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.
Never Not Funny - Guy Branum
Elizabeth: There’s a new new Odd Couple and it’s Jimmy Pardo and Guy Branum. The comedian stops by to debate everything from Patti Lupone’s performance in Company to Madonna doing standup. The latter is such a hot topic that they circle back to it for further critique. The verdict? Painful but sweetly vulnerable. Guy also chats about his time writing for Fashion Police, the difference between New York waiters and LA waiters (New York waiters have stage training and California waiters are more nuanced), and why Madonna and Kesha are both better than Lady Gaga. They end with a game of pyramid, but not before Guy, who grew up on an almond farm, solves the California water crisis by declaring that we should stop watering the almonds. Hopefully Governor Jerry Brown listens to Never Not Funny.
Guys We Fucked - Did You Have A Pussy Renaissance? w/ Horatio Sanz
Pablo: Last month, the ladies of Guys We Fucked guested on a fun episode of Horatio Sanz’s The Hooray Show while out in LA. Lucky for us, they went ahead and recorded an episode of their own podcast while in the weed smoke-filled confines of Sanz’s Bro Bro Studios. Before they get into co-host Krystyna Hutchinson’s crush on Sanz, the duo discuss co-host Corinne Fisher’s recent night out with a friend at an NYC sex club. For about $125, you can have your own Eyes Wide Shut experience… just with less intrigue/conspiracy and more employees ready with towels. But back to the crush. If you haven’t seen Sanz since his SNL heyday, the once dangerously-overweight performer has slimmed down to a handsome bearded and bespectacled fella. So much so that they wonder how much his sex life has changed. However, Sanz says the biggest shift was over a decade earlier when, while still dealing with low self-esteem due to his weight, women started throwing themselves at him once he got on TV. While Sanz doesn’t give much detail about a recent break-up with his fiancée, he’s open to just about every other relationship and sex topic thrown his way over the course of the hour.
Alison Rosen is Your New Best Friend - Nikki Glaser
Leigh: There are a lot of reasons to listen to podcasts. To make you laugh, make your commute better, and recently, to help solve a murder. But on this week’s episode of Alison Rosen is Your New Best Friend, guest Nikki Glaser so perfectly articulates the best reason to consume so many podcasts and how comforting it can be to hear someone has the same weird thoughts as you: “It feels so great when you hear someone talk about something and you’re like ‘oh my god, I do that too!’” They talk a lot about openness on podcasts; why it can be a good thing, but also the consequences of being too open. Rosen references Glaser’s previous appearance on the show (which if you haven’t already listened to that one, what are you waiting for?) and the responses she received from listeners afterwards. Other highlights include thoughts on LOL, frozen yogurt, actors who over-steer cars, cereal, excessive blinking. And, like with all great podcasts, this episode will make you laugh, make your commute better, and solve a murder. One of those things is a lie.
Improv4Humans - 4/20 Special: Clit’s Alive
Kaitlynn: Greetings humans! It is that time of year when the air gets cloudy and snacks are in high demand – yes, it is 4/20. Improv4Humans is celebrating with a special themed episode for the second year in a row. This year, host Matt Besser is joined by Seth Morris, Jon Gabrus, and John Gemberling. They begin the show by getting high and continue throughout (including the engineer) much to the delight of listeners. Everyone is surprisingly quick and on their toes as each scene is unexpectedly fantastic. Seth is in especially fine form moving the scenes forward in the weirdest and most entertaining ways. Get ready for special celebrity appearances from Hank Azaria, Kelsey Grammer, and DJ Hand Dance. The accidental mispronunciation of juggalo instead of gigolo causes a great accidental ending to a scene. Everyone is audibly having fun and you can hear giggling in the background throughout. The whole improv aspect is deconstructed as scenes take place in transition zones and breaking the fourth wall. It’s a joy to listen to this outstanding episode, as long as you can handle everyone eating snacks. My fingers are crossed for another 4/20 show next year.
First Laughs - Open Up, It’s The Police!
Marc: Comedy — and comedians — have been a large portion of podcasting since the inception of the medium. In fact, podcastery has turned out to be a major haven for standup comedians who have wanted and needed a place to showcase their material outside of the comedy clubs. First Laughs is a show that explores the relationship between standup and podcasting in a fascinating way. Host Jason Crane is an experienced podcaster (he’s hosted over 450 episodes of The Jazz Session) but a brand new standup. Very new. And he’s launched First Laughs as a way to chronicle his foray into the art form. Episode #001 from back in February features his very first five-minute set performed at Wisecrackers, a comedy club in central Pennsylvania. The current installment revolves around a comedy set performed at an Elks Club gig in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. Crane wraps the set he features with commentary before and after, delving into where the material came from, how he’s changed certain elements from one performance to the next, his frame of mind based on the audience reaction, and other fears and thrills that a baby comic endures. Even in the course of seven episodes, one can hear the difference in his confidence level and, especially, the evolution of his material. But he’s got a long way to go and, considering it generally take a comedian about three years to find his or her voice, and another seven or so — generally speaking — to be comfortable speaking in that voice, First Laughs may be around awhile.
Other Podcasts We’re Listening To:
How Did This Get Made? - Con Air LIVE!
The Poundcast - Bert n’ Brent
Truth and Iliza - Kelly Oxford
WTF with Marc Maron - Rose Byrne/Kevin Pollak
Drunk on Disney - Journey into YOUR Inebriation
I Was There Too - Groundhog Day with Stephen Tobolowsky
The Black List Table Reads - Balls Out Part 1
Who Charted - Two Charted
The Bertcast - Kurt Braunohler
Nerdist Podcast - Eliza Coupe
Pablo Goldstein is a writer from Los Angeles, CA.
Elizabeth Stamp is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York.
Leigh Cesiro is a writer living in Brooklyn who only needs 10 minutes to solve any Law & Order: SVU episode.