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.
U Talkin’ U2 To Me? – From Boy to Under a Blood Red Sky
ZOE: U2’s upcoming album release is perhaps more of a triumph for comedy fans than it is for U2 fans, thanks to Adam Scott and Scott Aukerman (A.K.A. Adam Scott Aukerman). The duo kick off their tribute podcast to the band by starting at the beginning: we’re talking Boy, October and War. In the best way possible, they talk music like two clerks in a record store… that only sells U2, with the exception of a small Huey Lewis collection in the back. Unlike Analyze Phish, where Harris Wittels attempts to convince anti-Phish Aukerman of the band’s validity, U Talkin’ U2 is all about matched enthusiasm. Much of the episode is actually an earnest discussion of the band’s music and history, which sparks some great recollections of US Festival days past and plagiarizing Dire Straits lyrics to impress girls. But when it comes to the band’s shortcomings, the hosts have zero hesitation in calling them out (we’re looking at you Paul “Bono” Hewson and David “The Edge” Evans), and assure us that we can look forward to the ripe territory of All That You Can’t Leave Behind. Also, if you’ve ever doubted that the baseline of “With or Without You” can seamlessly morph into “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” Aukerman will prove you wrong with his own vocal cords. Whether the hosts are praising U2, criticizing U2, or not talking U2 at all, this is a very entertaining conversation between two very funny friends.
No Pressure to Be Funny – Series 7, Episode 2
MARC: This highly entertaining panel show from England drops monthly, with a revolving cast of panelists. The latest edition features three British comedians: Phill Jupitus, Ben Norris, and Viv Groskop, along with an American ex-pat comic, Dave Fulton. The panel trades quips and observations about the flooding problem across parts of England this winter, as well as the political strife and struggle in Ukraine. Viv reads a funny written exchange with a Ukrainian ex-boyfriend who is still hot enough for her that he tries to woo her back to see the fighting. One of the show’s creators, Nick Revell, tosses in a biting diatribe along the way and there’s some original music about Scotland’s proposal to secede from England from Jonny and The Baptists. Host James O’Brien keeps the whole thing together and flowing. Not only is this show funny but it’s smart-funny, which means, by the time it wraps up, you feel like youve learned something along the way.
ROB: HDTGM doesn’t usually pick movies still in theaters to dissect, but they made an exception for Winter’s Tale, a purported fantasy-romance in the vein of the Time Traveler’s Wife, which came out in time for Valentine’s Day weekend. For those few poor souls who decided with their date to watch this train wreck instead of Robocop, this week’s episode provides an hour and a half of mockery to redeem the time you spent in the theater. Because the movie was such a jumbled mess, HDTGM’s Jason Mantzoukas and Paul Scheer, joined this week by everybody’s favorite Earwolf guest Andy Daly, need to spend an inordinate amount of time simply parsing through the plot – just to figure out what it was. For example, Mantzukas points out that Winter’s Tale isn’t really a romance story, unless it’s between a man and a horse. But soon the crew remembers that the horse character (which sometimes has Pegasus wings) is actually supposed to be a guardian angel that is a dog pretending to be a horse, even though you never see it as a dog. See what I mean? This, of course, is all great fodder for an uproarious (and unusually rowdy) conversation. If you haven’t seen the movie, the discussion may not make much sense. Hell, it won’t even if you did. But it’ll actually make you glad you spent money to see that bomb.
About Last Night – Anders Holm
Pablo Goldstein is a writer from Los Angeles, CA.
Scott Reynolds is a comedian and writer in Brooklyn, NY.
Zoe Schwab is a writer/fraud living in NYC who is somehow up-to-date with ABC Family’s Melissa & Joey.
Rob Schoon lives in Brooklyn and writes about tech, media, comedy and culture.