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.
Lady to Lady - Margaret Cho
Elizabeth: Minds are blown on this week on Lady to Lady, although that may be due to the weed. Brandie, Barbara, and Tess visit comedian and marijuana innovator Margaret Cho at home, where she welcomes them with cocktails and her own strain, Cho-G Kush. Margaret tells the ladies about her trash art, why she knows that Louis CK likes to have his balls played with, and performing same-sex marriages on her new tour. The confessions segment brings up some important questions like do popes masturbate? Can the world’s problems be solved by just Airbnbing the Vatican? They also chat about the double standards placed on women in comedy and advise a listener that sometimes dick just has to run its course.
Doodie Calls - Kenya Barris
Pablo: The latest Doodie Callsw features Black-ish creator Kenya Barris, who now has reached the level of success where he can get out of basically any conversation he doesn’t want to have. But that wasn’t the case several years earlier when a gastrointestinal nightmare steered him toward the nearest Beverly Hills hotel. As he recalls in his shit story to host Doug Mand, Barris thought he was in the clear since there’s no calmer place to lay waste than a 5 star hotel’s bathroom. But as he pulled up to the valet and saw a packed lobby of black faces, he realized to his horror that it was a Grammy after party filled with friends, associates, and childhood heroes. Specifically, childhood heroes Nas and Busta Rhymes who wanted to chat with Barris while he was having serious bubble guts. I won’t spoil the ending, but it’s like playing a Metal Gear Solid where one of Solid Snake’s sneaking suits is covered in diarrhea.
Think Again – Norman Lear
Marc: Think Again is a true conversational grab bag of a podcast, a product of the Big Think informational website. Or byproduct, more accurately, as host Jason Gots gets his guests directly from video interviews being done for the website. Each episode, Gots and his guest get three “surprise” sound bites, culled by the show’s producer from the vast Big Think resources, and the chat springboards from the audio clips. In the latest go-round, legendary TV producer Norman Lear, fresh off publishing his memoir Even THIS I Get To Experience, responds the diverse topics of space travel, the effects of stress on humanity, and Donald Trump. Lear is a refreshing voice of life experience, and his famous liberal viewpoint takes aim squarely but fairly at Trump, whom he points out as being “a horse’s ass, but an AUTHENTIC horse’s ass,” one that is reflective of a wide swath of American society. He also unfurls an unflattering image of his own youthful perspective on foreign cultures, having been on bomber crews during World War II and not really considering the innocent lives that were lost as he helped to drop bombs on enemy forces below. His view on the matter of space travel echoed that of host Gots: A great idea but shouldn’t we solve the problems of this planet before moving out to the neighboring planets? Coming in at just 23 minutes, Think Again is a short – yet deep – and enjoyable listen.
Truth and Iliza - Lizz Winstead
Leigh: This podcast never disappoints. This week Iliza sits down with Lizz Winstead. Chances are, you know Winstead as a the co-creator of The Daily Show. If that’s the case, you probably want the story behind how that came about (there’s a cameo from a mushroom dealer). Or maybe you know her from Lady Parts Justice, the organization she cofounded. All that being said, it should come as no surprise that there’s a lot of political talk throughout the episode. But don’t let that scare you away! Other topics discussed include what Stacey Dash is up to these days, foods in loafular form, spaghetti and meatballs on a stick, Brooklyn, and what Iliza was doing at a Renaissance fair. They also cover apps, from an exclusive dating app you’ve probably never heard of to Hinder, the satirical dating app for “exposing anti-choice Douchebags” Also! Some very strong opinions and good ideas about what to do with stupid people.
Ari Shaffir’s Skeptic Tank - Death Wish (with Chris Gethard, Nikki Glaser, and Allison Dore)
Kaitlynn: Welcome to a standup show…nope, it’s gonna be a live podcast taping about suicide. Due to some confusing advertising, half the audience are in for a pretty big shock. Live shows can be hit or miss and this episode has elements of both bringing one of the darkest topics in front of a comedy festival crowd is a strange mix of serious discussion and one-liners. The first turn into the darkness has guest Chris Gethard explaining his first experience with suicide, which Nikki Glaser injects with a joke about Dollar Shave Club advertisements. The conversation turns to storytelling as each guest recounts their personal experiences. From Chris’s intentional car crash to Nikki’s high school classmate, the actual event and attempts obviously have a long-lasting effect on life. The guests have no problem injecting humor into the episode with an uncomfortable heckler, a controversial viral video, and vaping in the audience. The episode ends with a quick recap of the episode where all agree that even the awkward moments and unfamiliar comedy show topic is an attempt to rid the stigma of mental illness.
Other Podcasts We’re Listening To:
Jesse vs Cancer - Episode 15
Box Angeles - Scott Aukerman
Ronna and Beverly - Advice for Your Life
The Nerdist - Brett Gelman
Off Camera - Ellen Page
Oh Boy - Whitney Cummings
Kill Me Now - Christine Taylor
Food Is the New Rock - The Walking Dead Food Special w/Emily Kinney
Allegedly - Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Who Charted? - Mike O’Brien
You Made It Weird - Josh Radnor
Comedy Bang Bang - Kitchen Stand-Up (Nathan Fielder, Anthony Jeselnik, Drew Tarver)
This Is Why You’re Single - You Are Dating a Man Child ft. Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld
Got a podcast recommendation? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Pablo Goldstein is a writer from Los Angeles, CA.