PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The social distancing era has led to a number of innovations. Now comes word of a first-of-its-kind digital school of stand-up comedy that starts this week in Philadelphia.
It's being billed as a digital comedy school, created by comics for comics. In this case, the creators are a group of Philly-based performers who've become comfortable telling jokes to captive audiences on Zoom.
"From personal experience, I'm pleasantly surprised. I find it's working, that it's finding an audience, that we're figuring out amongst comedians and producers," said Che Gurerro. He's one of the "Off Mic" Comedy School's nutty professors who will be teaching Stand-up 101, an eight-week introductory course on how to make people laugh.
"We’re gonna come up with how to figure out your voice," said Guererro. "There's gonna be writing techniques. There's gonna be joke-building techniques that we know we can do."
Weekly open mics will allow students to work on their sets from the comfort of their home. He said all classes will be recorded, "and then send it back to you, so you can rewatch things that you saw and sort of get things back that you missed and didnt get in the live classroom."
The best part, according to Guerrero, is online stand-up is heckle-free.
"You can put mute on, which is great," said Guererro. "That's the beautiful thing, there is no heckling. No, this is my time. This is me following my dream. You be quiet."
Guerrero said the goal of the class is to send all the graduates out into the virtual comedy world and join the pros who are currently playing to packed, well, screens.