This Week in Comedy Podcasts

By

This week it was announced that NBC bought two more sitcom pilots. One, Satellites, centers around a “reluctant ’90s boy-band member and a female blogger/podcaster.” A podcaster! On television! After seven years and a New York Times profile or two, Hollywood finally knows what a podcast is well enough to throw in its character description to connote basic-cable hipness. I know at least I’m excited to see the first mainstream portrayal of a podcaster. Maybe it will be based on Julie Klausner — maybe it will BE Julie Klausner (Did you know I’m totally Julie Klausner’s agent now? JK, no I’m not but if I were, wouldn’t “”Let’s JK with JK” be a serviceable title for her Bravo2 panel show? I am her agent.). Here is a list of our favorite podcasts of the week; each will get a cameo on Satellites (I’m everyone’s agent):

BRADFORD: How Was Your Week #32 — Amy Poehler, Rich Fulcher

This week’s edition of Julie Klausner’s lovely chat show featured a pair of names that should be familiar to comedy fans — one who is quite famous stateside and the other more familiar to UK audiences. Klausner’s opening monologue mainly covers television, a subject she succeeds at ridiculing, touching on Breaking Bad’s finale, Rosie O’Donnell’s new talk show (which I trust is as disastrous as Klausner describes it), and Anderson Cooper’s misguided attempts to humanize himself by reminiscing about his childhood lisp and the death of his pet snake. In her first interview, with comedian Rich Fulcher (The Mighty BooshSnuff Box), Klausner proves to be knowledgeable when it comes to his work, offering up the constructive criticism that Fulcher touches his breasts a little too frequently when he plays women. The second interview, with Amy Poehler, takes place in Poehler’s trailer on the set of Parks and Recreation. As with the Fulcher interview, Klausner strikes a nice balance between serious career-minded topics (studying with Del Close, the appeal of ensemble work, Poehler’s breakup with Matt Besser) and fun, spontaneous banter that results in Klausner and Poehler going over lines for an upcoming Parks and Rec scene together. It’s a spirited and enjoyable hour that offers up a window into two very different, but equally impressive, comedic minds.

ELI: How Did This Get Made? #21 — Ken Marino

At the start of the episode, Paul Scheer makes a cursory attempt to summarize the plot of I Know Who Killed Me for those of us that don’t have podcasts dedicated to watching extremely crappy movies (which is the only audience for I Know Who Killed Me, starring professional nightmare Lindsay Lohan). He only makes it about halfway through before the avalanche of specific grievances (regarding robot arms and the like) overwhelm any effort to make sense of batshit nonsense. So, having not seen the movie, I believe the collection of following quotes from Scheer and his cohosts (along with Ken Marino) not only helped me stitch together the narrative (mostly), but also served the dual purpose of making me glad I did not see this specific movie yet also sad that this movie is not, in some way, awesome: “The robot arm plays a pretty integral part of the movie.” “She strips while her fingers are falling off and acts like it’s not big deal.” “Julia Ormond strokes a hairless cat. With a weird bump that might be a dick and/or balls.” “The piano teacher is the killer. Spoiler alert.”

JESSE: WTF with Marc Maron # 217 — Norm McDonald

The episode ends with both Marc and Norm telling the other that they love them. It’s astounding considering they had admitted less than two hours early to have barely spoken before. Marc will often discuss the instant kinship between comedians but never in the show’s history was it as apparent as this episode. Whether they were talking about comedy, the inability to accept success, addiction, or literature they completely understood each other. The highlight was a small passage when Norm told a few stories about Rodney Dangerfield; the two men cracked up like no one was listening, like two grade school best friends. There really was a beauty to the whole thing.

JOEL: You Had To Be There #38 — Hari Kondabolu

The latest episode of comedian Sara Schaefer and Nikki Glaser’s free-flowing chat show, You Had To Be There, is another great example of their ability to find the funny from all over. There’s always their friendly dose of life theories and tangents galore. Comedian Hari Kondabolu stops by Sara’s apartment for a laid back and wide ranging discussion. Kondabolu quickly proves he’s a more legit teenage girl literary fiction fanboy than the ladies. Babysitter’s Club and Sweet Valley High cred is quickly established. Schaefer remembers the power of the scandalous Sweet Valley High #5 book. Glaser’s recent trip to Lion Kind 3D kicks off the dirty things in Disney movies discussion, which Glaser reveals her expertise. Listeners get an almost serious discussion of how to judge cartoon lions’ ages and the implications of cartoon lion foreplay and sexy lion looks. Kondabolu throws out an anecdote about his non-sex-inducing obsession with Newsies, including his past habit of breaking out into Newsies’ song and dance routines his college roommates. Always ready to take it to the wrong place, Schaefer fondly remembers the inappropriate sexiness of the Newsie thrust. Schaefer again manages to earn her podcast street cred (inappropriate topics) for passing along an insane CGI horse adult film anecdote. This devolves into Kondabolu summarizing the feature film Zoo. The show quickly embraces its downward spiral of dirty horse deeds. This isn’t a safe place for the innocent. Plus, we get the slandering of Ben Savage and the idea of pony fluffers. Lots of cred sufficiently established? Check. Fun as hell? Check.

MARC: Walking The Room with Dave Anthony & Greg Behrendt #78 — Paul Gilmartin

Walking The Room (WTR) is the very essence of the term “acquired taste.” The title alone speaks volumes to those hip to comedy that the views expressed (and the WAY they’re expressed) by comedian co-hosts Dave Anthony and Greg Behrendt are not going to be to everyone’s liking. Slathered liberally in the rude, crude, and socially unacceptable, these guys say what they want and always put it in a way that pretty much guarantees that no commercial mainstream broadcast company or network would feel comfortable picking up their option. If you’re cool hanging with that, you’ll love hanging with WTR. On this ‘sode, they welcome their guest (in itself a rare occurrence) to join them in the closet that they record in. Seriously. Paul Gilmartin (of TBS’s Dinner And A Movie near-fame as well as his own podcast, The Mental Illness Happy Hour) steps up and quickly gets into the flow of the show — made easier by the fact he’s an avowed fan. They talk violence, comedy, family, trespassers…and Paul shares his very own Hobotang story. And if you don’t know from hobotang, maybe it’s time to take a dip into the scuzzy pool that is Walking The Room.

SHAUN: Who Charted? #46 — Eddie Pepitone

It is possible that Eddie Pepitone may be the greatest podcast guest of all time.  You don’t believe me? Take this episode of Who Charted? for example. In this extra long offering, Eddie consistently out weirds host Howard Kremer bit after bit. Kremer usually catches guests off-guard with his irreverent questions, but not this time. Pepitones’ improv takes this ship into completely uncharted territory (pun intended). When guests are game to just mess around, Who Charted? might be one of the best formats to get loose. Pepitone creates characters Al and Margaret that come very close to giving co-host Kulap Vilaysack a laugh heart attack. (And if you love political debates, you’re going to want to cut to about 45 minutes in.) All other podcasts take notice! Eddie Pepitone is like comedy steroids!

Jesse Fox is a freelance writer, podcaster, cat person, and Jew (in that order). He lives in Brooklyn. His iPod is broken.

Bradford Evans is a writer living in Los Angeles.

Eli Terry writes for the house UCB sketch team Gramps. He is on Twitter with few followers.

Shaun Diston is a Writer/Improviser/Sailor of the Ocean.

Joel Mandelkorn is the co-Founder of The Plop List, Producer at CleftClips, Producer of The Super Serious Show.

Marc Hershon is host of Succotash, the Comedy Podcast Podcast and author of I Hate People!