The above unshaven avatar detailed with an unbuttoned collar on his polo shirt is from Comedy Central‘s interactive Crash Course in Comedy (which, of course, is sponsored by Hyundai).

The series launched last month with host and New York comedian Ted Alexandro delivering two four-minute online video lessons each week (uploaded on Mondays and Wednesdays) with episodes explaining facets of the stand-up business. At first, they seemed more like jokes themselves, but there have been some truly educational moments in the series.

“Delivery,” for instance, used clips of Wendy Liebman and Jeffrey Ross, two comedians with a very individual sense of timing that’s integral to their humor, to breakdown and illustrate how and why delivery elevates humor. It can be worth checking out (though Monday’s episode, “The Business,” is pretty basic, last Wednesday’s “Coping with Bombing” seemed informative).

But what’s kind of cool is the avatar video series, like the above picture, which is Ted Alexandro’s avatar. Users can use the “Comedian Constructor” to build their own virtual comedian who can speak inputted audio (text turned into audio, recorded by phone, or recorded and uploaded by microphone) with appropriate motions and pauses for effect. The results can be seen in the Oddcast joke gallery.

And if you’re really into being a comedian, you can enter the Crash Course in Comedy sweepstakes by filling out a simple form and being quizzed about lessons gleaned from the series after a random drawing of names on May 17. It’s as basic as a contest could ever possibly be, but nonetheless the winner will be flown to New York, given a chance to learn from Ted Alexandro in person, and given tickets to a New York comedy show.

Check out this week’s episodes of Crash Course in Comedy on Comedy Central.

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