You can now major in comedy at Emerson College. No joke.
Picking a college major is hard enough as it is, and come 2016, incoming freshmen will have another option at their fingertips: comedy. Stating next fall, Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts will add a new major to its roster, Comedic Arts. You guys, I’ve never wanted to go back to college more in my life.
This degree won’t just teach students how to write killer one liners, or simply prepare them to rock an open mic night, but rather teach them everything about comedy going right back to its roots. Before Mindy Project was making us LOL, the Greeks and Romans were writing plays, and don’t forget Shakespeare’s comedies, too. The foundation of comedy will be covered, because you’ve gotta know where jokes come from before you can start creating some yourself.
The major will actually be structured as a hands-on experience, where students will learn how to perform sketch comedy, and write jokes for both stage and screen. “It’s not going to be just lecturing,” Martie Cook, Emerson’s associate chairwoman of visual and media arts explained to The Boston Globe, “I think what this program offers that’s unique is that you are going to have to actually do it.”
Emerson gave this new degree a test-run earlier this year, when they introduced a new minor to students, Comedy: Writing and Performance. It was met with overwhelming success, so taking the courses from a minor to a full-blown major was, well, not just a joke.
“[Millennials] live in a world that’s comedy based,” Cook continued, “Look at how they get their news: They don’t turn on network news, they go to the Daily Show and the Colbert Report, places like that. Everything is comedy driven. Comedy is just hotter than it’s ever been.”
Emerson’s a perfect place for this new major to start, too. Jay Leno, Jennifer Coolidge, David Cross, Joe Mande, and Henry Winkler, all passed through its Boston Common campus, and who knows what big future comedian might be a part of the class of 2020.
So while your parents might not be super keen on a BFA in comedy, promise them they’ll be the first people thanked in your Emmy acceptance speech for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. We’re not kidding.
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