Stand Up Comedy - DR676

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
(version 2)
View Timetable
6 30 (15)







This module will introduce students to practical and theoretical aspects of stand-up comedy. Initially, they will analyse the work of individual comedians, exploring such issues as comic theory, traditions of stand-up, and historical context. Later, they will work on creating their own short stand-up acts, generating original material and developing key performance skills such as developing persona, working an audience, improvisation, and characterisation.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Total contact hours: 47
Private study hours: 253
Total study hours: 300

Method of assessment

Performance (60%)
Essay (3000 words) (40%)

Indicative reading

Allen, Tony, Attitude: Wanna Make Something Of It?, Glastonbury: Gothic Image, 2002
Barker, C., ‘The “Image” in Show Business’, Theatre Quarterly, Vol. VIII, No. 29, Spring 1978, pp.7-11
Carr, Jimmy and Greeves, Lucy, The Naked Jape: Uncovering the Hidden World of Jokes, London: Michael Joseph, 2006
Cook, W., The Comedy Store: the Club that Changed British Comedy, London: Little, Brown, 2001
Double, O., Stand-Up: On Being a Comedian, London: Methuen, 1997
Double, O., Getting the Joke: The Inner Workings of Stand-Up Comedy, London: Methuen, 2005
Double, O., Getting the Joke: The Inner Workings of Stand-Up Comedy, London: Bloomsbury, 2014
Lee, Stewart, How I Escaped my Certain Fate: The Life and Deaths of a Stand-Up Comedian, London: Faber & Faber, 2010
Martin, Steve, Born Standing Up, London: Simon & Schuster, 2007
Mintz, L.E., ‘Standup Comedy as Social and Cultural Mediation’, American Quarterly, Vol. 37, No. 1, Spring 1985, pp.71-80

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
- Analyse the work of individual comedians, relating them to their historical context and comic tradition, and applying relevant theory.
- Carry out research, showing the ability to access and interpret a range of sources.
- Write original stand-up comedy material.
- Perform stand-up comedy, demonstrating appropriate skills.

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