We've partnered with The Second City to offer 10% off certain writing, improv, stand-up, and acting classes. The discount applies to adult Level 1 classes in core programs, both in-person and online. Enter coupon code “PIC” during online checkout to get 10% off eligible classes.

Eligible Upcoming Classes


Improve Your Writing, Improv, and Acting Skills

Take advantage of discount adult comedy classes at The Second City, the largest school of improvisation and sketch comedy in the world.

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 wide range of 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 1 and Improv 1, 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 eligible Second City online classes—including adult Level 1 core programs—enter coupon code “PIC” during online checkout.

PIC Writer Testimonials

Comedy classes in stand-up, sketch, and improv can dramatically help your writing. PIC's managing editor James Folta took improv classes and still performs regularly. 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 writers with their work! Here's how they describe their experiences…

“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 punchlines 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 punchlines 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 (using the coupon code), 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

“Inside the orientation I sat front and center. I was the first person there. I met two people I figured I know forever. I was in my Mecca. I had made my pilgrimage. The woman who was the head of the SCTC gave a speech about what it means to improvise and ended it by saying, ‘Here, failure doesn’t exist.' It was so profound. I felt a warm sense of home that I hadn’t felt since I was a child.

Taking classes at Second City was essential in breaking down my fears and allowing myself to create without self-judgment or fear of failure. Improv A-E got me out of my head in a profound way. More than that, it gave me an intellectual home, a place that has no physical space. That place is existential. It’s a mental space where failure doesn’t exist. The trick is learning when to enter that internal space and when not to. I’d have to learn that on my own, but to Second City I owe my ability to write or speak freely and truthfully, and to play at the height of my intelligence.”

-Jordan Weimer


In-Person and Online Comedy Classes

The Second City Chicago

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