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.
The Paul Mecurio Show #23 – Paul McCartney
MARC: In the podcast game, a great “get” is that interview that no one else seems to be able to bag. Marc Maron scores a lot of great gets. So does The Nerdist. But they’ve done hundreds of episodes. Paul Mecurio has done precisely 23 as of this writing and has already grabbed Jay Leno, Bob Costas, and Lewis Black. This week, however, the comedian and former staffer for The Daily Show and The Colbert Report has balls’d his way – by his own admission – into interviewing Sir Paul McCartney. The story of how he did it is in the show, but then he gets the former Beatle and Wings frontman to go pretty deep in the half-hour they spend together. Paul gets Sir Paul to talk about how the lads from Liverpool decided to keep changing their sound in spite of the fact most rock bands just kept hashing out the same stuff album after album, “We just didn’t want to get bored,” starts McCartney, who also talks about the difference between the art of band diplomacy amongst four equals as a Beatle versus the shouldering responsibility for everything produced as the creator and driving force behind Wings. He also equates musical creativity to comedic creativity, acknowledging Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce and citing Robin Williams. Quite a coup, Mr. Mecurio.
JAY: This week’s Doug Loves Movies is a triple threat: it takes place during Comic-Con, Benson returns to his hometown of Whale’s Vagina, and the great Leonard Maltin is back to play his eponymous game. Joining Benson and Maltin are Nerdist’s Matt Mira and actress Clare Kramer. This is clearly an episode by and for movie nerds, as the classic film Back to the Future II is prominently involved. Mira offers a Samm Levine-esque depth of movie knowledge to challenge nearly every Maltin review. We also learn that Maltin is an avid movie memorabilia collector, as he expresses his disdain that a Richard Attenborough action figure was never produced for Jurassic Park as well as his excitement with being immortalized on several Topps cards for his role in Gremlins 2: The New Batch. As always, the episode concludes with the amazing Leonard Maltin Game. You stay classy, San Diego?
RJ & Bley Suck at Girls #41 – The Waitress Part 2
JOSH: This week’s RJ & Bley Suck at Girls recalls the tale of a hilarious caper seemingly taken straight from the script of an unaired Saved by the Bell episode. RJ and the charmingly acerbic Sona go undercover as a married couple and accompany Bley to a restaurant in the hopes of assisting him in capturing the heart of a waitress he has a crush on. It’s romantic subterfuge at its finest! When his potential love connection with the waitress short circuits, the trio naturally move on and attempt to win the affection of the attractive bartender. It’s just like the old adage taught us, “If at first you don’t succeed, hit on the bartender.” This week’s lively episode also contains ways you can detect romantic deceit, the greatest conversation you’ll ever hear regarding Jean-Claude Van Damme’s pants, and the term “girl boner.” I won’t spoil the ending, but suffice it to say I think we’ll be graced with more entertaining tales of romantic hijinks from RJ and Bley for the foreseeable future.
Go Bayside! #25 – “Jessie’s Song” with Jimmy Pardo
ROGER: Just in time for the all-important podcast sweeps month, April Richardson’s Go Bayside! podcast loaded up on NoDoz and released its longest episode yet, looking back on the “Super Bowl of Saved By the Bell episodes’, the one when Jessie got addicted to caffeine pills. Guest Jimmy Pardo was as committed a watcher as Richardson was when SBTB ran four times a day, so the enthusiasm to point out all of the betrayals of verisimilitude was very high and infectious. A reason for the podcast episode clocking in at just over 80 minutes was due to lengthy asides about Richardson and Pardo’s own personal experiences with drugs and a disappointing and absolutely predictable Dustin Diamond anecdote, both fun to listen to knowing full well that host and guest did not perish at the conclusions of the stories. While pontificating on how a gym locker room could have such amazing acoustics, or why The Max would host a musical group tryout could seem stupid and pointless, knowing that somebody else out there recognized the artistic liberties the writers, producers, and directors made almost justifies all of the seemingly wasted hours of watching “slice of life”-type shows like SBTB in the first place.
Comedy Bang Bang #233 - Bob Odenkirk and Andy Daly
ROB: This episode of Comedy Bang Bang is quite newsy, with announcements made about Bob and David’s upcoming Mr. Show book, Hollywood Said No! and its accompanying live tour (David drops in via telephone for an amusing early plug). And Andy Daly uses the non-stop “Royal Baby” news as a great foil for a new character, despite some squabbling with Odenkirk along the way that leaves Scott Aukerman unable to get a word in edgewise at points. Fans of Daly’s CBB appearances may detect some similarities between Denniston and his other characters, including a veneer of good cheer and enthusiasm, followed by stories of vagrancy, dark hobbies, and creepy tendencies. (At one point, while talking about Kate Middleton, Denniston’s voice briefly dips down to Don Dimelo territory.) Still –probably due to the meandering conversation – one major Daly-character proclivity is missing in Denniston this episode, and I’m looking forward to a future appearance, if only to hear him jump out the window.
This Week on the Splitsider Podcast Network:
The Complete Guide to Everything: Being Lazy
This week, on account of the obscenely high temperatures in New York, we discuss the best ways to be lazy. Ya know, to conserve energy and whatnot. From dropping off your laundry at a laundromat with a surly hipster employee instead of doing it yourself, to buying an electronic Spin the Bottle game so you don’t have to spin some bottle like a rube just to kiss somebody in the context of a game situation, we have every lazy trick covered.
It’s That Episode: Matt Walsh on UCB Pranking The Today Show, The Star Wars Holiday Special and So Much More
Matt Walsh (Veep, Upright Citizens Brigade) joins Craig to discuss some of TV’s most (and least) notable clips. Matt discusses the Upright Citizens Brigade pranking The Today Show, the rehearsal process behind Veep, and, of course, the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special.
The Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show: USA Memory Champion Nelson Dellis
This week on the Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show, Jeff is joined by Nelson Dellis. He’s the 2011 and 2012 USA Memory Champion. He holds multiple US memory records — most digits memorized in five minutes (303 digits) and fastest time to memorize the order of a shuffled deck of playing cards (63 seconds!) He’s climbed Mount Everest, he started an Alzheimer’s charity called Climb For Memory, and he discusses all of the above on this week’s Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show!
Roger Cormier is so excited; scared.
Arielle Gordon is everybody’s intern.
Rob Schoon lives in Brooklyn and writes about tech, media, comedy and culture.
Josh Sorokach is a comedy writer living in NYC who was once referred to as a “Poor Man’s Joshua Jackson” while on a date.