Brooklyn Comedy Collective finds new, interactive ways to keep comedy alive in NYC

A Brooklyn comedy club is finding new ways to keep the laughs coming at a time when in-person performances have been mostly restricted.
Brooklyn Comedy Collective owner Phillip Markle says they had to give up their venue in Williamsburg when the pandemic hit.
“That was fun,” Markle says. “Having to shut my theater down literally with COVID and a fever.”
The Brooklyn Comedy Collective soon started offering shows online and is now doing interactive shows on a platform called Bramble.
Markle says people can create an avatar that they can customize and attend a show online. He says as users approach people, their video and audio appear so they can interact before and after the shows as if they were in-person.
The Brooklyn Comedy Collective also offers comedy workshops and online classes for people who are in need of a chuckle.
“I got in touch with Katie’s Art Project and the Improv Doc to partner with them and hospitals nationwide to offer classes for teens that have life-threatening illnesses,” Markle says. “Either they’ve recovered from them or they’re currently undergoing treatment.”
He says they had someone undergoing chemotherapy and couldn’t leave the hospital, but was able to join a comedy class on their smartphone.
Markle says he’s proud of what the Brooklyn Comedy Collective has accomplished and looks forward to bringing staff back and getting a new home.
Some performers, like Julian Hernandez, are hoping even when shows are in-person again that the virtual opportunities remain
“My mom in Florida was able to tune in to the show,” Hernandez says. “That kind of opening that it does is really great and I kind of hope for a world where we can do both.”