Look, we get it. The central premise of this article sounds absurd. What could possibly be funny about a global pandemic that has altered the very fabric of our existence, in one fell swoop shutting down everything we hold dear, from sports to movies to music to the very notion of human interaction? How could anyone possibly write jokes at a time like this? But in times of crisis, when we are frightened and don’t know what the hell is going on, we’ve historically turned to comedy. Comedy, as frivolous and inessential as it may seem, is humanity’s free coping mechanism, a medium that both distracts us from the horrors of the world while allowing us to get our best and worst thoughts out of our heads and off of our chests.
That being said, a lot of the comedy produced in response to the coronavirus has been unfunny, hack, and sometimes legitimately racist. Furthermore, as time passes and the news changes on a minute-by-minute basis, jokes that were funny five days ago have turned sour. Sure, the first tweet about what Shakespeare wrote during quarantine was cute, but by its 789th iteration, the bit had worn thin. Jokes about scoring cheap flights to Mexico on a “coronavirus discount”? Not so funny in light of how many people refuse to take social distancing seriously. A TikTok coronavirus challenge that involves licking a toilet seat? Okay, that’s legitimately horrifying under any circumstance.
The jokes that have somehow been able to remain funny in this crazy, unprecedented time are often not really about the virus itself, but rather how coronavirus has affected our relationship to something else, like health care, our apartments, or each other. As people are forced to turn to the internet for entertainment and comedians are trapped indoors with no way of performing live, the online jokes will keep flowing, for better or worse. Hopefully, at least one joke on this list will make you chuckle despite, you know, literally everything that’s happening all over the world. Here are the best jokes (so far) inspired by coronavirus:
Time is a flat circle.
2020 is the strictest parent I’ve ever had.
So, apparently we have *checks notes* nine more months of 2020? That can’t be right.
Alternate caption for this video: When will we be done with quarantine?
Texting is a full-time job under quarantine and should be treated as such.
Who could forget the classic childhood rhyme about there being 8,000 days in March?
Little-known fact: The dinosaurs had just bought a lot of shares in Amazon before the meteor hit.
On “The Video”
In case you missed it, on March 18, Gal Gadot released a truly confounding video of all her famous friends singing “Imagine” by John Lennon, inspiring comedians across the nation, from all different walks of life, to come together to parody the living hell out of it.
From Gilbert Gottfried …
to Tavi Gevinson …
… to the greater Brooklyn and L.A. alt-comedy community, everyone came together with the express purpose of roasting Gadot.
Everyone, that is, except comedian and Seek Treatment co-host Pat Regan. He’s busy focusing on family and other projects.
Oh, and Jeff Goldblum. He’s busy too.
Can you believe “the video” was only a week ago?
An astute observation by comedian Drew Anderson.
If someone doesn’t invent a prototype of a see-through toaster while we’re under quarantine, then honestly, what was it all for?
“We’ve been roommates for three weeks, and I’ve never seen you cry. What gives?”
It’s not “social distancing,” it’s “taking an oath of solitude.”
This dog has been officially upgraded from man’s best friend to man’s hero.
One million a month? An absolute steal if you ask me.
Who would have thought that Peloton would have the last laugh?
*makes 25th PB&J in a row*
Sending love and light to everyone who relates to this tweet …
Them: u up ;)
Me: Indubitably :)
Them: … nvm.
It’s so nice to see Bert and Ernie quarantining together.
Riding out quarantine at grandma’s house > riding out quarantine at the recording studio.
Scared to consider what else my mom was wrong about. Am I also not the cutest little boy in all of the world?
This is the scariest quarantine story I’ve heard yet.
Being horny while under quarantine can be confusing for all those involved.
This is a good time to mention that my wedding to Lil Nas X has also been indefinitely postponed.
Be warned: Your ex will slide into your DMs at some point while under quarantine.
“It hasn’t hit me until about 15 minutes ago, when our family beluga trip was canceled.”
While definitely not intended to be a joke, it’s incredibly hilarious that even in the face of a global pandemic, the Cuomo brothers are still willing to fight on national television about who is Mommy’s good boy for our viewing pleasure.
The Cuomos really could have used this advice …
An important parenting postmortem with Jet magazine’s 2017 Runner-up for Father of the Year, Roy Wood Jr. With only 1.7 timeouts per week, Team Wood is posting some really impressive stats this quarantine. Excited to see how they progress over the rest of the season.
Audibly gasped when the cats cleared Level 5.
Maybe it’s the quarantine talking, but this doesn’t sound like a bad idea …
I could be stuck in quarantine for a full year (God forbid) and I still would never be able to master this basketball trick.
