Friday, October 1st, 2010

A Fairly Comprehensive Guide to Comedy Podcasts

UPDATE: Come check out the newer, much-expanded version of this guide: A Seriously Comprehensive Guide to Comedy Podcasts. It's this guide, plus tens more podcasts with in-depth reviews!

With the recent explosion in podcasts, it seems we are in the midst of a new comedic golden age. The distance between performers and fans has never been smaller, and more and more comics are taking advantage by increasing their output, like an army of Lil Waynes armed to the teeth with mixtapes. The market is now saturated with comedy podcasts containing trace elements of late night talk show, sketch fest, improv exercise, intimate stand-up session, and backroom history lesson — all coming together in a perfect storm of chuckles. And like so many other forms of entertainment lately, these transmissions are available by download at your leisure.

An embarrassment of comedic riches is out there right now, waiting to be devoured for free. Unfortunately, there’s an embarrassment of garbage out there too, waiting like a field mine to bore you senseless. This guide will sort through which is which and help you find just the right podcast to soundtrack all your oblivious street-crossings in the future.

Before getting to the guide, I've got to mention perhaps the most famous podcast: The Ricky Gervais Show. Debuting in 2005, TRGS went on to grace the pages of the Guinness Book in 2007, setting the world record for “Most Downloaded Podcast.” This beloved program introduced millions around the world to the hilarious, potentially autistic ramblings of Gervais’ spirit animal, Karl Pilkington. In fact, this is the one podcast that pretty much everyone reading this will have already heard of. Let’s not waste time going over it in detail. Besides, Gervais’ podcast costs money to download, and ‘costs money’ is the opposite of ‘free’, which is famously the best price of all. Now that that's taken care of, on to the list.

Host: Chris Hardwick, with Matt Mira and Jonah Ray
Podcastin’ since: February 2010
How often: Weekly
Format: Funny people hanging out, tagging each others jokes, and talking with guests
Recurring features: Lengthy, loose, interviews
Typical guests: Eugene Mirman, Mythbusters, Alison Brie
Has Jon Hamm been a guest? Yes
What’s different about this one: Because it’s called Nerdist, conversations will frequently delve into Second Life, 4G networks, Winger, and Dr. Who
Live shows: Sometimes. You can catch them at Largo in LA or Comix in NY
For Fans of: Esoteric things, the lives of comedians, old-timey voices, snappy banter
The Verdict: Highly recommended. Even though Chris Hardwick is an in-demand multi-hyphenate whose career has been steadily rising, he considers himself a nerd for good reason. It’s touching, for instance, to see his genuine affection for and hero-worship of Weird Al Yankovic. Although the podcast originally aimed to talk about only nerdy things, since most of the guests were comedians the focus shifted pretty radically toward that end. Most of the interviews focus on comedy history, what it’s like being a comic, what it takes to make it, and the answer to the question, “what is your process?” Hardwick’s affability and energy keep things moving in between breakdowns of SNL skits that never made it to air, and discussions about how, once upon a time, appearing on The Tonight Show could change your life overnight (if your name was Drew Carey.) The wide range of interesting guests bodes well for Nerdist’s longevity.

Host: Marc Maron
Podcastin’ since: September 2009
How often: Twice weekly
Format: One-on-one interview, with very few holds barred. Excuse me, I meant none — no holds barred.
Recurring features: Comedians talking about therapy
Typical Guests: Bob Odenkirk, Robin Williams, Maria Bamford
Has Jon Hamm been a guest? No
What’s different about this one: Marc’s style is confrontational, intense, and almost intrusively personal.
Live shows: Sometimes. You can catch them at Comix in NY
For Fans of: The book, “Here’s the Kicker”; the Metallica film Some Kind of Monster
Verdict: Highly Recommended. WTF has become the go-to forum for setting the record straight and clearing the air in the comedy community. Marc Maron famously confronted Carlos Mencia about his alleged joke-stealing head-on, and ended up doing a follow-up podcast because he didn’t believe what Mencia said the first time and he wanted to investigate further. Marc Maron, Comedic Detective, etc. These interviews together comprise a Director’s Commentary track about comedy itself, and the individual stories of everyone who works in the field. Marc and his guests often end up exploring what it is that drives them to do what they do. The two-part Judd Apatow episode, especially, served as a master class in comedy, ambition, and what makes comedians tick.

Marc Maron has a reputation for filling a room with tension when doing a set, and that strategically tactless approach is put to ballsy use in these recordings. You can pretty much hear the air being sucked out of the room when Marc asks Dane Cook about why Dane seems like such an asshole all the time. With so much drama in the LBC, WTF occasionally has a soap opera feel to it. The revelations come at you fast as lightning: Patrice O’Neal sort of hates women and white people, Bob Odenkirk comes off as cranky and maybe a dick, Dane Cook seems like a control freak, but a basically decent guy. People tend to say things to Marc Maron for some reason that they might not say elsewhere. And despite everything stated in this description so far, WTF is actually really funny, too. If you only listen to one comedy podcast, this should probably be the one.

