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.
By The Way, In Conversation with Jeff Garlin - Bill Burr
Pablo: Most astronomers hypothesize that the Moon was created when a planetary body smashed into Earth billions of years ago and got caught in the its orbit. That planetary collision essentially repeated itself when two comics who are as loud as they are funny and opinionated came together for this conversation at Largo last December. Bill Burr, arguably the best standup alive, is in top form as he rants about everything from the NFL’s domestic violence PSAs to the proliferation of civilian drone-owners… one of whom was Jeff Garlin after a ridiculous Christmas gift from his manager. But Garlin nearly outdoes him with some classic Larry David tales, including one where LD visits a strip club. This is Burr’s moment though, and almost on cue he has a story to top Garlin’s: The time he saw a stripper quit on-stage. If you like ball-busting, you’ll love this episode for the hard time he gives Garlin but it’s also strangely introspective due to an epiphany Burr realizes during the recording: He hates being politely told that he’s wrong because he only believes he’s right if the other person is yelling at him.
Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend - Todd Glass
Elizabeth: She may have split with Carolla Digital, but Alison Rosen hasn’t missed a beat. Settled into her new recording studio (her dining room), Alison chats with Todd Glass about lighting schemes, hiding your identity, and having a zest for life on Alison Rosen is Your New Best Friend this week. Todd opens up about coming out and reveals that the initial title for his book The Todd Glass Situation was All I Ever Wanted to Do was Meet a Nice Girl with Cancer: And Other Stupid Things I Did and Said to Keep the Closet Door Shut. He also talks about a time when he was 13 and he used bar mitzvah money to relandscape the front yard when his parents were out of town. You know, typical teenage rebellion. The episode wraps up with a round of “Just Me or Everyone” and they debate the best cracker (first vs. last in the package and types of crackers), Cosco sample guilt, favorite utensils, and click bait.
The Moment - Amy Schumer
Leigh: Amy Schumer is one of the biggest names in comedy right now – she’s a TV star and she’s about to be a movie star. You could say she’s having a moment, but I won’t because I don’t want to insult you with a bad play on words like that. This week on The Moment, host Brian Koppelman does such a great job articulating just what it is that’s so great about Amy Schumer. At one point Schumer mentions how women’s magazines always ask her to give advice on confidence and it’s pretty clear why from this interview. I actually don’t even want to call this an interview because it felt more like a conversation that I had the privilege of eavesdropping. Even more admirable than her confidence is her drive to support her friends who are also comedians. In fact, with nothing of her own to plug, she plugs Chelsea Peretti’s Netflix special, One of the Greats. Koppelman asks insightful questions and even calls Schumer out on things a couple of times. Towards the end of the episode, Schumer tells a joke that is so perfect and so funny that, if you miss this episode, I don’t know how you’ll live with yourself.
With Special Guest Lauren Lapkus - The Dr. Phil/Victor Ramos Show LIVE from UCB-Sunset
Rob: One of the most interesting new podcasts on Earwolf is With Special Guest Lauren Lapkus, which flips the standard guest/host format on its head. Lapkus is always the guest on her own podcast, and often in character as Comedy Bang! Bang!’s Traci Rearden, the heavily pierced teenage frenemy of Marissa Wompler. It’s a godsend for any fan that can’t enough of “Wreaw-den’s” speech impediment-ridden wise naiveté, and an incredible platform to explore all dimensions of the character. This is the first live show, “hosted” by Horatio Sanz, who does a good enough job leading the show’s star, especially given the upside-down setup, this time in front of an audience. As you might expect, Lapkus shines as Rearden, but she generates so many laughs from everyone (including the “host”) that Sanz noticeably gets lost after a couple of her lengthier stretches of hilarious Rearden logic. And given the actual decade-plus difference between Lapkus and Sanz in age and experience, Rearden’s feisty confidence and wit pops even more. Her first live show isn’t without its lulls (unedited and over an hour long), but every time Lapkus grabs the reins, it’s hard not to want more and more. Good thing she has her own podcast.
No Such Thing As A Fish - No Such Thing As A Human Cigarette
Marc: One could have, perhaps, predicted the glut of pop culture oriented podcasts that have sprung up. Hell, it’s the linchpin for the recently launched Wolfpop network of shows. Less understandable (at least to me) is the rise of the trivia-oriented podcast. Especially trivia AND comedy. There’s Good Job, Brain, NPR’s Ask Me Another podcast, and even Another Damn Trivia Shop. Now we’re even importing our trivia shows. From over across the pond comes No Such Thing As A Fish, an offshoot of QI, which stands for Quite Interesting, a BBC2 TV comedy panel show. The TV show is hosted by famed English comedians Alan Davies and Stephen Fry. The podcast spinoff is hosted by a quartet of the TV show’s researchers (or the “QI Elves,” as they call themselves): Dan, James, Andy, and Anna. And each week’s show is based on the most interesting facts the four have managed to discover in the past seven days. The show is in four segments, each segment kicked off by a host’s favorite fact for the week. In the latest edition, the inciting factoid was “Cows have friends, and they get sad when you separate them.” Supporting research is offered to validate said facts, then there’s a free-for-all as the others toss out vaguely related bits on the kickoff fact. Did you know, for instance, that sharks also have friends? Other topics in this fascinating and funny episode include tiger selfies, dog- and goat-pulled baby carriages, and author D.H. Lawrence who, as it turned out, had a cow named Susan that he wrote about frequently. This show is like one of those trivia books people used to keep in the bathroom, except No Such Thing As A Fish is a toilet trivia book for your ears.
Down with Joe DeRosa - Jimmy Pardo
Kaitlynn: Standup comedian DeRosa introduces this week’s guest: Jimmy Pardo who instantly refers to himself as “a simple man.” The comedy warm-up for Conan, creator and host of his own podcast Never Not Funny and regular touring standup, he decrees he is not smart enough to talk about deeper subjects. DeRosa’s podcast always has interesting guests and combines laughs with in-depth discussions- all under an hour long. Joe and Jimmy speak about records, record shopping, music, and especially the band Rush. If you aren’t a Rush fan, you may lose interest in listening. However, fans of both shall fear not! In between the music chat and specifically at the end of the episode the conversation is interesting and engaging. They speak about nostalgia for a simpler time and how technology has impacted the world, all within ten years. These two remember their “college” years, growing up without responsibilities, the experiences they had but never knew their importance. The simplicity of this episode is in the endearing conversation between two comedians who speak frankly to each other like they’ve known each other for years.
Other Podcasts We’re Listening To:
Untitled Kondabolu Brothers Podcast - #15
Mohr Stories - Nick DiPaolo
You Made It Weird - Grace Helbig
Writers’ Bloc Podcast - Jessi Klein
Professor Blastoff - Kyle and his Mother
That’s Deep Bro - Paul Gilmartin
Who Charted - Randy Denton
WTF with Marc Maron - Jason Schwartzman
Nerdist Podcast - Rainn Wilson Returns
Tom Rhodes Radio - John Cooper Clarke
Pretend To Know - Gambling
Edumacation - Pringle’s Choice
Pablo Goldstein is a writer from Los Angeles, CA.
Leigh Cesiro is a writer living in Brooklyn who only needs 10 minutes to solve any Law & Order: SVU episode.
Elizabeth Stamp is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York.
Rob Schoon lives in Brooklyn and writes about tech, media, comedy and culture.