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.
2 Dope Queens - Dad Bods
Elizabeth: This week marks the debut of the WNYC’s first comedy podcast, which just happens to be from the very funny Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams. Each episode is taped at the duo’s show in Brooklyn and features standup and stories from their favorite comedians. To kick off the podcast, they celebrate Phoebe’s 31st birthday and discussing their encounters with racist Uber and taxi drivers. Then Aparna Nancherla gives advice on how to deal—or not deal— with street harassment and recalls her encounter with the Woody Allen of catcallers. Later, Gary Gulman talks about spicing up his relationship with role playing and Michelle Buteau rounds out the episode with the story of her first love and how it all went wrong. A second episode as released today, so download both and these talented ladies to your podcast playlist. [iTunes]
The Jackie And Laurie Show – This Doesn’t Hike
Marc: Jackie Kashian and Laurie Kilmartin both have their own podcasts (The Dork Forest and Kitchen Mic, respectively) but now these two powerhouses of comedy have teamed up to create The Jackie And Laurie Show. It’s a two-hander podcast featuring the two comedians, no guests, focusing on the topics of women and comedy. Sometimes it’s mostly about women and sometimes it’s about the world of comedy but mostly it’s about women in comedy. As it happens, it’s often not a pretty place — there are plenty of stories about creepy dudes both in and out of the comedy scene and how the two hosts have run afoul of them. And there are anecdotes aplenty about hell gigs and college shows and the life of not having bookings in between. In this installment, there’s reminiscing about the weirdness of going back to one’s alma mater to do a comedy show. And the two hosts also marvel at the balls of a female producer who is doing an show where the publicity doesn’t try to capitalize on the fact it’s an all-woman bill — even the poster for the gig only uses the comedians’ last names. Jackie & Laurie is refreshing as hell to listen to and it’s great to hear a couple of hosts that have been through the wringer on separate but similar journeys, only to survive, look back and (mostly) laugh about their experiences. [iTunes]
Sklarbro Country - The Bulgarian Bus Driver
Pablo: As co-founder of the Upright Citizens Brigade and Funny or Die, a former SNL head writer, and writer/director of three bonafide classic movies, Adam McKay has secured his spot on the 21st century comedy Mount Rushmore. He could also be a Sklar triplet the way he easily slides back into the guest chair for his fourth return to the calming shores of Sklarbro Country. Not just because he’s funny, but in a rarity for the guest, he actually knows his sports! But before they get into pressing sports topics like the Atlanta Hawks’ second annual Tinder Night, the brothers want to talk about the obvious: The “Academy Award Winner” honorific that now goes in front of McKay’s name until the end of time. McKay relays the whole story, from signing on to do The Big Short to frantically trying to thank his agents and loved ones in his limited 45 seconds on the podium. In the least surprising reveal ever, it turns out The Academy starts that 45 second timer from the moment winners stand up in a daze of “What the fuck just happenedohmygodddddd my life is about to change.” [iTunes]
Comedy Film Nerds – Batman v Superman
Marc: If you’re listening for the definitive roasting of the film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, listen no further that the most recent installment of Comedy Film Nerds. This long-running podcast staple (hosts Chris Mancini and Graham Elwood are also co-founders of the Los Angeles Podcast Festival, now in its fifth year), unlike many shows that cap on pop culture movies, actually is helmed by guys that know what make movies tick, as do many of their guests. Filmmakers Jay Lender and Micah Wright are aboard to talk their first film, new horror-comedy They’re Watching, and then they gleefully take part in helping to kick apart BvS. The quartet does their best to do so without spoilers but, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, listening to this episode of CFN isn’t going to help you enjoy it when you do. It’s hard to argue with the many points they bring up, especially when it gets into the deeper elements of how the films’ writers and director Zack Snyder have screwed with the central characters’ essential DNA — the things that served to make the superheroes decades-old icons in the first place. The show also talks about what new movies are looking good in theaters as well as recent DVD releases you should check out. (Side note: Mancini and Elwood are producers of Ear Buds: A Podcast Documentary. It’s been making the film festival rounds and is must-see viewing for anyone who’s a fan of podcasting, comedy or otherwise.) [iTunes]
Pappy’s Flatshare Slamdown - Flatpack Furniture
Marc: Britain continues to put out many topflight podcasts and, among them, a number of highly entertaining panel shows. The cast of England’s sketch comedy group Pappy (Ben Clark, Matthew Crosby and Tom Parry) heads up Pappy’s Flatshare Slamdown, which takes place in their fictitious shared flat and involves “tenants” Tom and Ben alternately squaring off against and teaming up in games with different guest comedians each episode. This go-round features guests Matt Forde and Marcel Lucont and the core of the episode is found in the title, “Flatpack Furniture.” (Unfamiliar with the term flatpack? It’s that stuff you put together with an Allen wrench, glue and a lot of swearing, most often supplied by Ikea.) The games take place in rounds and are the most unique collection of improvised nonsense since Whose Line Is It Anyway. One of the competitions features the cast having to improvise songs about specific pieces of furniture, done to the tune of well-known Rat Pack songs — like the ode to a wardrobe done to “Fly Me To The Moon.” Points are awarded seemingly on a whim by the show’s “landlord,” Matthew, and the live audience not only infuses the show with energy, but they can’t help themselves from shouting out answers during question-based rounds of the show. (Unlike Doug Loves Movies, where the audience is admonished for shouting out, in Flatshare Slamdown they actually get awarded points.) This is a monthly podcast, released the first day of each month, so jump on board before the next one drops. [iTunes]
Other Podcasts We’re Listening To:
Weird Adults - Brandon Wardell
Proudly Resents - “Miami Connection” Live
FitzDog Radio - Doug Benson is Back
Strange Times Show - Hot Sauce with Travis Clark
Mouth Time with Reductress - Tech NO! with Rachel Bloom
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.
Marc Hershon is host of Succotash, the Comedy Podcast Podcast and author of I Hate People!