How to decide which comedy class is for you

The comedy scene is vast and full of dorks. Whether you want to dip a toe into this pool or cannonball into the deep end, it’s important to set goals and priorities. That sometimes means focussing on one type of comedy at a time. Other times it means balancing your many interests. 

This article is built to help you choose a lane…or play a very impressive game of Twister. Left foot: Blue! Let’s GOOOO:

Sketch Comedy

Sketch is a team sport and a volume game. People are very rarely able to succeed alone or with only one good sketch. This means finding the right team to surround yourself and practicing. A lot. This prepares you for success in the sketch world, sure. But, it also prepares you for what it might be like in a TV writers’ room. 

There’s no other type of comedy that puts this much emphasis on writing and re-writing. 

So, if you’re focussed on being a writer–especially if you’re interested in writing scripts–this is probably the type of comedy you should prioritize. 

Real-world benefits : 

  • You’ll become a more concise and precise writer
  • You’ll get better at coming up with and identifying good ideas and putting them into immediate action
  • You’ll become a better creative teammate 
  • You’ll get better at  project management 
  • You’ll smash perfectionism
  • You’ll become besties with Bowen Yang and Aidy Bryant.

Improv Comedy

Improv is ALL about collaboration. You and your scene partners will all be equally responsible for building your scene. This means owning your ideas and stepping up! It also means listening and taking your partners’ words as law. 

There’s no other type of comedy that puts this much emphasis on quick thinking and collaboration.

If you are a manager or someone who wants to gain confidence, improv is one of the best and most fun ways to build necessary skills.

Real-world benefits:

  • You’ll become more confident making decisions on the fly
  • You’ll improve your ability to listen and build upon your teammate’s ideas
  • You’ll be less self-critical and gain confidence
  • You’ll be more comfortable with failure–and better at bouncing back
  • You’ll impress your friends (and enemies) by being the funniest at their next barbeque

Standup Comedy

Compared to improv and sketch, standup can seem, a little, well, jokey compared to improv and sketch. This is a solo sport, but that definitely doesn’t mean that community is unimportant. Every time you get up on stage, it becomes your job to turn a monologue into dialogue with the audience. You’ll need to build support and fans quickly to rise up in the standup world. 

There’s no other type of comedy that will, to this extent, force you out of your comfort zone and help you clarify your own voice. 

If you are looking to start a business, become a freelancer, or get better at public speaking–stand up is for you. 

Real-world benefits:

  • You’ll become a better and more confident public speaker
  • You’ll get more comfortable with being the center of attention
  • You’ll learn how to make work presentations more interesting
  • You’ll improve even your best anecdotes
  • You’ll know how to read a room and get people on your side
  • All that standing burns a lot of calories.