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. We hope to have your ears permanently plugged with the best in aural comedy.
Nerdist - Dan Harmon and Neil Berkeley
documentary. Harmon addresses the Chevy Chase debacle and the media attention he’s received, criticizing blogs for re-reporting stories from other sites (Splitsider gets a mention here), but ultimately admits it could be much worse: “For every thing you read my name in, there’s like nine things I totally got away with. It’s just that a Kardashian had an abortion that week. I just luck out.” For Community fans who are wondering if the show will be different when it moves to Yahoo!, Harmon says the added freedom won’t change things. He’s committed to making sure the series feels the same, using the admittedly flawed metaphor: “You can’t change the shape of a Snickers bar” (prompting Hardwick and Berkeley to point out that yes, actually there are plenty of ways to change the shape of a Snickers bar). The episode also offers a ringing endorsement for couples therapy. If you’ve ever doubted its effectiveness, wait until you hear what it’s done for Dan Harmon.
Superego - Episode 4:2
Marc: One of the things that makes Superego so enjoyable is that it is a pure podcast invention. Most other offerings found in this medium – interviews, round tables, even improv and sketch – can be had in other forms like TV, radio, and stage. But the blend of improv and sketch performances in Superego, that are then painstakingly edited to perfection, only seem to exist in this newer format. The second episode of their fourth season is a prime example, starting with a visit from guest Andy Daly’s wonderfully seedy Don Dimello character popping up as a substitute character and Kristin Schaal’s turn as a Jagged Stone Forest Ranger, to the cast of regulars fast-talking, side-talking, and double-talking their way through sketches like the Fremont City Council meeting, Cardinal Volpe’s Audio Mass, and the interstitial Gorsock Murder Tour. The four “doctors” of the Superego cast (Matt Gourley, Jeremy Carter, Mark McConville, and Paul F. Tompkins) play splendidly off of each other. And, as we’ve learned from prior seasons, if you discover characters you especially enjoy in an episode of Superego, chances are that they’ll be popping up again before too long.
Call Chelsea Peretti - Hon can’t call the EP PAIS
Leigh: We’ve learned by now that when Chelsea Peretti talks, the internet needs to listen. So when she preaches, “No one’s trying to click to your external site. Just let it go” on this episode of Call Chelsea Peretti, we should take it seriously and get rid of those links to external sites. This week, Peretti lets us in on her dream of being a woman who can just naturally call someone “hon” in conversation, her thoughts on overconfident and incompetent people, and of course, there’s a healthy amount of Big Brother talk. As someone who’s never seen a single episode of Big Brother I’m confident that I’m informed enough to really hold my own in a conversation about Cody, Derrick and Ariana Grande’s brother. What a mixed bag of callers on this episode – like a guy in a back brace, a guy who took a selfie with a monkey, a girl with a story about murder - none of who could offer up some insights on Uber’s innerworkings. And while this episode, doesn’t have any official corporate endorsements, Peretti brilliantly leaves room for some. So, if you’re a sparkling water brand and you’re reading this, you better act now.
How Was Your Week? - John Early “If His Name was Wooden Spoon”
Zoe: This week, John Early stops by How Was Your Week? to talk Toni Collette, NYU dorms, and personal identity. If you’ve ever seen Early perform, you already know that he’s someone on the brink of being big. He’s a ridiculously magnetic performer with unstoppable dance moves, a knack for pinpointing mannerisms, and one hell of a Britney Spears impression (I highly recommend familiarizing yourself with his rendition of “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” if you haven’t already). While his on-stage persona is larger than life, this episode is a great chance to learn about the man behind the enviable Twitter handle @bejohnce. And yes, his mom’s is @beymomce, just in case you thought you had a cool mom. Being the thoughtful interviewer she is, Klausner is always interested in getting to the emotional core of an answer, exploring what it was like for Early to come out to his minister parents, being treated as the token gay guy in high school, and the specific bond between gay men and funny women. This provokes a really thoughtful and interesting discussion on the topic, which most people take for granted. But you can also expect some wonderful lessons in pop culture, like how Toni Braxton starred in Beauty and the Beast on Broadway and how each song’s key had to be taken down a few notches. To steal from a Britney song, John Early was born to make you happy. Take him up on it by listening to this episode.
Other Podcasts We’re Listening To:
This Week in Jackin’ - Emmy Blotnick - Smaller than a Crueller
Mike and Tom Eat Snacks - #85 (M&Ms)
Level 7 Access - Heavy Is The Head
Bullseye with Jesse Thorn - Ed Helms, Tig Notaro, Nick Frost
WTF - Tim and Eric
The Daily Show Podcast without Jon Stewart - Jordan Klepper
Professor Blastoff - Reality TV with Lauren Lapkus
Elizabeth Stamp is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York.
Zoe Schwab is a writer/fraud living in NYC who is somehow up-to-date with ABC Family’s Melissa & Joey.