Steve Kaplan was a very important influence on me as a writer. Many of his techniques for analyzing a comedy scene I still use to this day. Although I make sure I never give him credit.

Steve Skrovan

Writer, Everybody Loves Raymond

“My brother Pete and I get asked all the time by young writers about our philosophy of comedy. We usually just say “try to make your comedy funny”. But from now on I’ll just tell those annoying little suck-ups to read your book. It’s all in there.” 

Bobby Farrelly

Writer/Director, Dumb & Dumber, There's Something About Mary

So far, I’ve met Steve Kaplan twice. Yes, he’s worth the time and effort for me to fly 3000 miles from Florida to LA for a consult

First draft he turned a bucket of tripe into something legible, coherent and potentially entertaining. Second draft he used his extraordinary skills and utterly impressive focus to afford me the ability of sharing with producers and entering competitions. So my advice is this . . . don’t shoot yourself in the foot, hire Steve to help you bring your script to the market.

Thank you so much, Steve, for your candid feedback, insight, and invaluable wisdom.

Brendan Moran


I still talk about your seminar. It was Gangbusters
Greg Dean

Author, Step by Step to Stand-up Comedy

“I’ve always been told – and have told others – funny can’t be taught. After reading Steve Kaplan’s thoughtful, Hidden Tools informative and yes, funny book – I stand corrected. A great read for anyone wanting to break into the comedy game. And for those already in the game, a breezy, welcome jolt of education and inspiration.”


Peter Tolan

Taught me years’ worth of lessons about performance and theatre
Christopher Titus

Writer / Actor / Comedian, Titus

Fresh insights with a ‘why didn’t I think of that’ on every page. Steve Kaplan is a true comedy maven. Don’t know what that is? Read this book, and you will. You may even turn into one yourself.
Ellen Sandler

Co-Executive Producer: Everybody Loves Raymond, Author: The TV Writer’s Workbook

“Walking away from the two day intensive the team appeared to have a newfound confidence. Having acquired new skills and perspectives on comedy writing, character and theme, there was no doubt that Steve Kaplan’s Comedy Intensive was going to be a constant point of reference throughout the ongoing development of ‘Too Far’.”
Marc Gracie

Producer, ‘Too Far’

I wrote…my best, funniest sketches thanks, in no small part, to the lessons I learned from Steve Kaplan’s comedy classes. Steve breaks the fine art of comedy down…that helps the unfunny become funny, and the funny become funnier

David Fury

Emmy-Winning Writer/Producer, 24, Lost, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and more!


Steve Kaplan’s approach to comedy is both practical and artful.  His years of experience working with comedy writers has created techniques that can help anyone craft a joke and find the funny.  Written with the warmth and humor he brings to his in-person classes, this book is a must-read for the aspiring writer or comic whose desire is to make people laugh … and also make them think.

Pilar Alessandra

Director of the On The Page Screenwriting Program; Author of "The Coffee Break Screenwriter"

“The material he covered confirmed some things we had only guessed at and also opened new doors. There were several moments when his observations rang bells, lit bulbs, threw switches. Simple human truths are often like that. We slap our foreheads and say, ‘I knew that – why did I never think it?’ Wise men like Kaplan tell us things written in our DNA.”
Tim Ferguson

Writer/ Producer, '‘Circle Work’

More Quotes

Highly recommended
“A Comedy Expert! Highly recommended for all those with comic ambitions.”

– Caryn West, Audition Coach

Real value
“It was of real value for me as an actor and as a sitcom dialogue coach. It gave me new insights and understanding on why I do and don’t laugh at material.”

– Judy Kerr, Author “Acting is Everything!”

Comedy from all angles
“Steve’s class is the first I’ve taken where every point was equally applicable to acting, writing and directing. I’m able to see comedy from all angles in a way I wasn’t before.”

– Bill Funt, “The New Candid Camera”

Lays out the mechanics of funny
“Kaplan lays out the mechanics of funny, in a way that can be applied to every situation. His class was invaluable to me as a writer and a director. I wish I had taken it years ago.”

–Don Handfield, Writer/Director

Dwayne Colbert, Actor/Writer
“I actually came to the seminar because I had been seeing and hearing about your intensives for years and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I literally came with the attitude of “what can he possibly teach me about comedy that I don’t already know?” With the few successes I’ve had as a writer and my current studies at Second City and The Groundlings, I figured I already had my comedy bases covered, so to speak. But, to my pleasant surprise, your intensive turned out to be exactly what I’ve always wanted out of these type of seminars. I’ve taken classes on comedy that use terms and over explain concepts to the point that you walk away thinking nothing is funny anymore. You end up holding onto that thought like a badge of honor, as if only those that know how comedy works are privileged enough to not find things funny anymore. To me, an attitude like that can be detrimental to your comedy, not helpful. Your intensive, on the other hand, offered simple terms and had a whimsy to it that made any new concepts paletteable. I had a blast and learned a lot! I now find myself using your terms and seeing things through the filter of the concepts you presented, which help me not only breakdown and understand why I find something funny, but also helps me create the funny and fix existing ideas that weren’t working.”
Katie Koskenmaki, Artistic Development Coordinator, DreamWorks Animation
“We’ve been hearing nothing but great things about the class. People even wrote me thank you notes– That’s saying a lot, coming from extremely busy animators. Thank you for a great experience!”
Ms Charlie Carman, Film Victoria
“I just wanted to reiterate our thanks to you for being such a star! It was great to have the opportunity to attend the workshop and hear your insights, and all of the writers we sent there also had fantastic things to say about the experience.”
Queenie van de Zandt, Actor/Singer/Writer
“Firstly thank you so much for coming to Australia and imparting all your knowledge – I was able to put your advice into action immediately. Thre was this one line in the play I am currently performing in (“Rabbit Hole” by David Lindsay – Abaire – I play the role of Izzy) – which I had not been able to land – and I had tried everything – with no success. On opening night I even talked to some of our countries best theatrical comedy actors and asked how they would do it – and then tried their approaches – but still no real laugh. Then on Saturday as I was coming up to the line – it suddenly dawned on me that I was playing the line with too much insight – my character knew too much – and as simple as that – huge laugh. So thank you so much – I have no doubt I will be dipping into your “toolbox” for the rest of my career.”
Josh Thomas, Winner, “Best New Talent” Melbourne International Comedy Festival
“I really enjoyed this weekend, thank you. I thought I was going to hate it because I’ve always thought no one can teach how to do comedy, I was wrong.”

If you want to learn comedy, Steve can help.