Pod F. Tompkast
Host: Paul F. Tompkins
Podcastin’ since: July 2010
How often: Monthly
Format: Well-structured blend of extended riff suites, sketches, and “award-worthy” character scenes
Recurring features: A series of phone calls mockumenting a secret project between Andrew Lloyd Weber, Ice-T, and John C. Reilly—all of whom are voiced by Tompkins; a real phone call to comedian Jen Kirkman
Typical guests: Jen Kirkman
Has Jon Hamm been a guest? No
What’s different about this one: A lack of co-hosts and guests; an absurdist tone
Live shows: No
For Fans of: Showing up at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre randomly
The Verdict: Highly recommended. Although we’re only two episodes in, these dispatches are shaping up to be the purest distillation of Tompkins’ loquacious brand of humor yet. He really uses the freedom of not being in front of a live audience to tap into his gifts beyond stand-up.

Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show
Host: Kevin Pollak, frequently joined by Samm Levine
Podcastin’ since: March 2009
How often: Started off twice-weekly, but the podcast is now weekly
Format: Very conversational. Like a talk show. Duh.
Recurring features: The Larry King Game, wherein fans of the show do impressions of octogenarian sea creature, Larry King. In character, players of the game give away highly sensitive personal information that Larry King would probably not disclose, and end by throwing over to the phones in another city. Basically the best game ever.
Typical Guests: Jim Gaffigan, Martin Mull, Neil Patrick Harris
Has Jon Hamm been a guest? Yes
What’s different about this one: Considering the movies Pollak has been in, the roster of guests is deeper than most other podcasts (his director in The Usual Suspects, Bryan Singer, was scheduled to appear at one point.)
Live shows: Not yet.
For Fans of: The Dick Cavett Show; deep, probing interviews; old showbiz tales
The Verdict: Recommended. Pollak may be most famous (to me) for his role as Phillip Green in Casino, but he is also a respected old-school standup. He has a relaxed, patient interview style, and a canny selection of guests. His long-form interviews tend to creep toward the two-hour mark, but if you’re into that sort of thing, this is your jam.

Doug Loves Movies
Host: Doug Benson
Podcastin’ since: February 2008
How often: Weekly
Format: Half talk-show, half game-show, all about movies.
Recurring features: The Leonard Maltin Game: an elaborate, difficult version of Name That Movie.
Typical Guests: Adam Scott, Morgan Murphy, Matt Besser
Has Jon Hamm been a guest? Yes
What’s different about this one: The game show aspect and the focus on movies
Live shows: Yes — usually at the Upright Citizens Brigade in LA
For Fans of: Movies (duh), funny people talking about movies
The Verdict: Recommended. In addition to just being fun to listen to, Doug Loves Movies is also a great example of how podcasts differ from, say, late night talk shows with regard to plugs. The guests’ upcoming projects are not treated with that fake-casual “You just happen to have a movie coming out I heard through the grapevine” approach native to TV talk shows. The plugs are obligatory, and here they are acknowledged as such, in a mutual back-scratching way that doesn’t take anything from the friends-hanging-out vibe. Rather, at the end of each episode, Doug will simply ask, “Got anything you need to plug?”—and be done with it

The Adam Carolla Show
Host: Adam Carolla a/k/a Ace Man (cool nickname alert!) and co-host, Teresa Strasser
Podcastin’ since: February 2009
How often: Several times throughout the week
Format: News, listener call-ins, guest interviews
Recurring features: Games such as “What Can’t Adam Complain About,” which are more or less self-explanatory
Typical Guests: Jay Mohr, Olivia Munn, Ralphie May
Has Jon Hamm been a guest? No
What’s different about this one: Opinionated, right-wing slant; lots of news; very high episode frequency for a podcast
Live shows: Sometimes, when Adam is on tour.
For Fans of: Terrestrial radio, hostility, political incorrectness of the Look-Ma-No-Hands variety
The Verdict: Not recommended. If you’re a fan of Carolla’s old radio show, you’re in luck because this couldn’t be any more like a radio show. Random noises are frequently beamed in from the producer’s booth—a Will Ferrell Anchorman line, apropos of nothing; a 1990s techno beat meant to evoke ‘gay’—and presumably in an effort to kill time, jokes are beaten into the ground mercilessly. The success of this #1-rated podcast just goes to show you how far a loyal following will get you.

Comedy Death Ray
Host: Scott Aukerman
Podcastin’ since: May 2009
How often: Weekly
Format: Chatting with a “co-host” and a “special guest” who basically serve the same role, interspersed with improv, songs, and sketches.
Recurring features: At least one visit each week from a fictional character; Doug Benson phones in from Doug Loves Movies
Typical Guests: Nick Kroll, Tom Lennon, Garfunkel & Oates, Sarah Silverman
Has Jon Hamm been a guest? Yes
What’s different about this one: The format of this podcast is completely bonkers—there’s blessedly zero scheduling consistency. The songs played are all funny, either intentionally (The Lonely Island) or otherwise (Joe Pesci put out an album quite recently.) There’s considerably more improv at work here than in any other podcast.
Live shows: Sometimes, at Upright Citizens Brigade in LA
For Fans of: Mr. Show, silly things, funny voices of all stripes
The Verdict: Highly recommended. This podcast evolved out of a famed weekly comedy show in LA that host Scott Aukerman founded with fellow Mr. Show alumnus, BJ Porter. Each week’s co-host and special guest will usually be a friend and peer of Aukerman’s in the comedy world, but if the guest happens to be a personal hero like Weird Al Yankovic (that guy gets mad love from everyone), a full-on interview will commence, complete with a question about ‘process.’ Some guests appear anonymously as characters like the observational comedian who only talks about disgusting things nobody can relate to, or the uber-macho novelist who writes “poetry for men”. You never know what you’re going to get from episode to episode, which raises the likelihood that any given podcast will contain something amazing.

