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. Also, we’ll keep you posted on the offerings from our very own podcast network. We hope to have your ears permanently plugged with the best in aural comedy.
JAY: The Crab Feast is a podcast featuring comedians Ryan Sickler and Jay Larson, who operate under Jay Mohr’s Fake Mustache Studio Label (I just set the record for most “Jay”s listed in two lines.) This week’s guest is comedian and host of You Made it Weird, Pete Holmes. In my book (which I haven’t written yet,) the best podcast hosts make you feel like you’re listening to a conversation between old friends, have unbridled enthusiasm, and are generous laughers. When you combine three hosts on one podcast who all have those qualities, you have this week’s Crab Feast. To add to the fun, the guys are originally from Baltimore and Boston, which boast a couple of the most fun regional accents in the country to impersonate. They begin the podcast by talking about the accents in Lincoln, their favorite Tom Cruise movies, and Boogie Nights. The conversation moves, as it normally does with Pete Holmes, to Pete’s dating experiences. If you are in high school (or older) and have no idea how to deal with girls you like, this podcast is mandatory listening. The lesson is: the only way to figure out what you really like is to go out there, bare your soul, and make mistakes until you get it right and these guys are brave enough to put their experiences out there for all to hear. This episode of The Crab Feast is the brotherly advice about relationships that you won’t hear anywhere else. I give it 5 stars. F The Crab Feast!
The Todd Glass Show #76 – Daniel Kinno and David Feldman
BRADFORD: Todd Glass was on the road opening for little-known comedian Louis C.K. when Episode #76 was recorded, so he had Glass Show regular Daniel Kinno fill in as guest host, making this the first episode ever not hosted by Glass. Glass compared it Johnny Carson’s habit of using guest hosts, and it’s hearing Kinno behind the host mic is a nice change of pace. Guest hosts in late night have been rare since that whole Leno/Letterman dust-up in ‘92, with hosts now being wary of fill-ins trying to usurp their power. There’s no reason guest hosts shouldn’t be more common in podcasts though. Kinno rises to the occasion ably and makes his episode of The Todd Glass Show his own, while staying true to the podcast’s playful energy. Guest David Feldman is in fine form too, which makes the 95-minute show fly by. In true Todd Glass Show fashion, the show veers into serious territory too with a conversation between Kinno and Feldman about how Dennis Miller’s political beliefs affect his comedy serving as an episode highlight. And for folks who don’t see a point to listening to an episode of The Todd Glass Show without Todd Glass, he does make a couple cameos in another hilarious longwinded intro (though there’s no intro to the intro, so it gets a little confusing) and a great phone call from the airport.
Call Chelsea Peretti #9 - Tim Heidecker, Roy Hibbert, Morgan Murphy
ROGER: Every week on her podcast, professional Pete Holmes ballbuster Chelsea Peretti - with only the help of her engineer Dustin and a handful of sound clips - bravely takes some phone calls and brings herself at the mercy of the minds of the English speaking world. Each episode has its own particular themes, and in “A Dark, Rainy, Apocalyptic Evening,” Peretti got most of the conversations rolling by surprising the caller with asking if they had ever burned his or herself and/or if they like/have big breasts (spoiler: men don’t like them! Or just don’t like admitting it when other people can hear them!) Obviously, the latter drew out the more intriguing conversations, and took a kind of creepy turn when a caller revealed a few minutes in that he was a high school student. But when he dropped the bomb that he wasn’t just any boring old student, but the Class President, Peretti’s mocking reaction of making self-produced, Looney Tuneish ooooh I’m so impressed sound effects on the spot for literally over thirty seconds turned the phone call into a highlight. Brief cameos by Tim Heidecker (not a big breast man), Indiana Pacer Roy Hibbert (big Power Rangers fan) and Morgan Murphy (never wrote a tweet about Chico’s) were all welcome, but the takeaway here was that more podcasts should explore the added element and think about incorporating live(ish) phone calls from the breast-hating people of this planet, even/especially if it’s a teenager with some power who just wants the host to fall in love with him.
