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.
WTF with Marc Maron - Zach Woods
Elizabeth: Marc Maron sits down with Zach Woods on this week’s episode on WTF to talk about everything from how his parents met (working in mental hospital) to starting improv as a teenager to his focus in college (Christianity in the Civil Rights Movement). And if you’ve ever wondered why someone on a show about startups doesn’t use one of the most successful startup products of all time (Twitter), it’s because of the negative comments he read online when he started on The Office. Thanks, internet commenters. We could have had Zach Woods on Twitter sharing jazz music facts. Zach also talks about his early days at UCB, including a disastrous first class with the patient Billy Merritt and developing a secret comedy life away from his high school friends in Philadelphia, and then going from commercials to a movie to The Office. There’s also a discussion the fedora that Zach wore as a 14-year-old jazz enthusiast, which leads Marc to talk about the different phases of hats in his own life.
Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast - Lewis Black LIVE
Marc: It seems I recently reviewed Gilbert Gottfried’s ACP but I’m doing it again so soon because I simply couldn’t resist his latest offering: A LIVE team-up of epic proportions in front of an audience at Caroline’s in New York featuring Gottfried and Lewis Black. These two hurtle down twisting paths of subjects and reference points that would make Dennis Miller’s head spin. Gottfried, in particular, reveals his specialties — which I’m calling “Who’s A Jew” and “Cinema Obscura” — to the ongoing delight of Black. The first one is a reference to Gottfried’s rapidfire identification of those who are (or might be) Jewish when their names come up in the show. The second is the uncanny recall of the most dimly remembered actors from almost-famous movies such as The Ghost of Frankenstein. GGACP’s co-host Frank Santopadre, the Keeper of the Sanity, manages to weave a narrative thread of sorts through the hour-plus episode, guiding Black to recount elements of his comedic and acting development. This includes crappy day jobs, failed pilots, and lame-brained network suits. With all of the rampant fun that this episode brings, my favorite touchstone throughout is the syncopated rhythm of Gottfried’s relentless cackle and Black’s throaty chortle. Those sounds alone are enough to pull laughs out of your piehole.
How Was Your Week - Take This Chainsaw
Leigh: This episode is good. I mean, real good. Like, start listening on the bus and get home before it’s over and leave your headphones in and finish listening in the dark in your apartment good. With episodes of How Was Your Week being sporadic lately, one like this makes it all worth having to wait for new ones. Host Julie Klausner shares her thoughts on preparing for the Hulu upfront, The Rat Pack, being too into your dress size or your age, and the PBS documentary series Makers, just to name a few. There were so many times I found myself fighting the urge to pump my fist in the air to express my agreement and excitement over every single point Klausner makes. While I tried to pull my favorite quote to share and prove just how satisfying this episode is, it got to the point where I was just transcribing the entire episode, and what good is that doing for you or for me? So just listen. And let’s face it, you’re not going to find opinions about what Frank Sinatra would have thought about Lena Dunham anywhere else.
Who Charted - Two Charted 168
Kaitlynn: I knew this would be a special episode when hosts Howard Kremer and Kulap Vilaysack sang along with the intro music.”Two Charted” is the second show of the week for the titular Who Charted. Unlike Who Charted (or WhoCH) there is no guest; instead they are joined by engineer Brett “Stard” Morris. Listeners are captivated right away when Howard’s eyesight problem is discussed— he is only wearing one contact, which has lodged itself in his eye socket. Things take a hilarious turn when the crew plays “Shark Tank.” Much like a high school drama class, the role-playing makes the “PAYtato Chip” and “Original Lineup Rock Club” so ingenious you won’t know whether to laugh or invest. Howard also has a new segment called “Check Out China,” where he reads headlines from a Chinese newspaper. It is nearly a podcast on its own, and hopefully it will continue. More topics on this week’s episode include TED talks, Minnesota, and The Beatles. I wish your liver good luck if you played along with this episode’s drinking game of drinking every time Kulap laughs. Howard is definitely on his wit game whether it is questioning Kulap’s Lao heritage or confessing his eyes are the same color or unexpected one-liners. Stay tuned after the wrap to hear a beatbox/skat version of the Frasier theme song.
Other Podcasts We’re Listening To:
The K Ohle with Kurt Braunohler - Emotional Hangs 3 with Joe DeRosa
The Steven Brody Stevens Festival of Friendship - Brody Goes to the Comedy Store III
Three Guys On - Live And Learn
The Christopher Titus Podcast - DEA! FREEZE! Then Get Us Some Hookers…
Tangentially Speaking with Dr. Christopher Ryan - Nikki Glaser
Terrified with Dave Ross - Wendi Starling
Truth and Iliza - Jonathan Kite
Professor Blastoff - Transgender w/Ian Harvie
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.