With BBC News acting as a constant buzz in the background of my house, and most homes nation-wide throughout this lockdown, it’s crucial to find moments throughout the day when you can focus on something apart from the current pandemic; though it is hard to do so. Whether you’re isolated in a university flat, or at home with your family, the daily headlines paired with the university deadlines looming on the horizon make it overwhelming to be stuck inside.
I cannot be alone in thinking that I have watched everything that Netflix, Sky Go and Amazon Prime have to offer, so any unheard-of recommendations that I find from friends, I cherish. Therefore, I thought I’d write my own cheat-sheet of comedy shows and podcasts that are easily accessible and will certainly distract you from everything going on in the news or on MyEd.
Greg Davies: You Magnificent Beast
If you’ve watched Taskmaster or The Inbetweeners, I’m sure you’ll agree with me in thinking that Greg Davies is a national treasure. You Magnificent Beast is an hour of stand-up comedy gold. Davies goes through a vast array of topics, and for every serious moment within the show, there is a quick undercut by Davies highlighting the hilarity in the seriousness. The main message from Davies’ show is to find moments of laughter within dark times, highlighted by his anecdotes regarding the days leading up to his father’s passing. Even if you don’t want to distract yourself from current times, this show can also help in learning how to find relief within moments of hardship. However, there are also stories about Davies going through puberty, as well as stories revolving around quotes from his elderly mother, so there is certainly something in there for everyone.
Joe Lycett: That’s the Way Aha-Aha Joe Lycett
A great show, with possibly the best title ever, is Joe Lycett’s comedy special That’s the Way Aha-Aha Joe Lycett. If you’ve seen his TV show Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back or any of his clips on 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown, you’ll know that his comedy revolves around hilariously engaging with the public. While featuring this at times, this show does not revolve around it; instead, each moment he reads out a letter he has written, he follows by a well-crafted joke. Not only is Lycett hilarious, he comes across as very genuine and funny without trying particularly hard, meaning his jokes don’t come across as overly-scripted which can sometimes occur in stand-up comedy specials from people made famous by TV. It’s an easy watch, as well as something you could view with the whole family.
Ed Gamble and James Acaster: Off the Menu
If you’re looking for something to occupy you during your once-a-day exercise slot, I recommend going for comedy podcasts to provide entertainment as you enjoy some fresh air. A podcast which has genuinely made me laugh out loud as I listen to it is Off the Menu. Prepare yourself to come across as weird to your neighbours and passers-by as you uncontrollably laugh to yourself in public. The premise of the podcast is getting guests to talk through their dream meal with comedians Ed Gamble and James Acaster. The guests featured on the podcast are outstanding, from Katherine Ryan to Richard Osman, and Gamble and Acaster bring out the humour in anything. With a vast amount of episodes, it’s a great way to get yourself into an exercise routine. I cannot recommend this podcast enough; it has filled many a run, walk into university and train journey home.
Karyn Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark: My Favourite Murder
Lastly, for those who love the true-crime genre, My Favourite Murder is informative and hysterical in equal measure. Made by Karyn Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, they pick one true-crime case each and discuss them weekly, alongside discussing their lives and friendship. With Kilgariff being a professional comedian, and Hardstark working in television prior to the podcast’s success, their discussions are fascinating and make you feel like you’re sat in a room listening to two best friends sharing memories. I’ve been listening to podcasts for over a year now, and every episode is more interesting than the last. It’s an invaluable resource about true-crime as well as comedy, and its domination of the podcast charts demonstrates that.
I’ve found going through the plethora of stand-up comedy specials online to be a particularly useful way of procrastinating and generally passing time. There is such a vast range of comedic resources online that you could watch multiple shows in a day covering topics or comedic styles that are entirely unique from each other.
However, if you’ve already managed to go through all that streaming services have to offer (which I’m running the risk of), a great resource is Chortle, as it provides constant reviews of stand-up comedy specials.
If all else fails, there is a plethora of comedians live-streaming content from their Instagram accounts. At a time of uncertainty for the entertainment industry, make sure to show your support in whatever way you can to those artists who may be struggling.
Featured illustration: Cameron Somers