Jordan, Jesse, Go! #253 – Sara Benincasa
BRADFORD: Comedian and writer Sara Benincasa a.k.a. America’s Bean Sprout is Jordan Morris and Jesse Thorn’s guest this week, and like any good JJGo guest, she has an instant rapport with the show’s two hosts, leading to a fast and funny conversation that covers a variety of topics. The gang’s discussion about Jesse not appearing on Sara’s YouTube talk show filmed in a bathtub is funny and charming, as is their discussion about their shared love for Maria Bamford, who Thorn calls “the best stand-up comedian in America.” Other fun moments include the trio exchanging stories about meeting Winnie Cooper and Topanga, expressing their problems with the First Amendment, and Thorn’s recommendation of little-known restaurant Chipotle. Oh, and Jesse Thorn drops multiple references to free money, question mark suit-wearing infomercial personality Matthew Lesko, who Thorn disrespectfully calls Matthew Lasko.
MARC: Dry and sarcastic or lewd and absurd — no matter how you slice it, I love British humor. And the lads behind the No Pressure To Be Funny podcast have concocted a winning combo of chat, monologues, music, and rants that delivers on all fronts. The brainchild of English comedians Nick Revell and Alistair Barrie, the show is fronted by LBC talk radio host James O’Brien. Performed before a live audience, each show features a different panel of guests every episode. Drawn from the arts, media, and politics, the crew for the latest outing includes Rob Grant, Simon Munnery, Kevin Day, and Polly Toynbee in addition to the show’s creators. There’s a James Bond theme song with lyrics designed to reflect the economy of the day (“he has to pay to renew his license to kill, and the only reason he doesn’t shower alone is to cut down on the water bill; because Tomorrow Never Dies, just like the Bond franchise…”) There’s a panel discussion of the morals crisis infesting the BBC that’s recently come to light as well as the recent US elections. And, in my favorite tirade of the episode, series co-creator Revell levels a martini-dry accounting of the British involvement in the war in Afghanistan. The only shortcoming of No Pressure is that it only drops once a month and that’s no laughing matter.
This Week in the Splitsider Podcast Network:
This week, Sara and Nikki rehash their Thanksgivings and gush about their new staff at MTV, especially the inspired hiring of Brian McCann as head writer. The ladies discuss celebrity deaths and how to live forever through the magic of sampling before greeting musician Eric Hutchinson on a lighter note. Their chat swerves from sitcoms like Liz & Dick to singalongs like the R.E.M. catalog, from a shout-out to a sweet sleep app to advice on surviving stalkers. Eventually Eric rolls far enough away from the boardroom table to play his misleading hit “Watching You Watch Him” and a cover of a Police classic. Sit back and savor YHTBT’s return to the music world.
This week we cover the holiday TV specials: How The Grinch Stole Christmas, The Polar Express, A Charlie Brown Christmas, I Want a Dog for Christmas Charlie Brown, and The Star Wars Holiday Special. Also, we discuss leftover antibiotics, Tom has a furniture mover steal $0.25 from him, Tim describes his perfect piece of furniture, whether Alfred Hitchcock and The 3 Stooges are alive still, why Derek Jeter doesn’t beat himself up over errors, misunderstanding Bea Arthur as a drag queen as a child, 50 Shades of Tim update and we solve a problem involving a grandson not wanting his grandpa to send him to space camp.
On It’s That Episode, Craig Rowin (UCB Theatre) invites guests over to watch any episode of any TV show they want. They discuss the episode and other crap. Geoff Garlock (Worst Gig Ever, UCB Theatre) delves into the world of the supernatural with the bros of Ghost Adventures. Be wary, this episode involves Electronic Voice Phenomenon, orbs of light, someone getting possessed by a mental patient and a whole lot of Ed Hardy T-shirts.
Ever showed up to a costume party to find you are the only one in costume? Imagine that, then add blood. Lots of blood. You won’t believe how much blood comes out of storyteller Christian Capozzoli in this tale of an ultra awkward puberty, self shaving, self loathing and Hollywood make-up wizardry. Christian told this story at Nights of Our Lives at the UCB Theatre in New York.
Bradford Evans is Splitsider’s Associate Editor.
Roger Cormier fears the leafblowers of the seven horseman.