Steve Martin MasterClass Review (2024 Upd.) Is it Worth it?

Last Updated on June, 2024

“What is Comedy? Comedy is the art of making people laugh without making them puke”

The satisfaction of making someone else laugh is incomparable. I’m not trying to become a comedian, but studying the art of making other people laugh still seems like a good idea.

Steve Martin’s entertaining comedy MasterClass covers stand-up, character development, and humor writing. It’s also a fascinating look inside the head of one of the world’s funniest men.

In this article, I’ll give you a high-level overview of the complete MasterClass by Steve Martin, who is one of the greatest comedians, including my experience with the MasterClass courses, the information I gained from them, suggestions for improvement, the course’s pros and cons, and more.

 Overall: 4.9/5
steve martin masterclass
Product Effectivenes
Brand Reputation
  • High-quality video lessons taught by Steve Martin.
  • Workbook and assignments for practice and reinforcement.
  • Flexible, on-demand learning anytime, anywhere.
  • Mobile and offline access through the MasterClass app.
Brand Information
  • David Rogier and Aaron Rasmussen established MasterClass in 2015.
  • The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California.
  • The annual cost for a comprehensive subscription is $180.
  • Interactive assignments and a learner community are included in the MasterClass experience.
Product Benefits
  • The opportunity to study from a true comedic genius
  • Superb and informative writing.
  • Advice on how to improve your comedy skills in real life
  • Instruction for the inexperienced.
  • Practical workshops are readily availablePractical workshops are readily available

Quick Summary of Steve Martin’s MasterClass 


  • A Guide to Humor Writing
  • Stand-up comedy 101
  • Different ways to do comedy
  • Methods for Maximizing Your Potential
  • Developing Your Taste of Comedy

Target Audience: The training could be useful for anyone interested in becoming a comedian, as Martin provides instruction on joke writing.

Duration: 4 hours 6 minutes 

Number of lessons: 25 lessons

steve martin masterclass Intro page

About Steve Martin?

Comedian Steve Martin has been developing his craft and making people laugh since the 1960s.

Martin’s stand-up performances are evidence of his authenticity and humor. He has spent his entire life as a comedian.

Still, he is also an amazing actor in films such as The Man with Two Brains, Parenthood, Roxanne, and many others.

Martin is a gifted performer and musician who has succeeded in both stand-up and film.

steve martin

His adapted screenplay for the film Roxanne won the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Screenplay. After being nominated for numerous prizes (including the Golden Globes, MTV Movie & TV prizes, and many more), he was finally granted seven Grammys for Best Comedy Album, two Primetime Emmys, and an Academy Honorary Award.

Who is This Steve Martin MasterClass for?

The MasterClass is a safe bet for subtle comedians because Steve Martin’s comedy is so classic. Beginners in comedy may benefit from Martin’s joke-writing course.

You’ll learn how to make an engaging show. Martin guides you toward comedic success from his MasterClass. 

Suppose you’re serious about becoming a stand-up comedian. In that case, his advice on how to perform in front of an audience will be invaluable.

What Does This MasterClass Promise?

The video lessons in Steve Martin’s MasterClass are organized to be clear and accessible to students of all backgrounds. Fun PDF workbooks and audio files help you get started with the course in addition to the instruction.

There are 25 video lessons totaling over 4 hours of viewing time. You won’t feel like you’re in a class because Steve Martin doesn’t use a formal teaching format, which is awesome. 

The worksheets and Steve Martin’s Meteor Shower and Roxanne previews are included. Finally, Steve advises on finding your own comic style, which can be challenging.

steve martin masterclass
Steve Martin MasterClass
visa master amex paypal

Structure of the MasterClass

Steve Martin’s MasterClass consists of the following five sections:

  • Meet Your Instructor
  • Writing A Few Jokes
    • Gathering Material
    • Write Jokes and bits
    • Bonus Study: Speeches
  • Performing Comedy
    • Finding your comedic voice
    • Developing a comedic persona
    • Delivery
    • Creating memorable characters
    • Crafting your comedic act
    • Student session 1: Workshopping Nalini’s first stand-up act
    • Student Session 2: Workshopping Tim’s act
    • Opening and closing your act
    • Growing as a performer
    • Nerves, hecklers, and bombing
steve martin masterclass lessons
  • Writing Comedy for the Stage and Screen
    • Story techniques
    • Screenwriting case study: Roxanne
    • Editing parts 1 and 2
    • Writing a case study: meteor shower
  • Finding Your Place in Comedy
    • Getting started in comedy
    • A Life in the Arts
    • Profanity and morality

Inside the Steve Martin MasterClass

steve martin masterclass video playing
  • A workbook containing 74 pages regarding stand-up comedy
  • Roxanne’s full script
  • Meteor Shower’s script
  • Martin’s MasterClass video lessons

Just above are all the extras you will get along with the video course in Steve’s MasterClass. That said, as you might already know, this MasterClass is split into 5 sections. You can find out more about each of the sections below. 

