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.
Beautiful/Anonymous - Homeschooled Bigfoot Hunter
Marc: So many shows — TV, radio, and podcasts — are always angling to get big-name, celebrity guests. There’s a good lesson to be learned by checking into Chris Gethard’s Beautiful/Anonymous podcast, and that’s that pretty much anyone and everyone has a story to tell. The most recent anonymous caller into Gethard’s 60-minute countdown phone line is an upbeat guy who’s just turning 30 and spends the first 25 minutes talking a lot about being raised as a homeschooled kid. Trust me, though – patience will be rewarded here as he then carries Gethard and us into his explorations into the supernatural. The caller talks about how he and his older brother became filmmakers, which segued into freelance ghosthunting. Gethard, a veteran of such tales from his time served on the staff of both Weird New Jersey and Weird U.S. magazines, gets really excited and goads his caller into sharing specifics — from the Black Angel (a graveyard statue in Iowa) and his first bona fide ghost sighting (a little girl running through an unlit graveyard who turned to look back at him with two black holes where her eyes should be). By the time he gets to telling about recreating the events behind Iowa’s haunted Villisca Axe Murder House, you’ll be ready to jump out of your skin. Even his Bigfoot encounter is worthy of the listen, but if you’re hoping to hear anything about UFOs, forget about it — the caller doesn’t believe in aliens. [Apple Podcasts]
James Bonding - Nobody Did It Better
Kathryn: Matts Gourley and Mira return for season two of their James Bond appreciation podcast just in time to wave au revoir to the once and future 007, Roger Moore, who passed away on May 23rd (on Gourley’s birthday, no less). With guest Phil Nobile Jr. of Birth.Movies.Death they hammer out personalized, fluid rankings of Moore Bonds. 70’s Bond chased villains down ski slopes and into outer space with a cheeky grin. The suits, the smirks, the sunburns, our Matts cover it all. Moore was not a great actor, which is what made him the perfect Bond – what he lacked in pursed lips and icy glares he made up for with ribald quips and snowmobile formalwear. Of course, due appreciation is paid to the best Roger Moore Bond of all time, A View to a Kill, and Ian Fleming stops by to chat about third nipples and meeting up with Moore in heaven. [Apple Podcasts]
Playable Characters Podcast - Link & Navi
Mark: HEY! If you’ve never listened to the Playable Characters Podcast before, the format is pretty easy to digest. In each episode our hosts, comedians Brian McGuinness, Aalap Patel, and Calvin Cato, “interview” an iconic video game character, or in this case, two characters. Inside this week’s treasure chest you’ll find NYC actor and comedian Patrick Reidy deftly playing both Link & Link’s trusted guide/fairy/therapist Navi. As any avid Zelda fan would know, Link doesn’t speak much. Or like, at all. Navi finally reveals her frustrations with Link and his eternal silence, but his responses are a series of hilariously well-timed grunts, moans and whimpers. We also learn about potential new Heroes of Time - perhaps one Ryan Gosling? Think of the show as like Hard Nation, only if Mark or Pete Hard sounded exactly like Ray Romano. Playing video games are a form of escapism, but today’s constant threat of nuclear winter calls for a little extra escape. Listening to a comedy podcast about video game characters might be just the perfect amount. LISTEN! [Apple Podcasts]
High and Mighty - Bullying LIVE at Just for Laughs
Pablo: With his burly appearance and loud ball-busting personality, you might think this episode devoted to bullying is about host Jon Gabrus’ time as a schoolyard menace. But when your last name is pronounced “gay-bris,” you’re stuck on the opposite side of the bully/bullied spectrum no matter how big you are. For this special live episode, Jon invited Dave King, Little Esther, Amir Blumenfeld, and Annie Lederman to tell their “best” stories about being bullied. Some are surprising: Blumenfeld was actually considered cool at his Jewish private school. Not so much for Gabrus, an Italian who stuck out at his all Jewish high school after previously attending all black and Latino schools. While Little Esther admits to being half mean girl/half bullied kid during her school days, it’s Lederman who steals the show with story after story about her dad. It’s one thing to be a middle school terror, but bullying your son into getting a nose job takes some real persistence. [Apple Podcasts]
Other Podcasts We’re Listening To:
Larry Wilmore: Black on the Air - Issa Rae on the ‘Hoe Phase’ and Finding Her Voice
Doughboys Double - An Inconvenient Double with Jack Allison
I’m Sorry Dad - Jason Nash
Cracked Movie Club - The Prestige
How To Be A Person - Kelly Galuska - How To Play Fantasy Football
My Dad Wrote A Porno - Cock-a-doodle-flew
Got a podcast recommendation? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pablo Goldstein is a writer from Los Angeles, CA.
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.