Sketch class

The Pit

SNL Sketch Writing Online

July 11-12

Two-day online workshop. Learn how to write and submit great sketch comedy with Ali Farahnakian, a former SNL writer and founder of the Peoples Improv Theater. Presented via Zoom video conferencing

Course Description

This class will be conducted online via video conferencing. Participants must have a reliable Internet connection and a computer or device with a webcam and microphone.

This two-day virtual workshop is for anyone who has thought about writing sketch comedy for stage or television. If you've got the ideas and want to know how to build a sketch, this class is for you. This class will demystify what an SNL sketch looks like, what a "packet" for SNL or other sketch shows consists of and what "readers" are looking for in a packet. Please note that each section is limited to 8 people and consists of a 2 1/2 hour session each day.

The class will focus on a commercial parody for the first day (which you will bring to the first class) and a two-person, five-page page sketch for the second day. As one of the only former SNL writers teaching in the country, Ali Farahnakian will give you a clear, concise point of view of someone who has been in the belly of the beast. Ali has taught this class to more than 700 people.

  • July 11-12, 2:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. each day
  • Class size is limited to 8 students
  • Tuition: $250
  • All classes are 18 and over. Once payment is made, there are no refunds, exchanges or cancellations.
Ali Farahnakian

Ali Farahnakian

Ali is an American actor, writer, and improvisational comedian. He is the founder of The Peoples Improv Theater (The PIT) in NYC. Farahnakian was born in Iran but grew up in North Carolina and graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1990. After college he moved to Chicago in 1990. While in Chicago he became involved in improvisational comedy and was a performer at Chicago's Second City, ImprovOlympic and was one of the original founding members of the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) along with other original UCB members such as Matt Besser, Ian Roberts, Horatio Sanz, and Adam McKay. In 2002 he founded The Peoples Improv Theater (The PIT) in New York City in honor of his mentor, Del Close. His one-man-show "Word of Mouth" was featured at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival.

Farahnakian wrote for Saturday Night Live in the 1999–2000 season and appeared for many years as a sketch performer on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," his memorable characters on the show included playing Conan's agent Ari Palone. Farahnakian has appeared in films such as "Edge of Darkness" and "Arthur." He has made guest appearances on television programs such as "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," "30 Rock," and "Louie." In 2012, Farahnakian joined the cast for the third season of the Adult Swim show "Delocated" starring Jon Glaser.

Farahnakian has also written for the MTV sketch series "Human Giant" and produced segments for the Channel 101 website.