Whether you’re a comedy fan or simply in need of a good chuckle, this guide is for you. We’ve compiled some of the absolute best live comedy shows currently streaming on Instagram, YouTube, and Twitch. They run the gamut from stand-up to improv and are guaranteed to soothe your quarantine woes and get you laughing in no time.
Quarantine royally sucks, but comedian Cat Cohen almost makes it okay. She’s been churning out truly stellar Instagram content throughout the lockdown, both in short-form videos for her grid and on Instagram Live. Though I’ll basically inhale anything this New York darling puts out, I’m particularly fond of her live Cabernet Cabaret show she hosts every Wednesday. It’s a re-imagining of a live show she does in the city wherein she and a gaggle of guests sing, patter, and rabble-rouse for an hour. Definitely recommend for anyone who likes their comedy with a side of singing and cheeky crowd work.
John Early and Kate Berlant are two of my all-time favorite comedians. While they both do a lot of independent work, I’ve always been fond of their collaborations. And much to my surprise, they’ve been doing some really fantastic live shows together throughout the quarantine! Though they’re not on a set schedule, you can usually catch them going live at least once a week. If you’re a fan of surreal, delusional, and quick-witted humor, this could definitely be the show for you.
Twitch is perhaps best known as a gaming platform, but I’ve actually found it to be a great source for live comedy shows during the quarantine, especially for improv. Every night, simply go to the comedy homepage and you’ll see fantastic teams putting up live long-form shows. I’ve watched a few and though the quality is kind of hit or miss, it definitely scratches a comedy itch.
If you’ve ever wanted to share a meal with comedy legend Jim Gaffigan, now is your chance! For the past few weeks, the comedian has been going live every night with his family for a special Dinner with the Gaffigans extravaganza. As you’d expect, the whole clan is pretty darn hilarious, especially when responding to user questions in the open chat feature.
I’m a huge fan of Mike Birbiglia, so I was super excited to see that he was going to start doing live comedy chats every day on his Instagram page. This project has now morphed into Tip Your Waitstaff, a daily program in which the comedian chats with his very funny friends about jokes and material they were working on before the coronavirus crisis hit. It’s a lovely reprieve from the stress of the day and usually lands on Instagram in the late afternoon (check his page for exact times!).
If you’re a fan of comedian Maria Bamford (most notable for her excellent stand-up and the Netflix show Lady Dynamo), you may enjoy her latest project: The New Material Show. Every day at 3 p.m. PT, the comic hops on Zoom to perform a never-before-seen show of new material. The catch? There are only 100 slots per show and admission is a $5 donation to your local food bank. It seems like a small price to pay for a laugh and is a great way to encourage a little charitable giving.
Looking for something to enjoy with an afternoon cocktail? Then check out Paul Feig’s Quarantine Cocktail Time. The Freaks and Geeks creator and Bridesmaids director hops on Instagram Live every day at 5 p.m. ET to host the show, which sees him lounging about with his wife, dog, and, of course, a cocktail. It’s an easy-breezy program that feels like a lazy afternoon with a good ol’ pal.
For folks looking to indulge in some really solid, really great, good ol’ fashioned New York stand-up, check out Clean Saturdays hosted by comedian Mary Beth Barone. The show goes live on her Instagram page every Saturday at 7 p.m. ET and is a hoot and a half! Here, you’ll find some of the best up-and-coming voices on the New York comedy scene, which gives this show a fantastic indie vibe. Plus, Mary Beth Barone herself is “Hilarious” with a capital H.
For more comedy fodder, take a peek at our round-up of the most amazing female comedians of all time.
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