FitzDog Radio
Host: Greg Fitzsimmons, Mike Gibbons
Podcastin’ since: August 2009
How often: Weekly
Format: Interviews and news, with the occasional game
Recurring features: Half-a-Man (listeners and guests list off celebrities who seem similar and who are similar-looking), Liar’s Poker (guest tells two stories; host guesses which is false)
Typical Guests: Tom Arnold, Zach Galifianakis, Lisa Lampinelli
Has Jon Hamm been a guest? Yes
What’s different about this one: More frank sex talk than most comedy podcasts
Live shows: No
For Fans of: Howard Stern, sex
The Verdict: Recommended. Greg Fitzsimmons is a funny, genuine-seeming guy, and a true veteran of the comedy circuit. The interviews he conducts with his fellow survivors of early 1990s HBO specials are lively and interesting. The world might not have needed to hear so much about Susie Essman’s boobs in her episode, but I guess that comes with the turf when you’re also on Howard Stern’s radio station, and at least she got an episode.

Host: Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier
Podcastin’ since: February 2007
How often: Weekly
Format: Loose, rambling, all too personal. The two men shoot the shit in front of a live audience
Recurring features: Do self-deprecating fat jokes count as a feature?
Typical Guests: Cast and crew of Kevin Smith films
Has Jon Hamm been a guest? No
What’s different about this one: The focus is usually localized around Smith’s personal universe.
Live shows: Yes, always. Smith owns a theatre in LA where he records these in front of an audience that laughs appreciatively at every single remark, it seems.
For fans of: The filmography of Kevin Smith, sex (but not necessarily having it), dick jokes
The Verdict: Not recommended. SModcast is a house built on even more crude sex talk than Fitzsimmons’—only this talk often includes hypothetical gay sex with Kevin Smith. The behind-the-scenes tales of how various Smith productions came together should hold plenty of appeal for die-hard fans, but nearly everyone else might find them tedious. The director also makes so many self-deprecating jokes about his own weight that it crosses a line beyond uncomfortable and becomes apparent that we’re listening to a person who sort of hates himself (but who clearly does not hate not wearing jean shorts all the time.)

Kevin Smith has expanded the SModcast universe beyond just one show. His audio network now includes five programs, almost all of which are weekly and feature Kevin Smith. There’s Jay and Silent Bob Get Old, Hollywood Babble-On, and there’s also Tell ‘Em, Steve-Dave!, which is hosted by two of Smith’s boyhood friends, and which I have not listened to because, when it comes down to it, each of us is allotted only precious few hours to dwell upon this island Earth. Finally, one of the sponsors of SModcast is noted men’s masturbation aid, the Fleshlight. Kevin Smith is actually paid to give out samples of these things to audience members during live tapings of the podcast. Gross. So gross. And also creepy and just yuck.

Sklarbro Country
Host: Jason & Randy Sklar
Podcastin’ since: August 2010
How often: Weekly
Format: Sports and pop culture news, a long interview, and some well-chosen indie rock in between.
Recurring features: Douchebag of the Week; a parody of sportscasters, “Racist Vin Scully”
Typical Guests: Glenn Howerton, Nick Thune, Janeane Garofalo
Has Jon Hamm been a guest? Yes
What’s different about this one: The focus is on sports. Also, of course, the hosts are identical twins with cartoon animal voices and impeccable comic timing
Live shows: Not yet.
For Fans of: ESPN’s Cheap Seats, overlapping sentences
The Verdict: Recommended. The Sklars definitely have a unique style, and they know just how much sports talk they can get away with before zooming right over the average comedy nerd’s head. Also, just try to think about the words ‘Sklarbro Country’ and not crack a smile. It is very difficult!

Update: Think I missed some? Me too! I'll be doing a profile of a new podcast every Monday so as to be as complete as possible. Here's the first new one, on Jordan, Jesse, GO!.

Joe Berkowitz edits books and writes stuff. He also has a Tumblr.

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  • http://www.last.fm/user/TheJewishDream Rafi

    Not a single mention of Jimmy Pardo's stunningly hilarious "Never Not Funny"? Shame! Shaaaaaaame!

    • http://www.anfscu.tumblr.com Joe Berkowitz

      Never Not Funny is not free–that's why I left it out. But yeah, Jimmy Pardo is hilarious and I do recommend his show.

      • http://www.last.fm/user/TheJewishDream Rafi

        I'm pretty happy with their "first 20 minutes free" set-up. The perfect length of time for them to make fun of the intern, and introduce their guest.

