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Network Pitches Online Comedy Lessons

4/02/2007 4:17 AM Eastern

Comedy Central is launching what it claims will be the first-ever interactive online comedy school for wannabe stand-up comedians, “Crash Course in Comedy.”

The school’s unique curriculum consists of 10 broadband-video classes designed by a professional stand-up comedy coach that are presented to the students by comedian Ted Alexandro of Comedy Central Presents and The Late Show with David Letterman.

Weekly video classes will cover a wide range of topics including developing jokes, stage presence and writing material. To add to the students’ learning experience and overall entertainment, Crash Course in Comedy will offer “how to” examples with video from comedycentral.com’s stand-up vault.

Hyundai is the sponsor of Crash Course in Comedy.

Crash Course in Comedy students can not watch two- to three-minute video classes online, but they can also build their own online comedian avatar. As part of the curriculum, comedycentral.com will introduce the Comedian Constructor -- a virtual interactive character feature created by Oddcast. This animated-avatar-technology tool will allow students to build their own virtual comedian and customize their acts by selecting their comedian's voice, clothes and accessories.In addition, registered students can type, call-in or record their original jokes and their online comedian avatar will read them aloud.

The Comedian Constructor will also include a send-to-friend feature and a gallery, so students can post their sets to comedycentral.com for other visitors to view and rate.

Comedy Central is also sponsoring a Crash Course in Comedy sweepstakes, which offers a chance to win a comedy weekend trip to New York City to meet with the Crash Course in Comedy coach and check out a professional comedy show. The prize package also includes economy class airfare from a major U.S. gateway for the winner and one guest, round-trip airport transfers and two-night hotel accommodations.

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