Five Minutes to Funny (January) | Stand-up class

Chris Coccia

Five Minutes to Funny

January 12 - February 9

Four weeks on Sundays. Our signature stand-up comedy class with instructor Chris Coccia. Grad show at the Improv on February 19.

Course Description

Through hands-on training with instructor Chris Coccia, you'll learn how to prepare, polish and perform a five-minute stand-up comedy set. A tight, funny, five-minute set can carry you through a comedy career from start to stardom. It can be your open stage set, it can be your audition set and it can be your spot on any number of late-night shows. Lots of people have dreamed about giving stand-up comedy a try. This class gives you the structured environment that will finally get you on stage.

Wait List Policy: Our stand-up classes are extremely popular and fill up quickly. If you'd like to be placed on the wait list for these classes, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and specify the course in the subject line. Please note all classes are 18 and over and once you make a payment there are no refunds, exchanges or cancellations. The waitlist is done via e-mail, and once a class is announced via e-mail, the first people to pay in full get into the course. Payment must be made online, with a credit card. If you miss out on registering and you’d like to continue to stay on the waitlist, you must e-mail that request to the Improv. You are not enrolled into the waitlist for the next announcement unless you request it.

  • Sundays, January 12 - February 9 (off 1/26), 11:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • Graduation show at the DC Improv on February 19 (Wednesday)
  • Tuition: $395
  • Due to the high demand for this course, enrollment will be available ONLY online with a credit card.
  • All classes are 18 and over. Once payment is made, there are no refunds, exchanges or cancellations.

A note from the teacher

"My approach to teaching a comedy class is to act as a guide, helping the performer shape and develop their act. I will, along with the rest of the class, offer suggestions, critiques and even ideas for material but not create your act for you. This way the material and performance grow organically and the end result is an act that feels truer to the performer and the audience."

"The performers will bring to the class a notebook with any material they have. It can be bits that they have already performed or premises for bits, or ideas for what they want to write and talk about or any combination of the three. During the course of each class the performers will take the stage and perform to their level of comfort and ability what they have prepared. The rest of the class will act as an audience."

"After each performance the class and instructor will offer suggestions and critiques in a roundtable format. This not only helps the performer but also helps the other students think about how comedy material is shaped and honed. The performer may be asked to go back up on stage to try a suggested change in a 'live' setting. As the class progresses the performers focus will go from sharpening bits of material into putting them together into a cohesive and flowing set, also addressing stage presence and persona. By the end of the four weeks the performers should feel comfortable and confident in walking onto stage and performing a five-minute set."

Chris Coccia

Chris Coccia

Chris Coccia started teaching stand-up at the DC Improv in 2006, but he was a regular on the DC Improv stage way before that. Friendly, funny and accessible, he has a real gift for connecting with audiences of all types. His act is a perfect combination of hilarious material and the ability to present it "in the moment." Flowing seamlessly between material and improvised interaction with the crowd, Chris is able to open the audience up as he pulls them into a shared recognition of our own human-ness.

Chris keeps a full schedule working everything from the country’s top comedy clubs to corporate events to colleges. In addition, he won the 2008 Purina Pet Comedy Challenge, a national event with a $10,000.00 prize. He was also invited to be part of the Great American Comedy Festival in Johnny Carson's Nebraska hometown, put together by the talent coordinator of "The Late Show with David Letterman," Eddie Brill. He has appeared on Comedy Central, The Game Show Network, and XM Radio. Chris is also a frequent and favorite guest on several Philadelphia based radio shows.

Click here to visit Chris' website.