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.
Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast - Weird Al Yankovic
Zoe: “I’m the second lowest on the totem pole. It’s me and then Carrot Top,” says Weird Al Yankovic of his career as a musical parodist. “Every album of mine is a comeback album.” While there couldn’t be two Weird Als, there’s certainly a place for one Weird Al, and his wholehearted embrace of this “lower” status has boosted his career to the point of having the number one album this year. He’s also just a really good guy. He and Gottfried get along famously, despite having seemingly opposite sensibilities; where Yankovic is the goofy, eccentric nerd you can listen to with your parents, Gottfried is the cynical, brash roastmaster who was the first to tell a 9/11 joke. But what unites these two is a love of all things over-the-top, a mutual appreciation that’s felt throughout the episode. It’ll give you a craving for the brand of shameless, gag-rich comedy that was ubiquitous in Mel Brooks and Leslie Nielsen movies, but which we don’t see much of these days, save for the Scary Movie franchise. Amidst the current trend observational storytelling, sometimes you just need a quick punch in the gut, which this episode most certainly delivers.
Sklarbro Country - The Wahlberg Solution 2
Pablo: Dozens of original characters have appeared on Earwolf’s line of podcasts over the last four years, but surprisingly, some of the most popular creations have been exaggerated takes on real life people. For whatever reason, this cavalcade of celebs, who mostly show up on the network’s original two shows Comedy Bang! Bang! and Sklarbro Country, have never been given a regular showcase until now. Thanks to “Mark Wahlberg,” a character originated on Sklarbro Country by Dan Van Kirk but whose popularity has grown thanks to a recurring segment on Doug Loves Movies, our nation’s most valuable resource now have a forum to express their opinions on today’s most important issues, like Ebola and Bigfoot. Joining Mark on this month’s live show at the UCB Theater is fan favorite Jesse “The Body” Ventura and newcomers Shia LaBeouf, Anne Hathaway, and Reba McEntire. Is Tremors out on Blu-Ray? Is pizza for big boys? Did 9/11 actually happen? Listen to the latest episode of The Wahlberg Solution to find out.
Don’t Ever Change - Adam Newman
Leigh: For those of you who have been on the internet at all this week, you probably know Adam Newman as the comedian who was heckled by a cop. But if you went to high school with him, you’d know him as that white guy with dreadlocks. And if you didn’t go to high school with him, you’re in luck. Newman is the guest on this week’s episode of Don’t Ever Change. If you’re not familiar with Don’t Ever Change, each week host John Roy asks comedians what they were like in high school, and as I’m sure you could have assumed, it’s filled with tons of embarrassing stuff. Newman shares his dreams of playing in the NBA, what it was like being the new kid in school, being a Korn fan, and of course, all about those dreadlocks. There are a couple of great side conversations about confidence and advice for people starting out in comedy, including a couple of great resources Newman and Roy recommend. I’ll even let you in on a little secret. Jump to the end of the episode you’ll hear about Roy’s free online comedy class on his website, johnroylive.com. In fact, I don’t know why you even continued on to this sentence instead of rushing over to his website.
Chewin’ It with Kevin and Steve - E.R. Visits
Marc: Do you ever find yourself thinking “I wonder what those Broken Lizard guys with the funny movies like Super Troopers and Beerfest are doing?” Ponder no longer. Because at least two of them are podcasting (and have been for the past couple of years). Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lemme pop up weekly on the Nerdist network with their show Chewin’ It with Kevin and Steve. These guys will take any subject and run with it, as witnessed in this week’s show when Lemme recounts having to take his infant son to the E.R. the night before. Heart-wrenching as it must have been at the time (the junior Lemme is doing fine), Heffernan assures his podcast partner that he and his future teenaged son will be laughing over the hospital hijinks in years to come. The two then begin recalling the many and varied reasons for them each having had to visit hospital emergency rooms throughout their lives: a failed leap from a nightspot’s bar; a severed Achilles tendon from kicking through a glass door; a crime-does-not-pay-story involving stolen porn and a nasty spill on a sewer grate. Clearly, when these guys aren’t making movies, they’re getting into way too much trouble. And sharing those exploits with us, so that makes it all right.
The Dead Authors Podcast - Ian Fleming, featuring Matt Gourley
Rob: This week’s Dead Authors Podcast features guest Matt Gourley, and for those who have ever heard or seen a live performance with Gourley and host Paul F. Tompkins, that’s all the information you need in order to know that this episode is hilarious. After all, Gourley and Tompkins now work together on a regular basis in the revamped Superego podcast. In this week’s show, Gourley brings his well-known Ian Fleming character to the Dead Authors stage. His impersonation of the James Bond author’s whiney upper-class accent is as honed and consistent as it is ridiculous – as is his character’s constant misogyny, which is underlined by a hint of gender envy that becomes more pronounced throughout the show. Dead Authors guests usually go two ways with their characters: making almost all of it up with reckless abandon for the facts, or playing it closer to the famous author’s biography and looking for comedic opportunities within the persona. Gourley does a little of both, knowing a good amount about Fleming’s life but not afraid to make up completely specious answers as well. This episode is a great example of what Dead Authors does so well, and it’s highly recommended.
Comedy Bang! Bang! - Ken Marino, Casey Wilson, and Joe Wengert
Elizabeth: Marry Me’s Ken Marino and Casey Wilson stop by Comedy Bang! Bang! this week and Scott Aukerman reveals that they are two of the voices behind the “Closing up the Plug Bag” song—a collaboration they (and most other people) weren’t even aware of. They follow up their previous CBB hit with a new track, “Theme for the Commercial Break.” But don’t worry, if transitional jingles aren’t your thing, Ken Marino also shares his Nina Simone impression with a rendition of “Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair.” The episode picks up with the addition of Dr. Jerry Pensacola (Joe Wengert), an obese therapist who teaches them the key achieving to happiness or “making your blood audibly sing.” His method mainly revolves around making and eating extremely large sandwiches, which is a therapeutical treatment I can get behind. Everyone plays Riddle Me This!, predicting what several animals and the odd housewife would say in everyday situations. Dr. Pensacola and his soothing voice win the prize—a mailed loaf of bread due to arrive in three weeks. By the end of the episode and a good 45 minutes of sandwich talk, you’ll want to find your own joy (between two slices of bread).
Other Podcasts We’re Listening To:
Industry Standard with Barry Katz - Carol Leifer
Never Not Funny - Billy Eichner
Lies - Wyatt Cenac Dates Married Women
How Was Your Week? - Advanced Style “Her Own Carol”
We Know Nothing - Frozen Eggs + Black Rhinos
Plumbing The Death Star - Why Does Superman Find Lois Attractive?
The Carson Podcast - Ed Ames
Ronna & Beverly - Jenji Kohan
The Bugle - The Ebola Tombola
Leigh Cesiro is a writer living in Brooklyn who only needs 10 minutes to solve any Law & Order: SVU episode.
Marc Hershon is host of Succotash, the Comedy Podcast Podcast and author of I Hate People!
Pablo Goldstein is a writer from Los Angeles, CA.
Rob Schoon lives in Brooklyn and writes about tech, media, comedy and culture.
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.