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.
Elizabeth: Hard Nation celebrates 100 episodes with two leaders of the resistance, Elizabeth Warren (Rachel Bloom) and Chuck Schumer (Dan Gregor). But it’s not all politics from these young Admiral Holdos. Elizabeth is really there to express her love for HBO’s Ballers, the first media she’d ever experienced. Chuck shares how his cousin Amy Schumer keeps him young – and put shit on his door for 1600 days. They describe an intimate encounter they shared years ago at the fat trucks at Rutgers, and how a resulting infection inspired her battle against corporations. Chuck makes some big promises about what will happen if the Democrats regain control of the government. Things take a turn after Elizabeth reveals that she has an open portal to Hades in her home and Chuck claims to be on Emily’s List for the number of abortions he has performed. But at the end of the day, they all come together to share their favorite taffy flavors. [Apple Podcasts]
Podcast: The Ride - The Wizarding World of Harry Potter with Jessica McKenna
Mark: Whether you’ve actually been to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter or if you’ve never never even read a J.K. Rowling tweet, this episode of Podcast: The Ride is pure escapism. One half of Off Book and noted Harry Pothead, Jessica McKenna, helps give listeners a two-hour walkthrough of literally the most magical place on earth. It’s the best way to enjoy the park without having to deal with the crowds, the overwhelming urge to purchase every single piece of J.K. Rowling-approved merch, and the surefire motion sickness from the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride. All this and they didn’t even skim the surface of the other half of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando. Towards the end, McKenna extols the virtues of Hufflepuff to help console newly-sorted Hufflepuff Jason Sheridan. As a Hufflepuff myself, I can tell you that if we actually had the confidence to be proud of our house, we would be a Gryffindor or Slytherin. Therein lies the tragedy of the Hufflepuff. [Apple Podcasts]
WTF - Jennifer Lawrence
Marc: They buried the lede, as the saying goes, in Monday’s episode of WTF with Marc Maron. It comes up way late in the show, but the reason actress Jennifer Lawrence showed up to do one of the last interviews in the old garage (Maron’s moved to new digs)? She requested it. Sure, she’s doing press for her new movie Red Sparrow, but that’s just a junket of convenience for her to talk to Maron. Turns out she’s a big fan (“I’ve watched you do standup and I listen to this podcast all the time!”), and we reap the reward by hearing a frank and funny exchange. Lawrence is a straight-shooter when it comes to answering questions about her Kentucky upbringing with a couple of tough older brothers and about her love life – in a more general way. “I’m still friends with all the guys I’ve gone out with, except for, like, maybe one.” Her showbiz origin is one of those one-in-a-million shots, where a guy asked to take her picture on the street in New York and wasn’t bullshitting when it turns out he was able to use the photo to get her into an agency there. From there, with no formal acting training, she quickly leaped from commercials to TV (playing a wild teenage daughter to comedian Bill Engvall on his sitcom), and then rapidly into movies. Maron gets her to go deep on her collaborative relationship and process with movie maker David O. Russell. And a whole lot more is revealed, even when she refuses to leave after Maron’s trademark “We good here?” closer. [Apple Podcasts]
Wooden Overcoats - The Loneliness of the Short-Tempered Rudyard
Marc: Back for a third season, this hilarious sitcom of a podcast from England opens with the Basil Fawlty-ish Rudyard Funn possibly landing a plum funeral order from one of Piffling Vale’s most eligible socialites. Never mind that the same lady just parachuted in a huff out of a hot air balloon being piloted by Funn’s nemesis Eric Chapman and that the whole thing smacks of a set-up to get back at the rival funeral director for refusing to bury an aunt for free. The writing and acting are sharp as ever in this series, which has now had its entire trio of seasons supported almost solely from Kickstarter campaigns. High production values and original music help to round out a delightful show. [Apple Podcasts]
Other Podcasts We’re Listening To:
Lady to Lady - Butts Up ft. Anna Drezen
Edge of Fame - Jimmy Kimmel
Dumb People Town - Brian Posehn
High and Mighty - Pre-Civilizations w/ Shaun Diston
Sorry I’ve Been So Busy - Nimesh Patel
Hella in Your Thirties - Compton Cowboy
Comedians of Wrestling - Bonus Episode: Jon Gabrus
The J.J. Redick Podcast - Jason Sudeikis on SNL Parties and Auditioning for the Blue Man Group
Got a podcast recommendation? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elizabeth Stamp is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York.
Mark Kramer is a writer, comedian & human boy from Staten Island, New York, but please don’t hold that against him.