LOL (Laughs On Livestream)

Comedians entertain homebound viewers via Instagram Live

As Covid-19 has kept consumers generally home-bound over the past two months, live, in-person entertainment has cratered. And yet, in spite of the obvious obstacles entertainers are facing, comedians have gotten creative and are hitting the thriving livestream scene to deliver laughs at a time when they’re sorely needed. Check out the following acts that have since migrated to Instagram Live to provide free entertainment and relief for quarantined consumers.


NYC-based comedian Catherine Cohen is keeping the laughter going by livestreaming her hit comedy show “Cabernet Cabaret.” The show spotlights up-and-coming talent in the NYC comedy scene and counts a faithful roster of regulars, including Pat Regan, Mitra Jouhari, and Bowen Yang. While Cohen’s show is usually hosted at Club Cumming in NYC’s storied Lower East Side neighborhood, it’s now taking place via Instagram Live. The only ticket price is a suggested donation to Food Bank for New York City, which is keeping its community kitchen in Harlem up and running to provide meals to those in need amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.


Comedian Mary Beth Barone recently debuted “Coming Clean,” an entirely new stand-up series developed in light of the pandemic and its strain on live performances. The show is based out of Barone’s parents’ bathtub, as she is sheltering with her family in Connecticut (though she lives and performs in NYC in more normal times). Viewers can watch Barone put on this sharp and delightfully-entertaining comedy show via Instagram Live every Saturday at 7PM ET, complete with other rising comedy stars such as Benito Skinner, who join Barone “in her bath” to discuss topics that range from highly-intimate dating stories to general life under quarantine.


In an effort to raise money for comedy club workers who are struggling with the loss of income since quarantine, Mike Birbiglia is hosting a daily Instagram Live comedy show called “Tip Your Waitstaff” that features fellow comedians as guest stars. Birbiglia and his guest of the day go over three work-in-progress jokes that the comedian would have been working on sans-shutdown, giving viewers a behind-the-scenes look into the world of stand-up comedy writing. So far Birbiglia has raised over $60,000 for comedy clubs with the help of beloved comedians like Gary Gulman, Nikki Glaser, John Mullaney, and others.