Playing it for laughs
Since he has been 16 years old, nobody has taken Brent Terhune seriously.
And that is just the way the 29-year-old OG (Original Ginger) likes it.
Terhune, who got hooked on standup comedy at the tender age of 16, and has never looked back. The nationally-traveling comedian, whose album, “Mr. Turkey,” hit the No. 1 spot on iTunes comedy chart, will be sharing his well-honed gift of gab with Huntington on Wednesday as the weeklong Huntington Music and Arts Festival continues.
The Indianapolis resident, who has played everything from a nudist colony to a prison headlines the HMAF Comedy Night running from 9 to 11 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, at 4th Avenue Arts (formerly the Camelot Theater) 1030 4th Ave., Huntington.
Local comedians on the bill include: Ian Nolte, Alex Runyon, Nathan Thomas, Cody Lambert, Adam Culver, Seth Taylor, Ryan Clagg, Emily Murray, Nick Griffith, Angie Davis and Charleston comic, Andy Frampton, who just put out a new comedy record, “The Disasterpiece.” It is a free show but donations welcome to help support local comedians.
This is the second year for comedy at HMAF. Last year, Third Man Records artist, Billy Wayne Davis drew an SRO crowd to the old Black Sheep upstairs. Terhune said he is stoked to come and play Huntington for the first time an to check out the DIY scene here that has emerged thanks to Huntington Comedy. That group of regular stand-up comics
an normally be found at Black Sheep Burritos and Brew or The Press Club for their weekly Wednesday night events.
“I am really looking forward to seeing what Huntington has to offer,” Terhune said by phone last week. “When I’m home in Indy I don’t hang out as much as I did because I am out on the road four days a week so when you get home it’s hard to go back out and see stuff.”
Terhune said more often than not these days, he is playing more house shows and special comedy nights at clubs that are not dedicated comedy clubs as once was the case for touring comics.
“People aren’t waiting for comedy clubs to open they are just doing it themselves like they are in Huntington,” Terhune said. “They are producing it and you don’t need a lot of things to do comedy. You can do your own show and you can invite people online as opposed to handing out fliers. I think a lot of comedians are touring on that format. I am stringing together two weeks of shows and I am not stepping foot into a comedy club anymore.”
Terhune said he first dipped his toe into the comedy scene in high school and got hooked on the feeling.
“I was in high school and they had a coffeehouse that had essentially an open mic and you could do whatever talent you had and people were doing acoustic music and poetry and when I was a sophomore I was just dumb enough to think I could do stand up,” Terhune said. “I did it that the first time and then started doing it once a quarter. I went to a comedy club when I was 17. You had to be 18 but I didn’t say anything and they didn’t say anything and so I started doing it.”
To further his comedy education, Terhune went to the University of Indianapolis in his hometown where he tailored his education to fit his dream of being a stand up. He studied communications, radio and public education. While in college, he got some invaluable experience and a life-changing internship with the Indy-based syndicated comedy duo, “The Bob and Tom Show” out of Indianapolis.
When he was a college junior, Terhune began writing jokes for them, something he still does today for Bob and Tom, who’ve been a comedy team for 30-plus years.
“I love it now I don’t have to go in or get up early I just send them jokes the night before,” Terhune said. “When I was there every day for four months in college I was writing jokes but also just listening and watching how they interact. You realize that you can’t fabricate a rapport with somebody. That is something you have to build up. You see radio teams and comedy teams and a big part of why their stuff is good is that when they do it they have an understanding and know how the other person is going to react.”
In recent years, Terhune has started to grow out his beard, first just because his girlfriend wanted him too, but now the comedian adorned with Stonewall Jackson length whiskers is becoming known for the look.
“I grew it out because my girlfriend liked beards and I always had one but never this long,” Terhune said. “It wasn’t intentional but it has been way for people to remember me. Like Gabriel Iglesias who wears a Hawaiian shirt and jean shorts. You see those two things and you know it is him. Not that I was out to find a ‘Brand,’ and I am using airquotes, but anything that doesn’t make me the fat comic is good. I will be the redheaded comic or the bearded comic as long as I’m not the fat comic.”