  • riley

    and The Best Show is also available as a podcast which rivals these in the humor category.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Asterios-Kokkinos/503443105 Asterios Kokkinos

    No Best Show? This list is worthless!

    (No seriously great list)

    • whitfcd

      No Two Jacks in the Hole?
      You don't know anything, do you?

  • PdotRick

    May I also suggest "Big O and Dukes" as well as "The Mike O'Meara Show" podcasts. These were two very funny D.C. area talk radio shows that have moved to podcast after their station flipped to sports talk.

  • ads2k2

    I was pretty upset that you didn't recommend SModcast. So I was trying to think about why you were wrong to not recommend it. Honestly, I couldn't think of an objective reason. I've been listening to SModcast since 2007, I got in on episode 1 or 2. The reason I got into it was because I was a fan of Smith movies. As far as the analysis of what it is, I think you're pretty much right. To me, the hour and change that I listen to SModcast is cotton candy. It's fluff that doesn't really mean much, but I enjoy it. I think that for the most part, it's kind of gotten past the core audience of fans of his movies, though. There's a lot more general stories about crap that happens to him in every day life, or stuff that happened to him in the past. That said, if you listen to one show and don't like it, you're probably not gonna like it if you listen to 3 shows.

    Jay and Silent Bob Get Old is a little different, it's started mostly about Jay's addiction to drugs and his effort to stay sober. IMHO, it's got a lot more weight to it than anything else Smith-Related I've listened to.

  • ChipSuey

    How about ComedyFilmNerds? It’s a bit rough around the edges, but Graham and Chris are pretty good at talking about movies without pushing into Benson’s territory. And besides, it’s got Kitten Hands!

    Oh, and bonus points for adding the \"Has Jon Hamm been a guest\" as a category. That guy\'s been on every podcast, and he\'s funny as shit!

  • Houlihan Cuke

    This is a great list but it is definitely incomplete without The Best Show! Tom Scharpling may be an acquired taste but acquiring that taste will make anyone a better person. It happened to me!

  • andrew craggs

    Go British, "As it occurs to me", is proper funny, if filthy.

  • http://www.lindsayism.com lindsay robertson

    WTF Podcast drinking game for anyone out there who drinks while listening to a podcast (nobody)? Drink every time Marc whines about not being accepted by comedy nerds. So far it's been in EVERY SINGLE SHOW.

  • Brianstorm

    Not a “comedians talking about comedy” podcast, but You Look Nice Today is the king of all comedy nerd podcasts. New episodes are sparse, but the archives are gold.

    Also, The Sound of Young America is pretty great, as is their

    Comedy and Everything Else is a little long sometimes, but there are some amazing episodes in the archives.

    And for some great Canadian comedian guests, Stop Podcasting Yourself is terrific.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nick-Douglas/69100171 Nick Douglas

      Longtime reader, never commented before, and I came here to mention YLNT.

    • http://carletonatwater.com Carleton Atwater

      Really cannot recommend You Look Nice Today enough. It’s hard to describe because it’s lack of any strong format. It’s basically 3 friends riffing on issues in their lives as 30 somethings in California. That being said, a frequently reoccurring topic is the gang coming up with horribly misguided business ideas like Wisdom Experience- Aspiring writers can come to the YLNT brand nursing home and write down whatever old people say in the hopes of a Tuesdays w/ Morrie type book deal

  • Will

    Yikes, I definitely don’t agree with your rating of Carolla’s podcast. I’ve listened to all of the podcasts on this list, and of all of them, I find Carolla’s to be the best. I wasn’t a big fan of his originally but I started listening to it in January and instantly became one. Adam can find funny in the most mundane things and always entertains throughout.
    Adam is one of those comics that seems genuinely sincere, a quality that you really don’t see that much in comedy podcasts. The only other person on that list that is similarly genuine is Chris Hardwick, who I had the pleasure of meeting a few weeks ago (seriously, he’s the nicest person that I have ever met).
    It seems a bit trite to bring politics into the matter when discussing comedy (especially considering the amount of left-leaning comedians), as I think that people of any political affiliation can enjoy Carolla’s show. Sure, political issues pop up every once in a while, but don’t let that be a turnoff.
    Long story short, I would highly recommend Adam Carolla\'s podcast to any fan of (dirty, curse-word-laden) comedy.

    • AJWash

      I have to say, I used to listen to Carolla every day right from the start, but after a while, it's like, "enough Ace, we get it, everyone is a cunt and the world is lazy and whatever. You got anything else?" And Brian, the sound guy, is really really not up to snuff, and Adam and Teresa rarely know what to do with his drops, so there is awkward silence after many. The Ace-man was great when he was being himself, but too often, he slips into the angry Ace character, a tired and bored parody or a late 90's stereotype.

  • AJWash

    Daves of Thunder on the Ace network is the only podcast that has me consistently laughing out loud (or LOLing, as we say in the biz). Daves Dameshek and Feeny are terrific together and are building quite a history and repertoire of characters and jokes. More Jacuzzi Thoughts!

  • http://youtube.com/benfeldman Ben Feldman

    Allow me to plug my weekly comedy podcast on Pirate Cat Radio in San Francisco. We interview regional and national talent, with Ben Feldman and Candy Churilla and Microphones.


