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.
Deadly Manners - Chapters 1 and 2
Elizabeth: Deadly Manners, the new podcast from Sundance Now and Shudder, reminds us that nothing can ruin a party faster than a murder. It’s 1954 and Veronica Billings is throwing her annual soirée at her family’s estate, but trouble is afoot. First, a snowstorm traps everyone inside and then a murderer starts taking guests out one by one. The 10-episode series features Kristen Bell as the hostess Veronica, and the guest list includes a range of eccentric characters voiced by an equally notable cast, including Veep’s Anna Chlumsky and Timothy Simons, and RuPaul. Levar Burton narrates, making this feel like a classic radio play rather than some of the recent fiction podcasts that play more with the form. Episodes 1 and 2, which are available now (subscribers also have access to episode 3), introduce the characters and set the scene. While the bodies are already starting to pile up, it’s clear that there are more secrets to be revealed in future episodes. [Apple Podcasts]
The Whine Situation - Paul F Tompkins + Janie Haddad Tompkins & Costume Party Whines!
Marc: Wine nerds and hosts of The Whine Situation, Shaughn Buchholz and Ellen Clifford, like to bring in funny folks to whine about various topics while swilling quality wines. Recently they had the Tompkins in (Paul F. and wife Janie Haddad) for a session where they dissed and dished on adult costume parties. While nobody copped to liking having to dress up like some kind of character based on a host’s cockamamie theme idea (even costume armor gets awkward when you’re Jamie Lannister for an evening), reactions were somewhat tempered if there was a dignified out – such as Paul F.’s recalling when he got to opt to don a Camp Counselor polo shirt provided by the host at a Friday The 13th-themed fete. From there, the quartet beats up on the Emmy Awards, the fearful (and as yet imagined) omnipresence of drones, how bad the revisit to Twin Peaks was this year, and how that spindly piece of ladies’ jewelry ever got dubbed the “tennis bracelet.” First world whines all, to be sure, but you can practically taste the angst through your earbuds. And, if you’re a wine fan, you’ll want to track down a taste of the Eight Arms Cellars’ “The Tentacle,” which sounded so delicious from everyone’s descriptions on the show that it brought up a shortcoming of podcasting: wine tasting is strictly a one-way proposition. [Apple Podcasts]
And Introducing - TABOO! ft. Matthew Perpetua
Pablo: A couple things I unconditionally love: Biographies about musicians and the SNL sketch where Kenan Thompson and Andy Samberg portray the two least famous members of The Black Eyed Peas, Apl.de.app and Taboo. This sketch lampooned the biggest band on Earth’s anonymous members by giving them their own talk show, wherein they clarified that Taboo’s ethnicity is The Matrix and not Japanese ghost. Several years after this sketch, Taboo finally told his story through his memoir Fallin’ Up: My Story. Was the sketch the catalyst for the book? Doubtful, but I’d like to think so. This strange autobiography is the focus of the latest And Introducing, Chris Wade and Molly O’Brien’s music memoir podcast. Along with Matthew Perpetua, founder of the influential music blog Fluxblog, the trio delve into a book nobody asked to be written. All jokes aside, The Black Eyed Peas actually have an interesting history, bouncing around Eazy E’s Ruthless Records and LA’s socially conscious Good Life Cafe scene before turning into pop superstars with the addition of Fergie. But judging by this episode, the only good story Taboo tells is about having a seizure next to David Blaine. And if he’s not divulging the backstory behind “Let’s Get Retarded,” then why write this book in the first place? [Apple Podcasts]
2 Girls, 1 Podcast - Tickling
Marc: Things get ticklish during the second-ever episode of 2 Girls, 1 Podcast, featuring Alli Goldberg and Jen Jemula, two New York-based actors who are duo-ing it up for this new show that promises to “explore the weirdest corners of the internet.” The hosts have decided to tackle the issue of tickling, which turns out to be quite a fetish for a number of folks both online and off. Recently brought to the pop culture fore through Tickled, a documentary that has been airing on HBO, the two women have done some at-arm’s-length desk research on the topic to kick things off. It’s clear that tickling as a fetish is a lot kinkier than simply eliciting a few chuckles out of a friend, and they invite guest Richard Ivey to help delve into the mysteries of it all. Ivey was featured in the documentary and, as the creator of the website “My Friend’s Feet” since 2000, he’s taken and posted thousands of pictures of feet – a chief target for the tickle aficionado. A funny thing about tickling is that, no matter seamy the underbelly of the fetish may be, you kind of can’t help but laugh at it all. [Apple Podcasts]
Other Podcasts We’re Listening To:
2 Dope Queens - A Ben Carson Roast
Story Worthy - Soldiers Are Soldiers with Jordan Brady
Do You Know Who Jason Segel Is? - Florida
Dexter Guff is Smarter Than You - Why Everyone Should Start A Conference
Got a podcast recommendation? Drop us a line at email@example.com.
Pablo Goldstein is a writer from Los Angeles, CA.
Elizabeth Stamp is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York.