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.
By the Way, In Conversation with Jeff Garlin - Amy Poehler
ROGER: “Are you nice about unrequited love?” was not a question I had expected from any podcast host, let alone Jeff Garlin, yet he posed it to Amy Poehler in this episode. By design, By the Way is a basic, affable chat between the Curb regular and a celebrity that Garlin respects and is friends with shooting the shit like two friends who rarely have enough free time to do such a thing in person. This is more than enough for the people in the audience and for the listeners, particularly with Poehler and Garlin, two professional comedians who can find the humor in any personal anecdote that naturally comes up and accentuate it whenever necessary. Poehler isn’t and never was a standup, but when she pontificates on the pesky process of aging, it sounds like a honed routine. So Garlin’s question was welcome but not necessary (but an imagined compensation for hearing him repeatedly describe people or things as a “big bowl of” something) - we already had heard Poehler’s thoughts on how podcasts are the new student films, how her days at performing improv are dwindling, and conversing with J.J. Abrams about Patton Oswalt’s famous Star Wars filibuster on Parks and Rec.
The Fogelnest Files #48 – “A Pound of Spiced Ham” - Jimmy Fallon
ROGER: The theme to this episode of The Fogelnest Files seemed to be that there are some things in life you just can’t or wont do anymore. Showing up to The Tonight Show three sheets to the wind is one of those things: Ed McMahon’s infamous drunken night was one of the four video clips were examined this week for skewering between Jake and the future host of the venerable program. You also can’t touch David Letterman’s hair in 2013, no matter what anybody tells you, especially Howard Stern in 1985. And when the caprices of youth dissolve with age, you probably wont find yourself in an emergency room (of a hospital that is closed now) eating a spiced ham because your SNL cast mate and best friend didn’t think to check if there was a iron pole behind a curtain before jumping off a stage. A week after the recording of the podcast, Fallon became a father, making his wistful reminiscing of owning New York City in the late 1990s even more bittersweet. Someday, people will look back on Fallon’s work and might laugh at aspects of it that didn’t hold up over time, but those jackass future people never partied with Horatio Sanz and lived to talk about it.
Mohr Stories #180 – Perry Farrell
JAY: Some say that all comedians wish they were rock stars and all rock stars wish they were comedians. Or is it all rock stars wish they were athletes? Either way, this week’s guest on Mohr Stories is definitely a rock star. Perry Farrell not only fronted two successful bands, he also resurrected the rock festival mega-tour with Lollapalooza, which is probably the best concert I will ever have attended. (Seriously. Look at this lineup). All avid Mohr Stories listeners know Jay is a big Jane’s Addiction fan. That this podcast happened due to a chance meeting on the beach seems like divine intervention because Mohr is the perfect person to interview Farrell. It isn’t easy to wrangle creative types, but Mohr adeptly steers the podcast so that by the end we get a small idea of why Perry Farrell is so compelling to watch.
Topics with Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter #8 - Time Travel
ROB: For those who like their comedy the driest, Topics is a perfect study in ironic inanity. Knowing how Topics goes, time travel is a great subject for the two Michaels to discuss. At the beginning of the episode, Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black vow to “get their hands dirty,” “get their feet wet,” and “get deep inside the guts” of the issue – and then immediately veer off topic for the first half the episode. First, we get a well-regurgitated discussion about modern communication technologies keep us from actually talking to each other. As you would expect, the two talk about time travel as if they were two incredibly dense college kids up late at night in the dorms being “profound.” The two Michaels’ super straight-faced humor is not for everyone, but I find myself cracking up whenever Michael Ian Black says the most clichéd expression one can think of, with the full gravitas of someone who thinks he’s the first person to ever think of it, and Michael Showalter over-earnestly responds, “Woooowww.” Yet another tangent at the end of the show gives a hint about what the next topic is that they’ll discuss: Utopia. So be prepared for another deep (-ly vacuous) discussion next time.
This Week on the Splitsider Podcast Network
This week we’re of course talking about a movie that isn’t coming out for two years, doesn’t even have an official title, and very little information has been released about: Batman vs. Superman. Also this week we discuss Tim’s upcoming train vacation and go over five entries into the new Tim and Tom Solve Your Problems song contest, almost half of which are disqualified immediately. We also solve a listener email about whether he should try to date his best friend’s sister long distance.
Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld (CollegeHumor) head to Bayside to check out the episode of Saved By The Bell with a devastating oil spill. Jake and Amir Google Tiffani Amber Thiessen and Mark Paul Gosselaar, discuss meeting childhood icons and call a bunch of “time outs.”
This week, Sara and Nikki turn in their most laid-back intro yet and make a compelling case for you and all your friends and lovers to turn on MTV tonight, for at 11pm/10c the packed to the gills season premiere of Nikki & Sara Live will hit the air. After some chatter about meme thievery and fruit, your hosts summarize their sexual milestones and make great strides on their quest to create a shared catchphrase. Prove you don’t have a Backpfeifengesicht and pregame tonight’s premiere by firing up this ep this instant.
This week on the Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show, Jeff talks to Jesse Fuchs about Monopoly. Jesse is a proffessor at the NYU Game Center and held a speech entitled “Does Monopoly suck?” and Jeff talks to him about games in general, the invention of Monopoly, and how to play Auction-Monopoly.
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.