  • Christopher N Anderson

    Fans of The Best Show and the Pod F Tompkast should enjoy Superego (Scharpling and Tompkins are guests in the past season). I also really like Matt Walsh's weekly podcast during the football season: Bear Down – the Chicago Bears podcast. Probably better if you are a football fan, but lots of nice character work.

  • kpants

    There's also some great British comedy podcasts, too – Richard Herring's As It Occurs to Me, John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman's The Bugle, Robin Ince's Show & Tell, Ince's and Josie Long's Utter Shambles, and (one that has just begun but shows promise) Linus Lee's Stand Up Underground.

    • kpants

      D'oh – I would also suggest another good US-based podcast, The Flop House, as a fun comedy movie review podcast. Especially recommended are the Ziggy movie pitch, the Bratz movie review, and any episodes having to do with the oeuvre of Gerard Butler.

    • holgate

      Definitely The Bugle, because it's a continuation of Oliver and Zaltzman's work, and provides a wee bit of insight into Oliver's day job at The Daily Show. Rory Albanese's guest spots as "The American" are also worth seeking out.

      Collings and Herrin has been going for a while, and is the closest thing to Derek and Clive for the modern era.

  • Jim O'Connell

    No "Mike O'Meara Show" or "New Hampshire After Hours"?

  • Iskid2astop

    Really? No Jordan, Jesse Go?
    With the exception of Kevin Smith, I think almost every person mentioned on this list has been on Jordan Jesse Go! A truly fantastic show, based on two longtime friends, with a rotating guest spot, and a few fan favorite repeats, and the occasional recurring bit. This show has been around for a long time, and deserves mention.

    • http://carletonatwater.com Carleton Atwater

      Love me some JJG!

  • DBSeattle

    I think a mention of "Movies About Girls" is in order. http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/movies-about-girls/id312296357

    There are so many hilarious segments, each episode is fairly epic! Segments include, "Hits From Hell", "Let's Fuck Up the Podcast", "Weird News", "Ask A Drunk Joey", "Cult Movie Karaoke"…and more.

  • http://www.twitter.com/becca_oneal Becca

    Good post, but it should be called A Fairly Comprehensive Guide to HIGH PROFILE Comedy Podcasts. Good stuff listed, but it's just skimming the surface. These are definitely the podcasts with the most famous hosts, but I wouldn't say that they're all necessarily the best or even MUST LISTEN podcasts for comedy fans. WTF is the exception. I rarely miss it.

    Some of my favorites:

    We're All Friends Here: Hosted by NYC Comedians Matt Ruby and Mark Normand. They get NYC comics of varying levels of fame to spill their guts, no holds barred.

    Portrait of a Comedian hosted by Marcus Parks. More NYC-centered comedian interviews.

    Stop Podcasting Yourself Hosted by Graham Clark and Dave Shumka. The hosts are hilarious and they always have great guests.

    Jordan, Jesse, Go AND The comedy episodes of The Sound of Young America – both helmed by Jesse Thorn.

    Pop My Culture hosted by Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland.

    Matts Radio with Matts Braunger and Dwyer – they have consistently amazing guests.

    In the Tank with Jon Fisch… insidery comedy stuff is always discussed. The host and the guests are always comics, so it works.

    The UCB podcast, if you're into improv. I'm a fan of improv, but the podcast is so esoteric to someone from the outside, it sometimes makes me feel like a fly on the wall at a Scientology meeting. Lots of abbreviations and terms you'd never understand if you don't do improv. But they often interview famous UCB alumni.

    Road Stories with Murray Valeriano and Joe Wilson. Famous and not-yet-famous comics tell their best and worst road stories. Some pretty hilarious and sometimes frightening stuff comes out.

    But, there's never going to be a definitive list because the saturation of excellent comedy podcasts available is just too overwhelming.

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  • embelishd

    Well rarely do I ever feel it necessary to create an account to post a reply on a blog, but since I spend 8 hours a day in a cubicle listening to comedy podcasts, I figured I would toss in my two cents. In MY opinion, you're wrong about Adam Carolla, and this is coming from someone who never listened to him while he was on terrestrial radio. I'm a big fan of The Nerdist as well, but Chris and his friends have way more verbal fumbles than Adam. I respect your opinion, but just for the hell of it I'll list my favorite. (i know I'm repeating a few)
    *Adam Carolla
    *The Mike Omeara Show – an hour every weekday…good for most anyone…no profanity.
    *Doug Loves Movies
    *Big O and Dukes – they talk about most anything but the topics usually lean more towards video games and the pompous things that Oscar does. Since a lot of "inside" references from their old show come up, it helps if you're a long time listener.
    *The Nerdist
    *The Joe Rogan Experience- not for everyone, but if you like weed-induced conversations about life, the universe, politics and the UFC, this may be for you.
    *Red Bar Radio- definitely not for everyone. Only for people who enjoy ultra crude humor. Chicago-based podcast with local comedians. Keep in mind their motto is "we make fun of everyone".
    *The Film Vault- part of the Adam Carolla group of podcasts. Decent conversations about movies…..even if I do disagree every once in a while.
    *Smodcast- pretty hit and miss…..think it really depends on how high they are.
    That's mostly it. I've listened to SEVERAL other comedy podcasts but these are the ones I stick with.

