In early August, the popular liberal comedian Hasan Minhaj performed for several hundred people at Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany. Per Minhaj's contract, audience members were required to wear masks while in the venue and have proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or recent negative test prior to admission. Those present estimate compliance was at or essentially 100 percent throughout, and theater officials said no one complained about the policies or asked for a refund.
A week later, the popular conservative comedian Nick DiPaolo performed for several hundred people at Cohoes Music Hall in Cohoes, which has a policy requiring masks unless attendees are eating or drinking. It does not require proof of vaccination. DiPaolo's routine opened with an anti-mask screed, and his manager estimated that more than 90 percent of the crowd shed their faces coverings as soon as they sat down, some holding a beer, water bottle or candy bag to suggest they shouldn't have to re-mask.