Steve Kaplan's Comedy Intensive

Steve Kaplan has been the entertainment industry's leading expert on comedy for more than 15 years. He has taught his Comedy Intensive Workshop to thousands of students around the world and Greasán na Meán Skillnet is now bringing Steve's Comedy Intensive to Galway.

Steve Kaplan's Comedy Intensive, is a 2-day workshop that covers the fundamental principles of comedy: what it is, how it works, why it works, what's going on when it's not working, and what you can do about it!

The workshop 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.

Date Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th June
Price €220 (including lunch)
Location The Salthill Hotel,
Salthill, Galway
Time 9.00 - 17.00 each day.
(091) 558400


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Course Overview:

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.

Course Outline:


The Art And Science Of Comedy

  1. Introduction and Overview
  2. Dying is Easy, Comedy is Hard
  3. Comedy Perception Test - Are you seeing 20/20?
  4. Funny vs. Comic - The difference
  5. The Comedy Equation


The Hidden Tools Of Comedy

  1. Winning
  2. Non-Hero
  3. Metaphorical Relationships
  4. Positive (and Negative) Actions
  5. Active Emotion
  6. Straight Line/Wavy Line
  7. Four Elements of Jokes
  8. The Tools Applied.
    1. Learn how to use these essential tools in your work.


Comedy Practicum

  1. Entire History of Comedy . . . in 15 minutes.
  2. Comedy Archetypes
  3. Comic Premise - The Lie That Tells the Truth
  4. Developing the Comic Premise
  5. The Comedy Paradigm


Structure And Development

  1. The Comic Hero's Journey
  2. Art of Romantic Comedy
  3. Sitcoms & Pilots
  4. Final Q & A

Steve Kaplan’s Biography

For years, 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 Dreamworks, Disney, HBO, Paramount, Touchstone 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 Loomer, Tom Donaghy, Sandra 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.

Steve Kaplan's Testimonials

"I still talk about your seminar. It was Gangbusters"
Greg Dean
Author, Step by Step to Stand-up Comedy

"Taught me years' worth of lessons about performance and theatre "
Christopher Titus
Writer / Actor / Comedian, Titus

"Steve Kaplan is more than a comedy "teacher" or "director"… he's what we call a Comedy WARRIOR. [and] there's no Warrior you'd want in your foxhole more than Steve Kaplan . . . "
Billy Grundfest
Writer/Supervising Producer, Mad About You/The Academy Awards and Emmy Awards.

"Have never gotten farther faster than I did with one consultation "
John A

"I wrote . . . my best, funniest sketches thanks, in no small part, to the lessons I learned from Steve Kaplan's comedy classes. Steve breaks the fine art of comedy down…that helps the unfunny become funny, and the funny become funnier "
David Fury
Emmy-Winning Writer/Producer, 24, Lost, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and more!

"The material he covered confirmed some things we had only guessed at and also opened new doors. There were several moments when his observations rang bells, lit bulbs, threw switches. Simple human truths are often like that. We slap our foreheads and say, 'I knew that – why did I never think it?' Wise men like Kaplan tell us things written in our DNA."
Tim Ferguson
Writer/ Producer, ''Circle Work"

"I've always been told – and have told others – funny can't be taught. After reading Steve Kaplan's thoughtful, Hidden Tools informative and yes, funny book – I stand corrected. A great read for anyone wanting to break into the comedy game. And for those already in the game, a breezy, welcome jolt of education and inspiration."
Peter Tolan

"Walking away from the two day intensive the team appeared to have a newfound confidence. Having acquired new skills and perspectives on comedy writing, character and theme, there was no doubt that Steve Kaplan's Comedy Intensive was going to be a constant point of reference throughout the ongoing development of 'Too Far'."
Marc Gracie
Producer, 'Too Far'

"Fresh insights with a 'why didn't I think of that' on every page. Steve Kaplan is a true comedy maven. Don't know what that is? Read this book, and you will. You may even turn into one yourself. "
Ellen Sandler
Co-Executive Producer: Everybody Loves Raymond, Author: The TV Writer's Workbook

Terms & Conditions

Registration Fee: Payment in full by the 14th of June 2016 is required to secure a seat at the workshop.

Cancellation Policy: If you cancel 10 days or less from the event date your full fee will be forfeited.

Please Also Note:

  • No taping or recording of the seminar is allowed.
  • 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.