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 - Bonus Episode! The 2 Dope Queens Go Marching
Leigh: This might come as a shock, but there’s something even better than 2 Dope Queens, and that’s a 2 Dope Queens recorded in Washington the night of the Women’s March. The crowd at this show was so loud and excited, you might want to consider having clips of them cheering at the ready to keep yourself fired up. While Jessica Williams was off at Sundance, Phoebe Robinson was joined by Ilana Glazer, who so aptly points out that since the inauguration “it’s like we’re living in the 3rd act of a reality TV show”. Also joining them is Michelle Buteau, sharing her experience from earlier that day at the March, surround by what may have been a gang of Meryl Streeps with signs. And finally, they’re joined by Jena Friedman who tries to remember a time when we thought Trump was funny and how lawmakers might want to consider rebranding abortions if they want to make any kind of policy changes. [iTunes]
Hannibal Buress: Handsome Rambler - Eric Andre
Mark: If you ever wondered what The Eric Andre Show would be like in a straightforward interview format, wait no longer. Eric Andre sits down on Handsome Rambler with his Adult Swim co-host for a behind the scenes look at their four-season-old baby. Backstage tidbits include early “Bird Up” segments, filming the pilot in an abandoned bodega, and Hannibal’s infamous Flavor Flav kick. While Mr. Flav remains salty about the show’s edit, Hannibal insists he wouldn’t actually assault anyone unless forced to defend himself, and Andre insists that’s the highest Hannibal has ever lifted his leg. The two also pay homage to some of the forgotten heroes of comedy – the brave audience members who willingly sat through the awful standup shows early in their career. It’s an uncommonly grounded conversation between these two old friends (and Tony Trimm) that isn’t processed through their usual crazytown filters. Plus, if you wanted to know if Hannibal ever got a boner while filming Broad City, tune in to find out. [iTunes]
High & Mighty - Iced Coffee with Sean Clements
Kathryn: Iced coffee is a great podcast topic. Why don’t we have a comedy podcast all about iced coffee already? Iced coffee is great. In this ep, you’ll learn a lot of useful info about the beverage, like how and where to drink or make it. Then it serves as an excellent entry point to learn more about Clements: we’re used to hearing the Hollywood Handbook hosts deep into absurd riffs constructed out of their heightened personas, but Clements is down to earth and honest as a guest here. Coffee, gambling, cigars, and weird sex stuff took the place of alcohol and drugs in his life, so needless to say he’s an expert. He also had an unusually interesting pre-comedy job power washing Legionnaire’s algae out of cooling towers on top of the MetLife building, so that’s fun. Gabrus and Clements both love coffee and they are both actually taking a pretty big risk, career-wise, leaning on big, potentially offensive characters, in Clements’s case lampooning the industry they work in and in Gabrus’s case just by being generally offensive. It’s paying off for both of them but it’s nice to hear that they both feel vulnerable doing it. [iTunes]
Any Time with Vin Forte - “You Can’t Stop Progress” w/guest Mike Yard
Marc: You might recognize Mike Yard if you watched the canceled-too-soon The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore on Comedy Central. As both a contributor and commentator on the show, he frequently appeared as a panelist. But you probably didn’t get to know him as well as you will by listening to his recent appearance on Any Time with Vin Forte. He talks about the culture shock of moving to Brooklyn from his native home of St. Croix in the Virgin Islands (“When I landed in New York City, it looked like Sesame Street to me. It didn’t look real”). Jumping into doing standup comedy probably wouldn’t have been an option had he stayed in the islands as well. Once he took to the stage, it didn’t take long before his perspective and humor caught the attention of Wilmore, and he was invited to be part of a show that was willing to go after topics a lot of others didn’t, particularly on issues of race. He talks about the regrets of the show ending when it did, without being able to get into the meat of the most recent election cycle, and then about re-entering the standup life. Forte and Yard close up the back end of the show trying to sort out where the country is heading in the wake of President Trump’s ascension to power. [iTunes]
