About The American Comedy Institute

The American Comedy Institute was founded in 1989 by award-winning Director, Stephen Rosenfield. Located in midtown Manhattan, this New York City comedy school, offers monthly standup comedy classes for adults, teens, and kids, a One Year Program in Comedy Performing and Writing, private comedy coaching and writing sessions, and various other domestic and international services for businesses, colleges and universities, and actors. In 2012, American Comedy Institute became the first comedy school in the United States to be accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre. Soon after, ACI became an approved education/training facility by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.


The American Comedy Institute’s philosophy is that the best comedy training does three things:

  1. Helps you find your comedic voice; what is original and different and wonderful about your sense of humor.
  2. Teaches you how to communicate your unique comedy skillfully, fearlessly and entertainingly to the largest possible audience.
  3. Instills love and respect for comedy and its capacity to help us survive by showing us that we can face the truth – and laugh!

At ACI we believe that by offering our students training, performing opportunities, and information, and by introducing their work to the entertainment industry, we are significantly enhancing their capability to pursue comedy as a career.

ACI Students

Our students TV appearances include The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, The Conan O’Brien Show, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Lopez Tonight, Comedy Central, HBO, NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS, OWN, Bravo, FX, The History Channel, Starz, MTV, VH1, JLTV, Netflix and Canal De las Estrellas.

Among the TV shows in which they appear in starring and principal roles are: Girls, Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show, Inside Amy Schumer, The View, Louie, Portlandia, Key and Peele, Orange is the New Black, The Jim Gaffigan Show, Boardwalk Empire, Wanda Sykes Presents Herlarious, Royal Pains, Es De Noche y ya Llegue, Enlisted, I Love the 1880’s, 30 Rock, Rescue Me, Flight of the Conchords, Last Comic Standing, Gotham Comedy Live, The Chris Rock Show, My Boys, That 70’s Show, 24, Ellen and Seinfeld. They have appeared in such films as It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Morning Glory, Away We Go, The Love Guru, Love Actually and 13 Going on 30.

Our students are performing in major motion pictures, one-person shows, national commercials, and on Broadway and off-Broadway stages. They are appearing at the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival, Los Angeles Comedy Fest, Boston Comedy Festival, San Francisco SketchFest, Seattle Comedy Festival and New York Comedy Festival. They have written and starred in one-person shows at the New York Fringe International Festival, Soho Playhouse, 13th Street Repertory Theatre, and in theaters across the country and around the world.