This man’s immune system is the G.O.A.T.
Hollywood Squares: Zoom Edition, coming to a Quibi near you.
Are we humans or are we our avatars from Animal Crossing?
Thank goodness this virtual amusement park is taking every precaution to protect its guests from COVID-19.
I’ve been inside for so long I actually thought he used his foot to pour the drink.
If the Olympics ultimately get canceled, at least we know we’ll have something to watch.
My gems? Still uncut.
Who doesn’t love some good old-fashioned word play?
“They heard me, well done.”
Do you think they have this game on Switch?
Say what you will about Joe Exotic, but his home studio setup was legit.
“The bucket was supposed to fall.”
God bless the couple in the distance looking onward, confused and slowly clapping as Oswalt does his tight five.
Brace yourself for the onslaught of front-facing comedy videos … they’re coming.
Thanks for the shoutout, Carmen!
In something you probably won’t see again for quite some time, on March 13, Norm Macdonald performed a tight five entirely about coronavirus to a packed house. “I feel like I’m in the fucking middle of a Stephen King novel,” he quipped. So do we, Norm. So do we.
On Front-Facing Videos
Remember meeting a friend for coffee? Those were the days …
“School’s locked? We’ll just do it outside.”
As Roy Wood Jr. predicted, now more than ever comedians are turning to social media for laughs.
But some comedians, like Mary Beth Barone, are having a difficult time with the transition …
Maybe she can take a front-facing video class with comedian Joe Castle Baker?
Martin Scorsese is shaking.
It would be a small price to pay to honor our quarantine queen, Dula Peep.
Never thought I’d agree with Mary Louise, but here we are.
If you know, you know (I had to do it to ’em).
Drew Droege’s Chloë Sevigny is back, and she’s fending off carpetbaggers with a home spoon, of course.
Will I finally learn who Bob Odenkirk is while under quarantine? I doubt it.
“Who were you thinking about? The children.”
Stars! They’re just like us!
We’re crossing our fingers that you book!
Honestly what hasn’t The Simpsons predicted at this point?
She’s got stiff competition from Elisabeth Moss in Invisible Man and *checks notes* yeah, that’s it.
We can’t believe Laura Benanti didn’t include this video from actor and comedian Jared Loftin in her Twitter thread highlighting performances from high schoolers whose musicals have been postponed. His delivery of “lost all powers of speech” is enough to earn him a Jimmy Award nomination.
When comedian Whitmer Thomas sang “skip skop ribbet don laptop pop slappy do to you”? I really felt that.
This song is legitimately climbing the charts, and for good reason. It slaps.
Clearly the team behind “Moves Like Bloomberg” still has the music within them.
On Singing From Windows
Over the weekend, music stans began dubbing audio clips from their favorite artists onto viral videos of quarantined people singing together out of their windows. The results are truly not to be believed, as celebrities like Katy Perry, Cheryl Lloyd, and Madonna were fooled into thinking entire towns were singing their greatest hits. Obviously this was only the tip of the iceberg …
“You came into my home.”
Is anyone else relating to Toni Collette’s character from Hereditary a lot more now?
We now know Judi Dench wouldn’t have joined in because she still hasn’t seen Cats.
Now, more than ever, we should be calling J.G. Wentworth 877-CASH-NOW.
“YoUr TwEnTiEs ArE tHe BeSt TiMe Of YoUr LiFe!!” — Someone who doesn’t remember their 20s.
“What do you gain from that?”
This reminds me to make an appointment with my chiropractor the moment we are free from quarantine.
One bright spot: Massive rubber duckies are returning to their natural habitat.
Okay wow, I thought we were all wrestling with our self-loathing from 4:45 to 5:45 p.m.
Our very own E. Alex Jung teaching the proverbial children what’s what.
So important not to mix up coronavirus symptoms with regular bodily functions.
The anti-vaxxers have been suspiciously quiet lately …
All in favor of this motion say, aye? Aye.
You never know how long the commute will take from your bedroom to the kitchen table. Steps are so unpredictable these days.
Someone get Keke into quarantine, ASAP.
Yes, it’s hard to stay away from your favorite bars and restaurants right now, but take a page out of comedian Mo Fry Pasic’s book and check out that new brunch spot you’ve been meaning to visit: your kitchen.
Sending a prayer out to every teacher who now has to conduct their class via Skype.
It’s so important to stay well-rested so you can focus on washing your hands, scrolling the internet, and, of course, looking out the window.
You gotta hand it to her. She really put in the work.