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 and 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 vest in aural comedy.
The Jeselnik & Rosenthal Vanity Project - Paw Patrolpaganda
Sure, other stuff happens in this episode — Anthony Jeselnik, Gregg Rosenthal, and Erica Tamposi review the dog-based copaganda (pupaganda?) in the Paw Patrol movie, and the Nirvana album child pornography lawsuit breaks live during the recording — but the real reason JRVP hit the news cycle this week is one listener question. In Erica’s corner, “Adam” writes in to inquire whether any of the Vanity Projectors would consider taking Mike Richards’s spot as host of Jeopardy, which makes one wonder: Why hasn’t Anthony Jeselnik been in the running from the jump? He’s great at pronouncing multisyllabic words, he would make contestants feel comfortable onstage, and he could also cut them down to size when necessary in the patented Trebek way. If there’s not a grassroots online campaign to make that happen, what is the internet even for? Sony Pictures Television, you’re leaving money on the table. —Kathryn Doyle
Geto Boys Reloaded - The Tommy Davidson Episode
This week’s episode of Geto Boys Reloaded is an early ‘90s time capsule, as Scarface and Willie D, the two surviving members of the pioneering gangsta rap and horrorcore group the Geto Boys, welcome In Living Color’s Tommy Davidson for a chat about his long career in comedy. Davidson goes deep on his pre-fame years, telling the story about how he was literally found in a trash can at 18 months old and adopted by a white woman who raised him everywhere from Wyoming to Washington, D.C. But after years of turmoil, Davidson finally found his calling in stand-up after getting a lucky break in a rundown strip club’s comedy night. While the episode doesn’t go deep into the history of the groundbreaking sketch-comedy show, you will discover which near-billionaire rapper-mogul started his career as Davidson’s assistant. —Pablo Goldstein
LadyGang - Crime Junkie’s Ashley Flowers
A triple threat of saucy, naughty women rules the mics for LadyGang, with hosts Keltie Knight, Jac Vanek, and Becca Tobin pushing their promise that “no topic is off-limits” with their parade of celebrity guests. This week, it’s Ashley Flowers, co-host of Crime Junkie, the consistent chart topper in the true-crime podcast genre. She talks about the show’s unexpected success and the growing pains of starting audiochuck, a media company based in Indiana that started kicking ass out of the gate. Before they dip into crime time, the hosts get her take on tall dudes versus short dudes and what it’s been like hosting a podcast with her best friend of 30 years, Brit Prowat: “It was tough until we figured out our boundaries, but we never had to go to therapy!” And then there’s the Taylor Swift thing. Crime Junkies dropped an April Fool’s episode this year (“Missing: Esther Hollis”), which they played straight but was actually based entirely on Swift’s “no body, no crime” single off her evermore album. The singer went nuts over it on Instagram and Flowers was over the moon, saying, “I gave everyone at the office the rest of that day off!” The LadyGang crew asks for her opinion on a few famous “classic” murders: Scott Peterson, JonBenét Ramsey, and the Zodiac killer. —Marc Hershon
Secure the Gag - Hina Sabatine
Even if you aren’t queer and addicted to TikTok like I am, Hina Sabatine (@k8sabz) has likely landed on your For You page. The content creator has carved out a unique space on the app with a blend of comedic-character videos that satirize lesbian culture, fashion, astrology, and language content, all of which has garnered them almost a million followers on TikTok alone. It’s no surprise, then, that Sabatine makes the perfect guest on Secure the Gag, a podcast where host Nathan Pearson interviews funny queers about the internet gags that made them famous. The podcast is a thoughtful look into the comedian’s mind, and Sabatine’s insights on TikTok show that virality may seem accidental to the untrained eye, but sustaining a following requires strategy, creativity, and genuine comedic chops. In a community that has, at least in the past, shown hostility toward comedians whose work primarily lives on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, digital creators are making it clear that internet comedy is a genre of its own and is here to stay. Sabatine is one of them. —Kriska Desir
Other Podcasts We’re Listening To:
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