PIC has partnered with The Second City to offer discounted comedy writing, improv, and acting classes! Enter code “PIC” at checkout to get 10% off any online or in-person class. Read on for discount details, writer testimonials, and comedy class links.


The Second City Improv and Points in Case Comedy

We've teamed up with The Second City to offer discounted comedy classes at the largest school of improvisation and sketch comedy in the world—for adults, teens, even children! Babies, you need to slow your roll.

A lot of our contributors discovered PIC through Second City, either through a satire class or sketch group, so it only felt natural that we return the favor by letting you know about the seriously incredible opportunities they offer to grow as a writer and performer. You'll also save some money, and help support PIC in the process.

The Second City Training Center teaches the skills which underlie the work on their resident performance stages. The classes, including favorites like Writing Satire for the Internet and Sketch Writing, are taught by professionals working in their fields, and are dedicated to helping students develop their artistic voice, both individually and within an ensemble, and to provide the tools and techniques needed to express that voice.

To get 10% off any Second City online or Chicago/Hollywood in-person core class—including Adult, Teen, and Youth programs—just enter discount code “PIC” at checkout, or mention it on the phone. Parents: Hollywood is 6 years and up, Chicago is 4 years and up, and many teen programs are available both in-person and online. Note that the discount is not valid for: classes by The Onion (Elon Musk says so), classes in Toronto (Canadians still use an ancient form of physical currency), and classes that require an audition (break a leg!).


Writer Testimonials

Comedy classes in sketch and even improv can dramatically help your writing. PIC's managing editor James Folta took improv classes and still performs weekly. Improv has improved his writing—making him quicker and looser with first drafts—and continues to help him generate new ideas and premises.

Second City comedy classes have also helped tons of PIC contributors with their writing! Here's what they're saying about the experience…

“When it comes to learning how to ‘be funny,' there's nothing better than Second City. They offer sketch writing programs, improv programs, and many electives, and the instructors and resources both help teach the skills and build the confidence you need to show your work to the public. I can't say enough how much they've helped me unlock my own personal viewpoint to capture the things I find funny. Whether it's doing stand-up, comedy writing, sketch, improv or anywhere in between, there's a reason Second City is considered the best place to learn how to do comedy. Their SNL track record speaks for itself.”
Matthew Frierdich

“I took two of Second City's online classes in their satire track: Writing Satire for the Internet: Level 1 and Level 2. I'm a process nerd, so I loved that the classes gave me tools for generating new material as well as how to develop a regular writing routine and set longer term professional goals. There's a lot of focus on revision, but also on how to tell when it's time to stop tinkering with a piece and get it out into the world, which was really helpful for me as someone who often has a hard time silencing their inner critic.

I left both courses with useful writing techniques and a bunch of new pieces that the instructor and my classmates gave really thoughtful feedback on. But most importantly, now I have a community of other writers who share similar goals. I still regularly exchange works-in-progress with my former Second City classmates, and their feedback and support has really helped me improve and stay motivated.”
Ysabel Yates

“I've taken several courses from the Second City online satire writing offerings including Writing Satire for the Internet: Level 1 and Level 2. I found all them to be really beneficial and had a great time taking them. First, they introduced me to a ton of online outlets for submitting satire writing that I hadn't even been aware of before. Second, the instructors for all three classes were great and provided a lot of personalized feedback. And third, it's nice to get feedback from other people in a group. I'm still in a Facebook group with some of my Satire II classmates and we still routinely provide feedback to one another, so the classes offer a nice opportunity to form connections with fellow writers.

The classes also teach you new ways to think about humor writing that will (hopefully) stick with you going forward, and having a structured setting where you know you have an assignment due in a week is a great motivator to actually sit down and write.”
Rick McDermott

“Second City's teachers are incredible! They have given me all the tools I need to start my own sketch group and get my articles published. I highly recommend them.”
Renata Camara

“Second City’s Writing Satire for the Internet classes are a fantastic introduction to humor writing. From deconstructing what makes a good premise to learning new techniques for coming up with and organizing ideas, the classes do a great job of giving you a tool kit for excelling long after the classes are over.

During each class, you write and workshop several pieces, work through a thoughtful and engaging syllabus (which includes exclusive interviews with successful humor writers), and eventually submit to online publications. Since taking the first two levels, I’ve had two pieces in McSweeney’s and four pieces in Points in Case, most of which were born from ideas I came up with in a Writing Satire for the Internet class.