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  • unfanderful

    Uhh Yeah Dude

    Hosts: Johnathan Larroquette and Seth Romatelli

    Podcastin’ since: February 2006

    How often: Weekly

    Format: Brisk, freestyle conversations about current events/absurdities.

    Recurring features: None with regularity, though “This Week in Florida” (highlighting the malaise of the Deepest of the Deep South) used to recur almost weekly, along with a few others.

    Typical guests: None, though Ricky Gervais sent in a voicemail, and Seth\'s mom, Marcia, has sat in for Jonathan a few times.

    Has Jon Hamm been a guest? No, but this is a fantastic metric.

    What’s different about this one: Unmatched inter-host chemistry; ego-free ribbing of celebrity; unique, sometimes experimental perspectives; zero-drag conversational fluidity.

    Live shows: Rarely, though the frequency may increase. One was recorded in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and the next will be recorded in Santa Monica, CA later today (Oct 2, 2010).

    For Fans of: Too-cool ridicule, incredulous hyperbole, neurotic perspectives, extremely likeable hosts, laughing and slapping.

    The Verdict: Highly recommended. Jonathan and Seth, two inhabitants of Hollyweird with vastly divergent backgrounds, have turned an unusually solid rapport into a vivid and agile team assault on lunacies both of the garden variety and of the rarified. The format is fairly basic: intro and outro songs bookend discussions of a dozen-ish news items or internet discoveries that the hosts haven’t yet discussed. The secret sauce is the freeform development of their perspectives as they crawl into the heads of the stories’ participants and laughingly freak out the whole way there. When the stories veer, and they often do, into personal anecdotes, you learn that their own histories have equipped them with insights into absurdity most other podcast hosts can’t match. This show, while consistently funny and insanely quotable, is really about experiencing the personalities of two dudes who somehow manage to maintain a deeply grounded and never-unkind sensibility while navigating through the insanities both of their flighty surroundings and of their hyperawareness of a world frantically careening towards a brainsick end.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Casey-Hendren/817760858 Casey Hendren

      Well put, good sir. Jah praise the most highest.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Casey-Hendren/817760858 Casey Hendren

    I've listened to THOUSANDS of episodes of innumerous podcasts (including all of these), and the fact that "Uhh Yeah Dude" is failed to be mentioned anywhere in this list is absurd. 06' to infinity, UYD4L.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jake-Demaray/43801313 Jake Demaray

    I’m a fan of the Rooster Teeth “Drunk Tank” podcast. It covers movies, tv, current events, video games and the like. It’s pretty xbox heavy (these are the guys who make Red vs Blue) and well worth your time. http://www.roosterteeth.com/drunktank

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  • Josh White

    I was hoping NSFW show would make it on here. I guess you kind of have to watch for a while to get all the inside jokes, but I find it highly amusing.

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  • crashboy

    Two words: Lesser Nerds.

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  • darley

    Wait whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

  • http://www.SpaceEdge.net Tom

    You forgot all about Joe Rogan's podcast and Bill Burr's Monday Morning Podcast. Both of those are definitely worth listening to. Rogan does 2 of them each week and Bill does one each monday morning.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jake-Kornegay/542182893 Jake Kornegay


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jake-Kornegay/542182893 Jake Kornegay

    Really? No mention of http://www.KeithandTheGirl.com ? They're an amazing podcast with an impressive group of followers from all over the world, booking todays best and brightest comedians, and already established comedians like Marc Maron and recently Doug Stanhope. Anyone that claims to be into comedy and wants to listen to some awesome, honest, well produced stuff, should give it a listen.


  • http://carletonatwater.com Carleton Atwater

    I have to cast my strong vote for You Look Nice Today and Jordan Jesse Go! I've heard Uhh Yeah Dude is good too, but never checked it out.

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  • http://www.mepreport.com Russ Gooberman

    It may not draw a lot of water in this town, but The Mep Report has been podcasting since 2005 and won Podcast Pickle's competition, beating out over 7,000 other shows. For my money it is the best intellectual comedy podcast out there.


  • http://ribsinbacon.livejournal.com Ribsin Bacon

    I have to make a suggestion for the Steve Dahl Show. Radio legend, and really funny.

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  • kfon
  • Garrett Butler

    mikeomearashow.com and bigoanddukes.com have are by a landslide the 2 best podcast out there they are like sex for your ears!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! screw this list

  • chadrick88

    I really dig the Dick and Darren show ( http://www.dickpodcast.com ) and Masters of None ( http://www.mastersofnone.com ). They're both made by guys who have past radio experience, so the production value is definitely on the higher end compared to most of the smaller podcasts out there. Dick and Darren talk a lot about their personal experiences in the stand up comedy world and they bring on interesting guests (Erik Estrada from CHIPs got pretty candid on their last show). Jay, Mike, and Art from Masters of None cover all kinds of random funny things from "Ranch Dressing: Sucks or Rules?" to the worst Christmas songs ever.

