People can always use a pick-me-up, even in normal times when things are not as weirdly World War Z adjacent. These days we’ve got to do whatever we can to stay sane and make time for moments of light and levity, even if that means escaping with the best clean comedy we can find!
When it comes to maintaining good health, it’s a laughing matter – or rather – it’s a matter of laughing. There’s a reason they say laughter is the best medicine. It’s true! Okay, “best” medicine might be overstating it, because there are some other excellent medicines out there, but experts from the Mayo Clinic suggest that laughing has both short-term and long-term benefits for your body. Some short-term effects include activating and relieving your stress response so that your heart rate and blood pressure are exercised in a healthy way. A big belly laugh can fire you up and cool you down, creating a healthy heart cycle. A circle of laugh, if you will. Oh, you won’t? Ok, that’s fine. Puns aren’t for everyone.
Over the long-term, giggling may get you a more fortified immune system as well. It works like this: positive thoughts can release neuropeptides that work against illnesses whereas negative thoughts and feelings can transmit more stress into your system. And as we know, the more stress you have, the more your immune system suffers. There are several studies about how laughter is good for your health. It can also lessen anxiety and depression, and it’s the good kind of contagious. So a sense of humor can help you sustain a better mood and maybe even prolong your life!
It’s easy enough to encounter funny new shows on Netflix or listen to a podcast that makes you laugh out loud, but sometimes it’s more of a challenge to find people who know how to use humor without getting down and dirty. Whether you’re looking for a respite from raunchy jokes or seeking entertainment that’s suitable for the whole family, there are many paths that can lead to clean comedy.
Take a look at our list below for five ways that you can listen to comedy that’s clean. It includes specific suggestions for podcasts and names the names of folks who find the funny in day to day life. When their mothers told them to go wash their mouths out with soap, they listened! Either that, or they learned that you don’t have to drop f-bombs to be funny.
#1 Virtual comedy shows
If all you wanna do is zoom a zoom zoom zoom, then boom – you’re in luck. Since many clubs are closed right now, catching a virtual clean stand up comedy show on Zoom as you kick back on your couch can be an appealing alternative. Of course nowadays it seems standup may be a misnomer, since some performers will be sitting down just like you. However they decide to sit, stand, or move around doesn’t really matter. It’s a fun activity you can share with your family and you might even discover some new comedians you like.
This year there have been virtual benefit shows to provide relief to victims of fires and floods, and show support for Covid-19 front-line workers. These shows raised money and brought people’s spirits up in bad times. Laughter can be a true gift and it’s really a treat to hear comics you love putting on a show in real time. It can turn things around to hear a hilarious virtual speaker and forget your worries for one moment.
Any given week there will be a comedian doing a virtual show, so the trick is how to know if the topic or topics will be appropriate and if it is content you would want to hear when Grandma is in the same room. Well, one option is to follow your favorite comedians on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and check their website to see when their next show is coming up. You could also do a simple internet search for live virtual clean comedy shows. And if you don’t get anywhere with that, you can always catch old stand-up shows of theirs on YouTube that you may have never seen. And while we’re on the topic of YouTube…
#2 YouTube videos of comedy acts new and old
They say nothing in life is free. However, YouTube doesn’t cost any money, unless you opt for that special version they made available. And as long as you’re okay with an ad or twelve, you can forage around for your favorite moments in comedy from years ago and even come across comedy from the current week. That Smothers Brothers reunion show where Steve Martin makes a special appearance? It’s there. That Late Late Show with James Corden episode of Carpool Karaoke with Paul McCartney? It’s there! The many Carol Burnett sketches from back in the day that made you burst at the seams from laughing so hard? It’s there, on The Carol Burnett Show official channel.
Take a deep dive into silent films if that’s what floats your boat. Spend some time searching up funny clips of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton – each one a master of physical comedy. Subscribe to channels that have good quality content so you can go back and watch the shows or episodes you love the most. A cool feature on YouTube is that it will suggest related content to give you more of what you enjoy. Whether that’s news, a weekly church service streamed live, or cats that sound like they can “talk,” you may never want to leave that website. Like, ever.
YouTube is your best bet for finding random things you didn’t know you would need to watch. It’s fun to play videos that entertain or teach you something new. Distracting yourself for hours on end? There’s an app for that. Here’s a Jim Gaffigan bit about bacon to start you out down the rabbit hole:
#3 Podcasts Podcasts Podcasts
I’ll say it again. Podcasts. Still confused?
Well, remember the radio? It’s kind of making a comeback. Podcasts are nothing new by now, but some of us aren’t super quick to get on board with trends, especially if it means we have to check out one more social media app or subscribe to something else. If you thought podcasts were just for news junkies or murder mysteries, you should know there’s much much more. Several comedians host podcasts and have weekly episodes that feature interviews with guests. They might bring in a fellow comedian, a writer friend, or TV stars who make a pitch for their new show. They may discuss current events or play silly games and they almost always carry on conversations that will crack you up.
