback from a working comic. You’ll hone your talents in a variety of ways, and be able to put your newfound skills to use in any number of areas of your life.

For more information, call 212-462-3200.

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Seinfeld Strikes Again

Posted on by Emily Rosenberg

Jerry Seinfeld has said that Gotham Comedy Club‘s stage is his favorite–and he really meant it. He stopped in yet again this past Wednesday night to perform at the New Talent show. Which, by the way, is produced by Manhattan Comedy School founder and owner Andy Engel.

Jerry seems to be making a habit of these surprise visits. Sometimes he even gives some warning!  But it’s still an event big enough to make the news.

Don’t you want to be there, too? Preferably on the very same stage (no, not at the same time, but come on now)? Sign up for a Manhattan Comedy School class (there’s still time to make it into the one that starts January 21st) and you can appear on the legendary stage where none other than Jerry Seinfeld might turn up at any moment.

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Inspiration to Take a Comedy Class

Posted on by Emily Rosenberg

What’s becomes a legend most? No, not a fine fur–Gotham Comedy Club.

None other than Jerry Seinfeld dropped in on the first night of the New Talent show on Wednesday this week. He made the audience roar, as usual.

Then he said something deadly serious: “Gotham is my favorite club.”

Sign up to take the free improv sample class on Saturday, January 17th from 1:00  to 3:00 pm so you can start working your way toward appearing in the very same club that Jerry Seinfeld prefers over all others. Email [email protected] with your name, phone, and email address to learn all the information about the class, which is taught by Marc Adam Smith.

And to really flex your comedy muscles so you can confidently stand on the stage where Jerry Seinfeld feels funniest, register now for a Stand-up Level 1 class at Manhattan Comedy School. The next one, taught by industry pro Karen Bergreen, begins January 21st.

Keep your New Year’s resolutions, keep your day job, and try stand-up comedy.

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MCC Featured in Ask A New Yorker

Posted on by Emily Rosenberg

Because nowhere else but at Manhattan Comedy School can you learn to be a top-flight stand-up comedian, askanewyorker.com consulted Founder/Owner Andy Engel to find out more about the classes, teachers, and benefits of taking a course at MCS.

Interviewer noted that Andy has been “responsible for a good deal of the comedy talent coming out of New York City in one way or another” for the last 20 years. He’s also been running operations while more than 400 people each year attend the classes where seasoned industry professionals introduce students to the basics of joke-writing, crafting a set, and developing a polished stage presence.

Andy doesn’t just explain the long list of advantages to taking a six-week course at MCS–he proves its value by naming some of the many successful graduates who have gone on to careers on the comedy circuit. They include Carmen Lynch, who’s been featured on David Letterman’s show; Chloe Hilliard, seen on Last Comic Standing; Emma Willmann, who’s appeared on Live at Gotham on AXS TV; Jimmy Failla, host of the radio show Off the Meter; Ryan Riess one of Seth Myers’ monologue writers; and Colin Kane, a national headliner.

Check out the story and read all about it. Then register for a course and start launching your new career as a comic. Lucky for you, the next one starts on January 14th, 2015.

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Andy’s Tuesday Tips: Thanks!

Posted on by andy

I sincerely want to thank everyone for being part of the community, and making it a great year! It’s been a pleasure seeing young comics get on stage for the first time and really start to grow.

I’m also very grateful for all the positive feedback you’ve given me about Tuesday Tips. It means a lot to me. I couldn’t have done any of this without you.

I want to wish everyone Happy Holidays and a great 2015!

Please note that Tuesday Tips will become Friday Tips starting January 30th, 2015.

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The Best List of the Lists of the Best

Posted on by Emily Rosenberg

As another year draws to a freezing close, it’s traditional to look back over the previous 12 months and compile a list of items rated best or most memorable in a given category. It sure beats organizing your tax receipts.

In a slight variation from that cherished annual rite, which also required far less effort, here’s a list of some of the lists that other, more industrious people came up with. They catalog the funniest comedians, comedy movies, TV comedies, and comedy specials that amused America in 2014.

Following that list is an original MCS Blog® count of the past year’s most humor-worthy news events that comedians could have looked to for new jokes. During this holiday season, let us give thanks that we live in a country where there’s always a bounty of material from which a resourceful comic can draw. And you don’t even have to fact-check like Rolling Stone should have.

