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 the coronavirus:
On Stimulus Checks and the Economy
I be saying “don’t worry I’m T.J Maxx” when in fact I am J.Crew.
I didn’t want to pay rent, but I still paid rent.
This just about sums everything up.
Patrick Star = socialist king.
No message has ever been so clear, in my opinion.
“Only God can judge me,” I say, while plugging in my credit-card information on RalphLauren.com.
It feels like the richer that people get, the harder it is for them to remember that food costs money, actually.
Heather Chandler can stay. Everyone else should be replaced.
I’m good for now, but thanks.
I mean, if we’re going to be stuck inside for a lot longer, it might be a good investment?
“Yes. And?” — The UCB 4
Remind me to hire this wise cat to do my taxes next year.
It’s called passive income. Look it up.
Whether it’s a billion dollars or $2,400, shit will always go down on an elevator — the Knowles-Carter Principle of Gravity.
If someone offers you cash from a van and tells you it’s your stimulus check, you can take it, but just know it’s not the type of stimulus check you think it is.
Anyone else sketched out by how quickly commercials were able to adapt to quarantine times?
On Gossip Girl
The meme that set everything in motion.
It touched on everything from antidepressants …
To the economy …
To RuPaul’s fracking …
To geometry …
To Parasite (2019) …
To cats (the animal, not the film) …
To Marina and the Diamonds.
There are levels to this shit. Dadaism has been invoked.
It’s changing art history. This meme is highbrow.
But Photoshopping Anne Hathaway’s face over Leighton Meester’s keeps the meme lowbrow in the best possible way.
Greek-mythology reference? We’re highbrow again.
Okay, I’ll admit it. The Animal Crossing versions of Blair and Serena are adorable. Maybe I should start playing Animal Crossing …
No one is safe from this meme …
Not even Patron Saint of Gossip Girl (and plantation weddings) Blake Lively.
Real New Yorkers will get this one.
A meme that’s not afraid to get political …
Not everything has to be a competition, CNN.
For me? It’s 2016, but give 2020 enough time and it could take the cake.
You’ve had your fun, Rona, but the party’s over.
Cut to me in 2022 looking back on how I spent my quarantine.
Thirteen-year-old me is feeling very validated right now.
This makes absolutely no sense and yet is the truest thing I’ve ever read.
On that note, I’m also not counting the calories I’m inhaling toward my weight.
To be clear, we want to go back to 1996. Not 2019, not 2016. 1996.
Never thought the phrase “big weekend” would make me so sad.
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 over a month ago?
No sin worse than having an ugly boyfriend.
This can’t be true.
The way I’m gonna scream when I finally get my hair cut again by a professional.
Unnecessarily buying flour is not akin to what it was like to live in the Soviet Union in 1985, Karen.
As for Jo’s manuscript though … that’s another story.
As the Go-Go’s once sang, “Vacation all I ever wanted / Vacation had to get [to the other side of the bed].”
Maybe if my AirPods were that big I wouldn’t lose them every two weeks.
I’m sure their “shoeulogy” for you was beautiful haha … I’ll see myself out.
Say what you will about America, but she really did something with tater tots.
I feel incredibly validated by this as a person who hasn’t put on hard pants since February.
Move over cauliflower, there’s a new sheriff in town and her name’s yeast.
They won. Plain and simple.
Okay, somehow my quarantine has none of the above?
From the Book of Paul Hollywood, Chapter 2 Verse 11.
I feel like if I could have one sour Altoid, everything would be okay again (no, it wouldn’t).
Does your empty apartment still “spark joy,” Marie?
Who needs money when you’ve got focaccia bread, hahaha …
The bread baking has absolutely gotten out of control.
Journalism saving the day, yet again.
Everyone on their kitchen floors right now.
This may be true, but waiting in line to order a cold brew from Starbucks only for them to mess up your name and your order just hits different.
[Me, shouting out my window in suburban New Jersey]: ME TOO.
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 …
[Blankly stares at attendees of the “Rona Rave.”]
