Understanding Comedy: The Rules - David Misch - Main Stage

iO West

Saturday, September 6, 2014
iO West 6366 Hollywood Blvd. Los AngelesCA  90028
Saturday, September 6, 2014
iO West 6366 Hollywood Blvd. Los AngelesCA  90028

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What's Included

David Misch (“Mork and Mindy”, “Saturday Night Live”, “The Muppets Take Manhattan”, “Funny: The Book / Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Comedy”) presents a one-day seminar aimed at show business professionals – actors, writers, directors, producers, grips, best boys, great girls, terrific transgenders; whether just starting out or with years in the business, specializing in comedy or drama… in fact, anyone who wants to learn how comedy works. Please note: This class comes with an ironclad guarantee that it will impart no usable skills. Okay, that could be an exaggeration, but “The Rules” is part of “Practical Foundations of Comedy”, a course with the same guarantee which David’s taught at USC, UCLA, Columbia University, Oxford University (where he is known as “Lord Misch”) and elsewhere. The class involves no direct instruction but rather presents a critical, and serious (though funny), exploration of comedy as an art form, the idea being that understanding it will help you do it better. Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Topics covered include the Rule of 3 (Why are things funnier in threes? Really, why? I mean, why?); the relationship between Comedy and Logic (hint: they’re bitter enemies); the calculations involved in timing; comedy cues, and why withholding them is sometimes the best way to get a laugh; why your body is hilarious; the evil of punchlines; comedy “placebos”; and how the mechanics of jokes – tension and resolution, pattern recognition, misdirection, and surprise – provide a template for all humor. As for practical applications, the presentation includes copious clips from TV and movies which show how these principles of comedy translate into actual laughter. So forget all that stuff about no usable skills.

About This Organizer

The LA branch of Chicago’s famed ImprovOlympic, iO West boasts dozens of L.A.’s best improv and sketch comedians as alums. Based on the work of director Del Close and co-founder Charna Halpern, iO pioneered the long-form improv style known as Harold, and created a story-based approach to improvisatory acting. iO West classes include seven levels of advanced improv training, as well as sketch and television writing programs, and students can also enroll in shorter workshops in subjects ranging from storytelling to commercial audition and beyond.  

L.A.'s premiere improv and sketch comedy venue, the iO WEST Theatre (formerly Improv Olympic), features the best improv and sketch comedy in Hollywood, with shows on two stages, seven nights a week! Celebrity guests perform with veteran improvisers every week. iO WEST's 99-seat, two-level Mainstage theatre includes a full bar, cocktail service, and state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems. The Andy Dick Black Box is “the lab in the back:” an experimental space that is open to all ages. Additionally, iO WEST offers improv classes, writing classes, and much more. Our alumni feature the best and brightest actors, writers, and directors in the entertainment industry, including: Emmy-winner, Tina Fey, as well as Amy Poehler, Vince Vaughn, Adam McKay, Mike Myers, Jack McBrayer, Seth Meyers, Chris Farley, Andy Dick, Andy Richter, as well as numerous writers and performers from Saturday Night Live, MADtv, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Late Night With Conan O'Brien, 30 Rock… not to mention the most promising talent of tomorrow.

Organizer Info

  • iO West

Map & Direction

iO West 6366 Hollywood Blvd. Los AngelesCA  90028
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