We've scrounged around for this week's 19 best virus memes. We're calling them the COVID-19

Canned laughter: All of a sudden everyone has become Sheldon.
Canned laughter: All of a sudden everyone has become Sheldon.

On this week's coronavirus-affected, studio audience-less edition of his screwy weekly news digest Mad As Hell, funnyman Shaun Micallef couldn't stand the canned laughter oh-so familiar from the corny TV comedies of yesteryear.

Michael Rowland had kindly loaned "the machine he uses to practice the jokes he does on News Breakfast", Micallef explained as the oversized contraption chugged out lame guffaws.

But Micallef quickly banished the laugh track sound effects gizmo from his ABC studio set.

"I can get by without an audience," he dryly deadpanned down the barrel of the camera.

"I have for most of my career."

Mad As Hell host Shaun Micallef had no studio audience this week.

Mad As Hell host Shaun Micallef had no studio audience this week.

Micallef, Q&A host Hamish Macdonald - also limited this week to a church mouse-esque studio audience studiously practicing social distancing - and our elite footballers in their vacant stadiums may well be paid professionals who can roll on without the usual, comfortingly communal, rounds of applause, cheering and laughter.

But not the rest of us here at home on the couch. The Thursday night footy live on the telly just sounded wrong. Sure it looked like football with the players going through the motions. But the feeling, the atmosphere, was as empty as the stadiums.

Mad As Hell's dismal canned laughter machine, borrowed from ABC News Breakfast's Michael Rowland.

Mad As Hell's dismal canned laughter machine, borrowed from ABC News Breakfast's Michael Rowland.

On Monday there was not nearly enough groaning and sniggering going on in Q&A's cheap seats as the same old pollie waffle ricocheted between the obligatory parliamentary adversaries. Funny how you don't miss a random cutaway shot to an eye-rolling uni student in the third row until it's gone.

On Wednesday Micallef and his Mad As Hell goofballs were as absurd and as clever as usual even though at my place I could only hear one person laughing - me - when he formally apologised on behalf of the nation to Hollywood superstar Tom Hanks over that little mishap with the coronavirus diagnosis.

"It's bad enough you had to come over here to make a film with Baz Luhrmann and that you had to do it on the Gold Coast," Micallef winced.

This week's Q&A on ABC had a safely sized studio audience safely spaced apart

This week's Q&A on ABC had a safely sized studio audience safely spaced apart

"I had to go to the Logies up there last year so I know what hell that can be. Though it must be said that's mainly because it's the Logies."

So, to help you achieve your recommended weekly output of chuckles we have scrounged around social media for 19 virally themed memes.

We're calling this random selection, um, the COVID-19. We think it could catch on.

We hope these memes will help get you through. Well, through the next two minutes at least.

Naturally, you can't talk memes thesedays without at least one featuring Baby Yoda from the Disney+ Star Wars series, The Mandalorian. Seriously, if you are self-isolating you must get on that.

As they say, laughter can be contagious. It's apparently the best medicine too - and you don't need to line up outside Coles or Aldi to procure some.

So please enjoy these memes. Applause and cheering are optional, but encouraged.

To derive the maximum health benefit, medical professionals recommend sharing this article with a friend so you can savour the sweet, sweet sound of their mutal enjoyment.

This story 19 COVID-19 memes to get you through the weekend first appeared on The Canberra Times.