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.
Earwolf Presents - Musical; Theater with Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber
Pablo: Among the loony legion of characters that inhibit the Comedy Bang! Bang! universe, my favorite is Gino Lambardo, played by Jon Gabrus. Ostensibly an audio recording intern from Nassau Community College, Gino is really just Gabrus playing a younger, idiotic, racist, dangerously skinny version of himself. Like Gabrus’ Gino, Paul F. Tompkins’ erudite and sophisticated Andrew Lloyd Webber is the character closest to the comedian himself. So what follows in this one-off episode is essentially a conversation between Gabrus and PFT if they both suffered concussions before walking into the Earwolf studio. What gets both men into said room is the premise that Lord Webber hired Gino to direct the LA production of School of Rock. How did it go? Well, Gino thought his version should include school shootings, so let’s say it went… OK. While Earwolf has given CBB fan favorites their own spinoff shows, it’s surprising they rarely do one-time specials like this more often. I know Earwolf Presents isn’t exactly an advertising draw compared to other shows, but when has Earwolf not been in the business of fan service? I’m not the only listener who’d buy these episodes for $2 each a la the live Comedy Bang! Bangs! [iTunes]
Naked Diner - #22 with Alyson Chadwick
Marc: The two hosts of the Naked Diner podcast, Andrew Scott Hall and Jack Matirko, are a little hard to dig up info about in their lives apart from the Diner. The latter seems to have several podcasts going and the former only reveals that he “has never been convicted of a crime, withstood a childhood of religious indoctrination, and seeks to make people laugh and think at the same time.” Both possess a wry sense of humor and handle the co-hosting duties remotely, Skyping cross-country and then bringing in a guest to join them that way as well. Most recently they chatted with Alyson Chadwick, a standup comedian and writer on the rise — she runs The Random Journal online, a satirical news site — with a former life as a political consultant and press flack for the Democratic National Convention. The conversation starts off dipping into Chadwick’s political history to delve into the mystery of why Donald Trump is heaving so much weight around as well as who the heck is going to be the one to stop him getting into the Big Chair at the White House. The trio is able to bring some sense to bear when it comes to what’s happening in the current election year landscape, just before running the conversation down a side road to talk about Chadwick’s comedy, where she’s focusing her career these days. Host Hall get a little fixated on a bit from Chadwick’s act dealing with a cat’s penis, but they manage to weather that storm enough to move on to talk about the nuts and bolts of comedy, while delving a bit further into the hazy world of political consultancy. It’s a totally apropos juxtaposition of topics for this year’s election madness. [iTunes]
Schmanners - Office Etiquette
Elizabeth: Travis McElroy and wife/co-host Teresa McElroy tackle the sticky issues of office life on this week’s Shmanners. The episode begins as Teresa traces the evolution of shared workspaces, from monks in the Middle Ages to 20th-century cubicles to contemporary open plan spaces. Next the well-mannered McElroys answer questions from listeners on everything from personal grooming, working from home, and smells, both food and personal. They lay down the law and set some strict desk decoration guidelines (Keep it quiet and safe for work, please), explain why office romances should be kept out of the office, and tackle the most fraught area of office life: the kitchen (Label your food! Don’t leave things in the microwave!). And while they don’t advocate playing TV or music loudly in the office, it might be a good idea to blast this episode from your cube, and give your co-workers a reminder that headphones are our friend and fish is best served at home. [iTunes]
Other Podcasts We’re Listening To:
WTF with Marc Maron - Remembering Gary Shandling
Improv Nerd - Cecily Strong
The New Hollywood - Liz Cackowski
This Freakin’ Show - First Person Shoot ‘Em Ups
Bodega Boys - Ur Purim Brings Life
Doughboys - Tournament of Chompions: Nicole Byer
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.