I've been thinking about these for a while, when I first started out I went on one with a friend, I'd already been doing stand-up for a couple of weeks when she got in touch and asked if I fancied going. It was run by Janice Connolly and Archie Kelly was guest tutor, both of them fresh from Phoenix nights (which I know dates this story.)
The course was useful to me, but the lessons I learned wouldn't really help until much much later.
Cut to 6 years down the line and the same friend got in touch with me to ask if I might help out as a guest tutor on the stand-up course that they run.
I jumped at the chance, as I think that if you can you've got a duty to the industry to try to help make it a better place with better comics, promoters and audiences for the good of us all, but that's possibly because I think I might be a goddamned communist, or at the very least un-American.
Now, of the people who went on the course that I was on I believe I'm the only person who's still performing, my friend is a teacher and works in the industry in another capacity as well as running the stand-up course (she doesn't teach on it another comedian does the teaching).
And I've heard a lot of discussion about whether stand-up courses are worth it, if they can actually help anyone and if those who would succeed would do so anyway without the aid of the course.