UIndy alumnus goes viral

Comedian and University of Indianapolis alumnus Brent Terhune has been trending on YouTube and Facebook with his satirical political comedy videos. Terhune’s love of comedy started when he was 16, and according to Terhune, he would perform at comedy clubs. 

Terhune said that when he was growing up his comedic inspirations were Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, Dave Chappelle, Mitch Hedberg, and Roy Wood Jr. After getting paid for a comedy show for the first time at 18, he discovered he could make a career performing standup comedy. 

Terhune said he tailored his education to try and do stand-up after college. He graduated from UIndy in 2012 with a degree in communication and a concentration in electronic media, Terhune said. During his time at UIndy, he completed an internship with “The Bob & Tom Show,” which he still works at 10 years later as a contributing writer, he said. 

“When you see Jimmy Fallon do monologue type of style jokes, that’s kind of what I do, but for Bob and Tom, the jokes don’t have to be as tight because I can write several jokes,” Terhune said. “It’s more conversational, so they [Bob and Tom] can slip them in, rather than just do like a setup, punchline type thing.” 

In some of his videos, Terhune said he plays a Trump-supporter character. This character came about because NFL player Colin Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem, he said. According to Terhune, he saw Indianapolis Colts fans burning their season tickets, jerseys and shoes. 

BRENT TERHUNE

Terhune said his most viewed video, a rant about Colin Kaepernick’s Nike ad campaign, has had more than 10 million views on YouTube and Facebook. Terhune said that to be trending on the internet felt weird.

“It’s not like one of my jokes, where everybody’s in on the joke,” Terhune said. “Some people thought it was real … [while] some people knew it was a joke. My intention wasn’t to trick you.”

The character is not the only character Terhune includes in his stand-up. Terhune said that he also talks about everyday life, including topics such as his marriage and his cats, when he does stand up as well. 

Terhune said that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the comedy world. He said that he performs his shows over Zoom. A typical show for Terhune consists of pre-recorded bits, characters and special guests on the show. He said that one of the most rewarding parts is being timely with his video content. 

“It’s got to be funny, but also timely, because nine things have already happened by tomorrow, and you can still comment on things, but it’s never going to be hotter than when it’s at the top of trending,” Terhune said. 

Issac Landfert is an Indianapolis comedian who said he met Terhune while doing standup in 2006. Fifteen years later, he said, they have performed several comedy acts together, including a variety of character routines. Landfert said he admires Terhune’s dedication to his comedy act. 

“He’s more than just the redneck character that he’s doing,” Landfert said. “I really appreciate the hustle, not only just in the amount of videos that he puts out, but the amount of jokes that he writes, the amount of jokes that he fits into his live act. His work rate is pretty above and beyond almost anybody [else].”

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