New Sketch Comedy Class Brings in Industry Professionals

June 6, 2019

A new course offered this quarter has given students exposure to a broad array of comedic talent and may become the launching pad for a student sketch comedy group.

“Improvisational Comedy Writing” (ENTM 319) is taught by adjunct professor Paul Rugg, whose extensive experience with voice acting and comedic writing includes Animaniacs, Freakazoid, and Disney’s The 7D, among many others. Throughout the course, students have been pitching, writing, and editing brief comedic sketches, and performing them for each other at the weekly class session, often with professional guests brought in by Prof. Rugg to observe and offer tips.

Such guests have included Tom Wilson, best known for his performances in the Back to the Future films; Tom Ruegger, Emmy-winning animation producer and creator of Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain; and Studio C cast members Austin Williams, Ike Flitcraft and former JPCatholic student Matthew Galvan.

“This class has taught me a lot about how to reach the audience on a comedic level and what ways are best to get there,” says junior Elisa Litke. “Most of all, I’ve learned to listen to my own humorous gut because I will forever and always only be able to write what I think is funny.”

A number of students, such as sophomore Elijah Richardson, hope to keep pursuing comedy performance beyond the course and are looking to launch a sketch comedy troupe at the University starting next quarter. “Going into the course I already had a general interest in writing and performing comedy, but through taking this class I was able to uncover a deep passion inside of me for creating content within this medium,” says Richardson.

The class will culminate with a performance of the sketches that students have been preparing throughout the quarter, which will take place on June 15th in the soundstage and will be open to the JPCatholic community to attend.