Kurtis (Jett) Matthews – Beginner and Advanced Comedy Teacher
Specialties: Stand Up, LA and National Comedy Market, TV/Radio, Public Speaking, Speech Writing, Team Building, Creativity and Innovation, Executive Coaching
In 1984, Kurtis began his comedy career at the Comedy Store in Hollywood, later appearing and touring with Bill Hicks, Sam Kinison, Adam Sandler, Judd Apatow, George Lopez, Jeff Cesario, Jim Carrey, Bob Goldthwaite, Rodney Dangerfield, Janeane Garofalo, Alonzo Bodden and Mark Lundholm, among others.
Twelve years of touring as a stand-up, appearing on national television, numerous radio shows and a five-year stint in the software industry provided both the show business and corporate experience not found in any other comedy teacher. In 1999, the San Francisco Comedy College (SFCC) was born.
Over the past thirteen years, the SFCC has become the largest stand up school in the country, training over 7,000 people to be funny with classes in stand up, improv, one-person shows and comedy writing. In 2006, HBO came to the SFCC to showcase comedians for its annual US Arts Comedy Festival in Aspen, marking the first time the network, nationally renowned for its comedy programming, scouted for talent at a comedy school. In 2006 and 2008, the Late Show with David Letterman held auditions for upcoming episodes at the SFCC, solidifying their role as the most sought-after comedy training in the country.
Kurtis is one of only two instructors in the United States, who offer the “process-based” comedy training that anyone can use to be funny. His seminars have been widely applauded by the National Speakers Association of Northern California, The Harvard Club of Silicon Valley, Laugh Lovers of Oakland, The Great American Comedy Festival and the Scottsdale Comedy Festival.
As well as being a great comedy teacher he can also be seen nationwide as talent in the Comedy Addiction Tour www.comedyaddictiontour.com and in the UK as the star of BBC1s “Find Me the Funny.”
Karin Babbitt – Advanced Stand Up and Improv Teacher
Specialties: Stand Up, Acting, Improv, Material Development, Career Direction
Karin Babbitt has been a professional stand-up comic since 1979, and has appeared on nightclub stages from coast to coast. She was a regular at the Comedy Store in Hollywood for a decade, appearing regularly in the Main show room. Karin has been featured in Las Vegas, and has opened for many stars, including Richard Pryor, Robin Williams, Rodney Dangerfield and Eddie Murphy. She has been seen on TV on all major networks, MTV, Vh-1, and The Comedy Channel. Karin Babbitt is one of a handful of women to have made it to the finals in the San Francisco International Comedy Competition. Having earned a Masters Degree, Karin has been a college and high school instructor for twenty years, specializing in comedy, video and theater production. She maintains her membership in the Screen Actors Guild and the Writers Guild of America, having written for Witt-Thomas Productions in Hollywood and for actor Dom Deluise. Karin was awarded a prestigious Golden Apple Award from the NEA for her production of the documentary, “The Last Laugh” which haired nationally on PBS for World AIDS Day.
Sal Calanni – Advanced Stand Up Comedy Teacher
Specialties: Stand Up, Material Development, Local and National Comedy Scene
Sal is originally from Cleveland, Ohio, hit the road and began doing stand up in San Francisco. He has crawled through the ranks and has appeared at clubs all over the country working with some great performers such as Dave Chappelle, Dave Attell, Bill Burr, Greg Giraldo, Robert Schimmel, John Caparulo, and many more.
He was featured on NBCs “Trauma,” starred in the film, “Comedy Ain’t for the Money,” and has starred in, co-wrote, and co-produced the upcoming film, “Lucifer’s Crewcut” which includes such talent as Maria Bamford, Arj Barker, Doug Benson, Jello Biafra, and GWAR. He is a part of the popular comedy sketch group Four in the Back, which has been featured on the Funny or Die homepage, and has a popular weekly podcast available free on ITunes named Sal & Angelo.
