this month in comedy podcasts

This Month in Comedy Podcasts: Patton Oswalt Swears That Guy Is Hopped Up on Black Betties

Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Netflix

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 month, our crack team of podcast enthusiasts and specialists and especially enthusiastic people will pick its favorites. We hope to have your ears permanently plugged with the best in aural comedy. You can also keep up with all our comedy-podcast recommendations in Vulture’s newsletter 1.5x Speedand be sure to check out Vulture’s new podcast Into It, hosted by Sam Sanders.

Dear Owen Wilson With Blair Socci — Jason Concepcion Loves Trey Anastasio of Phish

Photo: iHeartPodcasts

Since its launch in May, iHeart’s Dear Owen Wilson has staked its claim among the goofiest talk shows on the internet. Hosted by Blair Socci and adapted from her long-running live show (which gets its title from the real love letter Socci sent Wilson in 2007), each episode features a guest riffing on their most personal celebrity obsessions. But in episode 19, public intellectual Jason Concepcion’s affectionate ode to Phish front man Trey Anastasio takes the pod somewhere very different. What begins as a barrage of faux-serious questions about Anastasio provided by Socci’s “P.I. and best friend” Lucien Wickles slowly develops into a legitimately tender conversation about sincerity in Hollywood, the magnificence of hummingbirds (“like God is giving me a little kiss hello,” says Socci), and the power Phish holds for people dealing actively with grief and trauma. As heavy as that sounds, Socci and Concepcion’s easy comic chemistry keeps the interview buoyant and bopping despite Wickles’s many non sequiturs. Socci is constantly joking about being a shrewd interviewer, but the truth is she has truly become one. — Sean Malin

Listen: Spotify | Apple | iHeart | Audible

Seek Treatment, “Live at the Bell House”

Photo: Catherine Cohen and Pat Regan

When a New York City alt-comedy podcast enters its Bell House era, that’s usually a sign it’s in its groove. Cabaret comedian Catherine Cohen (The Twist …? She’s Gorgeous) and writer Pat Regan (HBO’s Hacks) are increasingly taking their sassy advice show to the stage — including appearances in London and Dublin ahead of Cohen’s latest Edinburgh Fringe Festival offering. They keep crowds like these wrapped around their fingers for everything from tossed-off quips to a dissection of coming culture to the difference between sexy yoga and trauma yoga. — Noah Jacobs

Listen: Spotify | Apple | Website

Apocalypse Soon With Eddie Pepitone, “A Podcast for the People”

Photo: All Things Comedy

As a stand-up, Eddie Pepitone (a.k.a. “the Bitter Buddha”) is a wide-ranging, unpredictable voice of the proletariat’s discontents: His is a high-wire act of absurdism mixed with biting social commentary that’s thrilling, hilarious, and only sobering if you can stop laughing long enough to think for a second. As the podcaster behind Apocalypse Soon, Pepitone yells a lot less, but his wry, mellow riffing with fellow comedian and producer Kevin Tienken is no less frank about the harrowing state of the world. But maybe catharsis isn’t the point anymore. The especially tense will enjoy Pepitone’s guided meditations that do not, under any circumstances, invite you to use your inhalations to reflect on living in a carceral death cult run by oligarchs. — Kriska Desir

Listen: Spotify | Apple | Website

My Neighbors Are Dead, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre With Patton Oswalt”

Photo: Adam Peacock and Nate DuFort

Sometimes you just need to turn off the lights, curl up with a good scary-adjacent podcast, and … laugh your ass off. Adam Peacock’s unique spin on the horror genre — interviewing peripheral characters from the classics of the form — has been delivering the goods for years now, and it’s a twist that never seems to grow old. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre episode that dropped this month features Patton Oswalt delivering deepest southern-fried truck dispatcher Frank Ludd, trying to piece together the second-hand story he got from Ed, one of his truck drivers: “He says he stopped to pick up a hippie girl covered in blood. And that a fat man wearin’ a lady face and with a chainsaw was running after her.” The entire time he’s relating this story to Peacock, he’s convinced the truck driver was hopped up out of his mind on “Black Betty” amphetamines. The installment is only 20 minutes long, but every minute’s a laugh. — Marc Hershon

Listen: Spotify | Apple | Website

Leftover Millennials, “Queerness”

Photo: Leftover Millennials

Leftover Millennials serves as proof that, sometimes, getting high and deciding to start a podcast with a close friend isn’t the worst idea. YouTuber Khadija Mbowe and their funny friend Denny Ancheta explore the millennial Zeitgeist (and the human condition) in meandering fashion — a treat for fans of stoner-philosopher comedy. Denny kicks things off this week with a bell hooks quote about queerness as “the self which is constantly at odds with everything else,” and Mbowe, who self-identifies as a “cool, fun, young millennial aunty,” delights listeners with renditions of songs from Beyoncé’s Renaissance, thoughts on the importance of foreplay, and soothing audio of their cat’s “healing-frequency purrs.” The duo then lead a tender and funny discussion of emotional safety and intimacy in queer relationships and friendships. Finally, in the closing “unsolicited advice” portion of the episode, in which Denny and Khadija read listener letters, they debate the merits of starting an email with “hey” versus “hii” with two i’s. Spoiler alert: Both options are questionable. — Akanksha Aurora

Listen: Spotify | Apple | Website

This Month in Comedy Podcasts: Hopped Up on Black Betties