If you’re a satire/humor fan thinking about dipping your toes in the waters, I’d highly recommend giving Writing Satire for the Internet a shot. And even if you have some experience under your belt, I’d be surprised if you didn’t pick up a few new useful tools along the way.”
Thatcher Jensen

“I took the full Level A through E course selection in improv and it not only helped me learn how to trust my instincts better, but also to listen to others and build on their ideas. So comedically it worked really well for me. But it also gave me what I think is the most valuable everyday skill I've developed since being with them: learning to get out of my own head.”
Alex von Sternberg

“Second City has always been a place I’ve come back to in order to hone my skills in comedy performing and writing; I’ve studied at the Second City on and off over the years, and every time I’ve found myself training with Second City, I’ve felt stronger and more confident as a writer or performer, having a stronger sense of what I’m producing, why I’m producing it, and whether or not it’s funny and accessible for an audience.

The majority of courses I took were online, including Sketch Writing, Writing for the Web, Writing with the Onion, and Writing for TV. I can’t say enough good things about each of these courses and their instructors.

Caitlin Kunkel’s Writing Satire for the Internet is one class I very highly recommend. Caitlin's and Brooke Preston’s class taught me so much about writing for genre, how to brainstorm and refine a premise or POV in your writing, and more than anything, in the second level, you gain a very strong sense of professionalism around satirical writing, how to present yourself, market yourself as a writer, start to gain a voice as a writer, and show/sell that to others. In Caitlin’s class I put myself and my writing out there more often, which led to my piece on PIC.

And, if you’re looking to hone your writing skills at the molecular level of the joke, then take Writing for Late Night with Holly Wortell. This is exactly why I took this class, and it paid off. I wanted to sharpen my ability to write punch lines that really hit well, and Holly’s class gives you just that, a razor-sharp ability to take a set-up and write a clean, pointed, punch line that hits every time. This class will leave you with the ability to write a huge number of punch lines for any set-up, quickly and cleanly, which is applicable to not only late-night monologues but longer satirical pieces and even stand-up. I learned that writers for late-night talk shows can write somewhere in excess of 100 jokes per day, and with that in mind, trust me, Holly’s class will give you the skill to pump out well over 100 jokes per day.

Each class will teach you a different tool for producing comedy, and really, I can’t necessarily suggest one class over another. In the end, I’d recommend taking classes in succession, gaining a new way to create from each class and blending the methodologies together in your writing and performing.”
Jason Andrews

“I live in rural Canada, so it has been difficult to find comedy classes, but Second City’s online course catalogue solved that problem. I took a Sketch comedy class a few years ago and the entire Satire program within the last year. I really enjoyed the satire program and felt as though it was the best class for improving my writing. The weekly feedback from the instructor and my fellow classmates really helped me want to grow as a writer. My writing is much stronger now, but the best takeaway from the classes are the connections I made. I now feel as though I have a strong base of writers in my life who have my back through the ups and down of being a comedy writer.”
Kasadee Allan


Online Comedy Classes

The Second City Training Center

Below are the instructor-based, adult comedy classes you can take from anywhere, provided you have a computer. View teen comedy classes here.

Writing for the Web

  • Writing Satire for the Internet: Level 1
    • Learn how to form a strong comedic point of view on topical news and pop culture events. You will brainstorm, draft and rewrite short pieces in the style of McSweeney’s, Shouts and Murmurs, and Points in Case. Internet presence, pitching, and submission guidelines will also be covered.
  • Writing Satire for the Internet: Levels 2-3
  • Writing Your Web Series

Sketch Writing

  • Sketch Writing: Level 1
    • Explore the fundamentals of character development and theatrical scene structure. Exercises include a variety of comedic genres, from “Simple Yet Impossible Goal” to “Clash of Context” to “Inappropriate Response.”
  • Sketch Writing: Levels 2-4
  • Character Cocktail Party: Levels 1-2
  • Comedy Writing Bootcamp: Fish Out of Water
  • Parody Palooza!

Writing for TV

  • Virtual Writing Room: Comedy Pilot
    • Step into a Virtual Writing Room led by an experienced script writer and collaborate with a talented group of aspiring writers to get your script, pilot-ready. Refine your story structure, outline and character development so you can produce that dreaded first draft.
  • Writing for Late Night TV and Talk Shows: Level 1
    • Write desk bits, monologues and a variety of segments for shows like Conan, Letterman, Kimmel, Ellen and more. Create original material to strengthen your writing samples.
  • Writing for Late Night TV and Talk Shows: Level 2
  • Writing the Sitcom Spec Script

The Second City Training center also offers non-comedic online classes in Writing for Film, Writing for Radio & Podcasts, and Writing Strong Women.


In-Person Comedy Classes

The Second City Chicago

  • Improvisation
  • Comedy Writing
  • Stand-Up
  • Acting
  • Physical Performance

The Second City Hollywood

  • Improvisation
  • Comedy Writing
  • Stand-Up
  • Acting
  • Physical Performance