Sal took classes at the Comedy College at the beginning of his comedy career, has been teaching classes the past couple years at the school, and is the only comedian to have recorded his comedy album, Real Job, Real Paycheck, at the old Comedy Clubhouse.
For more information about Sal Calanni, go to http://www.salcalanni.com
Sammy Wegent – Web Comedy Director
Specialties: Web Comedy, Improv, Sketch Comedy, Stand Up, Comedy Writing, Team Building
Sammy Wegent is an actor/writer/comedian living in San Francisco. He’s been featured on IFC, The Onion A.V. Club, and he’s been seen in TV and web commercials for Geico, Reebok, 24-Hour Fitness, Capital One, the San Francisco Giants, Chiquita, Bay Alarm, Logitech, Yammer, and many more. He’s performed comedy all over North America at festivals and venues such as SF Sketchfest, Gotham Comedy Club, the Chicago Improv Festival, the SF Punchline, iO Chicago, the NBA All Star Jam Sessions, YouTube Live!, the Purple Onion, and the MLB All-Star FanFest. He is a past winner of the Battle of the Bay Comedy Competition along with the title of “The Funniest Person in the Bay Area.” He is the co-creator, writer, and star of the web series, Everybody’s A Comedian. Sammy has been at SFCC since 2004 and has taught acting, writing, improvisation, and stand-up comedy at several other institutions, including the American College Theater Festival, University of California Berkeley, Shorter College, Old Dominion University, Catholic University, and Georgetown University. His corporate comedy clients include Virgin America, NBC/Universal, Clickatell, Vibrant Media, Table For Six, Davita Pharmacy Group, The Princeton Review, and Jasper Wireless. From 2001-2007, Sammy was the Associate Artistic Director of the Seaside Repertory Theatre and from 2004-2008, he was the Executive Producer of the Gulf Coast Comedy Festival. He holds a BFA in Theatre from Shorter College and an MFA in Acting from Catholic University. Sammy is the Staff Writer for the social media game, CityVille.
Greg Dean – Consultant/Adjunct Professor
Specialties: Comedy Theory, Stand Up, Public Speaking
The San Francisco Comedy College is proudly associated with Greg Dean’s Stand-Up Comedy Workshops in Los Angeles. Greg is the author of “Step-By-Step to Stand-Up Comedy” and since 1982 has taught stand up technique to thousands of comedians. Greg is multi year veteran of nightclubs, street shows and the corporate arena.
Eddie Brill – Consultant/Adjunct Professor
Specialties: Stand Up, Corporate, International and Domestic Television
Eddie Brill, for the past ten years and counting, has worked on the Late Show with David Letterman. He is the audience warm-up and Talent Coordinator for the comedians who appear on the show.
He started stand-up comedy in the late 70s in college, but moved back to NY and was a copywriter for an advertising agency for a short while. But in July of 1984, he got back into doing stand-up when he started, booked and hosted the very successful Paper Moon Comedy Club in the west village of NYC and hasn’t stopped since. Since then he has become an international comedian who can work most anywhere in the world…anywhere in the world where they speak English of course. He has taped more than 100 television shows in six different countries. He is also a 3-time MAC Award Winner (Manhattan Association of Cabaret and Clubs) for Best Male Stand-up Comic in NYC.
Steve Smith – Consultant/Adjunct Professor
Specialties: Stand Up, Corporate, Cruise Ships, Corporate Comedy
Steve was one of Merv Griffin’s favorites?! He has amassed over 50 national television appearances over the years and now positions himself exclusively as a corporate and cruise ship entertainer. Steve is a regular performer on Royal Caribbean Cruise lines and L.P.G.A. events. Normally, he kills audiences with his humor but was mercilessly killed in “Nightmare on Elm Street 2” and “Slaughterhouse Rock.” We think it’s payback for his father bit.
But are they great comedy teachers? Many great comedians can’t teach comedy, and many great comedy teachers aren’t very funny. Amazingly, all of these teachers are both! Not sure? Find out for yourself by attending a free intro!