JOKECRAFT: The Nuts & Bolts of Comedy Writing

Chapter One: Stand-Up Comedy Writing Basics

This class is on a break! We expect it to be back when our in-person classes return in the fall.

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Comedy, especially stand-up comedy, is both an artform and a craft.  The elements that are a craft can be taught, they can be learned and they can be improved upon with knowledge and practice.

In other words, you can learn how to write a joke…and you can improve upon your joke-writing ability with guided instruction and the opportunity to practice.

That is what this online class offers: the chance to learn the “nuts and bolts” of stand-up comedy writing, to better understand what makes a piece of comedy material effective in generating laughs and a chance to practice those skills in the middle of a pandemic that is limiting the opportunities to actually perform stand-up comedy.  

The class is called Jokecraft — The Nuts & Bolts of Comedy Writing.  This four week course is “Chapter One” and it focuses on the techniques used by stand-up comedians around the world to turn their ideas into effective comedy material.  (If this class proves popular, subsequent chapters may be devoted to non-stand-up based comedy writing: sketches, screenplays, etc.)  

This class is designed to teach you the basics of writing a joke… and how to train your brain to think like a comedy writer.

For over a dozen years, the extremely popular “Beginning Stand-Up Comedy Class” taught by Peter Greyy has been a fun way for absolute beginners to get to experience the thrills of performing stand-up comedy.    

However, that full experience is really not possible during a pandemic… and that class won’t return until it is possible to get that full experience again.  

Please note: “Jokecraft” is not an online version of that “Beginning Stand-Up Comedy Class.”  While we may talk about timing and delivery, this class will not delve into the performance aspect of stand-up comedy — instead, this will be solely about the writing — the construction of jokes and the crafting of material.  These topics have always been part of the “Beginning Stand-Up Comedy Class” but they haven’t been covered as in depth as is planned for this new class.  

This class will meet on Tuesday nights from 6 pm to 8 pm…and there will be an additional hour  from 8 pm to 9 pm where students can share their written material for individual feedback. However, that third hour is optional.

The class is structured that each class builds upon the lessons learned in previous classes, so attending all four sessions in order is strongly encouraged.  

There will be some homework involved in this class, but not a heavy amount, nor is that homework going to be graded.  

If you’d like to join us for a fun exploration of how to become a more proficient and confident jokecrafter, even if you’ve never written a joke before in your life, you are strongly encouraged to give this new Jokecraft class a try. Anyone with an online connection is welcome to sign up.

About the Instructor:

Peter Greyy is 17-year comedy veteran, an experienced and effective comedy coach, and the Director of Talent for both the San Francisco Comedy Competition and the Seattle International Comedy Competition.

Peter has performed Stand-Up Comedy across North America in comedy clubs, theaters and festivals–including multiple performances at both the Bridgetown Comedy Festival AND the Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival.  Peter has worked with many of today’s top comedians, including Jim Gaffigan, Mike Birbiglia and the late Joan Rivers.

In 2013, Peter was the headlining performer for an English-language comedy tour of the Balkan countries (Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia and Bosnia & Herzegovina.)

In 2016, Peter wrote and curated a “1940’s Canteen” show where he played the role of Bob Hope.  He has been seen on NBC, G4TV, Seattle’s Evening Magazine on KING-5 tv as well as in a couple of documentary films about comedy.  As the Director of Talent for two of the largest, longest running and most prestigious comedy competitions in the world, Peter Greyy has been recognized as an excellent judge of stand-up talent.

Peter has been teaching the basics of stand-up comedy for a decade, joining Stu Stuart and then teaching on his own for classes given through the University of Washington Experimental College as well as working with Carl Warmenhoven and the students of the Puget Sound Community School.  He has taught joke writing at 826 Seattle and given seminars to comedians in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada;  Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin; and Zagreb, Croatia.  He has also coached individual comedians of all ability levels.

Peter looks forward to working with you and sharing his love of the craft of comedy material development and sharing what he knows about becoming an effective comedy performer.  He also knows what it takes to help each comedy student find and refine their own personal comedic style and voice 

Peter’s in-person comedy classes will be back when the pandemic improves. In the meantime, this class is a fun alternative way for students to get back into comedy or get into it for the first time, and start exploring their comedic side.