The Rodney Dangerfield Institute (RDI)

The Rodney Dangerfield Institute - Cognitio Respectus Comoedia

"Yeah, I took out an English teacher. I sent her a love letter... She corrected it!"

Rodney Dangerfield, "Back to School"

The Rodney Dangerfield Institute (RDI) at Los Angeles City College was established in honor of the late iconic comedian. Offering four classes including a stand-up workshop, improvisational comedy, joke writing, and an American film comedy genre class, the RDI is the only comedy institute in the country housed within a community college.

The RDI was established in cooperation with Joan Dangerfield, Rodney Dangerfield’s widow, who will serve as the honorary chair of the RDI Advisory Board.

Your World Premiere at the Comedy Store Stand-Up Workshop

Tap into your own creative genius and rock the audience with humor. Learn joke writing, creating characters, improvising skills, stage persona, and connecting with the audience. At the end of the course, students will have an opportunity to perform a stand-up piece as part of the "Comedy Revival Showcase" at Hollywood's famous Comedy Store.

Off-the-Cuff: Comedy Improv 1 & 2

Do you have a presentation at work? Are you a teacher or lawyer or IT worker? Do you not like the idea of public speaking? This class can help. Have a blast and learn a new skill! Actors and non-actors learn the building blocks of improvisational comedy. Comedic improvisational acting is about communication, teamwork, listening, and trusting yourself, all in a very fun environment. Learn the fundamentals, philosophy, and rules through games, excercises, and scenework. Come one, Come all!

Cinema 18, Film Genres

Students explore the main film genres, with an emphasis on comedy, along with the specific contributions of the major filmmakers in each genre, and the style and practices of studio production, marketing, and distribution. Each class includes the screening of a significant feature-length film that typifies or exemplifies that genre.

TA 262 Special Projects

This course will take the student from the very basic, key components of joke writing to a finished stand-up routine, culminating in a final class showcase. Lessons will include a brief history of modern comedy, mining joke topics from life experience, joke writing, joke re-writing, more joke re-writing, as well as performance and professionalism.


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Rodney Dangerfield appeared in 22 films, 20 commercials and as a guest on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” a record 70 times. Known for his iconic “I don’t get no respect” line, his signature black and red tie are part of a permanent collection at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.