University Of Regina Comedy Class Teaches More Than Just Making Jokes


Comedy is more than just an art. For students at the University of Regina's new comedy class, it's an art that teaches more than just making jokes - it teaches people many things that normal classes can't, like going to school while fighting flu or facing stage freight issues, among others.

"I don't think I've ever left a class being like, 'Oh I wish I didn't go today,'" Kristian Ferguson, an English major at the U of R, told CBC. "I tried to fight through a flu to come here once."

U of R's comedy class, called "Comedy Gold: A Standup Course for Beginners," is the brainchild of professor Julianna Barclay, actor, writer, comedian and a graduate of the U of R.

"I am pretty passionate about stand-up. So to be able to teach a like-minded group of people has been an extremely joyous experience for me," Barclay said in a school press release.

Barclay has experienced performing in theaters all across Canada. She was an artistic associate of the Catalyst Theatre in Edmonton from 1995 to 2004. She studied stand-up comedy with the renowned Dawn Whitehall while in Toronto, and with the help of an online course at Centennial College she practiced her joke-writing skills.

Barclay decided to pass on what she learned through the Comedy Gold class, which is the first of its kind in the U of R.

"I am hoping that the students now realize that stand-up can be much more than telling jokes on stage," she said. "A comedian with a unique point of view can bring about positive change to the world at large."

Students who enrolled in the unique class were taught how to craft jokes, how to analyze comedy, and how to do public speaking. The class had workshops where students experienced doing their own stand-up comedy routine.

For students, however, Comedy Gold was more than just standing up in front of people and making jokes to make them laugh.

"It's kind of rewarding. If people actually laugh at your jokes, you feel like "okay I am funny." You go home and you feel good about yourself. That's if people actually laugh at your jokes," Samara Stearns, a third-year student in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies, said.

"I took it because I did have stage fright," U of R student Connor Donaldson said." I've gone from stuttering with every word in every sentence I said to actually being able to do what I did there. And I'm surprised I did not look nervous because I was."

Comedy Gold students had their final class performance on November 30.

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