MASTERCLASS: Writing TV Comedy Series



Didn’t they say that laughter is the best medicine? TV comedies have long entertained people, spoiling them with a wide variety of comedy genres, and often, comedy writers are faced with the challenge of always aiming to let audiences be entertained and have a good laugh.

This masterclass will provide an overview into comedy: what is it, how does it work, why does it work, what's happening when it's not working and how can you fix it. It will also cover the Comedy Perception Test; The Philosophy of Comedy; The Comic Equation; Introduction to the Hidden Tools of Comedy.

  • Day 1: Hidden Tools of Comedy
  • Day 2: Overview of Sitcom
  • Day 3: Creating The Sitcom Pilot
  • Day 4: The Writers Room


Learning Outcomes

  • Understand Comedy and its genres
  • Understand the elements of effective pilot development
  • Experience creative collaboration
  • Conceptualise and develop a story synopsis and structure for the pilot episode
  • Develop the treatment, outline and script subsequently
  • Use a given template to formulate a Series Bible


Who Should Attend

Script Writers, Screen Writers, Directors, Executive Producers, Show Runners, Programme Commissioners, Network Executives, Executive Producers


(Duration) Date

(4 Days) -

Registration Closing Date: -



9:30am to 5:30pm


Fees (Inclusive of 7% GST)

Application Fee: S$53.50 -Waived-

Full Course Fee*: S$3,210.00

*This course is supported for up to 90% subsidy under the IMDA Talent Assistance Specialised Training Grant (T-Assist). Terms and conditions apply. For more information, click here


Trainer Profile

For almost 15 years, Steve Kaplan has be en the industry’s most sought-after expert on comedy. In addition to having taught at UCLA, NYU, Yale and other top universities, Steve Kaplan created the 'HBO Workspace', the 'HBO New Writers Program' and was co-founder and Artistic Director of Manhattan 'Punch Line Theatre'. He regularly serves as a consultant and script doctor to companies such as Dreamworks, Disney, HBO, Paramount, Touchstone and others. 

In New York, Steve was co-founder and Artistic Director of Manhattan Punch Line Theatre, where he developed writers such as Peter Tolan (Analyze This, Finding Amanda), writer and producer David Crane (Friends, Joey, The Class), writer/producer Tracy Poust (Ugly Betty, Will & Grace), Michael Patrick King (The Comeback, Sex and The City, Will & Grace), David Ives (All In The Timing), Will Scheffer (Big Love), Howard Korder (Lakeview Terrace starring Samuel Jackson and Ashton Kutcher), Lisa Loomer, Tom Donaghy, Sandra Tsing Loh (Chicken Little), Kenneth Lonergan and Mark O’Donnell (Hairspray starring John Travolta) and introduced such performers as Lewis Black, Mercedes Ruehl, Oliver Platt, Helen Slater, Fisher Stevens, Veanne Cox, Sam McMurray, Vickie Lewis and Illeana Douglas.

In Los Angeles, he created the 'HBO New Writers Project', discovering HBO Pictures screenwriter Will Scheffer and performer/writer Sandra Tsing Loh; and the HBO Workspace, a developmental workshop in Hollywood that introduced and presented performers such as Jack Black and Tenacious D, Kathy Griffin, Bob Odenkirk and David Cross (Mr. Show), Josh Malina and Paul F. Tompkins. At the Workspace, he was Executive Producer for the award-winning HBO Original Programming documentary, Drop Dead Gorgeous. Steve has directed in regional theaters and Off-Broadway (including Sandra Tsing Loh’s Aliens in America at Second Stage) and has developed, produced and directed other one-woman shows with actress Lauren Tom and comediennes Nora Dunn and Kathy Buckley.

Steve has been teaching his Comedy Intensive workshops to thousands of students for more than 10 years. He is currently presenting his Comedy Intensive workshops around the world, with workshops scheduled in Los Angeles, New York, London and Singapore.




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