Humber’s Comedy: Writing and Performance diploma program helps you hone your craft while gaining an understanding of the commercial side of the industry. Our faculty is comprised of seasoned, award-winning professionals who are active in the comedy industry. You’ll learn standup, improvisation, scriptwriting, sketch comedy and all other aspects of the craft. In addition, the program’s strong alumni network supports you through reunion shows, business opportunities and continued coaching. The program features many mainstage class shows; weekly Humber student shows at Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club, and Comedy Bar; and an organized showcase at Second City Toronto for scouts, directors and agents with students included on the basis of merit. Upon graduation, you will have the tools you need to embark on an exciting career in one of North America’s fastest growing industries: arts and entertainment.Courses Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of the program, a graduate will:
Produce a variety of comedic materials including sketches, screenplays, sitcoms and variety shows.
Prepare and perform stand-up comedy routines.
Discover their comedic voices and create materials that stem from these voices.
Study both dramatic and comedic performance techniques, and apply those techniques to their own work.
Prepare written humorous materials for magazines and newspapers as well as for radio broadcasts.
Practice individual and ensemble comedic performances both in the classroom and in comedy centres.
Apply the technical requirements of all genres of comedic writing.
Respond to improvisation demands and create characters quickly on stage.
Evaluate the business of comedy and develop career strategies and contacts.
Learn from well-known North American comedic writers and performers and network with those individuals.
Develop team-building and communication skills and engage in exercises that encourage self-understanding, peer respect and professional behaviours.
Comedy: Writing and Performance professors are well-respected writers, actors, standups, and producers. Program co-ordinator Andrew Clark is an award-winning journalist, screenwriter and author known for his regular Globe & Mail column “Road Sage.” Fellow full-time professors Robin Duke and Larry Horowitz are, respectively, Saturday Night Live and Yuk Yuk’s veterans. Part-time professors include Christel Bartelse, Shawn Campbell, Anne Fenn, Deb Filler, Melody A. Johnson, Bruce McCulloch, Bruce Pirrie, and Mike Sacks.
Kids In the Hall's Kevin McDonald spent a week with our 2nd-year Comedy Students, helping them perfect their sketches and writing for the Monday Night Comedy Bar Show.
Hopefully, this will be the least funny thing you read while studying at the Humber College Comedy Program. Why? Because we’re about helping funny people become funnier. And that’s a lot of fun.
Our students come from across the country and around the globe. For two years they are immersed in every aspect of the comedy business: stand up, improv, sketch comedy, script writing, acting, physical comedy, videos, you name it. Humber grads are working at every level of the comedy business as stand-up comics, writers on television shows, actors, and newspaper columnists. Our alumni include Debra Di Giovanni, Nikki Payne, Nathan Fielder, Jason Rouse, Jeff McEnery, Ryan Belleville, just to name a few. Our faculty are all working comedians and writers, among them SCTV, Second City, Yuk Yuk’s and SNL alumni.
It is an intense, demanding program that pushes students to their creative limits. Our students are serious about being funny. Laughing matters. For most, it is a life-changing experience. Once the comedy bug bites you you’re never the same.
Did I mention it was a lot of fun?
Comedy Writing & Performance
We are proud to partner with two of Toronto's premier comedy venues, Yuk Yuk's and Comedy Bar.
Students also get access to top level comedians from across Canada and the US in our PrimeTime speaker series, featuring guests such as Bruce McCulloch and Kevin McDonald of Kids in the Hall, Maria Bamford and Tom Green.
Humour is serious business to growing numbers of researchers worldwide who are discovering that laughter is good for you. Comedy is an art and a business, one at which many Canadians excel. You’ll join their illustrious ranks with opportunities to work in standup comedy, sitcom/film performance, production, broadcasting, advertising and voiceovers, sketch comedy, and writing. Humber comedy graduates have found work on stage at Yuk Yuk’s, Second City and Montreal’s Just For Laughs Festival; on major television networks such as Comedy Central, CBC and CTV; and in many major television commercials. Other grads have branched into advertising, public relations and related fields.
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Watch the video to see how the Humber’s Comedy: Writing and Performance diploma program helps you hone your craft while gaining an understanding of the commercial side of the industry.
Success Story: Dan McCarthy
Tue, November 26, 2019
Dan McCarthy graduated from Humber's Community Music program in 2001. He recently moved back to Toronto from New York City and
his first project after arrival involved making a recording with his former Humber instructors.
Dan told us more about the CD and what he learned at Humber.
I recently released a new CD called City Abstract, featuring teachers from my Humber days: Ted Quinlan, Pat Collins, and Ted Warren. I had been living in NYC for the last 15 years and just moved back this spring, and this was the first project that I wanted to do. All three musicians had a huge impact on me when I was studying at Humber in the late 90’s, and it was an honour to be able to do a record with them.
I released a record in March of 2019 that features Steve Swallow on bass, Ben Monder on guitar, and Mark Feldman on violin. It was an absolute thrill to get to record with these legends, especially Steve Swallow, who played bass on all of my favourite Gary Burton records from the 1970s. So incredible!
I also did a trio recording with Thomas Morgan on bass and Rudy Royston on drums; that should be released in 2020. I'm very excited about this record too.
For me, it was huge to get to study with people that were actually out there playing on a regular basis. It really has a huge impact on young players, getting to learn from masters already out on the scene playing and doing their own thing.
Follow Dan on social media at @DanMcCarthy on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. (Photo credit: John Rogers)
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Faculty of Media & Creative Arts Events
Tue, January 14, 2020 to Wed, January 15, 2020
Join us on January 14th or 15th and speak with our professors and students. Find out which of these Humber programs is right for you.
Faculty of Media & Creative Arts News
Radio Humber and BRTV Collaborate to showcase Indie Canadian Artists
Thu, June 13, 2019
96.9 Radio Humber teamed up with the Broadcast Television/Videography Program to bring Canadian artists on campus for an interview and performance.
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On June 29, 2018, the Provincial Government of Ontario announced the renaming of the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD) to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU). Both names may appear on this website.