Quarantainment: 5 lunch break comedy albums for ‘essential’ workers

Photo Credit: Jason Greenough

Editor’s Note: Welcome to Quarantainment, Vanyaland’s new series on what to watch, what to hear, and how to deal as the world engages in social distancing to combat the spread of coronavirus, or COVID-19. We’re all at home, we’re all online, and we’re all in this together. #StayTheFHome

It’s been a wild few weeks, to say the least, when it comes to the tightening restrictions on social distancing and self-quarantine in response to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. With the latest round of restrictions put in place by Governor Charlie Baker, we’ve seen multitudes of healthcare professionals (doctors, nurses, pharmacists etc.), retail and grocery store clerks and others in “essential” fields put in long, physically and mentally draining shifts to ensure that we’re taken care of and our needs for medical care, food, and medication are met.

Tucked away somewhere within those long, grueling bouts on the front lines are lunch breaks, coffee breaks, and smoke breaks that allow these workers a few moments to decompress, and we’re here to help in that decompression by providing a laugh or two.

Here are a few comedy releases from over the years that, while they may not be exactly “new,” are short enough to fill your 30 minutes or hour away from the chaos, but still powerful enough to hopefully aid in giving you a little boost for the second half of the day.

Check back next week for more.

Theo Von, 30lb Bag of Hamster Bones

Clocking in at just under 24 minutes in total, it may be the shortest release on this list, but it’s also packed with the most absurdity, as mullet-donning Louisiana native Theo Von dishes on more than one outrageous experience with stray animals on this non-stop killer from 2017.


Sam Jay, Donna’s Daughter

It’s really no exaggeration to say that Sam Jay is one of the most fearless comedians in the game today, when it comes to not just topics she covers while on stage, but also her approach to covering them. As you can tell from her 2018 debut album, which is peppered with music samplings and sound bites from candid conversations and voicemails, the Dorchester native holds back on nothing and delivers on everything from her sexual experiences to how the sun kills white people.


Dan Cummins, Maybe I’m The Problem

All too often, we find ourselves spitting venom at the way people go about their lives around us, and not often enough do we find someone as fed up with the same type of nonsense as Dan Cummins. However, while he wades in his frustrations with society for a good minute, the Idaho-based comedy vet also balances a hearty dose of stories of family life and raising kids with a spiraling interpretation of the life of Chuck E. Cheese in this album from 2018.


Dane Cook, Harmful If Swallowed

With the most miles out of any other release on this list, Arlington native Dane Cook’s classic smash-hit record from 2003 maintains its position as not only his most celebrated slate of material, but is also full of enough short, punchy jokes that helps to keep this album remain so digestible, even 17 years later.


Craig Ferguson, Hobo Fabulous

While there is a straight-forward audio version of the material performed throughout this rockumentary-meets-comedy special, the video version, if you have mobile access to Amazon Prime Video, makes for a much easier and digestible consumption of Scottish comedian Craig Ferguson’s latest dose of material. The visual component not only offers a more in-depth look behind the curtain as well as on stage, but it also comes in six parts, each less than 25 minutes long, making it an almost perfect choice for a lunch break escape.