Windsor stand-up comics take weekly show online to keep audiences laughing amid COVID-19

A group of stand-up comics behind the Brewing for Comedy show at the Craft Heads Brewing Company have decided to their weekly, in-person show entirely online to keep audiences entertained during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Rather than holding a live 90-minute broadcast, however, Rob Kemeny — one of the comedians who organizes the Brewing for Comedy show — said comics are instead recording chunks of material that ends up in an 18-minute-long video twice a month. 

“We need something to do, because we’re all sitting here in our houses not being creative,” Kemeny said. “It’s a good outlet for all of us, and hopefully some of the fans enjoy it and see what we’ve been up to, see who needs a haircut, who needs to bathe and all that fun stuff.”

As for the jokes themselves, Kemeny said the first digital Brewing for Comedy show — which went live on Tuesday, April 14 — did feature quite a bit of quarantine comedy.

“Most of it [was] about the pandemic,” he said. “There’s no politics involved or anything like that, it’s [each comic’s] own personal experiences when it comes to their individual pandemic.”

Despite the fact that comics are using the digital broadcasts as a way to stay sharp and keep people entertained, Kemeny said the digital shows are very different than live stand-up comedy. 

“You don’t know if anything [is] good,” he said. “I’m trying to take that energy on-stage and transfer it to do it in front of a webcam.”

Still, Kemeny said reviews for the first episode have been largely positive. 

“They’re just like, ‘This is great, it took my mind off of things and we can’t wait for this whole thing to get back so we can see you guys live,'” Kemeny​​​​​​​ said. 

WATCH | The first Brewing for Comedy digital show:

And while the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people experience live events, Kemeny​​​​​​​ said he’s not worried about the future of stand-up comedy in Windsor. 

“I think it’s going to take a little bit of time after this, people are still going to be weary to go out,” he said. “But we’ve been through worse droughts than that.”

“Hopefully everyone stays well and no one gets sick and everyone’s good to come back in a couple of months whenever this is done.”

LISTEN | Rob Kameny talks stand-up comedy in the age of COVID-19 with Afternoon Drive host Chris dela Torre:

Stand-up comedians in Windsor are pivoting to online shows thanks to the pandemic. We spoke with Rob Kemeny, one of the comedians behind Brewing for Comedy, a weekly show that has morphed into a twice-a-month online effort. 5:24

The digital Brewing for Comedy broadcast is available the group’s Facebook page. 

“Viewer discretion is advised though, because there is a little bit of content and stuff like that that’s not meant for everybody,” Kemeny​​​​​​​ said. 

The next episode will come out on April 28.

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