1.  Paste Magazine’s Top Comedians of 2014

2. Vulture’s Best Stand-Up Comedy Specials of 2014

3.  Movie Moron’s Biggest and Best Comedy Movies of 2014

4.  TV.com’s Best TV Comedies of 2014 

5. Top Current Events That Any Manhattan Comedy School Graduate Could Have Spun into Comedy Gold in 2014

● Vast numbers of people angrily declare they will no longer purchase Styrofoam balls and fabric paint from Hobby Lobby, after the Supreme Court rules in support of the craft chain store’s religious objection to providing insurance coverage for contraceptives. Employees ultimately prevail by crafting home-made IUDs using hot-glue guns and items from aisles 3, 7, and 12.

● Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 mysteriously disappears over the South China Sea. CNN dedicates hours of coverage to reporting the dearth of new information on its whereabouts. Meanwhile, no one notices that remnants of Amelia Earhart’s plane have been discovered, possibly because there are no Tweets from the pilot to offer audiences in lieu of verified facts.

● A nurse who has returned to the U.S. after treating ebola patients in Sierra Leone refuses to be quarantined as a public health measure. She picks a fight with Governor Chris Christie, now the most popular past-time in New Jersey to replace whatever people who shopped at Hobby Lobby did before.

● General Motors recalls nearly 800,000 vehicles for having faulty ignition switches, prompting celebration among comics who can now adapt those 40-year-old Ford Pinto jokes.

● Colorado legalizes the purchase of marijuana for recreational purposes. The challenge here is to develop jokes that do not involve references to Rocky Mountain High or renaming the city of Boulder “Stoned.”

● Voters in Scotland elect not to become independent from the United Kingdom, presenting a perfect opportunity to reconfigure material involving kilts, haggis, and Sean Connery impressions. Seasoned comics, however, will steer clear of the hackneyed “I cannae change the laws of geopolitics, Cap’n Kirk!”

● The fact that both Charles Keating and Charles Keating, Jr., who are neither related nor particularly well-known anymore, died within months of each other. Anxious obituary writers across the nation form a support group with whoever accidentally posted the Kirk Douglas obituary in People.

● The wedding of Kim and Kanye, a.k.a. “fish in a barrel.”

 

 

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Andy’s Tuesday Tips: Meet Comedy Festival Producer Journey Gunderson (Part 2)

Posted on by andy

Journey Gunderson is the Producer of the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival and Executive Director of the National Comedy Center and the Lucy-Desi Center for Comedy.

Andy Engel: Can you name any comics that have performed at the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival? Did any comedians get their first break at the festival?

Journey Gunderson: The great thing about this festival is that you can get a chance to see legends like Joan Rivers or Jerry Seinfeld, then head to a show with Machi and Carmen Lynch, and the next day go to an afternoon program where Lucille Ball’s 25-year personal secretary recounts Ball’s path from B-movie star, to I Love Lucy mega-star, to industry mogul as the first female head of the largest Hollywood studio of its era, Desilu (now Paramount).  Every year is once-in-a-lifetime in Jamestown.

AE: Can you give me a detailed update on the National Comedy Center?

Journey: We’re well underway developing the National Comedy Center in Jamestown.  The NCC is an experiential attraction based on the celebration of comedy: the craft and its contributors.

A 501(c)(3) non-profit, it honors the craft and the artists’ respective contributions to the art form with its exhibit experience, celebrates the best of contemporary comedy with its live programming, and cultivates the comedic arts with professional development and support for artists.

About a $33 million project, opening as soon as July 2016, the visitor experience is being designed by world-renowned creative firms: Jack Rouse Associates, “one of the world’s more prominent design firms” (Wall Street Journal), and interactive specialist Local Projects, which just completed work on the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

I guess you could say it is at once what the Kennedy Center is to the performing arts, what Cooperstown is to baseball, and what the Met is to Monet. We lost Harold Ramis, Robin Williams, Joan Rivers, Jonathan Winters, and so many more in just the last two years. This is the place you can go, or take your kids someday, to celebrate their work, because how they enriched American culture is important. It matters.

It will also be a truly fun and funny experience centered around the craft.  I can’t think of a better place to visit, and by coming to the Lucille Ball Comedy Fest, you actually support the National Comedy Center’s development.

For more information, visit the site for the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival and read the Comedy Festival Blog.

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