Stop Podcasting Yourself - Kathleen McGee
Noah: A sometime problem with Stop Podcasting Yourself’s reliable consistency is that the hosts backlog episodes to hold for a momentous occasion – in this case, the birth of Dave Shumka’s second daughter. That, too, often makes the eventual return to their regularly scheduled recordings an even greater joy than their episodes usually are. Increasingly frequent guest Kathleen McGee runs the gamut of tawdry tales (which is historically controversial in SPY circles) from advocating for getting a little lube in one’s hand while watching an action movie to her experience performing stand-up at a strip mall swingers’ club, the latter of which is a goldmine for Graham Clark’s inquisitions. A great round of Overheards and a surprisingly hilarious riff on the disparity between Vancouver’s latest snow response and Mayor Gregor Robertson’s new tan round out a welcome return to form. [iTunes]
Industry Standard - Richie Keen
Pablo: A common mistake that creatives make upon finally getting repped is thinking that their hard work is over. It’s a misguided belief that they can sit back and wait for their agent or manager to procure them work. But except for a very small minority of superstars, the personal hustle never ends. And this week’s guest on Industry Standard, Fist Fight director Richie Keen, exemplifies that never-ending strive with the story of how he got this job. After a middling acting and standup career, Keen moved into TV directing and found success with some of the most respected sitcoms on the air. But when it came time to put his name out there for feature work, he passed on every script his agent put in front of him until he found “the one,” knowing he’d only have this one shot if he failed. But in just one of Hollywood’s many catch-22s, he couldn’t have his one chance… because he never had his first chance. So he told his agent to set a general with New Line, only to start the meeting off by saying he was only going to talk about why he was the right man for Fist Fight. But even after convincing the exec with his pitch of a movie starring Ice Cube and Charlie Day, it was useless unless he changed the exec’s boss’ mind. So Keen spent $7,000 out of pocket to cut a ripomatic sizzle reel using footage from Cube and Day’s other projects to set the mood for his vision of the script. Finally, after getting the studio on board, they put him on a flight to Atlanta to pitch himself to Ice Cube, where Keen sealed the deal and essentially greenlit a movie through his own efforts. Man, some people will do just about anything to give 10% of their money away. [iTunes]
Fact Up - Parties
Marc: Under the guise of being an information/trivia-based show, Fact Up is more of a fast-paced, character-driven wacky comedy that has just celebrated its 50th episode. Hosts Ian T. Day, Chris Gau, and Shaun Lowthian blow it out with a party loaded with past guests like Dr. Petunia Squinch, Camillina, and Vanessa. Or it would be filled with guests but it seems none of them can make it, and they’ve only left messages on the answering machine with their regrets. Oh, and Computer makes the party as well, revealing its deadly lasers as a kind of threat until the boys convince it that the party is being thrown in its honor. There are a few discussion tidbits around the topic of parties, such as the origin of red plastic beer cups, but most of the time the trio keeps pairing off in “sidebars” – discussions that the odd man out can’t hear – until finally the party winds down with a last minute visit by Death and Ian being trapped in a sidebar by himself. Now that’s Fact Up. [iTunes]
Other Podcasts We’re Listening To:
Doughboys - Taco Bell 2 w/Jon Gabrus (LIVE)
We Should Have a Podcast - Inauguration Eve: Corey is Courtney, Courtney is Corey
Ronna & Beverly - Ana Ortiz
Unfortunate Associates - Usman Ally/Hook Handed Man
Roderick on the Line - Babies Are Boring
Don’t Get Me Started - Charles Rogers - Pranks
Live to Tape - Howard Kremer
I’m Still Right - 3 Men and a Baby TV
The ThunderTaco Soundcast - The Fellowship of the Taco
Talk Is Jericho - My Best Friend Kevin Owens Live in Toronto
Got a podcast recommendation? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pablo Goldstein is a writer from Los Angeles, CA.
Leigh Cesiro is a writer living in Brooklyn who only needs 10 minutes to solve any Law & Order: SVU episode.
Mark Kramer is a writer, comedian & human boy from Staten Island, New York, but please don’t hold that against him.
Kathryn Doyle is a science writer from New York.