For Terhune, the stage is a place where he can speak about things like his everyday struggles, life as a college student and radio DJ, or his off-the-wall Uncle Frank and family.
He said on stage he is all about being absurd, relevant and funny without being political or hurtful.
That said, Terhune, who this summer was on the On Tour Records All-Stars Showcase with Matt Holt, Jeff Oskay, and Stewart Huff, has himself also chalked up a series of YouTube channel videos in which Terhune has reeled off a series of mildly political Redneck videos poking fun at things such as the Space Force idea, but also silly stuff like people’s love of Bigfoot shows.
“It’s been cool putting out things for people to see and for people to find me online and then they can come and see my show,” said Terhune, who did a recent short video, “Redneck Salutes Space Force.” ”... and when they come to the show it is nothing like that. I don’t do politics or religion. It is just not what I write about. If someone is coming to my shows I want them to have to not be able to think about what is bad in the world right now. I want people to show up for my show on purpose. I don’t want them to be just be like oh we are going to go to see comedy; I want them to come and see Brent Terhune.”
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Huntington Music and Arts Festival Comedy Night.
WHERE: 4th Avenue Arts (formerly the Camelot Theater) 1030 4th Ave., Huntington.
WHEN: 9 to 11 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29.
WHO: The headliner is On Tour Records recording artist: Brent Terhune, of Indianapolis. He writes for The Bob and Tom Show and is touring off his his new comedy album that went No.1 on iTunes comedy. Local Comedians on the bill include some of H-town’s most fresh and veteran comics, Ian Nolte, Alex Runyon, Nathan Thomas, Cody Lambert, Adam Culver, Seth Taylor, Ryan Clagg, Emily Murray, Nick Griffith, Angie Davis and Charleston comic, Andy Frampton, who just put out a new comedy record, “The Disasterpiece.”
HOW MUCH: Free but donations are welcome.
ON THE WEB: Go online at http://www.herald-dispatch.com/_recent_news/video-every-bigfoot-hunting-show-by-comedian-brent-terhune/youtube_c859f306-a725-11e8-b6ca-734602ae611d.html to see one of Brent Terhune’s short comedy YouTube videos.
BEFORE THE SHOW: The HMAF 72-Hour Film Challenge runs from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29 at the Fourth Avenue Arts. Come out and see about two dozen films made locally. This year’s event is hosted by Ian Nolte and Josh McComas, the screening will be judged by special guest Walter Squire, director of Film Studies at Marshall University.
More midweek HMAF
Tuesday, Aug. 28: HMAF Art on the Edge: At the Huntington Museum of Art, 2033 McCoy Road, Huntington, from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28. Park on the side, as the event takes place in the Walter Gropius Studio Buildings. Enjoy art in by regional artists, as well as art vendors, and an area where visitors can help make some of the art that will be on display at the main festival at Ritter Park Amphitheater. Music by one of Huntington’s top DJs, Jess Hurst. Tuesday, Aug. 28, HMAF Sock Hop: Roll-A-Rama, 137 7th Ave., for HMAF’s first sock hop that runs from 9 p.m. to midnight. There’s a $5 cover for this event which includes skate rental. Coolers are welcome. Music will be by the one-and-only cult sensation, Laid Back Country Picker.
Thursday, Aug. 30: Pre-Party at Pullman Square: The free Pullman Square Summer Concert Series features regionally-traveling singer/songwriters Tony Harrah and Sean Whiting roll in with their bands from 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30.In addition to regular Pullman Square vendors, the non-traditional egg roll food truck, Eggs Will Roll.
Thursday, Aug 30: HMAF We Care, Ewe Care: After the Pullman Square concert, head over to the new Black Sheep Burritos and Brew, 279 9th St. (Pullman Square) for the afterparty. Called HMAF We Care, Ewe Care (Black Sheep) the concert runs 10 p.m. to midnight with opener: Of The Dell, Beckley’s jam unit, The Kind Thieves. Donations are being taken to help local teachers with school supplies.