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.
How Did This Get Made? - Furious 7: LIVE w/ Adam Scott
Pablo: Furious 7 feels like it was produced solely for ridicule on HDTGM. It’s a movie where The Rock flexes so hard that his gargantuan bicep snaps a surgical cast like a peanut shell. It’s a film where Kurt Russell keeps a bucket of ice cold Coronas in his secret covert ops lair. It’s a quiet piece of French art house cinema where Vin Diesel and Jason Statham slam their cars into each other at top speed and exit without a scratch. TWICE. But the HDTGM family (Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, Jason Mantzoukas, and Adam Scott) have a genuine affection for this series, which is confident and self-aware of its stupidity in a way not seen since perhaps Rocky IV. And it’s that genuine passion towards Furious 7 that makes it heartbreaking when Mantzoukas reveals he almost booked the role of a Dubai sultan in the film. Or was it a Dubai art dealer? Honestly, I’ve seen the movie twice and I can’t come close to remembering who he was. But it’s OK because in the Furious franchise, it’s not about character arcs or coherent plot development or even a nice little Cuban restaurant called the Cha Cha Cha. It’s about family, and you can join that family by listening to this episode. As the poet laureate of the Steel City says: How can we not listen to podcasts if podcasts is all we got?
The David Feldman Show – Greg Fitzsimmons
Marc: What’s better than a podcast with a smart, ascerbic, and irreverent host? How about when he has another smart, ascerbic, and irreverent podcast host as a guest? That’s the case this week when David Feldman, the host of The David Feldman Show, welcomes Greg Fitzsimmons, host of Fitzdog Radio. Not only are the two clearly friends of the same standup comedy stripe, but they tread into many areas of conversation over the course of an hour where angels would fear to tread. On the surface, the subjects of work, family, religion, and sexuality may not seem too dodgy, but this pair keeps pushing the envelope, each daring the other –- through tone and inference -– to shove back a little harder. Feldman’s become a master of keeping his interviews on track, which is an easy task with Fitzsimmons, who has ably learned to do the same on his own show. This duo is so fast and sharp that someone should consider pairing them up and letting them co-host a show where they could take listeners calls — it would be a delight to hear how they do with a few curveballs from the crowd.
Comedy Bang Bang - Vocal Fry with Eric Stonestreet and Brendon Small
Kaitlynn: Dear CBB, I listen each week (sometimes twice), giggling out loud and somehow feeling like I don’t give you enough recognition. The characters, silliness, and games I take for granted until an episode takes me by surprise and shocks me full of comedy goodness and I must re-examine my adoration. Eric Stonestreet brings his charm and is ready for anything when the new friends (they text, okay) chat it up. Ever wonder how long a contract can last under California law? Me too and now we finally have the answer. Scott covers all the basics in his interview with Eric—celebrity friends, the methodology of call sheets, favorite presidents, and his audition process for Modern Family. Brendon Small is back as Victor and Tiny. Victor has somehow evolved his voice and is well spoken with a new found confidence; it’s attributed to their friend Willy Mapleton, a speech coach who excels at the Australian dialect. You’ll laugh and learn the Australian speech all at once…hello: hell-aye, uh oh: uh-oye. Good luck not lol’ing when Willy tells Scott his favorite video camera is a Goy-Proy (GoPro). Thanks again Comedy Bang! Bang! I’ll never take you for granted again!
Illusionoid – Day Million
Marc: The improvised sci-fi comedy podcast out of Toronto, Illusionoid, kicks off its fifth year and fifth season in Podcastland this week. In an episode entitled “Day Million,” the three-man cast of Paul Bates, Lee Smart, and Nug Nahrgang continue the tradition of this loosely-linked anthology series by introducing characters we’ll likely never hear from again. The three owners of a copy store that has been around for millennia, somehow surviving depressions, droughts and disease, have a single customer on their one millionth day in business. The one page he drops off to have duplicated turns their copy machine into a time-crossing dimensional portal, through which hilarity ensues. It’s all improvised, every episode of the show a chapter in mankind’s ultimate destruction as described by a lone survivor located on the moon somewhen in the future. The stories hold together so well that iTunes lists it in the Modern Drama section of the podcast store, but make no mistake, this is “genre improv podcasting” (to quote Nahrgang) of the highest order.
Doughboys - Subway with Fran Gillespie
Elizabeth: Doughboys takes a topical turn this week with a look at massive sandwich chain and former Jared Fogle employer, Subway. Joining them to talk sandwich artistry is Fran Gillespie, who tells them about the chain restaurant closest to her heart, Panera Bread. Fran is a truly “a walking encyclopedia of Panera knowledge” and even threw a party for the opening night of a new location in Manhattan, which lead to a Twitter flirtation with the brand and a $100 gift card. They touch on the Jared scandal, listen to his first ad from the late ‘90s, and discuss the plight of spokesmen in general before getting down to the food. Nick tests out the breakfast options, while Fran and Mitch go classic subs with chips and cookies, which they found to be far superior. The key to Subway it seems is having realistic expectations and not stepping outside of your comfort zone. Doughboys producer Dustin, a real-life former Subway employee, gives a firsthand account of cleanliness and the presence of surface bacteria at Subway. To close out, they try out 7/11’s Sour Patch Watermelon Slurpee as part of Drank or Stank and find that the ultra-sweet slush is a crowd pleaser.
Other Podcasts We’re Listening To:
Black Men Can’t Jump - In the Heat of the Night ft. Keegan-Michael Key
Real Good Show - King Baby Adoption
Spontaneanation - Sport Club: Live at Largo
Womp It Up! - Tara Copeland Spotlight on: Becca Foster
With Special Guest Lauren Lapkus - Big Grande Teacher’s Lounge
Monster Party - Best & Worst Sci-Fi Villains w/Fred Belford
Hollywood Handbook - Aasif Mandvi, Our Big Get/Scott Ankerman, Our Business Rival
Got a podcast recommendation? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elizabeth Stamp is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York.
Pablo Goldstein is a writer from Los Angeles, CA.