Columbia College degree in Comedy Writing and Performance Announces National Search for Two Positions
Columbia College Chicago is hiring two full time lecturer positions to serve its rapidly growing B.A. in Comedy Writing and Performing.
The degree is the only one of its kind in the United ecoetates and had its beginnings in 2007 in a partnership between Columbia College Chicago and The Second City. The Comedy Studies semester provides a semester abroad style program in which students come to Chicago and study comic acting, improvisation, sketch and solo writing, comedy history, and physical and vocal prep for comedy. All courses in the semester are held at The Second City’s historic location on Wells Street in Chicago.
Alumni of the Comedy Studies semester include SNL’s Aidy Bryant, performers for Second City’s resident and touring companies, writers for The Onion as well as network, cable, and Netflix television shows as well as numerous regularly performing stand-up, improv, and sketch comedians, as well as at least one ordained minister.
The B.A. in Comedy Writing and Performing enters its third year in 2015-2016 with an estimated 200 majors. This interdisciplinary degree is housed within the Columbia College Theatre department and builds on the philosophy of the Comedy Studies semester; successful comedians require training and experience as writers, performers, directors, and producers across media. In addition to the semester at The Second City, major requirements include foundation work in theatrical principles and acting, comedy specific training in theory and practice, as well as coursework in television and self-management and freelancing.
Job descriptions for the two positions are listed below. If you have questions about the positions or about the program in general please feel free to contact Program Coordinator and Director of Comedy Studies, Anne Libera at ALibera@colum.edu.
Vacations are meant to be relaxing. Swim, sun, cook, drink, rinse, repeat. Due to personal and professional deadlines my vacation went more like: clean, trash, write, apply, review, request an extension. Between submitting for publication, looking for new employment, refinancing the house, and running an amateur wrestling clinic for small children out of my living room, I found enough time to scribble a few thoughts on humor, drink unwatered whiskey, and beg for a quick death between the hours of 11pm and midnight before it all began again the following day.
Few and far between do I ever find the emancipated evening, like my pass to the local class on voice acting I mentioned last time. If you’re the type to follow links in an online article like E. T. tracking Reese’s Pieces (timely I know), then your detective work discovered my town of residence. Salem, MASS. There are a lot of Salems in the United States, but only ours burned witches so their descendants could sell cheap gimcracks that turn tragedy into novelty. History is ripe for humor, and when that humor becomes routine, the resulting tradition can be called horrible.
Or rather, Horribles. The Ancient and Horribles Parade is a fading New England tradition that sounds a lot like a lottery in Shirley Jackson literature. “We’ve always had a parade!” some old codger mutters before throwing a rock at the chosen sacrifice. Similarly, the parade stretches back into forgotten memory, where many claim its origin but no one really knows when exactly. But they do know what and how. Usually on or around July 4, a community informally gathers to lampoon people in the public eye as a supplement to the formal celebrations sponsored by the government on our day of independence. Like Gerrymandering, the North Shore above Boston also made the event a political device, “whereby the speaker argues against taking a certain course of action by listing a number of extremely undesirable events which will ostensibly result from the action.” But why speak of politics when it can be satirized?
The comic space is crucial. Stand-up comedy grew up in establishments of almost uncomfortable intimacy, and on a recent trip to Los Angeles, I was reminded of just how close together the Hollywood comedy establishments are.
A. Largo has been at its current La Cienega Boulevard location since 2008 and hosts both musicians and comedians in an intimate 280-seat theater. It’s an insider establishment – the kind of venue where Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez will go for a date night. I was there to see Sarah Silverman & Friends perform on a Thursday night, and after a full ninety minutes, Silverman introduced her “surprise guest from across the Atlantic” – Russell Brand. It’s all very Hollywood.
Like all red-blooded Americans, I loves me some Olympics. I will have a hard time getting work done over the next couple weeks with six stations of Olympics (+ streaming). And the fact that my TV information calls it the “XXX Summer Olympics” makes it even better (in a 14-year old funny sort of way). Speaking of TV, NBC quickly admits it is horrible and offers a solution.
General Olympic Humor
Some Olympic stand-up
The Space Olympics–Totally Cancelled
Sochi 2014 (the Problem-Free Russian Winter Olympics):
*the Olympics have become the focal point of anti-Putin satire.
*Saturday Night Live on figure skating.
*Buddy Cole on Russia (from Colbert Report)
*political cartoons (do you see any themes?)
See below for London!
By Don and Alleen Nilsen, Co-Founders of the International Society for Humor Studies
Now that we have retired from our teaching positions at Arizona State University, we have more time to eat out and what we have discovered is that restaurants are using humor and wit to spice up their patrons’ eating and drinking experiences. We were recently invited to speak about humor and aging at a big retirement community built in the desert east of Mesa, Arizona. When we got close, we stopped to eat at a restaurant and were amused to see that the bar area was totally covered with humorous license plates apparently donated by the retirees (“the Snowbirds”), who come from colder climates to spend warm winters in Arizona.
The license plates were amusing to first-timers, like us, and comforting to repeat customers who were proud to see us taking pictures of a license plate that they identified with, either because they had donated it or because it came from their home state.
Tracy Wuster, Managing Editor
Reader, you may have noticed, or you will notice, that “Humor in America” now has a number of advertisements on the sidebar and at the end of certain posts. These ads are for Powell’s bookstore, an independent bookstore in Portland, OR. I chose Powell’s because of its ease of integration, its clear policies on advertising, and because I support independent bookstores, in general, and love Powell’s specifically.
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See below for sample ads from some of our contributors. Thank you. Tracy