No joke: Emer­son Col­lege to of­fer com­edy de­gree

Very funny. The lib­eral arts school is launch­ing a four-year bach­e­lor’s in “comedic arts.”

Metro USA (Boston) - - NEWS - DIMITRY BELYAEV @MetroBOS

In Septem­ber 2016, Emer­son Col­lege will of­fer a Bach­e­lor of Fine Arts de­gree in “comedic arts.” En­rolled stu­dents will learn the history and the­ory of com­edy, as well as act­ing to start a ca­reer in comedic per­for­mance and writ­ing. Emer­son Col­lege pro­fes­sor Mar­tie Cook, a for­mer TV writer who will lead the new pro­gram, tells Metro why study should be funny.

Is this a joke?

[Laughs] Com­edy is ex­tremely pop­u­lar right now, es­pe­cially with mil­len­ni­als. It’s how they ex­press them­selves and how they re­flect the world as they un­der­stand it. At Emer­son, the de­mand for com­edy cour­ses was one we could barely keep up with.

How does one get in?

Prospec­tive stu­dents will likely have to sub­mit some­thing that show­cases their comedic po­ten­tial. This might be a short film they have per­formed in or di­rected [or a] com­edy script.

Doesn’t a “ma­jor in com­edy” sound odd?

It may. But I think many in­no­va­tive things may sound a bit “odd” when they are first rolled out. I fully ex­pect that many other col­leges will soon look to of­fer a sim­i­lar de­gree.

Teach­ing some­body to be funny must be tough.

Yes, one of the most dif­fi­cult things I have to do is to tell a stu­dent that their work is per­haps not as funny as it needs to be in or­der to be com­pet­i­tive. But my job is to of­fer con­struc­tive crit­i­cism that will take that art to the next level. And I know in do­ing so, I am not only teach­ing stu­dents, but I am also get­ting them one step closer to their dream — which is to be suc­cess­ful in the com­edy busi­ness once they grad­u­ate.


A com­edy pro­gram is com­ing to Emer­son.

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