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.
ActionBoyz - Invasion USA
Kathryn: It’s a tried and true formula. Define the mission: to exhaustively cover every action movie released between 1985 and 1992 and/or starring a professional wrestler-turned-US governor. Assemble a team: the murderers’ row of white male action fanboys Ryan Stanger (“The Plot Explainer”), Ben Rodgers (“Mr. Runtime”) and Jon Gabrus (“The Cute One”). Then watch as our guys sweep through these movies like communism through Indochina. You have to be a Patreon of the artsreon to hear episodes of the new High and Mighty spin-off ActionBoyz, but it’s worth it if you’re into deconstructing classic action flicks like Terminator 2: Judgment Day or Passenger 57. This week, the 1985 Cannon Films picture Invasion USA pits former CIA agent and current swamp-man Chuck Norris against an international guerrilla army with a chip on their shoulder/s. The boyz are so steeped in nostalgia for these movies that talking about them for hours might not work… except that maybe they’re nostalgic for a time that really was better. A time when wearing your dad’s jeans to school made you feel cool, when Chuck Norris was more than a punchline, and when Nazis were for sure the bad guys. [Patreon]
improv4humans - Dad Van, Tim Meadows, Horatio Sanz, Shaun Diston, Chad Carter
Marc: Recorded live at the recent Del Close Marathon in New York, the latest installment of improv4humans with Matt Besser features an appearance by St. Louis improv troupe Dad Van, the members of which won a contest on Besser’s long-running podcast resulting in them flying to the Big Apple to be on the show. Joining them is SNL vet Tim Meadows and they acquit themselves pretty well as Besser puts them through their paces in front of a lively crowd. (Especially since it’s at 1:00pm on a Saturday afternoon at the UCB Theatre in the East Village.) Armed with suggestions from both the live audience and also Twitter, the host really knows how to direct scenes in a way that plays very well for a listening audience, even though the improvisors are playing to warm bodies right in front of them. Not every scene lands but there are some really strong ones (including one about an amateur ghost just learning how to haunt) that make the hour and a half fly. After Dad Van exits the stage, Besser and Meadows are joined by Horatio Sanz, Shaun Diston, and Chad Carter, all of whom make for a solid finish to this episode. [Apple Podcasts]
Dumb People Town - Ping Pong Slapdown
Pablo: All fans of the Sklar Brothers’ MST3K-meets-sports cult classic Cheap Seats need to check out this special bonus episode of Dumb People Town. In what’s becoming a tradition, Randy and Jason were tapped to host the Moontower Comedy’s Festival’s Ping Pong Slapdown. And by host, I mean make fun of the comedians attempting to take home the trophy of a silly ping pong tournament at Austin’s biggest comedy festival. This year’s festivities feature a wide range of comedians from Josh Adam Meyers to DJ Douggpound battling it out over the most obvious selection of ‘80s pump up music and roasts from the Sklars and Comedy Central Roast writer Tony Hinchcliffe. It’s the best audio recording of Jews yapping over ping pong balls since the Beastie Boys’ “3 Minute Rule.” [Apple Podcasts]
Elizabeth: On each episode of No Joke, comedians Billy Scafuri and Adam Lustick explore a single topic and talk about their past, present, and future relationships with it. On the latest edition, they dive into the world of women’s wrestling and the new (and excellent, I might add) Netflix series GLOW. They are joined by two of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, Kimmy Gatewood and Rebekka Johnson, although viewers will know them as Stacey and Dawn, AKA the Beatdown Biddies. They talk about their childhood memories of the real GLOW and the process of auditioning as a duo and creating five different tag teams for their callbacks. They also describe the training process, and what it was like to bring their kids to the set and sign autographs on the red carpet. And for anyone who has seen the series, yes, they talk about THAT match. They wrap things up by debating whether an actual GLOW show could happen today or was it one beautiful Lycra-clad moment in time. [Apple Podcasts]
Other Podcasts We’re Listening To:
Lady to Lady - Smart Ass Cat ft. Dulcé Sloan
The Podcast for Laundry - Episode One: Tom Scharpling
The Los Angeles Breakfast Club - #6
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.
Kathryn Doyle is a science writer from New York.