Comedian Brent Terhune talks about ‘emotional support beer’

Comedian Brent Terhune has taken his sense of humor to YouTube lately, producing clips with wacky characters and quirky observations, including a play-by-play on a fight at McDonald’s that was recorded and went viral. “That lady got her whole ass kicked,” Terhune said of the video. “And then her boob popped out … anytime there’s public nudity in a McDonald’s you know it’s worth a watch.” This week, you can catch Terhune headlining at The Caravan, and there may or may not be nudity.

LEO: You’re no stranger to our fair city. Are there any trips to Louisville that stand out to you?

Brent Terhune: Last year, I was in Louisville for a ghost hunting event. I performed for the people from the show ‘Ghost Hunters’ and then we got to go on a ghost hunt at Waverly Hills. That was a great trip because I got to tell my ghost hunting jokes for actual ghost hunters, and then I got to step into their world and do the ghost hunting stuff.

Ghost hunting jokes? Do those make it into your regular act?

Yeah. I’m trying to do material that is more reflective of my personality and who I am. I’m also trying to put together a new album by the end of the year. I want to talk about stuff I like. I like ghost hunting stuff. I like Bigfoot shows. I want to tell jokes that no one else can do because it’s my take on something.

Did you see anything while you were at Waverly?

I didn’t, but other people did. It’s weird, I like that kind of stuff, but I’m always a skeptic. It’s always a creepy feeling to be in a building at night with no lights, especially when you know it has that much history. Then they show you pictures of actual patients, and they’re standing exactly where you are, then you think, ‘Oh yeah, that person is totally dead by now.’ It’s creepy.

Other than ghosts, what else inspires your comedy?

For sure Mitch Hedberg and Chappelle. Dave Chappelle is a guy who is fun to watch and sets a fire in your belly. Those last specials he did, man, he’s talking about topics that are hard to talk about without making people mad. He tiptoes the line, but handles it delicately.

I love that he doesn’t apologize.

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I think audiences respect that. If you do a joke timidly, people smell blood in the water, and they attack. But if you do it like you don’t care, like it’s just a joke, because at the end of the day that’s what it is, they’ll go with you on it.

What comes to mind regarding nightmare shows?

I did a show in La Grange, Kentucky, at the Luther Luckett Correctional Facility. It was fun, I would do it again, but it’s just strange. It’s intimidating to have to go through security, leave your phone in the car, and perform for 300 inmates while there’s only two guards in the room. If something happens, you have to know it’s going to be a minute before more security gets there. You’re thinking, ‘God, I hope I don’t say something to piss them off, because most of these guys are probably in here because they have bad tempers.’ I definitely wasn’t talking back to hecklers at that show. I’ll let the guy with the Taser handle it.

Your ‘Redneck’ videos are funny and telling. How would you define a redneck?

I guess it’s to be uninformed and ignorant. Some people call themselves a redneck just because they’re from the country, and they are not at all a redneck. You can live in the country and be smart and educated. Simplicity isn’t stupidity. My character is a guy who is uninformed, drunk and having opinions on things he knows nothing about. Talking about disrespecting the American flag while wearing it at the same time.

I love his ‘emotional support beer.’

He’s the type of guy who is going to show up somewhere that says: ‘No outside food or drink.’ And then he’s like: ‘I’m gonna have my beer. You ain’t gonna touch it. It’s registered, it’s got papers. It’s my emotional support!’

Your recent commentary on the viral video of a fight at McDonald’s was great. As a wrestling fan, how would you review that match?

The craziest part of that fight is that the lady already bought a milkshake, then wanted a Sprite, and didn’t have any money. How do you have milkshake money, but not Sprite money? That fight was what they call in the business a squash match. It was definitely one-sided, and there was a clear victor. It was crazy to watch, that lady got her whole ass kicked — and then she came back for more. And then her boob popped out, and that’s flying around now. Anytime there’s public nudity in a McDonald’s you know it’s worth a watch.

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