Who let the pods out? Woof, woof, woof! I am so sorry about that, you guys. What I am not sorry about, however, are all the comedy podcasts that kicked ass this week. Well done, everybody! Laughing while standing on a crowded New York subway is a seriously good look for me, and that was what this week was all about. But which comedy podcasts will you listen to going into this ridiculous hurricane weekend — all of them? Preposterous! 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 the hard, grueling work already, scouring through most of the crop for you, and selecting only the juiciest offerings to put in your ears. These are the best comedy podcasts of the week:
Top 5 Comedy Podcasts This Week (In Alphabetical Order)
Apple Sisters # 13 — Randy Sklar, Jason, Sklar, Baron Vaughn
The sisters Apple follow a very good episode last week with a great one this week. The episode was part one of a six part series about the girls entering the beauty pageant of a cruise ship (buzz, buzz, buzz so 1943). The benefits of having a serial arc are instantly apparent. If anything it drives home the central joke harder, as it gives the show more of an old time radio feel. This week had the Sklars playing nefarious brothers, posing as pageant judges in order to steal from unsuspecting females. Their plans are foiled as they try to bark up the wrong (apple) tree, Candy, which lead to the best song of the series so far about her suspiciously feminine named “husband.” Only three months in, it seems like this podcast has found its voice.
Doug Loves Movies — Morgan Spurlock, Craig Bierko, Matt Besser, James Adomian, Garfunkel & Oates
I was there. I spent 40 hours at the Del Close Marathon and 1.5 of them were with Doug Benson. Doug Loves Movies was interesting to see. Most apparent is how orderly it is — everyone looks at each other and judges when exactly to speak. Matt Besser was particularly funny as he was completely shit-housed. The Benson Interruption was more enjoyable, partly because of the swoon machine known as Garfunkel & Oates, but mostly because of the shear force of nature that is James Adomian. His set, in which he runs through some eerily good impressions of other alt-stand ups (i.e. Todd Glass, Marc Maron, Paul F. Tompkins) was likely my favorite moment of the whole festival. It is truly something to behold and worth seeking out if you haven’t heard it yet.
How Was Your Week with Julie Klausner # 24 — Paul F. Tompkins, Jamie Denbo
“May I say, it’s about time,” is how Paul F. Tompkins responded to Julie’s heartfelt thanks for appearing on the show. May I say, I totally agree with Paul. PFT is a natural fit to guest on How Was Your Week? Obviously there is the fact that, as he puts it, he’s “on all the podcast” but more so, there is a great deal of overlap in their brand of comedy. The both have the meandering rant thing down to a science. Their speech patterns are actually pretty similar, especially the tendency to proclaim something then quickly disagree with it, only to then agree with it harder. It makes sense that she used to write for him on Best Week Ever for a spell. Ronna & Beverly’s Jamie Denbo is no slouch of a guest herself but Paul did seem like the main event this week. Or maybe the main event was Julie’s sizzurp addiction. Either way, it was one of the show’s all time best episodes.
My Brother My Brother and Me #68 — Never Stop Dancing
The Brothers McElroy’s advice-cast is at its best the more inappropriate the advice is for the people who are seeking it. Being that we’ve entered late-August, this week’s theme is Back to School and so you can bet there’s a huge appropriateness-gap between the questions and answers. Before even getting into the calls, Justin, Travis, and Griffin look back with fond memories on getting ready for a new school year, only to remember 15 minutes into it that “this sucks.” The advice ranges from telling a kid who feels uncomfortable playing sports to “put some fruit in your smoothie, you goofster!” to advocating library sex. While the McElroy boys’ official stance on grind-dancing is that it’s meant to provoke boners, the three also tell a virginal young lady entering college not to “give your kissflower away to the first Johnny-come-lately.” Stories about the brothers’ wild college time abound, leading up to this nugget of advice: “find a dumb, dumb group of friends and do as much dumb stuff as possible so you can tell stories about it later.” That’s actually kind of true.
Who Charted? #37 — Paul F. Tompkins
The official title of this episode is The Return of Suit McGoo, which might be an apt way to describe the whole podcast-iverse this week since Suit McGoo (a/k/a the always smartly dressed PFT) hit up four different shows after being out of the game for, well, probably not more than a couple weeks. Before he is even introduced, Tompkins breaks in to discuss a listener’s complaint that the show has unfairly misrepresented math rock. “You can’t have a secret sect-y thing and then get mad when people don’t know what it is,” he says. A few minutes later, during his official introduction, the engineer throws on, I don’t know, Slint or something, and everyone starts chanting “Math Rock! Two plus three is five!” providing the show with plenty of callback fodder for later. In a monumental change-up not unlike the motion picture The Change-Up, instead of a movie chart this week, Howard Kremer and Kulap Vilaysack sub in a cable TV chart instead of the movie chart for the first time ever. Probably the best moment of the entire episode, though, is Tompkins’ flabbergasted outburst when he finds out that rapper Kreayshawn’s sidekick is named “Lil’ Debbie.”
Comedy Bang Bang #119 — Gillian Jacobs, Andy Daly
Boy, does Andy Daly like having his characters commit suicide. To his credit it does raise the stakes and also brings a nice finality to the proceedings. Andy’s Andi Callahan, RN was maybe his darkest character yet, as he was a legitimately a serial killer. A lot of credit must go to Gillian who both does a great job egging Andy on and carrying the first segment with a certain anxious charm.
The wandering minds of Seth Romatelli and Jonathan Larroquette are libel to go just about any place, and this week they end up (hilariously) at a corner of Yelp devoted to McDonalds. Apparently people on the internet like to make sassy quips about their McDonalds visits, like Perez Hilton talking about a celebrity wearing an unflattering kimono or whatever. Little do they know the joke is on them because, whoops, they’re grading the quality of a McDonalds. Elsewhere, Seth challenges a 96 year old woman to a fight (to be fair, she is one of only four people to have ever attained the highest rank in Judo possible) and Jonathan breaks down why Channing Tatum’s Twitter account is insulting and gives him a new nickname. In other words, it’s business as usual and it’s very good business.
The Nerdist #117 — Tom Lennon and Ben Garant
The first-ever guest on The Nerdist, Tom Lennon, returns this week with his writing partner and fellow former member of The State, Ben Garant. While some of the material these two talk about felt overly familiar to me, that’s just because I’m a voracious consumer of podcasts and these two have indeed made the rounds. If you haven’t yet heard Lennon and Garant describe the experiences behind their book, “How to Write Movies for Fun And Profit”, then you must get on this episode, posthaste. The stories about being called in at the 11th hour to fix Martin Lawrence’s kiddie basketball movie, Rebound, and the overall assholery of Billy Crystal are not to be missed. While some unnecessarily mean words about Maggie Gyllenhaal bring the episode down some, there is also a bonus cameo from Kumail Nanjiani at the top of the hour, celebrating his recent naturalization as an American citizen, so Even Stevens.