I’m sorry, I passed out after reading this tweet.
It’s literally that simple.
I think Furby looks great, actually.
After careful consideration, I have to go with art hoe daughter. It seems slightly less exhausting.
My phone, my rules.
Men are from Mars and women are … more fun.
We may be physically stuck inside, but our social anxiety is still wild and free.
“OMG my bad I totally passed out when I got home” — me, the next morning.
How Stella Got Her Groove Back … Under Quarantine.
Vulture writer Taylor Garron providing a much-needed dose of perspective.
Happens to me all the time.
I talk a big game online, but right now I just want someone to hold me :/
Formerly closeted gay teens: Now’s our time to shine.
“With my shoes on I’m basically like six feet away from you.” —A five-foot-ten guy trying to get his social distance on with you
I’m more traditional, so I’ll be getting an annulment.
Break quarantine at your own risk, fellas. The girls are not playing around.
The universe must have misheard me.
Tag yourself. I’m top left :/
It should absolutely be illegal to share cute couple videos while under quarantine. Keep those to yourself.
“There’s literally no one to talk to,” I say to my four roommates.
My dude put on a collared shirt and a blazer just to get virtually stood up smh you hate to see it.
Okay, way to brag that you’ve been on two (2) FaceTime dates while under quarantine.
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 …
I’ll never understand why I got picked for Seven Up as infrequently as I did.
Ummm, congrats Bill?
The only thing better than a stage mom is a sports dad.
This is eerily similar to what my Wii Fit character looked like …
Yeah … I didn’t have a great experience with Wii Fit growing up.
When it rains, it pours.
So upsetting to see yet another Olympic hopeful result to cheating instead of hard work.
Field day >>>>>>>> graduation, for sure.
I miss not going to the gym.
Be careful what you wish for.
Would never wish ill upon anyone, but King K. Rool had it coming.
Britney Spears: Queen of Pop, Sprinting, and Meme-Making.
Luigi straight up broke his ankles.
I’ll be honest, Animal Crossing scares me and this is why …
Reason No. 83 why I cannot in good conscience start playing Animal Crossing.
Who is Tom Nook? Is he good or bad? This is like Bob Odenkirk all over again for me …
We’re way ahead of you, Kate, way ahead of you.
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 wordplay?
“They heard me, well done.”
Do you think they have this game on Switch?
A true work of art from comedian and engineers Colin Burgess and Rajat Suresh.
If only Jerry Seinfeld listened to comedian Rachel Kaly’s advice before it was too late … RIP Jerry.
The only thing worse than quarantining solo is quarantining with four clones of yourself.
Shoot for the stars and you’ll land on the moon (the moon = the Peoples Improv Theater).
The computers are becoming sentient, but like, in a fun way.
The production value on this video is truly stunning.
Comedian Jack Bensinger sheds a light on a sad phenomenon: teens smoking the coronavirus.
Under different circumstances, I would be all for Las Vegas opening a Moulin Rouge–themed casino.
Late Night With Seth Meyers writer Karen Chee shares the beauty of comedy writing.
A dad joke from a disheveled Nathan Fielder? Don’t mind if we do.
Okay, when I said I needed a month to finish my pilot I didn’t mean this month.
Harvey the dog has impeccable taste.
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 shout-out, 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
What do you think comedian Steven Phillips-Horst is dancing about? I think it’s pescatarian first responders.
“We tried to go to Palm Springs but the Airbnb I usually get is booked.”
“The road that I took was traffic.”
Patrick Warburton = stabbed.
J’adore comedian Eva Victor’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire parody. Oui, oui!
I’ve never bought a Cameo but would absolutely purchase one of comedian Ben Marshall’s “reverse Cameos” where he sends messages to random celebrities. “Happy Earth Day, Dr. Drew” indeed.
Would love to go to comedian and bartender Kimberly Dinaro’s bar after this is all over.
Comedians Alyssa Limperis and Eva Victor gorgeously one-up each other over FaceTime, as friends are wont to do.
