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.
Call Chelsea Peretti - Into the Ether
Leigh:The best things in life are worth waiting for. While I’m not 100% sure that’s a real saying, it feels like it should be. Because I can’t think of a better way to describe the most recent episode of Call Chelsea Peretti. And I don’t only mean the “eight year hiatus” we’ve waited through since the last episode, but also the wait to get to the last five minutes of this episode. It may be too soon to make a bold statement like this, but the last five minutes of this episode may be one of the finest moments in the podcast’s history. But we’ll get to that in a second. The episode has everything listeners have come to love over the past 60+ episodes, like food tests, abrupt hang ups, sexy music and things being brought to the table. Chelsea fills us in on where she’s been, where she wants to go, what she’s read and what she hasn’t finished reading. But the last five minutes of the episode, oh boy are they good! But don’t just skip ahead right to that part. You have to earn them. Gina Linetti might even refer to it as the podcast form of the 100 emoji.
Bananaland - Barn Raiser & Barn Burners
Marc: A lot of comedians lay claim to the label “one of a kind” when it comes to their brand of humor, but few actually deliver. Bob Rubin is one of those who does, and likely one that you may not have heard too much about outside of the San Francisco comedy scene, where he spent most of his comedic development years. Now turning to podcasting as an additional outlet for his bombastic, nonsequitorial, stream of comedy consciousness, Rubin has found a home in Bananaland that does a dandy job of mostly containing it all. In the course of the current episode, he manages to reference arson, nicknames, lesser-known witches from The Wizard of Oz, collisions between universes and not one but two mentions of the Solar System’s Kuiper Belt. Oh, and an impression of late magician Doug Henning. Helping to keep Rubin lightly tethered to reality is buddy Steve Rosenfield but make no mistake: Bananaland is firmly under the rule of the Ol’ Rube. And in the half hour it takes to slurp down this episode, chances are you’ll be wondering what Rubin’s take is on many issues of the day, as well as who might be responsible for his day-to-day well-being.
I Was There Too - Meet Dave with Paul Scheer
Pablo: I Was There Too becomes I Wasn’t There Too in a very special episode where Paul Scheer details his hellish day shooting the Eddie Murphy flop Meet Dave, a movie from which he was ultimately cut. Given that he was fired multiple times (I honestly lost count), it’s amazing that there was any footage of him to be snipped. Scheer recalls his day being yelled at by an egomaniacal director who treated him like a PA who knocked over the craft services table. To make matters worse, Scheer wasn’t even sure he was going to meet his comedy hero Eddie Murphy after being fooled by multiple stand-ins throughout the shoot. But in a happy ending in a story full of Hollywood douchebags, Murphy turns out to be the nicest guy on set and a consummate professional. In a true sign of the director’s character, he suddenly gets all buddy-buddy with Scheer after overhearing him talking with Murphy about Human Giant. Now that Scheer is a sitcom star and successful writer/producer, I’d give $20 to see that director run into Scheer at a party.
Crybabies - LIVE w/ Jen Kirkman, Kristen Schaal
Kaitlynn:This week the crybabies are live for a benefit in support of reproductive rights. The kickass feminist tones of the evening fit perfectly with guests Jen Kirkman and Kristen Schaal. Kirkman is introduced to an unplugged version of Nirvana’s All Apologies that is an instant tear jerker. The conversation turns to the nerve it takes to follow through with a lie that is easily proved. As she goes through the songs and movie moments that bring a tear to her eye they all circle around being vulnerable to chance and the “what could have been.” Schaal enters and the funeral scene from My Girl yanks at everybody’s heart strings. The conversation turns to maxi pad commercials and what makes up the world’s landfills. The Always commercial with adults and children, “…Like A Girl.” The music and our eyes swell when the children are asked about the insulting phrase Like A Girl. This episode really gets your girl power going that makes you wanna run the world. Who knew a podcast about crying could be so inspirational?
Other Podcasts We’re Listening To:
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Leigh Cesiro is a writer living in Brooklyn who only needs 10 minutes to solve any Law & Order: SVU episode.
Pablo Goldstein is a writer from Los Angeles, CA.