In the 2007 memoir, Born Standing Up, comedy and film legend Steve Martin succinctly explained why he gave up doing stand-up back in 1981. “My act was conceptual. Once the concept was stated, and everybody understood it, it was done.” At the time, Martin’s “Excuse me!” catchphrase and other bits were so recognizable, audiences would shout them and other punchlines at him before he had the chance to deliver. So aside from an impromptu performance with Jerry Seinfeld early last year, the entertainer generally abstains — unless he’s teaching an online class on the subject.
That’s right, folks. According to Variety, Martin will join Werner Herzog, Hans Zimmer (whose voice can cure all woes), and many other Hollywood luminaries at MasterClass, where celebrity entertainers teach online courses on subjects with which they have expertise. Martin’s comedy class will offer students who fork over $90 a pop access to over 25 instructional videos, a class workbook complete with lesson reviews and additional materials, and actual office hours. Sure, the majority of the “office hours” will include feedback from your fellow class members, but Martin himself will reportedly respond to select students.
Whether or not the next generation of great stand-ups will cite Martin’s MasterClass as the source of their success remains to be seen. Yet if the official trailer and course description (in which he quips about “performing for cars and humans over a 50-year career) are any indication, paying $90 to learn about comedy from Martin may prove just as entertaining as getting really good seats at one of his shows. Which, of course, he doesn’t really do anymore.