Not a comedian in the traditional sense, but actor Leslie Jordan’s front-facing camera work is unparalleled.
“I can’t cut Jeremy because then I’d have to ask the person I’m cutting and then everyone behind them.”
That look at the end? Comedian Cam Spence has gone full Gone Girl.
“Checking a bag is still 50 bucks.”
Comedians Jeremy Levick and Rajat Suresh provide helpful information during this difficult time.
“Where did the mic come from? Ah, put it away.”
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?
Or maybe not.
You can listen to Sunday in the Park With George but you can’t actually spend Sunday in the park with George.
Death, taxes, and Jason Derulo falling down the stairs at the Met Gala.
As God intended.
Jealous of B.J. Novak for getting a solid eight hours of sleep.
I guess now we will have to rely on black pencil skirts and a tight bun to do that job.
“Can I get a few words?”
We didn’t deserve these kids.
Finally, we have the time to answer the tough questions, like “Why was everyone at this dental floss event in 2008?”
I physically cannot watch another movie …
And yet, comedian Sarah Squirm makes a good point.
[Frowns directly at camera.]
The songs I’ve sung to my cutlery … Sweeney’s got nothing on me.
Quarantine is sick and twisted even by Reynold Woodcock standards.
This exact thing happened to me while watching Where’d You Go, Bernadette (2019).
The ladies who lunch would honestly love Herb Ertlinger’s fruit wine.
Imagine being sick of Julia Louis-Dreyfus? Impossible.
What if Leo’s girlfriend turns 25 while they are quarantining together … I shudder at the thought.
We’ve been through so much in the last six weeks. So much.
The only person I’ll let speak ill of The Baker’s Wife is Rachel Bloom.
Yeah … this is it.
She has a point …
If you know, you know.
We also owe an apology to Bryce Dallas Howard for saying she couldn’t run away from a dinosaur wearing stilettos. Now we know that truly anything is possible.
“You mean to tell me the president of the United States can’t get a vaccine? Yeah, right.”
“There can be a 100 people in a room …” — Lady Gaga by 2021 hopefully.
Maybe if we all had yellow and blue zig-zag suits, quarantine would be more fun? Eh, probably not.
They just don’t make movies like they used to anymore … because they don’t make them at all.
Kylie Jenner definitely looks … different.
This tweet will inspire a long line of rowdy 13-year-old boys to follow their dreams and become stunt coordinators.
This tweet is dedicated to Mrs. Incredible, the Patron Saint of Pixar Moms with Dumptruck Asses.
They alive, damn’t. It’s a miracle!
Where did you think I was gonna go, Netflix? Outside?
Can’t wait until me, Samwise, Frodo, and Gandalf can go bar-hopping in Williamsburg again.
You can’t prove this isn’t true.
Really would have thought Chandler would be the character from Friends to get a coronavirus meme, and yet here we are.
I … I couldn’t do it.
It’s a tough time out here for celebrity stan Twitter. Let’s be sure to keep them in our thoughts and prayers.
No lies were detected in this video from comedian and former Vulture blogger Matt Rogers.
Is the FBI on this? The CIA? I simply won’t rest until we have answers as to the whereabouts of one Lea Michele.
Didn’t know how deep in the gutter my mind was until I saw this tweet.
Has Quibi gone too far, or not far enough? Discuss among yourselves.
There’s no proof that this was made during quarantine, but it feels very of the era.
Ottessa Moshfegh’s influence …
It’s gotta be option two, right? Unless …
Would love to chat with Ashley Tisdale’s stylist circa 2000 and unpack some of these lewks.
No lies were detected in this tweet.
I had the exact same reaction when I saw the Wicked movie was delayed again.
While the original lyrics work, “close proximity to my mother” scans better.
Here’s hoping that Mrs. Dalloway didn’t cross the Amazon picket line, and used an independent delivery option instead.
To come for Demi Lovato at a time like this …
Savor Daily Show correspondent and Twitter king Jaboukie while you can, because he will probably get suspended again.
