Greetings from Australia, American friends! I have long gorged at the trough that is American culture: your televisual broadcasts, your literature, your popular music, and more recently, your podcasts. For all you have provided, I thank you, America.
In return, I hope you will accept this gift from my homeland: five great Australian podcasts for you to add to your listening catalogues.
Bart Freebairn and Nick Cody are, on paper, an odd pairing. Nick is a heavy drinking, yoga-loathing, MMA fan. Bart, on the other hand, is this guy:
The result of their powers is the always poorly recorded, most often offensive, and frequently extraordinary Something for the Drive Home.
Among comedians in Australia, Something for the Drive Home is much beloved. It is, however, not the sort of thing one recommends to a grandmother or a co-worker; the first episode featuring an audience was recorded in a disabled toilet. It’s that kind of podcast. You have been warned.
Blessed with comedic gifts, but cursed with faces that would cause a mother to vomit with disgust, Australian comedians Karl Chandler and Tommy Dassalo are a perfect fit for the medium of podcasts.
American readers of Splitsider may well have heard of this show before – the Dum Dums placed second in the Earwolf challenge, have done several episodes from the states, and routinely feature international guests including Pete Holmes and Kyle Kinane.
You won’t find dark WTF-style probing of the soul here; The Little Dum Dum Club features jolly chit chat with some of Australia’s best comedians as guests. It is an hour of light banter one could easily recommend to the lonely and/or depressed.
The Hamish and Andy Show is one of the highest ranking commercial radio programs in the country, and a few hours after broadcast the show is re-released on iTunes.
Podcast purists might well object to this inclusion on the list, but to leave it out would be dishonest. The sheer success of the podcast in Australia is overwhelming – frequently this show alone occupies the iTunes Australia top 10 episode lists. Occasionally a new podcast that happens to coincidently have the word ‘Hamish’ or ‘Andy’ in the title will shoot up the top podcast charts for no reason other than the legions of Hamish and Andy fans accidentally clicking on the wrong podcast.
The popularity is well placed. Equipped with bountiful mirth, Haims and Ando are the best comedy duo to come out of Australia since Barry Humphries teamed up with Dame Edna.
Nick Maxwell and Declan Fay are two Australian comedy writers, and they put out a comedy chat podcast called The Sweetest Plum.
They’ve both worked on some excellent Australian TV shows, and The Sweetest Plum podcast – which started out as an amateur-garage affair – was so successful that it was turned into a real life proper radio show (although the show was short lived and, as they put it on their website, ‘we can’t mention that, otherwise they will kill a member of our families’).
Luckily, the show has been re-reborn, and is available as a podcast once more.
Another cult favourite among comedians is Two in the Think Tank. It features Andy Matthews (nominated for the prestigious Golden Gibbo Award at this year’s Melbourne International Comdedy Festival), and Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall (who recently performed a show in the Edinburgh Fringe where he attempted to list everything in hour-long increments.
This is a concept podcast where Alasdair and Andy start taking, and don’t stop talking, until they’ve come up with five sketch ideas. For those inclined, the sketches they end up making are pretty great too.
James McCann is a writer and comedian. Find him here.