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  • cromag

    half of these podcasts will be gone in a few months. Jordan Jesse Go and Uh Yeah Dude and even Keith and the Girl (though not that great) and others have been around for years and are often just as funny–in some ways funnier, as they are organic and built from the ground up rather than just comics doing their routines into mics.

    This is just a list of comedians that have podcasts. Thus, fail.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Feinsod/558621366 Mark Feinsod

    How to Do Nothing without Really Trying is probably the most important comedy podcast since the dawn of civilization. They're playing it at the Middle East peace talks to calm people down when they run out of ice.


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  • jeff hollis

    Totally wrong about Carolla; just juvenile criticism about Carolla being, well, juvenile. I disagree with almost all of the ace-man's "politics" but I don't listen to comedy podcasts for their political leanings. I listen because it's funny. Bottom line is that Carolla is the sharpest comedy podcast wit out there, which is plainly evident whenever he and one of these other hosts do podcasts together.

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  • Chonilla

    May I be so bold to suggest our podcast “Chonilla.com Show”. It’s a Free Comedy Podcast and humour blog about a no-holds barred interracial couple who share their personal issues, current events, news and their honest take on pop culture from a black or white perspective. So come in have some fun and shoot the s*** with us.

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  • tjshorty

    No Heidi & Frank??? From the former Frosty, Heidi, and Frank of Los Angeles talk radio, Heidi & Frank (http://www.heidiandfrank.com/) launched their new live streaming/podcast show today. They have been podcasting their live shows (for years) as well as an After Hours version (for a little more than a year) that is top-notch! They are doing everything now, not only can you listen to them live, listen to the podcast, but they are also webcasting/video podcasting as well. You gotta check them out!

  • Rockford


  • Rockford

    "Fairly Comprehensive"? Really? No mention of "Comedy and Everything Else"? What about Mike Schmidt's "the 40 Year Old Boy"? Bill Burr? Jordan, Jesse Go!? Best Show Gems? What about Superego? These are not minor oversights.

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  • Rod

    Really don't want to add to the list of "what the hell, you left out my favourite obscure podcast" posts. But here's a couple of good ones from Australia…

    The best is get this, a cult radio show that got the chop a few years ago, but a listener posted all their old shows…

    And the sweetest plum a newer podcast, that follows in the same way as get this..

  • EatTheWeak

    WHOA! This list is absolutely incomplete without including Keith and the Girl! WTF?

  • tim-tam

    I can't believe more people don't mention Superego. It's not a standard 3 guys talking type of show. So consistently funny, huge guests, what more could you want?!

  • http://socialmediacrashsite.blogspot.com/ Tom Owens

    Superego is The Goon Show of our time. A must listen. Bill Burr's Monday Morning Podcast is always great. I also suggest trying Walking the Room. It's inconsistent but their hearts are in the right place. Listening to Dave Anthony's phlegmy laugh is always worthwhile.

  • http://cynicsworkbook.blogspot.com Marcus Bruté

    I get that Smodcast doesn't appeal to everyone but accusing Kevin Smith of self-hatred and criticizing his fashion sense on an AUDIO podcast seems a little much.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kevin-Weldon/730111878 Kevin Weldon

    This list is sorely missing Walking With Michelle! How can you ignore such great guests in such a unique format? The Jimmy Pardo episode is one of the funniest things ever! http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/walking-with-michelle/id266398656

  • nbumpercar

    Uhm . . . I may be a teeny-tiny piece of a bit clouded in my judgement – – but – but – but – – I can listen to the Bumperpodcast over and over and over. It is weekly, has a recurring cavalcade cast of characters and is usually recorded inside of a place known only as "Headquarters."

    The episodes usually run around 3 minutes (ish) – which is swell – for people who have a bunch to do – – and they can be found hiding out at either http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/id330037859 or http://www.nattybumpercar.com/category/bumperpodcast/


  • Dan Finlay

    I'm almost embarrassed to come out defending Adam Carolla after the way you characterized him, but your description seems to come from too narrow an observation period to hold much merit.

    Before you write him off as the Rush Limbaugh of podcasting, give a listen to some of his incredible riff-sessions with comic greats, such as Bob Odenkirk, Seth MacFarlane, Kevin Pollak, Kevin Nealon, and more.

    While some of his politics (mentioned perhaps every 20th episode) may not be your vision of a utopia, he has a mostly libertarian, live-and-let-live attitude. His strong observations on the effects of immigration come directly from his upbringing in North Hollywood, during a time that it underwent a large transition, and since it comes from real-life experience, should not be used to assume all of his opinions into a "right-wing" pile.

    While you may not agree with everything he says, you should remember that this guy is a comedian first, and often says things and fleshes them out in great detail, for the sake of… COMEDY.

  • In The Gloaming

    Just thought I'd let you know about our comedy-horror podcasts, In The Gloaming (you can download every episode here: http://inthegloamingpodcasts.wordpress.com/podcast-archive/ ). We recently won the Parsec Award for Best New Podcaster 2010, and we feature the best young British comics like Ruth Bratt, Darren Strange, John Voce, Lizzie Roper, Mark Talbot, Zoe S Battley, John Hopkins and loads of others.

