Stand Up Comedy Classes

Click here to see the schedule of upcoming 3-week and 5-day stand up comedy classes.

These standup comedy classes are conducted by award-winning, comedy director and writer Stephen Rosenfield. They are conducted so that when it’s time for your club appearance you will have solidly written, funny material and you will be well rehearsed and ready to perform at your peak and beyond. These standup comedy classes are offered to both beginners and advanced students.

• Turn your funny ideas and stories into standup comedy material
• Learn the structures of comedy writing
• Develop your own comedy persona
• Advance your abilities as a performer
• Showcase your talent at Gotham Comedy Club and Broadway Comedy Club

The standup comedy classes are conducted by Stephen Rosenfield every month of the year. Stephen will help you write your comedy material in private writing sessions. In the group standup comedy classes he will guide your performance. His ability to bring out each performer’s own, individual comic voice is a reason that his students are performing in every club in N.Y. and L.A., across the country and around the world.

The standup comedy classes meet a total of eight times: five group standup comedy classes, two private coaching sessions with Stephen Rosenfield, and your performance at Gotham Comedy Club, New York’s premiere club. In the eighth comedy class there is a screening during which you and your fellow performers will see your show on video. Following the screening of your show, Steve shares his expertise on how to pursue a professional career in comedy – how to start performing in the comedy circuit, how to get booked in comedy clubs, and how to get agents and managers.

You don’t need to have written or performed before. All you need is a pencil and your sense of humor.

Veteran performers use the standup comedy classes and private coaching sessions on an on-going basis as a means to create new comedy material and to strengthen their skills as performers. The price of the standup comedy classes for returning students is at a reduced fee.

Five-Day Intensive
For students who live outside the metropolitan New York area, The Standup Comedy Workshop is offered as a five-day intensive workshop each month. Classes and private coaching sessions with Stephen Rosenfield and Lexi Cullen-Baker, and your club appearance are all scheduled within five days. Contact us and we’ll help you set it up.

A Bridge To The World of Professional Comedy

Stephen Rosenfield says that making a career of comedy comes down to two things: “Get good and get seen.” His stand up comedy classes provide students with the opportunities to do both.  By providing direction to their performing and writing, plus on-going opportunities to perform at major clubs such as Gotham Comedy Club and Broadway Comedy Club, he creates the opportunity for his students to be seen and well received by industry professionals.

Our students TV appearances include The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, The Conan O’Brien Show, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Lopez Tonight, Comedy Central, HBO, NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS, OWN, Bravo, FX, The History Channel, Starz, MTV, VH1, JLTV, Netflix and Canal De las Estrellas.

Among the TV shows in which they appear in starring and principal roles are: Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show, Inside Amy Schumer, The View, Louie, Portlandia, Key and Peele, Orange is the New Black, The Jim Gaffigan Show, Boardwalk Empire, Wanda Sykes Presents Herlarious, Royal Pains, Es De Noche y ya Llegue, Enlisted, I Love the 1880’s, 30 Rock, Rescue Me, Flight of the Conchords, Last Comic Standing, Gotham Comedy Live, The Chris Rock Show, My Boys, That 70’s Show, 24, Ellen and Seinfeld. They have appeared in such films as It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Morning Glory, Away We Go, The Love Guru, Love Actually and 13 Going on 30.

The Performances

Stephen Rosenfield’s Standup Comedy Classes culminate in a performance at Gotham Comedy Club, New York’s premiere club. Gotham Comedy Club has launched the country’s greatest comedy talent.

Your performance at Gotham Comedy Club will be a Prime Time Weekend spot–a great place and a great time to invite your friends and family. To relive your triumph you can purchase a DVD of your standup comedy performance and have it posted on YouTube.

Once you complete your first standup comedy class, you are eligible to perform in the American Comedy Institute Shows. These standup comedy shows, scheduled twice a month, provide you with on-going, quality stage time.

Does the thought of performing make you nervous?

Good. This is the healthy response to the prospect of being on stage. Professional comedians have learned to use their nerves to enhance their performance. Stephen Rosenfield’s Standup Comedy Classes will teach you their techniques.

Standup Comedy Workshop FAQs

1. What is the tuition for the course? 

The three-week and five-day workshops are $450.
If you are a returning student the tuition is $380.
If you are a current One Year student or One Year alum, tuition is $350.

2. How does the three-week workshop work? 

The workshop meets eight times over a three week period.

Week 1:

Meeting 1: Orientation Class 6-8:30pm (Usually held on a Tuesday evening).

Stephen Rosenfield outlines the goals of the workshop. He defines and explains the various forms of standup comedy. He presents the fundamental techniques of writing and performing standup. He concludes the class by assigning a writing and performing exercise designed to get your comedy juices flowing.

Meeting 2: Class 6-8:30pm (Usually either Tuesday or Thursday evening).

