We can probably all agree that comedy felt a little dead this year, and for good reason. But not everyone gave up on having a laugh. Brian Crall, founder and manager of Sacramento Comedy Spot, was ready to pivot online but also noticed a little problem with socially distanced comedy. “Stand-up and improv on a Zoom just isn’t very cool,” he says.
Through trial and error, he and other local comedians found the type of humor that does work on Zoom: game shows, bad movie reviews and shows that offer opportunity for viewer interaction. The Comedy Spot mounted its own versions of “Hollywood Squares,” “The Newlywed Game” and other trivia games, all online for free. Audience participation—through answering questions in the Zoom chat box—drives viewership, with guests Zooming in from across the country. “People feel like it’s a bright spot,” he says. “We all need to laugh to get through this.”