How to Write a Joke: Lecture by Rich Talarico

Sat. Oct 14, 2023 11:00am - 1:00pm EDT
18 and Over
18 and Over
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18 and Over
Event Description

Sigmund Freud says there are three parts to a joke. The expectation, the bewilderment and the illumination. In this 2 hour lecture, attendees will learn comic devices and joke writing techniques that they can carry forward in their comedy careers or just have a deeper understanding of what is going on subconsciously when a joke is presented to an audience. Join comedy veteran Rich Talarico who will share insights on joke writing learned from 30 years in the entertainment business having written monologue jokes for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, as well as Key & Peele, MADtv, and SNL.

About Rich Talarico:

Rich Talarico is a Peabody® Award winner who boasts four Emmy® nominations, as well as four Writers Guild Award noms. Rich is a distinguished writer/producer known for his significant contributions to Key & Peele. Rich wrote K&P favorites Substitute Teacher, Racist Zombies, Karim and Jahar, Hatz, Teaching Center, Obama Greets, Black Ice and many more. Rich wrote and produced on some of the biggest comedy shows in late-night; MADtv, The Tonight Show w. Jay Leno, Saturday Night Live, and the critically acclaimed, Review. Rich is an alum of Chicago's Second City and has appeared in featured roles on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, MADtv, the feature film High Fidelity and A&W Root Beer's classic TV ad, "Mr. Dumass.” Talarico’s extensive experience in the comedy industry has made him a sought-after teacher, writer and consultant. — more at

“Rich Talarico is one of  the all time great Caucasian Improvisers.”

— Tina Fey 

“As a teacher, Rich Talarico brings Lakers legendary coach Phil Jackson to mind. A cerebral educator who brings out the best in people.” 

— Keith "Lucky" Lehrer original drummer of “Circle Jerks”

"I seriously don't think I've had the chance to absorb that much good content in a small amount of time ever... even in college!"

— Jessica Christopher, Student

“I learned more about sketch writing in this class than any other class I’ve taken in the past."

— Mirejah Cruz, Student

"Rich knows how to write sketches -- that much is obvious. But it was clear that he loves helping people get better too. Don't wait to find a better sketch class. It might not come along." 

— Tim Marks, Co-Founder, Fountain City Sketch Company 

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943 Liberty Avenue 943 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
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