Meet your instructor

Objectives of this section:

  • Obtaining Real-World Comedy Knowledge
  • Where to look for motivation and ideas
  • Techniques for improving your skills

Steve Martin gives a brief background on himself and the goals of this MasterClass. Steve Martin introduces and promises to share his thoughts on comedy, performance, and “the specifics of stand-up” with you.

Writing jokes

Gathering Material

steve martin masterclass "Gathering Material" lesson playing

Martin advises taking a fresh look at the world to get a practical understanding. He implies that humor rests on subtlety. In this session, you’ll discover where to find information, how to analyze it, and how to gather knowledge from friends.

Martin covers several examples and references to show how aspiring comedians develop their own style via research and study. You’ll learn to question the “state of the nation” and critically analyze comedy to create more meaningful and relevant routines.

Jokes and Bits

Objectives of this subsection:

  • Establish and then subvert expectations
  • Recognize and utilize irony in your acts
  • Layer your performance for maximum effect

Recognizing and utilizing irony in your acts, Managing an audience, generating material from ideas, and keeping the peace in front of an audience are all skills covered in this chapter.

Martin dives into the process of creating material expressly for performances in this chapter. 

Bonus Study: SPEECHES

Martin’s Museum of Modern Art homage to Tom Hanks begins this part. Martin illustrates how speeches may be amusing with this occurrence.

Martin added additional tips for applying what you learned before, during, and after the presentation to the case study process, which was effective.

Performing Comedy

Finding Your Comedic Voice

steve martin masterclass "Finding Your Comedic Voice" lesson playing

Objectives of this subsection:

  • Utilize your diverse cultural background
  • Describe who you are
  • Make a statement of intent
  • Tweak your preferences
  • Consider your target audience when creating comedy
  • Become a comic by improving your skills
  • Borrow ideas from other fields
  • Get your performance up to par

Steve Martin, who is a major in Philosophy, struggled with comedy and needed to establish his comedic voice. He also states that musical talents were some added bonuses to his acts.

Developing a Comedic Persona

Steve Martin defines “comedic persona” and explores the elements of comedic characters. He even cites famous comedians who have developed separate characters. This training is about developing a stage character and voice. 

You will learn how to improve your public image while downplaying perceived shortcomings. This workshop emphasizes “finding a vacuum you can fill” to break into comedy.

Steve Martin relates this to his persona—a foolish man in a tuxedo and balloon hat who always looked stupid.


steve martin masterclass "Delivery" lesson playing

Objectives of this subsection:

  • The significance of rhythm and timing in captivating an audience
  • The benefits of incorporating physical humor into your presentation
  • How to synchronize your body and words to keep people’s attention.
  • Use “rollover jokes” to keep one step ahead of the crowd.

Steve Martin wants his speech to appear natural at all times. Like the “illusion of the first time” in the theater, he compares this to the experience of seeing something for the first time.

Creating Characters

Martin starts by distinguishing between screen and stage actors. He relates this to depicting emotions. It will show you how he and other comedians have worked to establish eccentric, unique comedic persona jokes and how acting differs from onstage presence. 

Crafting Your Comedic Act

Objectives of this subsection:

  • Making the best of what you have
  • The components of Stagecraft
  • Finding your creative edge
  • Organizing data into logical frameworks
  • Adding more significance to your act

You’ll develop skills in maximizing opportunities, coming up with running gags, and spotting unnecessary material. This is valuable advice to anyone just starting and wondering how far their efforts thus far have gone.

Student Session: Workshopping Nalini’s First Stand-Up Act

In this section, you’ll join Steve Martin and a group of up-and-coming comedians for a workshop.

Like you, these students are probably working on their first real pieces and looking for feedback on improving them. Some of my favorite class time was spent in workshop settings.

