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.
The Todd Barry Podcast - Anthony Jeselnik
Leigh: iTunes lists The Todd Barry Podcast under comedy, but it’s actually one of the top travel podcasts out there. Host Todd Barry has an endless supply of helpful tips and recommendations about packing, hotels and of course, airline miles. (Pro tip: go back into the archives now and get all of Todd’s airline mile teachings before you start traveling for the holidays.) This week, Anthony Jeselnik is the lucky recipient of said tips and recommendations and in return, teaches listeners the benefits of having a business manager. If for some reason you get your travel tips elsewhere and came here looking for comedy, there’s plenty of that too. They cover Jeselnik’s new Netflix special Thoughts and Prayers, auditioning for Weekend Update, what it was like hosting Last Comic Standing – including which of the judges hate him and which one hated him but probably doesn’t anymore – and the new FX show he is currently working on. Also! We learn the origins of that picture of Todd with a koala bear (yeah, you know the one).
Who Charted? - 5th Anniversary!
Kaitlynn: Welcome a Kulap and Howard fresh off of working together in a different job site. Five years of Who Charted laughs and oh-so-many top five countdowns. The duo are engaged in each other so well that even Howard comments on Kulap Ruth Vilaysack’s attentiveness. The countdowns are quick, but the real delight is the pod-husband/wife relationship. Five years of the show and Kulap is still not allowed in H. Michael Kre’s “Dragon Manor” home, which has spanned a new song in the Dragon Boy Suede repertory (which may or may not be released). The lack of a guest means they can introduce each other in sweet, yet hilarious ways including Howard calling Kulap “The Keeper of the Aukerstick” in reference to her husband Scott Aukerman. Howard gets the line of the episode with how he wished he could crowdfund “Mint Milk” as a young person, which turns into a Shark Tank pitch. For one 45 cents Kulap got one dollar and a ride to Orange County – what a great improved deal. We can only hope the next five years contain more clench-busting, games of “Italy or Snaggletooth” or “Earbuds or We’re Buds,” and laughs aplenty.
Victrola! Sketch Comedy Podcast – Season One Greatest Hits, Vol. 1
Marc: Already a great breeding ground for sketch comedy (Thrilling Adventure Hour, Superego, Lost Moon Radio) and improv (Spontaneanation, improv4humans, Illusionoid), podcasting continues to hold space for those audio theatrical companies who want to bring it. A plucky little troupe from Austin’s Coldtowne Theater rolled out eight episodes of Victrola! monthly starting in the spring, and they promise to return for a second season. To whet your ears for what they do, they put out a compilation show this month featuring some of their highlighted sketches from their first go-round. The show features seven sketches with titles like “The Trouble with Scrum,” “Hobby Lobby After Dark,” and “Suicide Squad The Motion Picture.” A scratchy soundtrack with an old timey-sounding narrator opens the show and introduces the sketches, each of which moves pretty quickly – they get a baker’s half-dozen sketches delivered in about 31 minutes. The group writes and acts in the sketch, some fine Austin sketch players like Michael Jastroch, Bob McNichol, Bryan Roberts, Lance Gilstrap, Cortnie Jones, and Jericho Thorp, along with some special guests. Much in the vein of shows like Superego, the sketches are all improvised and then painstakingly edited into a tight, cohesive piece (which is why it takes a month to “cook” each installment). Clearly, by the delightful results, it’s worth the wait…but here’s hoping it doesn’t take TOO long to get season 2 kicked off.
Sklarbro County - Jordan Morris
Elizabeth: Jordan Morris of @midnight and Jordan, Jesse, Go! stops by that safe space for Kardashian shame known as Sklarbro County this week. Jordan and the bros talk about @midnight and go down the Kardashian rabbit hole as Jordan shares his encounter with a very captivating Khloe Kardashian at a bar in Orange County. They also ponder whether Jesus died before he got jaded and if he ever had to deal with people trying to figure out how they knew him. Later Daniel van Kirk comes and gets festive with some Andy Williams crooning and stories of humanity gone awry from a Florida (naturally) arrest involving duct tape, a case of trespassing at the Budweiser factory by a man named Bud Wiser, and an Alabama assault that could have been avoided if someone had just shared their hotdogs. They also touch on Staind’s greatest hits, plan Cubs: The Musical, and take a call from Robert Durst, who shares a holiday update.
Other Podcasts We’re Listening To:
How to Be a Person - Christine Nangle - How to Survive Heartbreak
To the Manor Borne (by Robots) - Fronsty the Snowman
Cashing in with T.J. Miller - Velveteen Pyramids, The Christmas Edition
You Made It Weird - Dave Attell
The Great Debates - Guest Debates with BJ Novak and John Mayer
We Know Nothing - Verified: Todd Barry
Comedy Bang Bang - 2015 Holiday Spectacular
Truth and Iliza - Jo Koy
Fresh Air - Jeffrey Tambor on Transparent
How Did This Get Made - Steel: Live! with Anders Holm
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.