For the love of God, please do not let the Drag Race producers see this tweet.
CC: Hunter Harris.
“Learn from this” —Me to myself after letting the dishes pile up yet again
As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a [checks notes] prisoner with unfettered access to rigatoni.
At least there’s a silver lining for conspiracy theorists?
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.
Love Bey, but not totally onboard with this one.
If watching Mary-Kate and Ashley dancing to Doja Cat and Nicki Minaj’s “Say So Remix” doesn’t make you laugh, then I don’t know what will.
Like many of us, Tony Award winner Stephanie J. Block is breaking down. Unlike many of us, she has a fierce belt, incredible comedic timing, and surprisingly good knife skills.
“Trees, Dunder Mifflin sign, Michael Scott talking.”
Blue Ivy: the hardest-working woman in show business.
What I would give to cue up “Total Eclipse of the Heart” right now.
Keira Knightley is a true double threat: an actress and a tooth musician.
Even Tyler, the Creator has coronavirus-induced PTSD.
“Gotta gotta [stay in] because I want [to live].”
“I got a pocket full of gloves and my homeboys do, too.”
Rebecca Black: a musician who definitely knows what day it is.
As musicians go head-to-head on Instagram, it’s time to get classical musicians in the mix. Haydn versus Mozart (Mozart, obviously). Debussy versus Tchaikovsky (Debussy by a hair). Bach versus Schubert (Bach by a mile).
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.
Ignore that voice inside of you. Keep having fun!
New Yorkers, we’re all in this togeth … wait a damn minute.
Sleeping it off should definitely help.
Adorable, but highly unsanitary.
Never related to something more.
When you think about it, he’s really the reason we’re in the mess.
So important to leave a little mask water for the sauce.
An idea that’s so crazy it just might work …
“If you can see the tiny penises, you’re too close” seems like a good rule to live by.
“So clean the mic after this or you will get it.”
Have been saying this for years.
No weapon formed against me shall prosper … except my own skin.
They say when it rains it pours … seven to nine times.
So much to be grateful for, so much to look forward to :)
Never thought the day would arrive when I wouldn’t actively look forward to sleeping, and yet here we are.
I don’t mind staying home; I just hate being told what to do.
My number? -27.
Wow, dreams really do come true.
“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.
Car go space? What a ridiculous question.
Hitler is canceled.
The repressed memories that come back during quarantine.
[Big Ariana voice] Imagine a world like that.
I’m an Elkay LZSDL8LC :)
This is hands down the best TikTok.
Republicans: Give me Applebee’s or give [innocent children] death.
Hey, an online degree is still a degree.
“What the fuck am I doing?” —Everyone, all the time during quarantine
Quarantine is an amazing time to learn a new language, like “straight-passing.”
Love to see small businesses supporting each other.
A timeless classic.
God, I was such a loser.
Even online avatars have bills to pay.
Laughed at this meme instead of sending any emails today.
A story for our time.
It’s like damn, Tolstoy, we get it.
You’re never truly safe when working from home, even when taking a shower.
“How to hump” under “How to fight my dad?” Major Oedipus Rex vibes.
I knew it.
Small businesses will find a way through this.
Prepositions are so important.
After quarantine, I solemnly swear to never be vaguely mad at a server ever again, no matter how hungry I am.
Death, taxes, and Fashion Nova.
Fernand Mondego was petty AF.
Now, this is a business model I can get behind.
[Loosens elastic on pajama pants] I have to laugh.
Looks like comedian Marcia Belsky is using quarantine to reacquaint herself with some classic novels.
Comedian Solomon Georgio providing another much-needed dose of perspective.
Where do you want to live in the new world order? I call Münster (because of the cheese, of course).
That’s what you get for being incredibly smart.
A vital lesson on the importance of grammar and punctuation.
Do snitches still get stitches in the age of social distancing? How would that work, logistically speaking? I wonder …
This is true in or out of quarantine, actually.
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.