This Week in Podcasts: ‘Welcome to Night Vale’ and Casey Wilson Chats with Pete Holmes

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.

You Made It Weird - Casey Wilson

SCOTT: Casey Wilson (Happy Endings, SNL) swings by and she and Pete Holmes make it weird right away by pointing out that Wilson is, in fact, a separate person from her best friend and writing partner, June Diane Raphael, who was the guest two weeks ago. Wilson announces her recent engagement, prompting Holmes to ask how she plans to keep the love alive over the long term — a question Casey dodges without apology. She discusses feeling like an outsider during her brief tenure at Saturday Night Live and the difference between being an “actor” and a “sketch actor,” at least as Lorne Michaels put it to her. The first half of the episode has an undercurrent of the two of them not quite being on the same page, despite agreeing on nearly everything. It felt like an improv set where the performers are all saying “yes” but never finding a good game, even when talking about tried-and-true Pete-Holmes-favorite topics like astrology, meditation, and heartbreak. They manage to find the chemistry on the religion question, though, when Wilson reveals that she’s more excited about converting to Judaism than her Jewish fiancé, and how she’s sometimes embarrassed to talk about her southern heritage — “southerner” being something Pete refers to as the “only remaining acceptable stereotype.”

Welcome To Night Vale - A Beautiful Dream

MARC: For the unfamiliar, Welcome to Night Vale its like A Prarie Home Companion as written by H.P. Lovecraft. Although it’s really written by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, with each episode creepily narrated by Cecil Baldwin. The latest chapter is broadcast from the Night Vale Elementary School, where “the ethereal and menacing glow-cloud that serves as the school board president” has just granted permission for the school to get a new computer to help poor Megan Wallaby, who is a detached man’s hand that needs the device to communicate. Spoiler alert: Once the new computer is plugged in, it becomes sentient and all hell breaks loose.

Doodie Calls - Kourtney Kang & Zack Rosenblatt 2

PABLO: When host Doug Mand calls this week’s shit tale “the most romantic story he’s ever heard”, there is not one iota of facetiousness in that statement. Doodie Calls, hosted by Mand and Jack Dolgen, is a podcast that celebrates and extols the most human of experiences: Crapping your pants. This week’s episode features the return of TV writers Kourtney Kang and Zack Rosenblatt, a married couple who had Mand clench and hold back the second story they recorded until after the birth of their child. And it was well worth the wait, as I’ll go on the brown-stained record by saying this was Doodie Calls’ best episode yet. Like dubstep songs, every episode of Doodie Calls has a literal and figurative drop AKA the moment where Mand and Dolgen laugh uproariously at their guest’s moment of poop truth. This week’s features not one, but at least four of these drops. Doodie Calls is not for the squeamish, but it’s easily one of the funniest podcasts out there.

The Nerdist - Gillian Jacobs

MARC: Gillian Jacobs (Community, Bad Milo) professes to not have a comedy background but, as listeners to her appearances on Comedy Bang! Bang! and The Thrilling Adventure Hour can attest, she is amply funny in any variety of situations. That includes her one-on-one with Chris Hardwick this week on The Nerdist. We learn that her comedy nerdiness is quite vast, thanks to a teacher who had his classes learn Monty Python sketches amongst other bits of eclectic humor. And she’s a nut for Tom Lehrer, reciting lyrics to 50-year-old songs on the spot with Hardwick. Jacobs describes the excitement behind the scenes on the Community set now that Dan Harmon is back in control – the show resumes on NBC on January 2nd – and she reveals she first met Hardwick when both were auditioning for How I Met Your Mother. (“Did we get it?”, jokes Hardwick.) Jacobs has an engaging manner that comes across in audio, and she’s so right there with comebacks and bon mots that, until you learn otherwise, you’d swear she’s just vamping until her set starts at a comedy club near you.

This Week on the Splitsider Podcast Network

The Complete Guide to Everything: Coffee Shop Etiquette

This week we talk about how people should act every morning when they get their cup of coffee. But first, we discuss why you probably shouldn’t buy a ukelele if you live in Brooklyn and the surprising fact that hipsters haven’t built their own planes. Also this week, Tom decides that he will be more assertive and offers a lot of opinions about a number of different things that may or may not be relevant to the topic at hand. Tim is upset with the attitudes of people who work on television shows that film in his neighborhood and has some ideas about how they can better behave when in coffee shops.

It’s That Episode: Jerry Stahl Visits San Quentin with MSNBC’s ‘Lockup’

Jerry Stahl (Permanent Midnight, Happy Mutant Baby Pills) stops by to enter the world of San Quentin Prison with MSNBC’s Lockup. Jerry talks about his experience working with inmates at San Quentin, comes up with the title for his next book, and learns why “gassing” is the grossest thing that can ever happen at a prison.

The Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show: Romance Novel Editing with Elizabeth Poteet

This week on The Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show, Jeff talks to Elizabeth Poteet, a romance novel editor. They talk about all different genres of romance novels, the difference between romance novels and erotica, why no one has ever written a caveman romance novel, and the weird crossovers in the fan-fiction community.

Pablo Goldstein is a writer from Los Angeles, CA.

Marc Hershon is host of Succotash, the Comedy Podcast Podcast and author of I Hate People!

Scott Reynolds is a comedian and writer in Brooklyn, NY.

This Week in Podcasts: ‘Welcome to Night Vale’ and […]