ASU’s first comedian-in-residence shares secrets of comedy in classes

TEMPE-Maysoon Zayid, the first ever comedian-in-residence at Arizona State University, is teaching freedom of expression and how to make people laugh. She teaches a stand-up course to current ASU students at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts as well as moderating one session a month to students who are disabled and want to talk about their struggles of campus life.

Zayid was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at birth. The disease makes it hard for her to gain muscle control.

“As someone who is a woman, a person of color, a Muslim and someone with a disability, I’m hoping that I can leave a legacy at ASU that shows that inclusion and diversity is crucial, crucial to this community and that you don’t do it because you have to, you do it because it enhances the experience,” Zayid said.

Zayid’s students will be competing in the College Comedy Bowl to be named ASU’s funniest comedian. Professional comics Joe Derosa, Laurie Kilmartin and Rick Shapiro will judge the event. The College Comedy Bowl takes place Feb. 26 at 7:30 pm at the MU Union Stage on ASU’s Tempe campus.