Not surprisingly, life in quarantine has presented creatives with a unique chance to make money, raise money for charity, and entertain the masses via live social media (all while alleviating their own boredom).
The concept of going live isn’t new, but the way people treat it has forever changed. From digital dance parties to comedy shows and talk shows, there’s a lot of live entertainment to go around—for better and worse.
The uptick in live-streaming can seem overwhelming, and not all of it is actually good. However, quality over quantity is key, so here’s a brief Live TV Guide for solid entertainment in the life and times of the ‘rona, sorted by genre.
Melissa Villaseñor’s Hobby Time is perfect for trying a new activity—and cracking up through the process. The SNL star schedules a different hobby to explore every day at 2 p.m. ET. Activities range from normal things like drawing and exercising to oddball concepts like Owen Wilson meditation. Laughter gets those endorphins up, which then elevates your mood. Just flow with it. [Instagram: @melissavcomedy]
Quarantine Cocktail Time
Paul Feig, creator of Freaks & Geeks and director of Bridesmaids, Spy, and Ghostbusters (2016), has been hosting a daily cocktail hour joined by his wife (and their dog sometimes) via his Instagram live feed. They dress up in their finest cocktail wear and encourage viewers to do the same as they dance around to music and create a feel-good atmosphere intended to help people forget what’s going on. Feig also takes time to provide funny commentary, give viewers shout-outs, honor special guests (like his Scottish cousin, for example), and also describes himself as “your favorite drunk uncle trying to be your idiot tour guide through a little bit of downtime.” There’s also a charity element. Feig encourages his viewers who can do so to donate to new COVID-19 related causes every day. Tune in at 5 p.m. PT for a good time. [Instagram: @paulfeig]
Comedy Quarantine was designed to help support comedians whose income and performances were upended by the coronavirus. Multiple comedians take the “stage” (IG Live) from Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. PT and give it all they’ve got. It’s free, for all but viewers are encouraged to tip the comedians if they can. [Instagram: @comedyquarantine]
The Interview Show
Standup and filmmaker Hari Kondabolu (The Problem With Apu) hits Instagram Live Monday to Thursday at 6 p.m. PT to interview guests such as Cristela Alonzo, W. Kamau Bell, Phoebe Robinson, and more. The combination of quarantine stir-craziness and the lineup of guests provides conversation at the intersection of nerdiness, pop culture, and fun times. [Instagram: @harikondabolu]
Co-Trilla Quarantine Sessions
Triller, an AI-powered music video streaming platform, will present “Co-Trilla Quarantine Sessions,” a three-day music festival, from April 10 through April 12. Comedian Jay Pharoah will host the event in collaboration with writer Chris Chase, while at least 100 artists from Wyclef to Migos will lend their talents. Proceeds raised by Co-Trilla will benefit COVID-19 relief efforts. [YouTube: Triller]
Questlove started out with an R&B-themed DJ set as an after-party to D-Nice’s Club Quarantine. However, since then, his programming has taken on a life of its own. He does nightly themed DJ sets from psychedelic rock to Afrobeats to tributes to icons like Stevie Wonder (who actually called him in the middle of a set) and the late Bill Withers. Listeners can expect music history lessons, and in the coming weeks, there is more content coming beyond just live music sets through a partnership with Live Nation Urban. He will be teaming up with such creative friends as Black Thought, Erykah Badu, James Poyser, and more for live discussions about music theory and life as an artist. All of this will be broadcast live on The Roots’ IG, Facebook and YouTube. [YouTube: TheRoots]
Maria Shriver’s #HomeTogether offers some much needed motivation. Her daily interview series features guests such as Hoda Kotb, Rep. Joe Kennedy III, Betheny Frankel, and more. Tune in every day at 5pm ET for discussions about community, compassion, and inspiration. [Instagram: @mariashriver]
Charli XCX’s Self Isolation is a daily show geared toward sparking insightful conversations and entertaining fans who are stuck at home. Charli has different guests like Rita Ora and Diplo. The most common theme is mental health during this time of crisis. [Instagram: @charli_xcx]
Dolly Parton reads children’s classics like The Little Engine That Could and more via YouTube Live. She goes live on YouTube and Facebook every Thursday at 7 p.m. ET. [YouTube: Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library]
Mr. Reading Rainbow himself is lending his voice to adults and children alike live on Twitter. On Monday he reads for children, Wednesdays are for YA, and Friday is for adults. [Twitter: @levarburton]
Save With Stories
@SaveWithStories isn’t live, but it does feature celebrities reading children’s stories on IGTV, and proceeds from donations go toward helping children in food insecure communities get food. Lin Manuel Miranda, Winnie Harlow, and Abigail Spencer are just a few people who have lended their voice talents to stories recorded for IGTV. [Instagram: @savewithstories]
Love Is Quarantine
If you’re still looking to date under quarantine then look no further than Love is Quarantine. It’s digital speed dating inspired by Netflix’s Love Is Blind and home isolation. The creators pair up selected participants (who submit videos) to meet in “pandemic pods.” Once you’re matched up, you go on a series of “dates” where you get to chat and learn more about each other. [Instagram: @loveisquarantine]
Bossip’s unique witty and flippant humor is on display on this newly launched weekly recap series. Editors join a special guest on IG Live as they recap popular reality shows from Housewives to Marriage Bootcamp—with a heavy dose of shade. [Instagram: @bossipofficial]
WFH: Will From Home
WFH: Will From Home isn’t live, but Will Smith is social media gold, so it’s safe to say you should probably watch! This Snapchat series, which launched April 3, gives a glimpse into what life is life at the Smith home. The first episode gave fans a look at a Men in Black cardboard cutout and a statue of his son Jaden that are cluttering the garage. It’s all in good quirky, random fun that will play out in 12 parts. [Snapchat: WFH: Will From Home]