Students present their material and receive feedback from Stephen about their writing and performing.

Meeting 3: One-on-one forty minute private session with Stephen (Scheduled weekdays).

Together, you and Stephen work on transforming your comic ideas into tight and funny standup comedy material. Stephen also gives you private coaching on your performance.

Week 2:

Meeting 4: Class 6-8:30pm (Usually either Tuesday or Thursday evening).

Students bring in the material they have worked on with Stephen as well as new material on topics of their own choosing. They receive feedback from Stephen on their writing and performing.

Week 3:

Meeting 5: One-on-one forty minute private session with Stephen (Scheduled weekdays).

You continue to work with Stephen on tightening and punching up your material. At the end of this session, you and Stephen decide which material you want to perform at the show, and the order in which the material should be placed.

Meeting 6: Class 6-8:30pm (Usually Tuesday or Thursday evening).

Students present the set they are planning to perform at the club. They receive feedback from Stephen on their writing and performing.

Meeting 7: Rehearsal and Club Performance.

After an onstage rehearsal at the club, you will perform your set at Gotham Comedy Club.

Meeting 8: Screening 6-8:30pm (Usually held on the Tuesday after the Performance).

Students view the video of their performance. Stephen talks about the business of comedy – how to continue to improve your work and how to make comedy your career.

3. How does the five-day workshop work? 

The same material covered in the three-week workshop is covered in the five-day workshop. All of your classes, private sessions and performance are scheduled within five days.

4. Where are the classes held? 

The evening classes and daytime private sessions are all held at our office located at The New Yorker Hotel, 481 8th Avenue, Suite 548, between 34th and 35th Streets.

5. Can I invite people to see me perform?

Absolutely! This is an exciting event. And having our family and friends attend makes it even more exciting. The more the merrier. For real.

6. What if I can’t get out of work during the day to attend my one-on-one sessions? 

Many people have their one-on-one sessions over the phone. You email or fax your material to the office and hold the meeting with Stephen over the phone during your lunch break or any other convenient time for you.

7. What if I can’t make the Orientation Class?

No problem. We have the video of the orientation class in our office and you are welcome to come in and watch it.

8. What if I live out of town or what if I can’t do the entire three weeks? 

It is possible to do the entire program in as few as five days.

9. Do you provide housing for out of town students? 

The American Comedy Institute’s office is located at the New Yorker Hotel, a moderately priced hotel in mid-town Manhattan. Many of our students opt to stay at the New Yorker. Whatever your budget and needs are we can help you find a place to stay.

10. Do you offer private coaching?

Yes. Individual sessions can be scheduled for forty minutes or one hour with the director, Stephen Rosenfield.  Click this link for more information on private coaching.

11. Do you offer online courses?

Yes. You can email Stephen your material and he will correspond with you via email and phone.

12. Is there an age requirement or limit?

Absolutely not. People of all ages take the workshop. The youngest has been seven years of age and the oldest in their seventies. The average age is 20-40’s.

13. Is it okay if I’ve never done standup before?

Yes. All you need is your sense of humor. Stephen conducts the workshop so that when it’s time for your club appearance you will have solidly written, funny material and you will be well rehearsed and ready to perform at your peak and beyond. Stephen will help you write your comedy material in private writing sessions. In the classes he will guide your performance.

14. Would I benefit from the workshop if I’m already a standup?

Yes. Professional standups continue to use the workshop to develop new material, punch up existing material, sharpen their personas, strengthen their skills and prepare for major performances and auditions. Students in the workshop include award winning standups, comics appearing on television and virtually every comedy club in New York, L.A, around the country and around the world. They are starring in their own one person shows, some of which are co-written and directed by Stephen Rosenfield.

15. What happens after the workshop?

The workshop is ongoing and returning students pay a reduced tuition. In addition to monthly standup workshops we offer the One Year Program in Comedy Performing and Writing. This program is for people who know they want to focus their career on comedy. You can find an informative description of the One Year Program on this website (click this link). Also please feel free to call the office for more information. The number is 212-279-6980. Additionally, we offer students who have taken the monthly standup workshop ongoing opportunities for stage time. These standup shows are held at the Broadway Comedy Club and other clubs throughout the city.

16. What if I bomb at my performance?

This is a very common concern. Stephen Rosenfield will help you write your set. He will coach you so that your performance will be well rehearsed. When you begin your collaboration with Stephen it is time to set aside the mental projection that you will bomb and replace it with exciting thoughts of actually getting up on stage and doing what you’ve always dreamed of doing to the sounds of laughter and applause from an enthusiastic audience.

17. How do I sign up?

There are a few ways to sign up for the workshop. You can call the office at (212-279-6980) or you can register by emailing us at info@comedyinstitute.com. Either way the workshops fill quickly so hurry!