“So many podcasts, so much time!” That’s the major complaint on every unemployed comedy fan in America’s lips right now, I’m sure. #firstworldproblems, etc. But which comedy podcasts will you listen to this weekend—all of them? Preposterous! That would mean no time left over for TV and other antisocial pursuits. 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)
The Champs #5 — Craig Robinson
The Champs is a new podcast hosted by Neal Brennan and Moshe Kasher, who are comics to get excited about individually, and also make a good team. Rounding out the show is DJ Douggpound who regularly drops in sound effects that either sound like a Morning Zoo radio DJ or a parody of same. If we’re to believe Brennan (who is known mainly for co-creating Chappelle’s Show, but should seriously be known more for his stand-up by now), all of the guests on The Champs will be, how do I put this correctly… people of color? Apparently Caucasian domination on podcasts has given our hosts the blues. Anyway, this week’s guest is Craig Robinson, the comic and scene-stealing movie star, and he is as entertaining as you’d hope. Between trading stories with Kasher about getting arrested and talking about how he’s adjusting to his increasing fame, there are a lot of laughs. The biggest one in the whole show, though, is unintentional. When Craig makes to freestyle over a Douggpound beat, Moshe responds in all apparent seriousness, “Neal won’t let me.” Them’s the rules.
Comedy Bang Bang #122 — Zach Galifianakis, Paul F. Tompkins, Yo Lo Tengo
This week’s Comedy Bang Bang marked a reunion of the pieces of what some argue was the best episode in CBB’s history, Zach Galifianakis and Paul F. Tompkins. To make the special episode even specialer, PFT revealed a never before podcasted impression, Werner Herzog. After his critically acclaimed films, Werner is most known for having a funny voice and being a weirdo, making him a perfect target for PFT. Unlike his most popular characters where the laughs come out of their bigness (or in the case of Cake Boss and Andrew Lloyd Webber, their loudness), his Werner is subtler. The best moment was when Zach left to feed the meter and Scott and he made fun of him. Sometimes the simplest bits are the best. Also, Zach Galifianakis is really funny but we all knew this already.
How Was Your Week? #27 — David Rakoff
Podcasts are a transportable medium, unlike TV and Film; as a result you can have “I remember where I was when” moments with it. On the morning of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, with New York City at high alert, I was petrified sitting on the G-train. I started thinking about how my last vision on Earth will be of a passed out gutterpunk flanked with two puppy-inhabited duffle bags. At that exact moment Julie began talking to David about what he calls “defensive pessimism” and how Jewish it is, and I knew everything would be OK. Other than easing my worried mind, it was a wonderful episode of How Was Your Week?, featuring one of her best opening rants ever about her new comic-muse Nancy Grace, the evidently hot-button circumcision issue, and the glories of a potential Easter Island made up of only Bethany Frankel and Kelly Ripa’s heads.
Matt Besser picked The Little Dum Dum Club then Jeff Ullrich picked Totally Laime. It was down to Scott Aukerman. While he built tension like reality contest are wont to do, I was freaking out. It was like when Padma is about to name the next Top Chef or Curtis Stone is about to name the next Top Chef Master. Even with its somewhat clunky execution, The Earwolf Challenge wholeheartedly succeeded in making its fan’s care about the outcome. Totally Laime won and it should have. Of all the contestants it was most ready for the big leagues. Usually reality contests like these pick either the contestant most apparently deserved at the start or the contestant who grew to be the best because they competed — The Earwolf Challenge did both with Totally Laime. The Earwolf brain trust is still unsure of whether there will be a second season because the show didn’t grow into the breakout, cross-over hit they dreamed. It would be a shame if they decided not to renew it; warts and all, the show was one of the most compelling listens the medium has ever produced.
You Had To Be There #33 — Stuckey and Murray
Hello Hobots and Brobots. If you don’t know what that means, then you haven’t been listening to You Had To Be There, and if you haven’t been listening to YHTBT, you’ve probably been busy and I totally understand. This week’s episode starts out with Nikki Glaser and Sara Schaefer taking some listener emails, which is more fun than it sounds. For instance, there’s an extended riff on how Sara would thank Nikki for introducing her to her boyfriend (which is not how they met), and a tribute to the intimidation that Louis C.K. unwittingly inspires. The guests on this episode are NY comedy/music duo Stuckey & Murray, who made it onto Last Comic Standing one of the two seasons Nikki was featured on the show. Although the topic of LCS has come up before, the stories haven’t been told in this much depth, and Stuckey & Murray bring a fresh perspective to it. They also perform a couple of songs — one of which is about a certain kind of clothing I won’t mention, and is hilarious.
How Did This Get Made? #18 — Danielle Schneider
WTF #209 — Charlie Day and Glenn Howerton