Fall 2011Impact

An internship that’s no joke

‘My extended family knows I do comedy, but they don’t get  that I do comedy.  I’m pretty sure my family thinks that right before I go on stage I rip my sleeves off, step on stage, smash some fruit, and close out my set by saying, “Get R Done!”’  —brentcomedy.com

You might call Brent Terhune the class clown. A Communication major and a senior this fall, Brent’s known on and off campus for his comedy. He’s been telling jokes to his friends and family forever. Now he does stand-up onstage for crowds of hundreds and helps run a weekly open-mike night at Crackers Comedy Club in Indy.“I did my first open mike at Crackers when I was a junior in high school,” he says. “You got three minutes to perform. Now I do maybe 250 to 300 shows a year—I stopped counting them.”

Brent always knew he liked telling jokes and that he’d love to be able to turn it into a career.“I recently came across the program from my 8th grade graduation,” he says. “I listed ‘radio DJ / comedian’ under what I wanted to be when I grew up. I just like making people laugh.”

Brent’s passion for comedy, and especially comedy writing, was one of the things that attracted him to UIndy, and in particular to UIndy’s Electronic Media program.

“I liked the idea of small class sizes, and I knew UIndy’s radio program was really good—just look at all the awards we’ve won,” Brent says. “Plus I think you get on air in radio a lot earlier than you can at other schools, which is really beneficial.”

Brent co-hosts a podcast with two other comedians he met on the circuit, and he’s been on-air on UIndy’s WICR-FM three times a week.

National stage

Best of all, his experience doing stand-up and his UIndy connections helped him land an internship with the hugely popular “Bob and Tom Show,” a nationally syndicated radio show owned by Clear Channel Communications and based in Indy. The Bob and Tom Show is one of America’s leading media outlets for both veteran and up-and-coming comedians on the circuit and has won five Marconi awards, the highest award in radio. Brent spends his time writing comedic material based on news stories, current events, or other bits that are featured on the show.

From day one

As an intern, he exchanged instant messages with on-air personality and cohost Tom Griswold during the show and frequently contributed jokes and material that was read on the air. “The very first day, I got to watch the show,” Brent said. “I handed Tom some papers and he said, ‘That’s funny. I’m going to read this’—and I got to watch him read one of my jokes on the air my first day.”

Brent credits one of his radio professors (director of WICR-FM radio), Scott Uecker, with helping him get noticed. “Scott Uecker knows everyone in Indy,” Brent said. “He knows the director of the Bob and Tom Show and he e-mailed him for me. I knew being at UIndy was a good angle to get an internship here. That had always been one of my goals.”

It gets better: at the end of his internship Bob and Tom offered Brent a job. He’s now officially a writer for the show.

the authorMarty