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.
Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend - Michael Ian Black
Elizabeth: Alison Rosen and writer, actor, and podcaster Michael Ian Black sit down at the ungodly hour of 9:30am to chat for this week’s episode of Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend. They start by talking podcasts and interview techniques, then move on to Michael’s new book Navel Gazing: True Tales of Bodies, Mostly Mine (but also my mom’s, which I know sounds weird), which deals in part with his mother’s battle with cancer and describes her experience with electroshock therapy as a teenager. He also talks about growing up in a tense household, why he chose life on the East Coast over LA, and how he expanded his work away from the comedy persona he developed early on in his career. They take questions from Twitter and do a round of “Just Me or Everyone” exploring e-mails, food on sticks, shaving, brussels sprouts, and the metric system. [iTunes]
Sklarbro Country - Live from SF Sketch Fest 2016
Pablo: It’s a shame there aren’t more live Sklarbro Country episodes. Like the annual year-end character specials that overflow the Earwolf studio with “celebrity” friends who annoy the Sklars with their eccentricity or racism or paranoid rantings, the live shows puts on full display an exhibit of the weirdos who inhabit Sklarbro Country. Joining the brothers, co-host Dan Van Kirk, and guests Moshe Kasher and Jon Daly are Bernie Sanders, Jesse Ventura, Nicholas Cage, Tom Leykis, Mark Wahlberg, and Making a Murderer’s Ken Kratz. Technically a Sklarbro County due to the swapping of sports stories for drunk drivers on the police blotter, this episode centers around a man from, where else, Florida who had trouble locating his ID after a DUI stop. It turns out that giving an officer not one, but two Ruby Tuesday coupons does not count as legal identification in the Sunshine State. While Jon Daly is one of the few people on stage not playing a character, he does drop a cool news item for fans of his Jon Daly is John Daly comedy bit turned Google search ranking prank: He and Adam Scott are filming a golf special for Adult Swim alongside the PGA Tour’s John Daly and Adam Scott. [iTunes]
Monster Party - Denise Crosby!!!
Marc: Nerding out over their guests is not unusual to the Monster Party quartet of co-hosts James Gonis, Shawn Sheridan, Larry Strothe, and Matt Weinhold. But the latest visitor to their nerd nest, Denise Crosby, has kicked them up to the next level of infatuation. The well-filmographied actress has appeared in a number of films and TV shows that spans the specific gamut of genres upon which Monster Party focuses — horror and sci-fi — and Crosby doesn’t disappoint as she unloads story after anecdote after backstage tale during the more than two-hour installment. The product of show business royalty (her grandfather was Bing Crosby), her willingness to talk about revealing all in regards to the early days of her career (she was featured in a Playboy magazine pictorial) to the insider glimpse of the audition process for Star Trek: The Next Generation (she played chief security officer Tasha Yar but originally auditioned for the role of Counselor Troi, played in the series by Marina Sirtis) is a combo that has the collective hosts stumbling all over themselves with questions and attempts to get her to accept a mint condition action figure of Crosby as Romulan Commander Sela. Crosby shares accounts from the making of cult horror film Pet Sematary, the travails of producing the documentary Trekkies, and how deeply touched she is when it comes to the loyal fans of her work. There’s so much geek fodder in this episode that people will be checking Crosby’s revelations against Trek canon for weeks. [iTunes]
Weird Adults with Little Esther - Liza Treyger
Leigh: I have good news and more good news. I’ll start with the good news. After more than two months of waiting, there’s finally a new episode of Weird Adults with Little Esther. On to the more good news! The guest of this week’s episode is Liza Treyger. And just to spoil listeners, there good news doesn’t stop there. The episode is a two-parter so we’ll get another one next week. While Little Esther warns listeners at the top of the episode that most people may not be interested in the conversation since the two of them went to high school together and talk a lot about people they grew up with, it’s pretty clear right off the bat that their conversation is funny and relatable, even without knowing the people they’re talking about. We all went to high school with the same kinds of people, and we all talk pleasure in finding out popular girls are now “average as fuck,” right? Plus, Liza Treyger can talk about anything and it would still be hilarious. If you’re worried it’s all high school talk, relax. There are plenty of other topics covered like people having opinions on the internet, ranking the Kardashians, pointers for ordering at restaurants, and Sex and the City. [iTunes]
Consider Our Knowledge - Number 142
Marc: This amazing sendup of all things Public Broadcasting, from All Things Considered, This American Life, Fresh Air, and even podcasting’s darling of last year, Serial, has been sliding beneath my notice until now. 142 episodes in (as of this writing), Consider Our Knowledge sports an amazing cast of voice talent such as Conor Bentley and Emily Clawsen, who play the show’s usual anchors — and voice a handful of other correspondents apiece — and their parodies of that trademark NPR delivery is dead on. This week there’s a report on how the new diverse body shapes coming to Mattel’s Barbie line is having an even bigger effect on the toy company’s moves to alter their Ken dolls to make a big play for the boy audience. And in another nod to current events during their “Consider Your Health” segment, how countries can fight the spread of the Zika virus. Another nice consideration by the producers of COK is that they don’t wear out their welcome — each installment run about 10 minutes long. Just right for a perfect bite of satire any time you need a little lift. [iTunes]
Other Podcasts We’re Listening To:
Never Not Funny - Cristela Alonzo
The Writer’s Panel - 11.22.63
Happy Sad Confused - Gillian Jacobs
Loud & Obnoxious - Big Ass Money Stout/Turbo Kid
Doug Loves Movies - Ben Schwartz, Noel Wells, Neal Brennan, and Ken Reid
How To Be A Person - Jena Friedman - How to Make a Field Piece & Poach an Egg
The Constant Struggle - Gillian English Won’t Back Down
Comedy Film Nerds - Room - Gareth Reynolds
Got a podcast recommendation? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elizabeth Stamp is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York.
Pablo Goldstein is a writer from Los Angeles, CA.
Leigh Cesiro is a writer living in Brooklyn who only needs 10 minutes to solve any Law & Order: SVU episode.