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.
The Podcast for Laundry - Patti Harrison
Noah: This has got to be Brett Davis’s most challenging interview to date. Patti Harrison arrives at the Wash Rite laundromat, nearby to her home and off of the bustling Bedford Avenue, and immediately takes the same kind of antagonistic tone Tom Scharpling did in The Podcast for Laundry’s maiden spin. Patti calls Brett’s – granted, convoluted – “Turn the Tide” segment “stupid” and can’t seem to take Brett’s compliments as he praises her work on MTV(.com), among other credits that she may or may not have been fired from. In fact, Patti is so hostile to Brett’s laundry podcast idea that she, a noteworthy transgender comedian who made headlines in July for a Tonight Show roasting of President Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military, declares that she’s cis now. Brett barely makes it into just one segment, a “What’s Your ‘Turge?” in which Harrison can’t even remember what detergent has a bear on it and has to ask Brett to edit out the part where she asks about it. In fact, this whole debacle would probably have been better served by an editor who noticed just how many times – about half a dozen – that the host resets the entire episode and begins his introduction again. This concept might not be as airtight as Brett had imagined, but it’s always a hilarious weekly podcast highlight. [Apple Podcasts]
Dexter Guff Is Smarter Than You - You Don’t Exist Without a Personal Brand
Marc: If you’re familiar with the Canadian radio show/podcast This Is That with Pat Kelly and Peter Oldring, you know that Kelly wields rapier-sharp satirical style and wit. If you’re not familiar, then you might swear that his new entry, Dexter Guff Is Smarter Than You (And You Can Be Too), was from a legit self-help “thought guru.” As Guff, Kelly’s nailed all the tropes, from affirmations and advertisers to blurbs and catchphrases, that are the earmarks of the self-help genre. In the debut episode, Guff is out to prove not only that he knows everything about the concept of personal branding, but he’s prepared to rub his listeners’ noses in it. Can you boil your brand down to just two words? Guff can: “I’m the Everyman Multi-millionaire!” He didn’t get there himself though, as we discover when he jumps on the phone with his personal branding genius Steve Jobs. (No, not that Steve Jobs.) Guff hawks his own ludicrous products, like a giant multi-vitamin (“If you can swallow it, your body will thank you!”), and has sponsors that sound very close to legit podcasting sponsors (“Hotdog Box arrives at your door with everything you need to make one hot dog!”) He answers tweets from listeners at the end of the show and throughout it all, as if you couldn’t tell, he somehow speaks in exclamation points. Eat that thought dog! [Apple Podcasts]
Strictly Business with Derek Contrera - Tech with Scott Aukerman
Pablo: If you’re not a multi-hyphenate, are you truly living the #riseandgrind lifestyle? That is no longer a concern for skateboarder Derek Contrera, X Games gold medalist and Spike TV Guy’s Choice Award for “Guy We’d Totally Watch Do Doggystyle on Our Girlfriend.” After a skateboarding accident left his ass broken, Derek has decided to get into the business game with his new podcast Strictly Business with Derek Contrera. The brainchild of improviser Drew Tarver and writers Nick Ciarelli and Brad Evans (creators of the criminally under-watched Tween Fest), Strictly Business is a new Stitcher Premium original following Derek’s futile attempts to build out his brand as a businessman. On the premiere episode, Derek tries to pitch his latest start-up BooFlip to Silicon Valley legend Finchoff Wiff (Scott Aukerman). BooFlip is like AirBNB but for your significant other AKA prostitution. Considering that a hallmark of Silicon Valley in the last few years is giving new names to things that already exist, it’s not even that outlandish of an idea. This episode, which you can listen to for free with the 30 day code BUSINESS, also features Betsy Sodaro and Carl Tart as Derek’s moronic friends/lackeys and Will Hines as a BooFlip employee who definitely should’ve taken more salary instead of an ownership stake in BooFlip. [Stitcher]
Definitely Dying - Jon Gabrus
Mark: This week’s Definitely Dying opens up with host Madeline Walter feeling self-conscious about her appearance last week on Comedy Bang Bang, thanks to a few message board posts saying she relied on “lazy poop jokes.” For the record, she was great, and poop jokes are universally relatable, unlike hyper-critical message board trolls. The world’s foremost fuccboi Jon Gabrus (UCB Comedy Originals) then joins Walter (UCB Comedy Originals) & Ben Axelrad (UCB Comedy Originals) for a lively health and wellness discussion. Gabrus may not seem like the best candidate to dish out advice on the subject, given the fact that between his own podcast and guest appearances on Doughboys he’s eaten a lifetime’s worth of fast food into a microphone. However, it sounds like he’s truly living healthier of late and has some excellent tips on eating better, consuming weed, and balancing career success with the impending nuclear war. It seems superficial to say Gabrus is more vulnerable than usual in this episode, considering he opens his own podcast by allowing strangers to publicly roast him, but Walter and Axelrad somehow get him to open up even more. [Apple Podcasts]
The Whiskey Brothers Comedy Podcast - Socks Come in Pairs
Marc: It took Hurricane Harvey to get me to discover The Whiskey Brothers Comedy Podcast, a show based in Houston, Texas, that boasts more than 500 episodes. The whole crew is steeped in comedy, starting with a trio of main hosts that includes show originator Rob Mungle, Sam Demaris, and Slade Ham. (Ham currently appears in I Am Battle Comic, a documentary about comedians traveling entertaining US troops in the Middle East by director Jordan Brady.) In addition, there’s Kiki Maroon and Dale Cheesman. This episode dropped about a week after Harvey blew through H-town and the comedy scene is still settling down. Kiki’s been using her makeup skills to do facepaint on kids in shelters and the guys do some good-natured complaining about the massive amount of “benefit shows” in town, which are loaded with comics getting very little stage time and not being in a lot of cash. And there’s a lot of time explaining to Kiki (and one of the male hosts) the use to which cast off socks are often put by adolescent boys who have recently discovered puberty. [Apple Podcasts]
Other Podcasts We’re Listening To:
Office Hours with Tim Heidecker - #43 LIVE 9.6.17
Between Us Girls - These Are My Confessions
Hound Tall - Comic Books
Stop Podcasting Yourself - Abby Shumka
S’laughter: True Crime Podcast - Murder with a side of chutney
The Best Show - The Half Hour of Power Episode 42
Got a podcast recommendation? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo by Mindy Tucker.
Pablo Goldstein is a writer from Los Angeles, CA.
Mark Kramer is a writer, comedian & human boy from Staten Island, New York, but please don’t hold that against him.