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.
Elizabeth: Karen and Georgia of My Favorite Murder join forces with Anna and Sim of Unqualified for a crossover episode that goes from serial killers to relationship advice. In the first of the two episodes, Karen covers the fascinating and terrifying case of Dennis Rader, better known as the BTK Killer, who murdered ten people in Kansas between 1974 and 1991. They get into his crimes and near misses, as well as the bizarre circumstances surrounding his capture and quest for credit. Karen and Georgia go through the quiz of relationship deal-breakers before answering a call from a listener who is having trouble with her boyfriend’s obnoxious coworker. Part 2 will be released next week and will feature another call, plus Georgia and Anna’s favorite murders. And given the description of the macabre items in Anna’s house, it’s sure to be a good one. [Apple Podcasts]
Getting Doug with High - Brett Gelman and Action Bronson
Mark: We’re not anywhere near April but you can still celebrate a belated 4/20 with this Action Bronson-packed episode of Getting Doug with High. Brett Gelman also sits in the studio, and from the second Bronson tells the two to call him “Dolores” you know this is going to be a good one. Apologies to any squares out there, but the three get extremely high due to marijuana use – gasp! They talk about going to Grateful Dead concerts, buying doggie diapers, and some other stuff I guess? The amount of things you remember from a Getting Doug with High episode is inversely proportional to how entertaining the episode is. In a true sign of how quickly Gelman and Bronson bond during the show, late in the episode, Bronson offers to try crack for the first time together – right then and there. That’s true friendship. I’m excited to see where this Gelman/Bronson collabo goes in the future. As always, the video feed is recommended in order to witness all of Gelman’s involuntary giggle fits. And stay tuned to the very end for the greatest Nia Long story you’ll ever hear. [Apple Podcasts]
Treks and the City - Las Vegas Star Trek Convention 2017
Marc: Two nerd girls talking Star Trek: The Next Generation? With all the geek guys in Podcastland, I can’t believe this show isn’t on top of the charts yet. But it IS only 7 episodes in, so give it time. Comedians and actresses Alice Wetterlund (Silicon Valley) and Veronica Osorio (Hail, Caesar!) turn out to be freaks for the follow-up to original Star Trek and have begun running down the 7-season series from the beginning, episode by episode. They take a break in the latest installment to make a pilgrimage to Las Vegas and this year’s Star Trek con. In costume, no less. And while embracing the cosplay, they have some impromptu interviews with some interesting fans of the show AND some of the series’ regulars as well. The female actors they interact with — Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi), Gates McFadden (Dr. Beverly Crusher), and Denise Crosby (Tasha Yar) — are delighted to talk to a couple of fangirls and one might expect that they’ll show up again as guests on the show for reals in the future. That’s not to say the menfolk won’t as well. They spend a few minutes with LeVar Burton (Geordi LaForge) and he seems impressed with them as well. The hosts talk about the uncomfortable nature of the skin-tight costumes they’ve chosen and kibitz over recordings of some of the panel discussions they captured during the con. In the end, these ladies come across as legit nerds, which is a refreshing change from the heavily skewed fanboy nation. [Apple Podcasts]
Hollywood Handbook - Nick Wiger, Our Segment Advisor
Noah: Whether Hollywood Handbook is actually ending soon is the great debate of 2017, and the rumors were fueled again on Tuesday night’s Best Show when Tom Scharpling made an offhand mention to the “six weeks” the show had left. Even as they’ve stoked those flames lately, Sean Clements and Hayes Davenport have nevertheless ramped up their work into a legendary summer for Handbookheads everywhere. Occasional guest/longtime rival Nick Wiger (of your first favorite podcast, Doughboys) joins Hayes and Sean this week to workshop new segment ideas for the show, including two separate bits called “Snack or Whack” and “Whack or Snack” – at least one of which is where the boys determine whether someone looks like a tasty snack or they want to whack off to them. Nick reveals the original title of Doughboys was to be Side of Guys and Sean turns that into a gripping segment, based on a fly he saw earlier, about the flight of flies. Engineer Sam spends the whole episode googling Warped Tour and can’t even help Sean figure out what pop punk band he was thinking of. Hayes and Sean make Nick cry – like, seriously, he was actually crying. Though we at This Week in Comedy Podcasts are wont to plagiarize the words the boys assumed Podmass would eventually write about this episode, there’s no better way to put it: It’s really friggin’ smart and intricately twisted. [Apple Podcasts]
Illusionoid - The Tubes of Mercury
Marc: Kicking off the ninth season of Illusionoid, a sci-fi fueled and completely improvised podcast (complete with some production frills along the way), Toronto’s Paul Bates, Lee Smart, and Nug Nahrgang are back with just as much enthusiasm and creative madness they had when the show first got started. The show, an anthology series with a common backstory (the old “half-mad, half-human computer that destroys mankind” gag), features an inventive chapter with different characters in different times and places with every episode. In “The Tubes of Mercury,” two hapless technicians in charge of a small fleet of tiny but powerful robots are tasked with digging the tubes for a massive transit system across the planet Mercury. The job has to be done in time for their boss’ upcoming wedding and, in amping up the robots’ power supply beyond their capacities, the entire planet is networked with tubes and explosive warheads overnight. Needless to say, things get a little sticky at that point. Do they survive? I’m not telling. [Apple Podcasts]
Other Podcasts We’re Listening To:
Mean Boys - Gareth Reynolds
How To Be A Person - How To Write A Packet
Jordan, Jesse, Go! - Moby Dick Head: Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher
Hold On with Eugene Mirman - Moshe Kasher
The Best Show - Kevin Corrigan In Studio! Andrew Dice Clay! Rupert Threadwell!
The Buttpod - Dave Shumka
Mohr Stories - Tony Hale
Got a podcast recommendation? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elizabeth Stamp is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York.
Mark Kramer is a writer, comedian & human boy from Staten Island, New York, but please don’t hold that against him.