IU student is first to major in stand up comedy

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (March 30, 2015)-- An Indiana University student is the first Hoosier to major in stand up comedy. Arsenal Tech graduate and IU junior Rob Sherrell wants to make money by getting people to laugh.

"My parents did not go to college. I am the first person in my family to go. So, when they found out I was switching my major from legal and law to stand up comedy, they were not all too happy at first," said Sherrell.

Sherrell will accomplish it through IU's individualized major program. His "Humor in Use" professor says comedy is actually a serious subject that needs to be studied.

"Comedy is so complex and humor is so complex and laughter is so complex that I think it warrants it from every angle.  I would love to see more students shift from seeing this as a just an extracurricular to recognizing that this can be a field of study," said professor Susan Seizer.

Sherrell takes classes offered in several different disciplines, including communications, anthropology and English.

"It makes it a lot easier as a comedian once you find out why, you can produce it again and again. It`s been very beneficial to me take classes for stand up comedy," said Sherrell.

Sherrell perfects his craft at local shows in Indianapolis and Bloomington. He met with comedian Kevin Hart when Hart visited IU.

"He said, 'Rob, struggle in your craft. It's the struggle that makes the comedian who he is on stage.' He told me I was a trailblazer comedian, and he'll see me successful in a couple of years and I believe that," said Sherrell.

Sherrell will study aboard in London and Toronto on a stand up comedy tour. He will get credit towards his major, but he has to pay for the class.

Sherrell is raising more money to fund his trip. Click here if you'd like to donate. 

"It makes it a lot easier as a comedian once you find out why, you can produce it again and again. It's been very beneficial to me take classes for stand up comedy," explained Sherrell about his major.

Click here to watch Sherrell's comedy act.