SHU senior seeks path of humor through comedy

The new College of Communication and the Arts garners student’s talents in journalism, public relations and various media fields. Still, there are some students who go against the grain to build their own path.

Abby Deely, a senior communication studies major, said a sense of accomplishment through the most basic form of communication was found in humor.  Deely is pursuing a career as a stand-up comedian.

While growing up, Deely said that the urge to perform and be funny was present throughout childhood, looking up to individuals who could make people laugh and wanting to find ways to be like them. The goal quickly became finding different ways to grab people’s attention and become the funniest person in the room.

As a child, Deely’s initial views about comedians was wanting to understand how they came up with their humor.

“What is the psychology and mindset behind people who want to be funny professionally?” Deely said. “They were the first people I looked up to besides fictional characters. I saw the behavior. I wanted to be an over the top kind of person and have people laugh at what I did.”

The journey towards laughter began in high school for Deely, where the theater program only held musicals for students to perform in.

This led to finding a place in the forensics speech and debate team, a place that could give the opportunity to improve at performing. Forensics was a major catalyst for Deely coming to Seton Hall as it was a way to finally use one’s own voice in performance.

As a freshman, Deely was a national finalist in After Dinner Speaking, a speech event that takes serious topics and uses humor throughout to highlight the message. The topic was on Iranian Nuclear issues, but left audiences laughing after every line. Although Deely left the speech community soon afterwards, the process of finding humor even in hard topics is one that is applied to the way the comedian thinks of comedy writing.

“Freshmen year something just clicked into my brain at like four in the morning as I churned out this amazing speech,” Deely said.

As a stand-up comedian, landing a joke you’ve never told before is one of the most rewarding experiences, Deely said. Deely used to look up comedy legends Marc Maron and Cameron Esposito and is now choosing to write about Amy Schumer as the topic for a senior thesis.

Stand-up comedians are a unique group of people as they live their lives searching for ways to bring others joy, which is what sets their path apart from other traditional or professional careers, Deely added.

“It brings me joy to land a joke I’ve never told anyone on stage,” Deely said. “Seeing what happens, seeing people laugh is a joyful moment.”

Deely has also been able to do open mics and reach audiences at the Broadway Comedy Club in New York.

Stephanie Gomulka can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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