USC Comedy offers a variety of opportunities to both undergraduates and graduates in all divisions of SCA. Below, please find brief descriptions of how you can get involved with USC Comedy.
Undergraduate students are able to minor in Comedy at USC, selecting 16 units from the list of classes below.
For Graduate students, USC Comedy offers a pathway to those interested in pursuing comedy. Offering curriculum advisement, USC Comedy allows you to fulfill your degree requirements with comedy equivalent classes.
CTPR 371 – Multi-Camera Directing | Instructor Andy Cadiff
Tuesdays 6pm – 9:50pm. A hands-on workshop offering instruction in the techniques of Multi-camera Television production, directing and the half-hour comedy format. 371 is recommended preparation for directing in CTPR 484 and in CTPR 464 Directing the Sketch Comedy. (4 units)
CTPR 476 – Directing the Comedic Scene | Instructor Barnet Kellman
Wednesdays 6pm – 9:50pm. Prerequisite CTPR 310 or by application to instructor. Directing practicum with an emphasis on comedy. Lectures, demonstrations and hands-on workshop in scene analysis, casting, working with actors, the rehearsal and shooting of a scene. 476 can be used to qualify to direct in CTPR 480 and is recommended preparation for CTPR 464 and CTPR 484 directors. (2 units)
CTPR 476 – Directing the Comedic Scene | Instructor Andy Cadiff
Mondays 6pm – 9:50pm, Fall, Comedy Minors Only. Directing practicum with an emphasis on comedy. Lectures, demonstrations and hands-on workshop in scene analysis, casting, rehearsing, directing actors, and staging. (2 units)
CTPR 484 – Advanced Multi-Camera Television Workshop
Instructors: Nancy Forner, Rob Schiller, Charles Schner, Richard Holland, Larry Balmagia, David Macmillan
Wednesdays 1pm – 4:50pm. An interdivisional class creates and shoots a 30-minute multi-camera Sitcom Pilot in front of a live audience. Student crew positions include Producers, Directors, Editors, Art Directors, Camera Operators and many more. Lead Crew positions fulfill Production 3 requirements or can be taken instead of CTPR 480. Open to all USC students, Undergrad or Graduate. (4 units)
CTPR 491 – Creating Viral Comedy/ Instructor Christopher Guerrero
Tuesdays 7:15pm – 9:15pm. Learn how to translate traditional storytelling tools into short-form comedy that will stand out online. While movies and TV are not a thing of the past, YouTube, IGTV, and Tiktok have become a part of our future. This class will encourage students to explore these newer avenues as outlets for their creative voices. They will be excepted to write, direct and perform in all assigned creative projects. This class is open to all with no prerequisites and is a MUST for Comedy Minors and Comedy Lovers alike. (2 units)
CTPR 523 – Introduction to Multi-Camera Production | Instructor Rob Schiller
Tuesdays 1pm – 4:50pm. Learn all elements that go into a multi-cam comedy! Produce/direct your own scene. Cast rehearse, camera block, shoot, and edit for final screening. (2 units)
CTPR 532 – Intermediate Directing Comedy | Instructor Barnet Kellman
Thursdays 2pm – 5:50pm, after 508. Directing Actors, Scene Study in Comedy. Preparation for directing comedy in all narrative forms. Fulfills requirement for directing in CTPR 546. Admission by interview. (2 units)
CTWR 324 – Introduction to Television Half Hour Writing | Instructors Christopher Moore & Larry Balmagia
Wednesdays 4pm – 6:50pm & Tuesdays 2pm – 4:50pm. The fundamentals of writing for comedic episodic television. Writing scenes from popular comedy series and examination of half-hour television comedy story structure. (2 units)
CTWR 404 – Foundations of Comedy | Instructor David Issacs
Mondays 7pm – 10pm, Fall. Weekly Screenings, Lectures and Guests surveying the history and development of filmed comedy entertainment. This is the gateway course for the USC Comedy Pathway through the SCA curriculum. Required for Comedy Minor. Recommended for access to Writing Division Comedy classes. (2 units)
CTWR 407 – Creating the Comic Character
Mondays 10am – 12:50pm, Fall. Utilization of various improv techniques for character to emerge naturally in scene and stories. Creating multiple comedic characters to generate future stories. (2 units)
CTWR 434 – Comedy Writing | Christopher Moore
Tuesdays 1pm – 3:50pm & Thursdays 10am – 12:50pm. Writing an episode of an existing half-hour comedy series, with emphasis on the anatomy of joke construction, comedic structure, and character conflict. (2 units)
CTWR 437 – Comedy Original Script
Mondays & Wednesdays 10am – 12:50pm. Advanced workshop for writing an original half-hour comedy series, including a pilot script, summary of characters, and story lines for first season. (4 units)
CTWR 477 – Sketch Writing
Spring. Staff writing a sketch comedy show with emphasis on creating comedic characters, political humor, monologue writing, and joke construction. A live show will be produced.
CTWR 487 – Comedy Staff Writing | Instructor Larry Balmagia
Wednesdays 6pm – 9:50pm, Fall. Working on the writing staff of an original multi-camera television series, with emphasis on the writers’ room experience and how to executive produce an episode. (4 units)
CTWR 517 A&B – Comedy Thesis Television
Comedy Majors only. Part A -- Developing an original half-hour comedy television series, including characters, world and storylines for season one. Completion of a first draft script, polish, and series bible. Part B -- The re-write, casting, and performance stages of television comedy development. The completion of a final draft of the pilot script and series bible.
CINEMA MEDIA STUDIES
CTCS 688 – The American Film Comedy | Instructor Henry Jenkins
Thursdays 10am – 1:50pm. Across the semester, we will explore the American film comedy tradition -- from the role of slapstick in early cinema to the role that contemporary screen comedies play in fostering debates around gender, race and sexuality. My approach is decisively revisionist with canonical figures and text read alongside those that history has tended to forget -- for example, what happens when we recenter silent film comedy from Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd and Langdon, to incorporate a broader range of recently rediscovered silent performers including a number of women who had their own followings at the time? Performance is a recurring focus here in speaking not only about comedian-centered comedies but also romantic and social comedies. Performance is understood in relation to a broader range of media traditions -- particularly those associated with popular theater (the circus, Vaudeville, music hall, Commedia Del 'Arte) but also radio, records, nightclubs, and television. Through this focus on performance, we gain core insights into bodies, pleasure. and emotions, but also disruption and transgression, as central attractions of the cinema. Along the way, we will be asking what it means to write the history of a film genre as pervasive as comedy. (4 units)