The University of Texas at Austin offers master class in comedy

Oct. 7, 2005

AUSTIN, Texas—The Department of Radio-Television-Film (RTF) at The University of Texas at Austin is giving students this fall the opportunity to create, develop, write and produce programming for National Lampoon Network, an independent college television network broadcast on more than 650 campuses nationwide.

RTF Assistant Professor Cauleen Smith is teaching the course, which allows students to work with National Lampoon Network on programming. The goal is for students to produce two to three programs that will be broadcast on the network.

“Comedy is generally considered a low brow art form, but it’s actually a more difficult genre to do well and it’s rarely addressed within film schools,” said Smith. “National Lampoon, which began as a college outfit, requires hours of original content. This class is enabling the network to return it to its roots by letting college students determine the programming for the network.”

Students are working on their scripts, the best of which will be selected by Orin Woinsky, vice president of National Lampoon Network.

“So far, students have risen to the challenge,” Smith said. “Orin has said many of the student concepts he’s seen are on par or better than what he sees in the industry.”

Guest lecturers, including Matty Simmons, founder of National Lampoon and producer of “Animal House” and the “Vacation” series; Jeff Kanew, director of “Revenge of the Nerds”; Andrew Panay, who produced “Wedding Crashers” and “National Lampoon’s Van Wilder”; and Dana Wheeler, who co-starred with Chevy Chase in “Fletch” will screen films, discuss the filmmaking process and conduct workshops.

For more information contact: Allison McGuire Young, 310-248-6120; George Cabico, 310-248-6177; Erin Geisler, College of Communication, 512-475-8071.