An Exclusive Interview By: Iride Aparicio

Photos Courtesy: Steve Kaplan

Silicon Valley, CA -- Steve Kaplan is known by thousands of students, writers, producers and performers around the world, as the Entertainment Industry leading expert in Teaching Comedy performance and writing, intensive workshops, that he has been teaching for over 15 years, at different places:  UCLA, NYU, and other top universities, and at companies such as HBO, Dream Works, Disney and NBC Universal's writers, Sony Pictures' Network India, and Globe, Brazil to name a few.  Kaplan defines comedy as: The thing that tells the truth about human beings. "

In an exclusive telephone interview with Cultural World Bilingual, Kaplan tells us that he learned about the power of comedy at a very early age. "When I was a kid, I was chased out of school and beaten up by my peers," he says "So, I learned two things: to run very fast and when I was caught, (to try to do something funny to make laugh."

In the late 70's and Early 80's while living in New York,  young Steve Kaplan (with two young friends) cofounded the Manhattan Punch Line Theatre, a theatre devoted to comedy: plays, stand up nights, and comic shows, where he worked at every job as the Artistic Director.
."A lot of great comedians came out of "The Punch Line" he says: Michael Patrick King ("Sex of the City") David Crane ("Friends" episodes) and others"

"After closing "The Punch Line" I moved to Los Angeles. and while living there, somebody suggested that I should start teaching a course in Comedy, and after I did, it started a new path, with me teaching workshops in Singapore, London and New Zealand. And because when I was teaching the courses, I was recording the sessions. I wrote my first book: The Hidden Tools of Comedy, which pointed out useful and practical tools in performing comedy"

Steve Kaplan second book, also based on comedy, is The Comic Heroes' Journey, and now he is working in his third book. This one specific in its subject because it is about learning to write Comedy for the Sitcom.

Cl;ass Steve teaching.jpg

And every month of the year, Steve Kaplan continues doing what he does best, which is teaching comedy.

"Before the pandemic," he tells us," I was going to go to another tour to Europe, including Ukraine and Russia, but the pandemic set me back. So in 2020, people started asking me to teach my courses on Zoom, so for the last two years I have been teaching two courses online."

He is now in the process of teaching TOOLS OF COMEDY, one of those courses, but for those  writers who would actually want to learn how to write sitcoms from a Pro, his next course  HOW TO WRITE YOUR COMEDY SCREENPLAY will be taught (on ZOOM) on April 8, 15, 22, 29 and end on May 6.

Steve explains to us that the course will teach the students how to write a treatment (which is the name of the document that Hollywood's studies require from writers to write, before writing their script) and then, how to use their treatment to write their screenplay.


When asked if any person can learn comedy, Steve reveals to us that the answer is YES, because all these years teaching Comedy, had taught him that nobody is born being funny, but because comedy is an art, it could be taught.

"If you can learn painting, or music theory, or drama, you can also learn how to be funny," he says, "but only when you know the principles of comedy and how to utilize them. And after that, one needs to practice that art at a professional level, which is different. It is  only after you do, that you could make another person laugh just by telling the person the truth about something that another  a person does, and make it funny. And it will be funny, because we all share those things as human beings and humor is universal."

We will end our exclusive interview with Steve Kaplan by reminding those readers who may be thinking about learning Comedy, that Comics will always be needed in the world, (specially now) and that Great comedians become unforgettable. Some of you may still remember Bob Hope, who served as Master of the Oscar© ceremony for several years, and who with a group of movie stars and entertainers travelled around the globe with the sole purpose to entertain our American troops stationed in the different war fronts, and make them laugh with his jokes. Those of us at home, may remember our mothers laughing for an hour each morning, watching the "I love Lucy' television show and the silly antics of Lucille Ball, And still now,after years of being dead, the most loved comic in the Spanish-speaking countries, is Mexican comedian Mario Moreno, better known as Cantinflas. And if we analyze the reason why, we will discover that as humans being, we feel deeply attracted to those who make us laugh.

Steve Kaplan's Write your Comedy Screenplay Seminar will start on April 8 and continue on April 15, April 22, April 29 and end on May 6. Those interested may register online.   

Steve Kaplan's Comedy Intensive

Phone: 818-718-7570

To order his books Hidden Tools of Comedy
or The Comic Hero's Journey

He also can be followed on:
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