Comedy & Corona: 5 funny test-cases of the weirdest bedfellows

Omri Marcus
4 min readApr 21, 2020

The spread of the COVID-19 is horrifying and extraordinary, but it seems less viral than the jokes at its expense. Maybe it’s the boredom we’re all feeling in quarantine, or that this stressful situation has gotten people’s minds racing, but over the last few weeks, creativity has exploded.

The void the late-night shows left was quickly filled by our contact list. Some are funnier than others, others well… dad jokes are not coming exclusively from your father.

However, some people are taking it one step further and using comedy as a tool to convey important messages. In the onslaught of tragic news — they stand out.

In what seems now like a completely different reality, but was just a few months ago, the Comedy for Change community awarded the Finger Awards to comedians and creative executives who made content that generated social change. The kind that makes people rethink their beliefs, the kind of comedy that might just get us to act differently. Little did we know that just a few weeks later, this epidemic will shake everything we knew and will make us all rethink our beliefs and act differently.

Here are five brilliant examples of creative use of comedy to get a message across during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spoiler Alert — What happens when people are supposed to stay home to help combat the spread of COVID-19 but don’t?! A billboard campaign all around Hamburg showed spoilers of Netflix’s biggest shows to encourage people not to stroll around the streets. (Seine Kongriangkit)

ScrubHub — It looks like PornHub, but it is actually about scrubbing your hands. Thousands of videos of everyday people and select adult entertainers washing their hands in the right way was uploaded to the website to raise funds for non-profit organizations that are helping people affected by COVID-19. (Ani Acopian, Suzy Shinn)

Coronavirus Helmets — This thing is half funny and half, well, just plain weird. In India, some cops have taken to wearing coronavirus helmets to make the virus into something tangible for residents and scare them into lockdown. The Indians are being very cooperative with the lockdown. Maybe it’s the helmets, or maybe it’s the cops on motorbikes hitting violators with a stick.

A COVID-19 Horoscope — A unique horoscope for this crazy era. The users fill in their sign and according to it, discover that there are no travels in their future, and there is a lot of hand washing activity. The most accurate horoscope ever.

Toilet Paper Calculator — Probably great minds think alike because in less than a week, over ten different Toilet Paper Calculators popped-up. All ridiculing the madness around toilet paper over the first few days of the COVID-19.

The examples are endless, but I will mention a few more — A service of adding a llama to your zoom call as another participant. A twitter account that is about criticism on people’s videoconference frame called -RateMySkypeRoom. And lastly, a website that provides you with noises of open space in case you miss the sound of gossip and photocopy machine.

Let’s hope these crazy times will soon be a distant memory that we will need a moment to remember why those things were funny.