Student Session: Workshopping Tim’s Act

steve martin masterclass "Student Session: Workshopping Tims Act" lesson-playing

Objectives of this workshop:

  • Put on a hilarious comedy show like a pro
  • Get orientation
  • Create oneself.
  • Promoting Yourself

When it came to editing, this chapter was invaluable. Steve Martin’s comedy shows you how to focus on the best parts of your work and eliminate the rest.

Opening and Closing Your Act

Objectives of this subsection:

  • Setting up a clear vision
  • Using the moment to establish your act
  • Highlighting crucial points in your act

Opening and closing times help students “button up” their performances. Martin’s chapter-opening assumptions match many viewers’.

Steve Martin admits to obsessing about stand-up comedy opening lines and advises on what to do first and how to maximize that first instant.

Growing as a Performer

Objectives of this subsection:

  • Create a record of your life’s own journey.
  • Practice on the big stage
  • Grow from your mistakes
  • Make progress toward your goals.
  • Possess more self-assurance as a performer.

The lesson emphasizes the need to learn from one’s errors to develop as a performer. The learning in this segment, which ranges from self-awareness to sustaining progress, should be well-balanced between theory and practice.

Nerves, Hecklers, and Bombing

Steve Martin says his feelings before going on stage are a mix of nerves and exhilaration. This is why you must embrace and use your nerves to your advantage.

You will acquire the skills to enhance your performance by warding off interruptions, picking appropriate settings, and handling hecklers.

Comedy Writing for the Stage and Screen

Story Techniques

steve martin masterclass "Story Techniques" lesson playing

Objectives of this subsection:

  • Construct a foundation, then add it to it.
  • Allow your characters to speak for themselves.
  • Relax and let your mind run.
  • Address your writer’s block.

Steve Martin compares theatre and screenplay. He discusses his brainstorming throughout. He examines conversation, structure, and free writing.

Screenwriting Case Study: Roxanne

Martin opens this section by explaining the historical background of Roxanne, the 19th-century play he adapted in 1987. Here, he walks you through his challenges in revising and updating the content.

He even provides you with a sneak peek of commentary-accompanied scene examples.

Editing, Parts 1 & 2

Objectives of this subsection:

  • The significance of a scene’s emotional core
  • How to Collaborate and Solicit Opinions
  • Writing for film vs. other forms of literature
  • Taking in criticism and adjusting your sketch

Steve Martin teaches comedy to us with his preferred writing style and editing techniques in a manner that is useful for all comedic writing.

The author then turns back to Bowfinger to demonstrate how he avoided boring his readers by cutting out all but the most important lines of conversation from the incident.

Writing Case Study: Meteor Shower

steve martin masterclass "Writing Case Study Meteor Shower" lesson playing

Objectives of this subsection:

  • Create a goal for your work.
  • Don’t use boring exposition.
  • Convey your intentions early on.
  • Indicate what you mean as opposed to just saying it.

Steve Martin analyzes his play Meteor Shower in the following section. Exposition helps him create an engaging world. This lesson will help you apply your skills further. It’s remarkable how humor writing talents transfer to other genres.

Finding Your Place in Comedy

Getting Started in Comedy

Objectives of this subsection:

  • Utilize your blank slate to its fullest potential.
  • Find out what makes you laugh.
  • See the talents for the stage.
  • Stand out among comedians.
  • Don’t let your creative spirit flag.

The fact that the student needs neither expensive tools nor specialized knowledge to benefit from this online course is a major plus. Steve Martin recommends strategies for developing your comedic skills and routines for achieving your goals.

A Life in the Arts

steve martin masterclass "A Life in the Arts" lesson playing

 Objectives of this subsection: 

  • How to laugh in the face of comedy’s challenges.
  • Master the ability to know when to stop trying
  • Tips for maintaining optimism and inspiration in the workplace

Steve Martin is speaking directly to the comedian and discussing celebrity and creativity more broadly.

In particular, he talks about the psychological costs of excessive analysis and philosophizing. He talks about the advice he’s received from fellow performers over the years and how he handles criticism.

Other MasterClass reviews:

What I Learnt From the Steve Martin MasterClass?

steve martin masterclass front page

Although Steve Martin addresses the stand-up comedian directly, his broader discussion of fame and the creative process is evident. He focuses, in particular, on the mental tolls of overthinking and philosophy.

He discusses the wisdom of his fellow artists and his approach to constructive criticism. Although Martin addresses the stand-up comedian directly, his broader discussion of fame and the creative process is evident. 

Upsides of the Steve Martin MasterClass

Many Resources: Additional resources can help you engage with class topics beyond the videos. This includes Martin’s two original scripts and the 74-page WorkBook with assignments and reading. These PDFs help readers and annotators. Master Class emphasizes self-learning and accommodates multiple learning styles.

