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 one 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.
Record Store Day Podcast - Mike Myers, Judd Apatow
Musician, writer, and reviewer Paul Myers loves Record Store Day — an annual event since 2007 — so much that he started the RSD Podcast around it and the several “drops” that happen during the year, a.k.a. the days when hot new vinyl hits the stores in limited runs. This Saturday, October 24, is the day this year, so this week he chats up a couple of well-known figures in the comedy world that love music as much as they enjoy making people laugh. The first guest is stand-up comedian-turned-director Judd Apatow, who has curated a new collection, Warren Zevon’s Greatest Hits (According to Judd Apatow), featuring his favorite songs from the late Zevon. Apatow shares how much music has influenced his work, from TV’s Freaks and Geeks to every feature film he’s ever made. He met Zevon while working on The Larry Sanders Show, and it only made the musician’s influence over him greater. The second guest was an easy “get” for host Myers, as it turns out that Mike Myers is his younger brother — although this appearance marks the first time he’s had Mike on the podcast. This Saturday will see the release of the first vinyl ever of all three Austin Powers movie soundtracks, which the brothers talk about at length in what they admit is an incredibly awkward conversation at first. Mike discusses how the music from the films is what allowed him to channel Powers’s home era of the 1960s into the stories and scenes, and quite a bit of the Myers boys’ childhood in Toronto is discussed. —Marc Hershon
Everyday Decisions With Jo Firestone - Babe, Your Labia Is Out w/ Lou Gonzalez
Comedian Lou Gonzalez will be the first to tell you that he takes up a lot of space. Everyday Decisions asks its guests to take us through the past 24 hours of their lives, and Gonzalez manages to do everything but that. With host and pal Jo Firestone, he nosedives straight into a deep conversation about criticism from friends and using technology as avoidance — all before he even attempts to piece together his day. How Gonzalez’s loose sense of time flies in the face of this podcast is truly amusing. From FaceTime crying to Lovecraft Country, he presents a masterclass in getting off topic, and I am here for the ride. For someone who “hates psychology,” he gets rather philosophical in regards to anxiety, public embarrassment, and fear. Plus, he reveals the perfect breakfast sandwich recipe. To Gonzalez’s credit, Firestone ends up having “known less about anyone’s day” while also declaring this “probably the most powerful episode yet.” —Anna Marr
Sinisterhood - The Bunny Man
Sinisterhood sees Dallas, Texas-based comedians Christie Wallace and Heather McKinney chat about a different true crime, cult, or creepy topic each episode. “Why are bunnies so freaky?” ask the hosts this week before considering the source of the spooky rabbit, from the animal’s feet to the film Donnie Darko. It’s a humorous and slightly scary introduction to the legend of the Bunny Man, “a deranged, ax-wielding figure dressed in a white bunny suit that disembowels those that dare trespass near the eerie Colchester bridge” in Fairfax County, Virginia. Filled with research and interspersed with reminiscing between two longtime friends, Sinisterhood strikes the perfect balance as an amusing history-horror hybrid as the hosts joke about the terrifying tales they share. Following the legend from start to finish, Wallace and McKinney begin with the origin before attempting to uncover the truth of the Bunny Man. After tracing numerous news stories that rely heavily on bunny puns (“bunny chops”), the hosts weigh in on whether this story is fact or fiction. Either way, they make the frightening funny. —Becca James
Mega - My Empath Is Clogged With Louie Anderson
Mega, an improvised satire from the staff of a fictional megachurch, is, as hosts Halle (Holly Laurent) and Gary (Greg Hess) say, “a true treat and a treasure.” Following the comings and goings of Twin Hills Community Church in Broad Ripple, Indiana, Mega catches up with Bowie Landerson (Louie Anderson) in this episode. Landerson “believes that heaven is a place on Earth called Boca Raton,” and the St. Paul, Minnesota born guest takes the mic to discuss faith, Florida, and feet. As an elder and a self-proclaimed empath, his feet are actually the source of his divine gift. “I’m what you call an empath, to some degree, but where a lot of people it comes in through their senses, mine comes right up through my feet. That’s why I wear flip-flops even in church,” says Bowie. An astute and amusing take on organized religion, Mega makes excellent use of Laurent and Hess’s deft improv ability, which is sure to get listeners laughing. —Becca James
Other Podcasts We’re Listening To:
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