One Of A Kind Non-Profit Uses Comedy To Help The Community
"Knock-Knock! Who's There Comedy" is not only a clever name but an amazing non-profit organization using comedy to help many in the community.
I was lucky enough to talk with co-founder Brian Lee Farrell. Learning about what they do and what they hope to do in the future is truly amazing.
Here is what we talked about on air.
Question: As one of the co-founders of Knock-Knock! Who’s there? What inspired you to create this organization?
Answer: After spending the Lifetime on bad way mental illness in 2005 apparently I decided it was a good idea to have a brain injury and it took about 12 years working on a purpose. During that process I tried to write a book to help other people in my situation realize that we're not the only ones dealing with our issues our entire family does. To help people coop with that and help them through the process and move along quicker with the recovery or finding stability. I thought I'd write a book and when I tried to write the book everybody laughed at the book. They said it was hilarious. First, I was really upset, but then I decided to embrace it. Laughter has gotten us through this far. I found strong mentors. I just became a new to comedy, and my wife has spent most of her life bringing people together and helping people with fundraisers. Christina thought. we'll just bring comedy & fundraisers together. We came up with goals and the mission statement of what we were going to do and how we're going to help other people provide a platform to express themselves with mental or physical disabilities. For the last year and a half, I've been on stage. I don't know a few hundred times, 60 of them being shows alone this year. A lot of practice in to see what kind of boundaries we need to have for the members that want to come on, you know people that have PSTD, depression, MS, CP, D.I.D or whatever the case may be.
Question: What are some future ideas for projects that you have in mind for Knock-Knock! Who'sThere? Comedy?
Answer: Right now. we're in search of more members that either deal with depression or other mental health issues to come on stage. I do know they're out there have met a few of them but we would like to get more of them on stage, show them and get them on shows how to express themselves, find a happy purpose and in the future hopefully the near future we would like to also start a youth Comedy group. To provide venues for them to do comedy shows because being a kid today is not as easy as it was when we were kids. I know we think we had a tough, but we didn't have to deal with the digital age. It's dangerous for kids to express themselves out there because it's too easy for them to be attacked. Most parents don't understand where they're coming from these days. Youth are quickly judged, but if they can express themselves through comedy, that will give them a platform to not only feel more comfortable about who they are. But it's easier for them to deal with their normal everyday lives like it has been for me.
Question: Pg-13 adult friendly comedy?
Oddly enough it did not start out that way of course, for fundraisers you need PG or PG-13 and when we would hand out flyers for the shows and as for donations for the other non-profit organizations that we raise money for people were surprised that PG-13 shows were available. They never heard of such a thing usually they're used to having whatever. Rated R shows and being that we don't have a comedy club here in the Quad Cities you actually , throwing these shows in bars and restaurants where there's families and children. So of course they don't want their people repulsed, upset, disgusted or negative vibes during dinner. They want their customers be treated with respect, so when they found out that We offer that , they immediately are like- hey we throw a show here. So we had 13 different venues in the matter of 3 months and we continue to throw shows there today. So PG-13 has worked well for us, we're just lucky enough to have a group of comedians who are professional enough to be able to adjust their material and content to accommodate the venue or the customer's request so for them, we thank you and I appreciate that!!
About Brian Lee Farrell
Brian is your favorite brain injury Quad Cities comedian. He got his start Jan 2022. Renwick Mansion on Tomfoolery On Tremont. Comedy is a part of therapy for Brian, who has mental illnesses such as brain injury, O.C.D, M.P.D and autism. He continues to redirect his energy to improve his mental health. Brian presents a friendly & fun comedy by self-deprecating and eccentric humor. As he pokes fun at his personal flaws, everyday life scenarios. He finds the ability to turn ugly into laughs.
Brian has shared the stage with National Touring Comedians Josh Blue (AGT finalist), Geoff Tice, Carmen Ciricillo, Dan Alten. Worked with Midwest favorites Chris Schlichting, James Draper, Chris Starman, Leslie Mitchell, Bobby Ray Bunch, Danny Franks,Tim Sullivan, Matt Miller and many many more.
Brian says, "Don't hate the life you lost, Love the life you have now!"
Brian Lee Farrell est. Knock-Knock! Who's There Comedy, has produced 70+ shows and 15+ Comedy Fundraisers. Scheduled Fundraiser with Habitat for Humanity Quad Cities at Isle Capri Casino coming in October. If you're interested in following him on Facebook, 6 segments on Living Local.