Just Kidding: Gowanus comedian brings her troupe to television

Just Kidding: Gowanus comedian brings her troupe to television
Anna Griffin

These Kids are alright!

A Gowanus comedian will bring her sketch comedy group to the big stage — the small screen! Rachael Burke and her team Kids These Days will compete on the NBC show “Bring the Funny,” debuting on July 9, performing against stand-up comedians, variety acts, and puppeteers in front of a studio audience. Over the course of 10 episodes, the funny folk will get whittled down to the wittiest one by the show’s judges — comedian Kenan Thomspon, model Chrissy Teigen, and redneck Jeff Foxworthy — all in hopes of winning $250,000.

Burke is not concerned about the competition. She has won two Emmys while working on “The Tonight Show,” and Kids These Days contains a killer’s row of comic talent, including writers for “The Daily Show,” and “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.” Each of its 10 comedians brings a unique talent or sensibility to the mix, including slapstick, absurdist humor, and songwriting, said Burke.

“We’re a human version of the Muppets,” she said. “You wouldn’t put everyone together, but it works.”

Burke, who said she made her performing debut in the fourth grade, has spent years honing her craft by writing sketches, composing funny songs, and practicing celebrity impressions. But working with a regular troupe is a first for her — one that she has dreamt of since college.

“I wanted to create a sketch group that pushed me creatively, but also gave back to others by improving people’s quality of life through comedy,” said Burke.

She formed Kids These Days in January of 2018 from a mishmash of acquaintances, including her best friend from college, a peer from a sketch class, and a stranger she met while standing in line for a comedy show. Together, the Kids developed an accessible brand of millennial humor, writing skits that invoke iPhone apps and poke fun at hyper-masculine men, without excluding people or being mean-spirited, said Burke.

“They’re the kindest but funniest kids I knew,” she said. “We can understand other perspectives better by making it into comedy — funniness helps people sympathize and understand.”

Since its first performance last year, Kids These Days has taken its sharp, contemporary humor to festivals all over the United States, and beat out thousands of other acts to snag a spot on “Bring the Funny,” where the millennial jokesters will be the show’s only sketch group.

Tune into “Bring the Funny” on NBC on July 9 at 10 p.m., and every following Tuesday. Free.

Reach reporter Rose Adams at radam[email protected]nepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–8306.
Comedy kids: Gowanus resident Rachael Burke (back row, second from left) hopes to lead her comedy troupe Kids These Days to victory on the upcoming NBC show, “Bring the Funny.”
Danny Ventrella / NBC

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