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.
Hannibal Buress: Handsome Rambler - The Lil Rel Episode
Marc: Hannibal Buress is a terrible interviewer. According to himself, that is, as expressed in the notes for episode #23 of Hannibal Buress: Handsome Rambler. He gives himself that heat when he realizes that he neglected to go deep with his guest, Lil Rel Howery, about the latter’s role in Get Out, the smash hit film by Jordan Peele. (Refresher: Howery plays Rod Williams, TSA agent and best friend of main character Chris Washington, played by Danial Kaluuya, in the movie. He may be even better known for his lead role in NBC’s The Carmichael Show.) But the hour and a half Howery spends with the host and buddies Tony Trimm and Brian Babylon is as much of a hang as it is an interview, so Buress is to be forgiven. The quartet are all from Chicago and there’s tons of reminiscing about playing some of the rough-and-tumble one-nighters and tough clubs in and around the city back in the day. They touch on dating and several other subjects that lead them into playing some live comedy clips from Howery’s Netflix special RELevant. At one point it hits the guys all at once that they are getting old because they spend so much time discussing the minutiae of Chicago driving directions. Of the four, Trimm is billed as Buress’ DJ, and he often pops in some music along the way in this episode, as well as letting the guys take turns hitting up some autotune action and dabbling around with an honest-to-God theremin, the favorite instrument of mid-20th century horror movies. [Apple Podcasts]
Natch Beaut - Botox w/ Lauren Lapkus
Pablo: As a heterosexual man whose beauty routine consists of taking an electric razor to my unibrow once a month, I’m not exactly the target audience for Jackie Johnson’s new podcast. But I became aware of Johnson and her love of makeup after several fervent appearances on Lil Esther’s Weird Adults in early 2017. Even though their conversations were largely about Kylie Jenner lip kits, Instagram baddies, and crushed up beetles, her passionate and hilarious bent on beauty products has made me a fan of this new spin-off podcast. On this week’s episode, Johnson talks with podcast and wedding guest Lauren Lapkus about Johnson’s decision to get Botox the day she got hitched and the role of 4K televisions in keeping Hollywood plastic surgeons rich. Natch Beaut explores cosmetic from all angles, from the complexities of its role in gender politics to the simplicity of which ones make you look the cutest. But ultimately it’s Johnson’s self-deprecating wit that will make you listen even if you don’t know the difference between a lip kit and a lip stick. And I have no fucking clue. [Apple Podcasts]
Missi and Zach Might Bang - Emily Osment
Noah: The description of Missi and Zach Might Bang takes a huge risk in calling itself “the world’s first hilarious podcast,” but in its eighth episode it already feels like a world unto itself. The show’s main gimmicks – fun, imperfect improvised songs – and daring editing style – just fading out and moving on to a different section of their conversation with no indication of how much time has passed – make for truly easy listening. The format betrays how much might have ended up on the cutting room floor, but makes it feel like a late-series highlight show. Zach Selwyn (known best for his role as a host of G4’s Attack of the Show!) and Missi Pyle (who’s been in everything)’s chemistry is glued together by the peerless charm of Emily Osment (Young & Hungry), and Missi and Zach’s third wheel, the mysterious intern “Homeboy,” is a welcome perspective among the Hollywood stars. Missi and Emily cold call their famous friends and the gang sing some songs – “Seventeen” is a legitimate earworm – to round out a promising young podcast. [Apple Podcasts]
Emotional Hangs - Joe and Kurt Get Soft About Parents
Elizabeth: Parents: Everyone has them and everyone has issues with them. Just in time for Mother’s Day, Joe DeRosa and Kurt Braunohler get soft and talk about their complex relationships with their parents on the latest episode of Emotional Hangs. Joe recounts a recent fight followed by a night on the town with his mom and dad, while Kurt talks about discovering that he had a brother he never knew about and trying to track him down. (They both tried 23andMe to see if they could find relatives.) They also try to figure out what the deal is with people in LA not talking to their parents and what kind of monster wouldn’t move home for a while to help their sick mother. There’s plenty of guilt and forgiveness, and even fart jokes take an emotional turn. [Apple Podcasts]
Hound Tall - Comedy
Leigh: If you’re reading this, I think it’s safe to assume you really, really like comedy. So then it’s even safer to assume you would love the latest episode of Hound Tall with Moshe Kasher. Kasher, along with guests Jeff Ross, Natasha Leggero, and Al Madrigal, are joined by author of the book The Comedians, Kliph Nesteroff, to discuss the history of comedy. Starting with the roots of standup in vaudeville and burlesque up until the current day podcast boom, they cover all the rises and falls, booms and collapses, and every other cycle comedy has been through. From where the term “going blue” came from and the first joke thieves to the introduction of politics into standup and the links between comedy and the mob, there’s so much interesting stuff packed into this conversation that this recap is barely doing it justice. We’re living through another boom right now, so if you want to know how much time we have left before this bubble bursts, don’t miss this episode. [Apple Podcasts]
Your Favorite Sandwich - Various Episodes
Marc: If you prefer your podcasts to come in the form of small sound bites – literally – listen no further than Your Favorite Sandwich. Hosted by copywriter and filmmaker Boaz Frankel and artist Blakely Dadson, every episode features exactly what the title implies – people talking about their favorite sandwich. And by people I mean mostly celebrities with some comedians sprinkled in. Lauren Lapkus, for instance, enjoys a very dry turkey on wheat bread or a baguette, with lettuce, tomato and that’s it. No mayo. No nuthin’. Reggie Watts is torn between two faves (Spolier alert: One is hamburger.). Full Frontal with Samantha Bee correspondent Ashley Nicole Black favors a double chili cheeseburger from Tommy’s in Los Angeles. If you’re wondering how a pair of co-hosts can fill an entire podcast interviewing a persona about a sandwich, consider that no episode runs over more than about a minute and a half, then you’ll have your answer. (Garfiled cartoonist Jim Davis is the most recent guest and talks about a sandwich that sounds disgusting, but now I’m really wondering if I should try it…) [Apple Podcasts]height=”150” />
Other Podcasts We’re Listening To:
Ronna & Beverly - Live from Largo with Paul F. Tompkins and America Ferrera
You Made It Weird - Rachel Bloom
WTF with Marc Maron - John Michael Higgins / Maria Bamford
How to Be a Person - Andrew Ti - How to Throw a Punch
Good One - Moshe Kasher’s Personal Hell
Human Echoes Podcast - The Windmill Movie Review
Got a podcast recommendation? Drop us a line at email@example.com.
Pablo Goldstein is a writer from Los Angeles, CA.
Elizabeth Stamp is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York.
Leigh Cesiro is a writer living in Brooklyn who only needs 10 minutes to solve any Law & Order: SVU episode.