Review: Celeste Barber, “Challenge Accepted” on Showtime

Australian actress and comedian Celeste Barber became globally famous for her Instagram challenges, attempting to duplicate glossy celebrity photo spreads to hilarious effect.

How does it translate to a stand-up special, though?

As I wrote when her special debuted last year on Showtime, she uses Instagram as a prop.

But she really pulls back the curtain by revealing Instagram’s double standards. “I don’t know if you have noticed on social media, but it seems If you are rich, hot or famous, you are allowed to post whatever you want,” she says. “Here’s a photo of my cervix. As long as it’s famous, like!” Adding: “Now if you are NOT rich hot or famous, you’re not allowed to post whatever you want. All of a sudden, ‘terms and conditions’ kick in. And your post can get pulled down.”

Instagram infamously has yet to free the nipple, and Barber shows just how prudish the social media giant is with a game asking her audience to vote on whether certain photos were “ALLOWED or NOT ALLOWED.” Later, she invites the audience to play a game by reading Barber’s DMs and deciding if “He Said or She Said” them to her. Both games have obvious answers.

But that’s not all. Barber also goes after the idea of influencer as a career path, acting out a pose she sees (and displays photo evidence of such) all too often from influencers. “Which if you ask me is just a series of really attractive people constantly looking for s–t they’ve dropped,” she jokes. “What are you looking for? Pardon? Your talent? F–k, We’ll be here a while.”

It’s not all about the Gram, tho.

Read my full review on

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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