Comedy podcasts, you guys! They’re funny, they’re free; distract you from existential angst, give you something to talk about when you inevitably run out of things to say. But which comedy podcasts will you listen to this week? All of them? No way—this is not Kindergarten and you don’t have to invite every single kid in class to your birthday party. (We all had to do that, right?) Thankfully we’ve done lots of field work, scouring through most of the crop for you, selecting only the juiciest offerings for you to put in your ears. These are the best comedy podcasts of the week:
Top 5 Comedy Podcasts This Week (In alphabetical order)
It might be by way of very slight innuendo but The Apple Sisters are filthy. If The Morning After…Podcast was a person, The Apples would make it blush a color of candy apple red. This week’s theme, “whoops daddy,” is all about VD. To approach it they performed a bunch of fake PSAs of how to avoid sexual transmitted diseases. Each is very funny, especially Cora’s, whose message is its OK to have random sex with Frank Sinatra because there is a cure for most STDs.The Apple Sisters have a very strong sense of who each character is and what makes them funny that comes from years developing the stage show.
Jordan Jesse Go #187 — Kumail Nanjiani
Congratulations, Papa Jesse! Avid listeners of Jordan Jesse Go will be familiar with the saga of Jesse Thorn’s slow journey toward fatherhood, which reached its conclusion recently when his wife Teresa gave birth to a baby boy. Now, after a week off of the podcast, Jesse is back and already proclaiming himself King of Dads. His claim to the throne? Having cleaned meconium “off of balls.” It seems safe to say that fatherhood hasn’t changed him too much just yet, outside of impacting his experience watching Rise of the Planet of the Apes, or as he calls it: Baby Monkey Hardship Movie. This week’s guest, Kumail Nanjiani, picks up his banter with Jordan Morris right where they left off last week on Kumail’s own videogame-focused podcast, The Indoor Kids. Although the topics on this episode are as diverse as usual, these three wring a surprising amount of discussion material out of Scrooge McDuck and the rest of The Duckiverse.
Thrilling Adventure Hour #32 — Beyond Belief – “Hell Is The Loneliest Number”
There is something special about comedic married couples. Over time they grow closer and their comedic dynamic grows more comfortable — not unlike what would happen with an actual married couple. In the world of podcasts there are the Totally Laimes and Mr. and Mrs. How Did This Get Made? but there is none like the fictional Frank and Sadie Doyle. Played by Paul F. Tompkins (of course) and Paget Brewster (or as she’s better known, the girl with the short hair on Friends that eventually was the catalyst that lead Chandler to spend Thanksgiving in a box), the Doyles are adorable, high-society lushes who care about only two things, their next drink and each other. This episode starts with talk of divorce as it’s revealed they both have fallen under the charm of an incubus. Pardon me, sure love hurts, but you won’t need to drive to file a stellar warning, as the megalomaniac incubus is thwarted (nice to know you) and the Doyles are back together clinking their martini glasses (wish you were here). Beyond Belief is the Thrilling Adventure Hour at it’s absolute best and a must listen whenever it comes up in rotation — so, are you in?
WTF with Marc Maron #200 — Marc Maron (as told to Mike Birbiglia)
Similar to the way that every great portrait painted is more about the expression of the artist than the sitter, every episode of WTF is at its core about Marc Maron. No matter whom he is interviewing, we the listener are really getting the greatest sense of who Marc is, whether explicitly or implicitly. So it felt appropriate that for his 200th episode the man himself would be interviewed. And to Mike Birbiglia’s credit he did a wonderful job of going deeper then what we’ve already heard him say. About half way through, Mike cuts to the chase and asks Marc, “What are you not saying…why are you twice divorced?” From there Marc tracked a heartbreaking narrative stemming from his parents and their ability to acknowledge him properly. Mike also was willing to push back in a very Maronesque way. (“Tell me Mark, it doesn’t seem like you want friends”) More than anything, you get the sense that Mark is the most content he has ever been in his life and this podcasts is much of the reason for that.
You Had to Be There #29 — Keith and the Girl
This week’s episode is all about sex. It is also very funny. In certain circles, that sort of thing is technically referred to as “the win-win.” At the top of the hour, Nikki Glaser discusses some of the pitfalls of her dating life, including a miscommunication that lead to her giving a theatrical kiss-off via hair-flip to someone who didn’t deserve it. More notably, she recounts how a spurned suitor later asked her to be in a sketch he wrote, one in which a character named “Nikki” gets a sadistic comeuppance. This is all before the guests are introduced. Keith Malley and Chemda Khalili are podcast royalty — their show Keith and the Girl has been around longer than just about everyone else’s, and it’s inspired a devoted following in the process. It’s also largely focused on relationships and sex, and their presence here gets Nikki and Sara Schaefer talking more frankly than ever before.
Totally Laime #80 — Mark Gagliardi
Speaking of the Laimes, they were in the bottom three for the first time this week on the Earwolf Challenge. They were saved because of the charm of Elizabeth and her voice and the fact that they are probably the best podcast in the competition. In a way, Totally Laime is like the anti-WTF. While Marc Maron tries to understand the fundamental component that makes the person, Elizabeth goes as shallow as possible. Meaning, the listener gets eight-minutes of pubic hair talk. It’s wonderful.
Walking the Room #64 — Man Camp and the Folk-cast
Greg Behrendt and Dave Anthony take listeners down another hilarious journey of sadness this week. Things start off on an up-note, with Greg recounting his time at the Hawaiian birthday party weekend Ben Stiller threw for his wife recently — in the least name-droppiest way possible. Soon enough, though, things descend into the usual grudging acceptance of life’s ills, and insult-heavy back-and-forth (e.g. “You saucy son of a bitch, listen to me before I cornhole you with candy”) which might be the show’s strongsuit, oddly enough.
At this point, it’s safe to say that Paul Rust is simply one of the best podcast guests out there. Few are as consistently funny as he during an interview. Anytime Show host Dominic Dierkes falls into an instant rapport with Rust this week, which leads to one of the more entertaining nostalgic discussions in recent memory. Their talk about taping movies during HBO’s free trial weekends should hit home with anyone who grew up in the 80s, as should their deep dig on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze. You also might come out of this podcast hoping that Paul Rust is one day able to produce his first original screenplay idea, “Suicide Handcuffed to a Murder” (which he wrote when he was a child).