As far as podcasts go, there is now an endless sea of options. There is more than one clean comedy podcast, and there is even a podcast called The Clean Comedy Podcast. There are improv groups and acting troupes that have taken it online, making their shows accessible to more people. Story Pirates, for example, is a group of talented actors, comedians, musicians and improvisers who take stories that kids write and turn them into sketch comedy and musical numbers. It’s a super show to subscribe to if you like family-friendly fun in your life. Then there’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me, the weekly current events quiz show from NPR that’s full of facts, information, and fun. It’s a popular podcast with a lot of listeners. You can play along at home, like olden times when families would sit around the radio and listen to questions on Quiz Kids (top that old timey reference, I dare you!).
The aptly named The Clean Comedy Podcast, whose hosts James Creviston and Luke Lacoy have weekly talks about topics in clean stand-up comedy, is another podcast full of funny conversations. James and Luke have discussed every topic from the TikTok app to creativity hacks and churning out that first draft to their favorite moments from the Clean Comedy Podcast over the last year. And there are a lot of episodes worth listening to, considering that in just this last year on their podcast they’ve had interviews with guests like writer/comedian Adam Cozens, Brandon Skelton (known as The Church Comedian), radio host Kevin Getz and several others. People share stories and make every episode a fun-filled educational time. You can check it out anywhere you play podcasts. You can listen on your android or apple device, or through any website where you come across a podcast. And if you’re still stumped, ask anyone who might be a millennial for help.
There’s the perfect podcast out there waiting for you. Check out this list of the best clean comedy podcasts and give at least one podcast a listen today. You might just discover the best up-and-coming clean comedian. And if not, would you really have done something that much more productive?
#4 Hire a clean comedian for your virtual event
If it happens to fall under your list of responsibilities to coordinate events for your company, or it’s your turn to build camaraderie amongst team members at your church or organization, it’s super easy to outsource. In fact, if you have a budget, it’s basically a no brainer. Make your next event the best ever by pumping it full of funny. Not just anyone can easily entertain listeners and viewers virtually. Comedians earn money to find the funny and have found it over and over again. They’ve made their living doing what they love so that you’ll love what they do.
A clean & professional virtual entertainer or virtual emcee can improve any work-related event. They can host an awards ceremony and share funny anecdotes about the boss that fellow employees couldn’t quite pull off. They could lead a talk between teams or turn training topics into trivia questions where everyone can learn a little something. The possibilities are virtually endless when a professional comedian hosts a virtual event. A performer who knows comedy can read the room, and involve a large number of people to make an online meeting of any sort more engaging. They can share their full standup routine right there on the spot or ad lib on topics you want your group to discuss.
You should share with this person ahead of time which co-workers will be more willing victims – ahem – participants, who won’t mind being called out or answering questions in front of the group. It’s important to share the goals of your meeting, so the comedian can check off every box and make sure all the guests have fun, and expectations are exceeded. And here’s some good news you might like: you’ll be the guy or gal who had the brilliant idea and brought them in. Not too bad for just finding a guy to talk to your team for an hour.
Feel free to check out Clean Comedians® and contact us for any help with how you can incorporate comedy into your corporate event.
#5 Comedy Albums
If you haven’t found a clean comedy podcast you like, and have exhausted yourself on YouTube, there are a ton of clean comedy albums you might deem funny. You may already have some names in mind, or you can read reviews on iTunes. There’s no right way to do it.
One way you might come across a comedy album you like is to Google “clean comedy.” I know, it seems obvious enough, but we sometimes forget all the little gems we have at our fingertips. Another option is to go straight to the official website of your favorite comedian and look for a link to download their comedy album. Are we still using the word album? I think we are. If you love Brian Regan, a known master of clean comedy, head over to his website and check out his live recordings from over the years. You can buy DVDs, CDs, or get a digital download. And now that you know laughing has been found to have a real positive impact on your health, it will be money well spent.
If you continue to follow your favorite comedians on social media, they will absolutely share when they release new material or appear on a podcast. Better believe an artist will never miss an opportunity to ask you for money!
We hope we were able to help you figure out how to listen to clean comedy. It’s nice to know there are so many places to go where you can get your giggle on.
Adam Christing is the founder of CleanComedians.com. He holds a degree in public speaking and has written 3 humor and personal growth books including Your Life is a Joke: 12 Ways to Go from Ha Ha to AHA! He is also a virtual magician and virtual keynote speaker. Adam’s virtual demo video can be seen here. And don’t forget to connect with us on LinkedIn!