Brooklyn Comedy Collective finds new, interactive methods to maintain comedy alive in NYC

News 12 employees

April 20, 2021 at 8:36 a.m. EDT

Updated on:April 20, 2021 at 8:37 a.m. EDT

A Brooklyn comedy club is looking for new ways to keep the laugh going at a time when personal appearances have been largely restricted.

Phillip Markle, owner of the Brooklyn Comedy Collective, said they would have to give up their Williamsburg venue when the pandemic hit.

“That was fun,” says Markle. “I literally have to close my theater with COVID and a fever.”

The Brooklyn Comedy Collective will soon be offering shows online and is now doing interactive shows on a platform called Bramble.

Markle says people can create an avatar that they customize and attend a show online. He says when users get close to people, their videos and audio appear so they can interact before and after the shows like they are in person.

The Brooklyn Comedy Collective also offers comedy workshops and online classes for people who need a giggle.

“I got in touch with Katie’s art project and the Improv Doc to work with them and hospitals across the country, offering classes for teenagers with life-threatening diseases,” says Markle. “Either they have recovered from them or they are currently being treated.”

He says they had someone undergoing chemotherapy and couldn’t leave the hospital but were able to take a comedy class on their smartphone.

Markle says he’s proud of what the Brooklyn Comedy Collective has achieved and looks forward to bringing the staff back and finding a new home.

Some artists, like Julian Hernandez, hope, even if the shows are personal again, that the virtual possibilities remain

“My mom in Florida got ready for the show,” says Hernandez. “This kind of opening is really great and I hope for a world where we can do both.”

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