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.
Why Won’t You Date Me - Featuring the Man Who’s Floor I Peed On w/ EJ Wolborsky
Mark: So far, Nicole Byer’s intrepid podcast Why Won’t You Date Me has explored the depths of her sex life where no podcast (save Guys We F*****d) has gone before. Not WTF, not The Hilarious World of Depression, not even You Made it Weird consistently uncover the vulnerable bedroom/dating secrets and embarrassments Byer boldly does in each episode. This episode features the much-hyped man whose floor Byer peed on, a story that has been teased since the day the podcast was first announced. It’s an entirely different experience listening to the first non-comedian normie join the show. Even over Skype, EJ is charming, sharp, wealthy, and is probably the first podcast guest to completely have all their shit together. No wonder why Byer remembered this story so vividly; EJ might have been the one that got away. If you’re looking for a story that’ll make you repeatedly whisper “noooooo!” to yourself, this is the episode for you. [Apple Podcasts]
Marc: Some delineation in the cycles of comedy are blurred, while others are distinct. A number of late, great comedians made generations of audiences laugh and so are long remembered by many, while others burned brightly but have been all too soon forgotten. The comedians and hosts of Sup Doc – Paco Romane and George Chen – are excited to have Adrian Buitenhuis, who directed the Paramount Television documentary I Am Sam Kinison, on their most recent episode. While the hosts were aware of Kinison from their days of live performance, the director was not that aware of this powerhouse performer until he began delving into his life and materials. Kinison’s brother Bill, his longtime manager, gave Buitenhuis unrestricted access to everything that was available. In a similar fashion, all the many comedians who had known Kinison felt free to speak their minds openly about him. As the director puts it, “They all felt that Sam was the kind of guy who would have wanted it all out there, with no punches pulled.” The language in this film is so raw there are two versions, bleeped and unbleeped. (Paramount TV only airs the uncensored version after midnight due to the barrage of F-bombs and other colorful language.) If you knew of Kinison, this interview will make you want to watch Buitenhuis’s film to see what you didn’t know. If you have no idea who he was, you definitely will want to find out what all the fuss is about. [Apple Podcasts]
Dead Pilots Society - Red State Blue State
Kathryn: This week our dead pilot comes from two Hollywood big-hitters, Adam McKay (The Big Short, Anchorman) and Chris Henchy (The Other Guys, Daddy’s Home), and it’s a good reminder that in general the more success you achieve, the more times you have faced rejection. It’s just a number game. Red State Blue State was a Norman Lear-style multi-cam network pilot about America’s deepening social and political divide, which could have been written and pitched yesterday. McKay and Henchy actually wrote it three years ago at the end of the Obama era, and some jokes at the table land more dark than funny, now that we’re living in an alternate reality where you basically need a tourist visa to travel from a Boston brownstone to a Georgia McMansion. The voice cast includes David Koechner, who helped pitch the show when they were shopping it around, plus Busy Philipps, Baron Vaughn, Michaela Watkins, and Andrew Reich, and Ben Blacker first chats about the project with Adam McKay, who explains how Red State Blue State was crafted specifically to be attractive to networks but still got a pretty quick pass. It’s an illuminating look into pitching for different platforms from guys with as much experience in the industry as anyone (McKay rattles off his current projects at the end of his interview, including the hour-long HBO pilot Succession, Comedy Central’s Drunk History, Fox’s LA to Vegas, Christian Bale’s Dick Cheney biopic, and probably a lot more that he can’t even remember). [Apple Podcasts]
The Adam Carolla Show - Rob Riggle
Marc: The dreadnought that is The Adam Carolla Show continues to roll on through Podcastville in hilarious, unstoppable fashion. Consider that Carolla, with a groundswell of listener support behind him, almost single-handedly smashed a patent troll a few years back that was threatening to take down the industry. And he hasn’t missed a step, with a litany of guests that would make a TV talk show proud, as well as a platoon of regulars that are almost as well known as the folks who drop into the show. This past week saw comedian and actor Rob Riggle come by the ACE studios to talk about his latest serious role in the big screen movie 12 Strong. Riggle, kind of coincidentally, plays his former commanding officer Colonel Max Bowers whom he served under in Afghanistan. He talks about that casting coup as well as how he got himself stationed, as a Marine, in Manhattan so he could start pursuing his dream of doing comedy. Sports podcast fans probably know Riggle from co-hosting Riggle’s Picks, but make no mistakes – he may like sports, but he makes it clear that comedy is where he prefers to be. And so do fans like Carolla himself, who plays some audio from ABC’s Modern Family, where Riggle is always hilarious as Phil Dunphy’s nemesis, Gil Thorpe. “I’m generally a pretty nice guy in real life,” says Riggle, “which may be why I play such great douchebags.” [Apple Podcasts]
Other Podcasts We’re Listening To:
Whiting Wongs - Welcome to the F***ing Party with Dante Basco
Nerd Poker - Episode 1: The Moon
Larry Wilmore: Black on the Air - ‘Moneyball’ author Michael Lewis on How to Get Invited to Steve Bannon’s House and More
Misfortune - Rita Crundwell Has Horse Money
Got a podcast recommendation? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.