The Best Streaming Shows Quarantine Has to Offer
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because if the choices are down to laughing and crying? You're better off with the former.
By Joshua Eferighe
When was the last time you went to a live show? Even before COVID? Do you remember how they felt? The rush rising from your gut of something you have absolutely no control over: laughter courtesy of a comedian cracking a joke on you. Good times, right?
Well, those times can, well sort of, still happen. Because artists still have to make a living, they’ve been finding new ways to creatively distribute content. Whether by talk show or battle-of-the-band style, musicians, comedians, and artists are using livestreaming services and distributing content. Old news, right?
Well, here’s the new news: five that we dig the most.
Ziwe Fumudoh’s Instagram Lives
Ziwe Fumudoh’s Instagram Lives are the quarantine brainchild that we simply aren’t worthy of. It’s a talk show, sure. But Fumudoh baits guests into hot water — during interviews with people like Caroline Calloway and Alison Roman — and you’ll find yourself cringing, but unable to look away. And Fumudoh? Pure brilliance in how she just bathes in the awkwardness as the guests and viewers just … squirm.
With 20,000 people coming in and out of her Instagram Live, it’s clear the cat is now definitely out the bag. Fumudoh works with the digital comedy studio Above Average and is also a writer on the hit Showtime late-night talk show Desus and Mero.
Marc Rebillet’s live shows
You may have seen him go viral for crooning about bosoms on Twitter but trust me, he’s really talented. Marc Rebillet is an electronic artist who, using only what’s in front of him, makes loops and layers them into masterpieces. He just finished a month-long concert tour in drive-in venues, which if you missed it, shame on you.
And while he may not be on tour right now, he’s always performing on Instagram. So set your notifications because he’s as spontaneous as they come.
Arguably the greatest quarantine turn of events is the hip-hop show that gives back — Verzuz. Started by super-producers Swizz Beats and Timbaland, the program was intended to be a showcasing of iconic act versus iconic act to see who had the most hits. But it’s turned into both a love fest and a moment to give legends the flowers they so richly deserve.
Also, in what is now being called the “Verzuz effect,” every artist on the program experiences an influx in streams, social media engagement and widespread recognition. To wit: one helluva bounce.
Which is hard to say about an a-list that you might have suspected couldn’t have bounced any higher. Like? Like Erykah Badu vs. Jill Scott, Johntá Austin vs. Ne-Yo, Nelly vs. Ludacris, and DMX vs. Snoop Dogg, just to name a few.
Third Man Public Access
The Nashville headquarters of Jack White’s label, Third Man Records, does a series of daily livestreamed performances from its famed Blue Room called Third Man Public Access. With acts like pedal steel player Luke Schneider, Teddy and The Rough Riders, and tons of other talents you can discover, probably some for the first time, the program is a true treat. So, tune in every day at 12 p.m. CT and make sure to check out Third Man’s Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages for daily performance information.
When you hear of all of the businesses that have been affected by COVID-19, rarely do people think of the stand-up comedy economy. Unlike actors who can film without a live audience and still adhere to proper social distancing protocol, the road warriors who make their living live on stage are stuck. Stand-up on Zoom? Nah. Between the side chats going on with audience members in the comments and talking to what is fundamentally an empty, quiet room, comedians had to come up with another plan and place to bring their people. Enter: podcasts.
Angie McMahon, whom you may have seen on Netflix’s hilarious baking show Nailed It, found a solution while playing the Jaxbox game Whiplash with her family on Zoom. The fill-in-the-blank gave McMahon the idea to put a bunch of comedians in a room to play the game together, and then stream that on all the major platforms — Twitch, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter — where people can come and chat with Angie, the host, and vote for their favorite punchline. “I kinda took the idea of American Idol and Hollywood Squares,” McMahon says on a phone call, “and I mushed those together with a little Comedy Bang! Bang!“
Worth it? You better believe it.
- Joshua Eferighe