Coronavirus BRIEFING

Doctors, Comedians and Community Join Forces With WebMD and Medscape for Rob Corddry's ‘Funny You Should Mask’ to Benefit Project C.U.R.E.

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Streamed on Facebook, Funny You Should Mask was a collaborative effort between WebMD, Medscape, and Rob Corddry in support of Project C.U.R.E.

NEW YORK—From “heroes” to “life-savers” to “trusted confidants,” there are plenty of words that come to mind when we think about doctors, especially right now. But what about “funny?” On Thursday, WebMD and Medscape joined forces with Daily Show alumnus and star of The Unicorn, Rob Corddry, to host “Funny You Should Mask,” a “fun-raiser” to help get PPE to frontline medical workers across the country. The event, hosted live on Facebook, combined humor and medicine to underscore why it’s so vital to get PPE to medical professionals, and what we can do to help them.

The fundraiser supported Project C.U.R.E., the world’s largest distributor of donated medical relief, including masks and gloves. Right now, the team at Project C.U.R.E. is concentrating all its efforts toward supporting health care workers in the U.S. To raise both funds and awareness, Medscape, WebMD and Corddry brought comedians and doctors together for a series of funny, educational and humbling interviews. Hosted by Corddry, the doctors gave insights into the frontline battle against COVID-19.


Nicole Byer and Sasheer Zamata interviewed Alyson Fox, MD and Robert Brown, MD, two transplant hepatologists at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.

In a press announcement, Ivan Oransky, MD, Medscape's vice president of editorial said, "As the largest news, clinical tools and continuing education resource for health care professionals around the world, Medscape seemed like a natural fit for the collaboration. We were excited that Rob and his comedy buddies wanted to work with Medscape, particularly to support a charity focused on addressing the critical shortages in masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE).These are extraordinarily difficult times for health care workers, and bringing some laughter, and importantly support for the work that they do, is a great effort."

Comedians Nicole Byer and Sasheer Zamata, who host the Best Friends Podcast together interviewed another set of best friends: Alyson Fox, MD and Robert Brown, MD, two transplant hepatologists at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. Drs. Fox and Brown work a COVID-19 positive transplant ward. At first, Dr. Fox said, they thought they could keep transplant patients separate from COVID patients, but it quickly became clear that there would be no COVID-free spaces in New York City hospitals. Now, they’re doing their best to keep their patients healthy and looked after—meaning they have to keep themselves healthy and looked after as well.


Host Rob Corddry interviewed his close friend Rachael Pearl, MD, an ER doctor at Cedar-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles who was infected with COVID-19.

Next, Eric Andre spoke with Esther Choo, MD, from the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. Dr. Choo emphasized how important hand washing and PPE is when it comes to “invisible contacts,” or contact with the virus that we don’t realize are happening, such as touching infected surfaces. In addition, she answered some frank questions we all have about the virus, including how long we could all be practicing social distancing, and where we are when it comes to a vaccine.

Kumail Nanjiani interviewed Natalie Ball, APRN, a family nurse practitioner at Day Street Community Health Center in Norwalk, Connecticut. Nanjiani and Ball discussed just how big of a role the greater community plays in battling COVID—from practicing proper social distancing to taking care of family members that may be sick. In addition, Ball shared some of the challenges and “blessings” she’s experienced using telehealth.

Following Nanjiani and Ball, Ken Jeong, who is an MD himself, spoke with Rishi Desai, MD, chief medical officer at Osmosis. In addition to the concept of flattening the curve, Dr. Desai discussed “raising the line,” or increasing our health care capacity. Ensuring that health care professionals have access to PPE helps them to do exactly this.

To close things out, Corddry interviewed a personal friend of his: Rachael Pearl, MD, an ER doctor at Cedar-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. Dr. Pearl was infected with COVID, and her experience led Corddry to first develop the idea for Funny You Should Mask, which began as an effort to provide some much-needed laughter and entertainment to the staff at Cedar-Sinai.



Eric Andre and Esther Choo, MD spoke about the importance of PPE.



Ken Jeong, who is an MD himself, spoke with Rishi Desai, MD, chief medical officer at Osmosis. The two talked about comedy, medicine, and "raising the line."Kumail Nanjiani interviewed Natalie Ball, APRN, a nurse in Norwalk, Connecticut.



Throughout the interviews, all medical professionals seemed to underscore one thing: the fact that this is a global battle. While they are doing their jobs saving lives on the front lines, those of us staying at home and practicing social distancing are doing our own job—which is also saving lives.

Douglas Jackson, PhD, JD, president and CEO, Project C.U.R.E. explained, "We have been working hard to take care of the brave women and men who are fighting the COVID-19 fight on the frontlines of our community. To partner with WebMD/Medscape and Rob Corddry on this project is an incredible encouragement, both to the nurses and doctors that we are working to help and to the thousands of Project C.U.R.E. volunteers who are in the warehouses, driving the trucks and committed to winning the battle. The idea that we can do serious work and put a smile on the faces of these terrific people is really magical. It's this type of thing that will get us through."

The full Funny You Should Mask event is still available to watch on Facebook Live, and Project C.U.R.E. continues to accept donations which will help medical professionals across the country access the PPE they so desperately need.