Jen Spira’s Comedy Wisdom: The Resume Breakdown for Aspiring Comedians

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Jen Spira’s Comedy Wisdom: The Resume Breakdown for Aspiring Comedians

Hello fellow comedians! If you’re looking to dive deep into the world of comedy writing, we’ve got some gems for you today. Straight from the world of late-night comedy, Jen Spira, a renowned comedy writer from “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”, has dished out a ton about her journey. And yes, for those who are looking to craft their resumes for a stand-up comedy class, you’re in luck!


Key Learning Points:

  1. The Resume Humor: While humor is our business, when it comes to resumes, it’s always a good idea to keep it straightforward and professional. Being normal won’t backfire, but trying to be funny might!
  2. Objective Matters: Clearly state your goals. Whether you want to infuse humor with a satirical touch or a goofy style, it’s essential to have clarity.
  3. Headshots: Your headshot should reflect your current look and feel. For comedy writers, it might not need to be “actor-y”, but it should capture your essence.
  4. Social Media: Being present on platforms like Twitter, especially for comedians, is vital. It offers a direct channel to share your work, build a following, and get noticed.
  5. Work Experience: Showcase your significant contributions, collaborations, and the dynamics of where you’ve worked. For Jen, working on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” since 2015 involved writing monologues, sketches, and collaborating in pairs for scripts.
  6. Joke Writing: It’s an art of observation and distillation. Understanding the essence of any piece of news or event and turning it into a joke requires keen observation and understanding the nuances of humor.
  7. Understanding the Host: To write for a particular show or host, it’s essential to understand their sensibilities, likes, dislikes, and references.
  8. Voiceover: It’s a skill! And it requires a unique way of delivering lines – shorter, crisper, and with impact.
  9. Past Experiences: Each job, be it related to comedy or not, teaches something valuable. For instance, Jen’s stint at The Onion helped her hone her satirical skills, while her various odd jobs in Chicago shaped her hustle and passion for comedy.
  10. Personal Writing: Always have a side project. Whether it’s writing humor pieces for publications or maintaining a doc of ideas, it helps in honing your craft.
  11. Training: Institutions like IO in Chicago can provide invaluable improv training. Such training can teach collaboration, risk-taking, and spontaneous creativity.
  12. Education: While formal education, like an MFA or BA, might not be essential for every comedian, the discipline of regular reading and writing can be beneficial.
  13. References: Always have someone who can vouch for your work ethic, skills, and adaptability.
  14. Awards & Special Skills: They matter! Whether it’s speaking another language or having a unique talent, make sure to highlight these.

Jen’s Golden Tip: For anyone keen to succeed in comedy, it’s essential to constantly absorb knowledge. Read, watch, and learn from those you admire. Moreover, don’t be shy to put your work out there.

So, if you’re aiming to shine in a stand-up comedy class or make a mark in the world of comedy writing, take these insights from Jen Spira to heart. Laugh on and write on!


Did you earn yourself a spot on the leaderboard?
Look at the chart below to find out!
1Alan Salzbank 30/30
2Alexa Speaks 30/30
3Tom Padovano 30/30
4Zygy 30/30
5Laurie Milbourn 30/30
6Carla Ulbrich 30/30
7Jane Joan Costagliola 30/30
8Richard Parisi 20/30
9Alyson Chadwick 20/30
10Tracey 20/30

1 thought on “Jen Spira’s Comedy Wisdom: The Resume Breakdown for Aspiring Comedians”

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If you want to learn stand-up comedy, this is the course for you! The Comedy Trade School stand-up comedy course is the perfect way to learn the ropes of stand-up comedy. The course is taught by professional comedians, and you'll learn everything from joke writing to delivery.

John Smith

Los Angles

This is an excellent stand-up comedy course that will teach you the basics of joke writing, delivery, and stage presence. The course is taught by professional comedians, and you will get plenty of opportunities to perform your material. I highly recommend this course to anyone interested in becoming a stand-up comedian.

Iryna Josse


Comedy Trade School is an excellent way to improve your stand-up comedy skills. The course is thorough and well-structured, and the instructors are experienced and knowledgeable. I would highly recommend this course to anyone looking to take their stand-up comedy career to the next level.

Bob Lopatkin

New York

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