The comedy podcast universe is ever expanding, not unlike the universe universe. We’re here to make it a bit smaller, a bit more manageable. There are a lot of great shows and each has a lot of great episodes, so we want to highlight the exceptional, the noteworthy. Each week our crack team of podcast enthusiasts and specialists and especially enthusiastic people will pick their favorites. We hope to have your ears permanently plugged with the best in aural comedy.
Truth and Iliza - Dan Harmon
Elizabeth: Given that Truth and Iliza is a podcast about pet peeves, Dan Harmon just may be the perfect guest. Dan and Iliza let it out on the Hollywood system, from the ridiculous ways people try to break into the business to the notes given by executives who offer suggestions like adding a dog because people like dogs. They spend a good deal of the show talking about awful people on Twitter and the challenges of holding back from going into attack mode online and off. Each of them have a cyber Achilles’ heel: For Iliza, it’s the “Discover” section on Instagram, while Dan has retreated from Reddit and Tumblr. Also facing the wrath of Dan and Iliza are attention seekers (like people who jump into pools at parties or wear outrageous clothes just to get noticed), New York’s culture of forced city pride and loyalty, and Donald Trump. Plus, Dan offers helpful strategies for dealing with born-again relatives.
WTF with Marc Maron - Michael Moore
Leigh: Full disclosure, I only listened to this episode to hear the first 20ish minutes. Marc Maron addresses last week’s internet outrage accusing Amy Schumer of stealing jokes, which he had also been dragged into, and just how ridiculous he thinks the whole thing is. What makes this rant so great is not just that he’s defending Schumer as a comic, but that he takes a look at the bigger issue of people trying to police comedy and call out joke thieves. “It’s got nothing to do with justice…it’s about annihilation.” A great point he raises is that in all of this, there’s never been outrage over repeated topical jokes in monologues on late night shows, or the same tired old sitcom plots we see over and over again. It’s worth noting that hearing Maron use the phrase “an army of unfuckable hate nerds” to describe these crusaders of joke thievery is worth the listen. And, I should also mention that even though I did come for just the intro, I stayed for the interview with Michael Moore. That part is good too.
Try This Podcast - The Jimtown Cult Podcast
Marc: A lot of people can say that their podcast offers the listener something different, but perhaps only Chicago comedian Robert Bacon truly delivers the goods with his Try This podcast. Every episode features a guest host – usually a fellow comedian from the Chicago region – who arrives with a new concept for the show to be about that week. Not just someone with things to talk about, but a whole format with all the works. The latest installment sees Ben Larrison returning for a repeat visit with Bacon. (Larrison gained recognition just this past winter for his Kickstarter campaign, the Chicago Transit Project, in which the comedian raised money to plaster weird, funny advertisement cards on 100 Chicago CTA train cars.) He and Bacon band together as Jim #148 and Jim #341 to host The Jimtown Cult Podcast. Because the guest can pick and choose what’s going on, it’s actually the 100th episode of The Jimtown Cult Podcast. It’s being podcast from a community where everyone – men and women – have shrugged off their earlier identities and have named themselves after their leader, Jim. The Jims play favorite clips from past episodes, like when Jim #3 and Jim #1000 drop by, followed by Joe Cocker. It seems quite the life, going through it as Jim, though one can’t help but to hear tinges of regret and sadness in the co-hosts’ voices as they secretly yearn for freedom from all things Jim.
Lou Reads the Internet - From the Forum at ManWhore.org
Pablo: There’s been something of an apologetic turnaround among some leaders of the pickup artist community, or PUA (coincidentally the same reflexive noise I make when reading about pickup artists). Neil Strauss’ latest book The Truth is a repudiation of his years in the seduction community and, while not technically an artiste himself, even frat legend Tucker Max is trying to reinvent himself as a family man. But as long as there is an internet, there will be gathering spaces for lonely men who view women as dogs waiting to be housebroken. On this week’s Lou Reads the Internet, Lou is reading posts from the message boards at ManWhore.org. Run by a buff Paul Scheer lookalike whose PUA persona is this URL’s namesake, this website specializes in its members using text messaging for their “game.” The stories they post fall into two categories: Obviously made up fantasies that read like rejected Penthouse letters or dudes wondering if they should continue texting their target after their 5th flirty text in 18 hours goes unanswered. If you find crushing sadness with a side of mundanity as funny as I do, you’ll enjoy the final read of the episode: One long thread where ManWhore tries to calm down an angry mob demanding their refunds for a delayed $32 PUA e-book.
Other Podcasts We’re Listening To:
High and Mighty - Prank Comedy w/ Matt Besser
Comedy on Vinyl - Andre Jacquemin
Bad Times, Good Stories - Ripped Off - Ryan Price
The Shepod - Recreational Eating Is My Favorite Sport
Hollywood Handbook - Chris Gethard, Our Close Friend
Pop My Culture - Fred Willard
Comedy Film Nerds - Danish Girl - Alison Rosen
Call Chelsea Peretti - El Hello
Not Safe Podcast with Nikki Glaser - Anal Around the World
Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend - Kate Micucci
Got a podcast recommendation? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leigh Cesiro is a writer living in Brooklyn who only needs 10 minutes to solve any Law & Order: SVU episode.
Elizabeth Stamp is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York.
Pablo Goldstein is a writer from Los Angeles, CA.