Straightforward Teaching: Martin teaches comedy in an easy-to-understand way. He doesn’t hide the approach behind the joke with any sort of secrecy. Instead, he gives advice like, “ Learn to observe your thoughts.” We could make good use of that.

Great Workshops: Workshops by Steve Martin is a great way to get away from the traditional lecture format and focus more on the practical field. Creating an identity, managing your audience, organizing the act, and facing the audience for the first time are some activities taught here.

Downsides of the Steve Martin MasterClass

Despite the passage of time, he persists in utilizing the same humor strategy he always employed.

Consequently, a few students may find this traditional teaching style uninteresting. Also, he solely instructed his technique for humor without delving into the crucial particulars. 

  • He didn’t discuss “dark and offensive comedy,” which was surprising.
  • His humor is antiquated and may dull some students.
  • Innovative and innovative comedy may be taught to all competitive levels of comedians.

Steve Martin MasterClass Review: What Others Have to Say?

Steve’s MasterClass has been talked about a lot on various social sites like Reddit and Quora. As for the verdict, there are a lot of positives; the majority of the individuals who took the classes seemed to have benefited really well.

That said, not all of them were happy. With that in mind, I’ve added some reviews I scoured across the web during my research. Take a look at them for yourself. 

Steve Martin MasterClass customer review 1
Comment from Reddit

This is what the majority of the comments mention. The insights and the way Steve lays out everything are nothing but top-notch. 

Steve Martin MasterClass customer review 2
Comment from Reddit

When it comes to the negative side of things, some complained that the info Steve delivers could be found online; I’m not sure about this take; even though some degree of info might be on the web, I’m pretty sure the majority is unique to the MasterClass.

Apart from all that, there’s one thing that cannot be found anywhere else; Steve’s experience and the way he shares it. 

Are There Any Alternatives to the Steve Martin MasterClass?

  • Amy Schumer
  • Judd Apatow

Above are some of the best comedians in MasterClass to teach stand-up comedy.

Steve Martin MasterClass Review: Is Steve Martin’s MasterClass Worth it?

So coming to the question, is the Steve Martin MasterClass worth it? Yes. This course is a fantastic investment if you enjoy Steve Martin’s style of humor. He is more than just a thinker of humor; he is a legendary performer whose work has endured for decades.

Even if you aren’t interested in learning more about how to become a comedian, you should take this course just for the laughs. It’s an excellent starting point if you’re passionate about becoming a comedian.

steve martin masterclass
Steve Martin MasterClass
visa master amex paypal

Pros and Cons


The opportunity to study from a true comedic genius
Superb and informative writing.
Advice on how to improve your comedy skills in real life
Variety of helpful resources 
Instruction for the inexperienced.
Practical workshops are readily available


His thoughts depend on his personal style
Not complex enough to involve intermediates
Advice that isn’t always easy to follow
Lacking for most people

Want to learn more about MasterClass? Here’s my in depth review.

Steve Martin MasterClass Review: Final Verdict 

The Steve Martin MasterClass helped me in many ways. However, it did not provide a comprehensive introduction to comedy. A few bits were missing, but otherwise, it provided an excellent foundation for anyone interested in learning comedy. 

Anyone who is a Steve Martin fan and wants to learn about the fundamentals of stand-up comedy can take this MasterClass, which is a well-made and interesting online course. 


Steve Martin’s MasterClass costs $180 per year, or $15 per month.

It takes approximately 4.6 hours to complete Steve Martin’s MasterClass, which consists of 25 lessons.

Steve Martin is an excellent teacher for those who are absolute beginners and looking to learn the basics of stand-up comedy.


Steve Martin MasterClass
steve martin masterclass




Overall Score


visa master amex paypal
The opportunity to study from a true comedic genius
Superb and informative writing.
Advice on how to improve your comedy skills in real life
Practical workshops are readily available
Variety of helpful resources
Get the BEST PRICE valid until the end of June
Not complex enough to involve intermediates
His thoughts depend on his personal style

Was this article helpful?

Carlos Eduardo
Carlos Eduardo
Hey there, I’m Carlos Eduardo, the Founder and Author of Scorebeyond. Delving deep into 20+ years of education transformation through innovative e-learning, I’ve poured my expertise into this platform. My enduring legacy continues to drive the path towards a future empowered by knowledge!

Leave a Comment