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.
Not Safe Podcast with Nikki Glaser - Heavy Petting
Leigh: Not Safe with Nikki Glaser is coming out on Comedy Central in February and I for one could not be more excited. Kind of in the way most of the world was excited for that space movie a few weeks ago. In the meantime, she’s started the Not Safe Podcast. She’s joined by Dan St. Germain, who is also a writer on the show. Add that to the list of reasons to be excited for the premiere. This week they talk about something we all enjoy, whether you admit it or not – talking shit about people and why it’s okay to do it. They also cover the best age to smoke pot, the hot new Bachelor, and the bullshit science of horoscopes, plus a hilarious story about something Dan was recently caught doing in the writers room. This is only the third episode and they’re all pretty short (though, hear Nikki and Dan’s opinions on short podcasts on this week’s episode), so there’s no reason not go back and listen from the start.
Shut Up, Leonard - Dan Harmon
Marc: Matt Benson and Andrew Linde, hosts of the Shut Up, Leonard podcast, spoke to God in their latest installment of the show that usually provides episode-by-episode analysis of their favorite TV/web show, Community. Well, God in the sense that Dan Harmon, the series’ creator, pays them a visit to answer their every burning question. If he can remember the answers, that is. People who eat, live, and breathe something they love sometimes forget that the creators of such content may never revisit their creation after putting it out there (hello, podcasters!). And Harmon makes no bones about the fact he rarely looks back at something that he’s made – he has trouble even selecting his favorite of the six-season run of the quirky NBC/Yahoo comedy. What he does excel at, however, is ruminating about the process of creating comedy, dissecting characters to see what makes them tick, and laughing at his own well-documented foibles. This episode may well be the climax of Shut Up, Leonard. After all, where do you go after you’ve spoken to God?
Don’t Ever Change - Jak Knight
Pablo: On the latest Don’t Ever Change, John Roy interviews Jak Knight, a young comic not too far removed from his high school days, the topic of this great podcast. Knight is originally from Seattle, where he grew up with his mom and a corny but well-meaning stepdad after his father skipped out on the family to start another. But outside of getting shit from his jock friends for quitting sports, Knight seems like he had a pretty good time in high school compared to the stories of previous guests. He got to meet Kevin Durant at the Boys and Girls Club just before the Seattle Supersonics left for Oklahoma City. He hit three 3-pointers in a homecoming game, a momentary feeling he says still beats some of his recent career accomplishments. And he watched a ton of Dragon Ball Z. To top it all off, he got into comedy by a friend who didn’t just encourage him to take the stage, but drove him to an open mic that night. Even without the standard embarrassing stories, it’s an entertaining episode. Plus, Knight puts forward his theory as to why Goku turns into a white guy upon turning Super Saiyan.
My Favorite Murder - My Firstest Murder
Elizabeth: From the days of public trials to true crime novels to Serial, America has always loved a good murder story. In their new podcast, My Favorite Murder, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark gather round the podcast campfire to talk about the horrible things they can’t help but love. They delve into their shared passion for telling stories that make other people recoil and desires to become true crime detectives (but not for boring stuff like gangs or mafias), and talk about the crimes that have fascinated them for years. For Georgia, it’s the 1996 murder of JonBenét Ramsey, while Karen goes for the Sacramento East Area Rapist—both unsolved crimes. Producer and Feral Audio founder Dustin Martian stops by to share his own hometown horror story about the time his next-door neighbor held his wife and kids hostage, ending in a murder-suicide in front of the children. Podcast goals include solving crimes, finding murderers, and not getting murdered themselves.
JakeThis of Jake Johannsen - Monkey Talk with Dr. Christopher Ryan
Marc: If it’s generally a given that comedians make for the best comedy podcasters, then Jake Johannsen is a fine specimen of that subset. It’s not important that not all of his guests on JakeThis of Jake Johannsen are comedians, nor even in show business. And the subject matter isn’t always light and/or funny. But with a deft touch and a few well-placed humor nuggets strewn throughout the conversation, one comes away from his podcast thinking, “That was damned entertaining!” His latest guest is Dr. Christopher Ryan, PhD and co-author of Sex At Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships. He’s also the host of his own podcast, Tangentially Speaking. (In fact, this is essentially a dual review because the same conversation appeared a week ago on Ryan’s show, even though it was recorded in Johannsen’s podcast “lair.”) The subjects are far-ranging, starting with musing over the effects, both rumored and true, of ayahuasca, the hallucinogen of choice of South American native cultures (it’s all in the preparation), the wisdom of couples sleeping in separate rooms (it’s not as bad as it sounds), the positivity of Joe Rogan (Ryan appears on his show a lot), Johannsen’s level of fame (he believes he’s only recognized by people who like him), and more. Then there’s the “monkey talk” from which this episode gets its title. Did you know chimps have big balls and apes have little ones? And what the cultural implications for those statistics are amongst monkeys? Neither did I. So listen in on JakeThis (or try Tangentially Speaking…) and come away being better educated and entertained at the same time.
Other Podcasts We’re Listening To:
Views from the Vista - The Revenant w/ Monika Scott
Guys We Fucked - No One Asked You to the Sadie Hawkins Dance?
The New Hollywood - Paul Rust
Not The Worst Show - Handjobs, Abortions & Mommy Issues
This Is Why You’re Single -Online Dating Is Superficial ft. Black Men Can’t Jump
Talk of Shame - Arthur Meyer’s Urinal Dilemma
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.