    We really like them, and we get a few thousand downloads for each episode from other people who like them to. Hope you like them…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jacob-Stohler/560908533 Jacob Stohler

    Smodcast always makes me laugh. I listened to Nerdist 3 times without really even smiling once. Go figure.

  • PFArtist

    Joe, you wank, free is not the "best price of all" because as you said just before that, "there’s an embarrassment of garbage out there." Free garbage is overpriced.

    TRGS is a bargain for the price, and worth every penny. And how could you even consider writing about that show without mentioning Steve Merchant?

    So, you like free crap and superficial keyword dropping. I can't say I'll be reading any more of your fluff.

  • Hanibal

    Pretty nice write up Joe. I've spent a good 6-8 hours a day listening to podcasts for five years now and agree with most of your views. Marc Maron's WTF has really turned out to be something very, very special. Paul F Tompkins' show, at a mere two episodes, really didn't deserve a place on this list at all but I do enjoy it, and I think you really nailed what's good about The Sklar Bros show too.

    I was a listener to SModcast for maybe nine months back in 2008 before I realised pretty much what you've said here. I find Smith and Mosier likeable guys, but after a while I realised that they're just not funny or interesting enough to keep me coming back.

    As far as Carolla's show goes, I'd never listened to or watched any of his various projects before I stumbled onto his podcast (highly recommended, as it was, by Jesse Thorn of JJGo) and fell in love with the guy pretty much right away. I'm not in line with his politics for the most part but they don't bug me because he has this extraordinary improv-wired mind which lets him not just riff mercilessly on what seems to be literally any subject under the sun with what seems to be literally any type of guest under the sun. Even when he's on a "I've said this a thousand times" jag he somehow expresses it in a way that seems fresh and present and very unhacky to me.

  • walter_fauntroy

    I just made an account to say that, after I read this post, I downloaded Marc Maron's WTF podcast and it was the worst podcast I've ever heard. Maybe I caught Maron on a bad week, but he sounded incredibly self-involved, and not in an interested way. He had Paul Scheer on (seemingly a good interview), but he wouldn't shut up about himself.
    I wish you had made a division between comedy industry podcasts (Carolla, Maron) and podcasts that are actually funny (UYD). In conclusion, UYD for life. Only Seth and Jah could be so bold.

    EDIT: Ok, rereading the description of WTF, I guess it's more for people who are into the comedy industry than people who want the podcast to make them laugh. Still, it was really bad, but I guess if you get off on miniscule Rodney Dangerfield anecdotes, as filtered through Marc Maron's loud mouth, you'll get off on this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Laurel-Miller/787833248 Laurel Miller

    Uhh Yeah Dude. If you heard it, it would be on the top of this list.

  • mollyflynn78

    I listen to 2 daily comedy podcasts:

    http://www.suckitradio.com and http://unibashradio.com

    and they're both also on itunes. If you don't like waiting a week in between your favorite podcasts and you like your funny stuff live and unscripted then you should check these out. They aren't nerdy for a change because pop culture is so overdone and they are all very funny people.

  • Michael Dyer

    In your Carolla review you come off as someone who disagrees with his politics and therefore won't give the show a chance. I don't see eye to eye w/ him politically however he's hilarious and he has the quickest wit out there, so I don't miss a show. Also he doesn't mention politics very often, which makes me think you listened to one show and where he did and were immediately turned off. I've listened to all of these podcasts and ACP is by far the best (also I stumbled across his show not being familiar with his work so your large following argument doesn't hold up either)

  • meisjimmy

    I've read through the comments and I have to also voice my opinion on the matter of Carolla. I have heard all of the podcasts on this list except for Smodcast and Sklarboro Country (although I've been a fan of the Sklar Brothers on other podcasts) and I consider myself a fan and an active listener of Doug Loves Movies, Comedy Death Ray, The Paul F. Tompkast and Kevin Pollak's Chat Show. But the number one show for me, and the one that brought me into the world of comedy podcasts is The Adam Carolla Show. I had not been a fan of Carolla before hearing his podcast, I would even say that I was something of an (ignorant) anti-fan. I had seen bits and pieces of talk show appearances and such over the years, and heard a few snippets of his radio show, and earlier the old Loveline days, and hadn't appreciated his brash style. I came across his podcast in early 2009, probably because of a guest he had on, although I can't remember who. In the more one on one setting, I grew to really understand Adam.
    Most of your complaints about the show seem pretty unmerited. First off, the comment that it is like a radio show. It is, in format, but if you dug a little deeper I think you would realize that its similarities to radio are a product of who Adam is, and not a weakness. Carolla, unlike virtually everyone else on this list, comes from a Radio background. He is not a stand-up comedian, and never has been. Thus he plays to his strengths. But he, perhaps more than most, has a hatred of bad radio. He complains all the time about what most of radio is, and I think you are confusing him with the kind of crass morning radio that he rails against.
    And in terms of politics, that would be a petty and childish complaint even if it were true. But its not. Carolla is an independent who I would venture tends to lean to the left far more often than to the right. If one had to place him in a party, I would guess he identifies most with the Libertarian party. The only major issue on which he is fairly conservative is immigration. And, like another commenter pointed out, he has real life knowledge of the issue working for many years in construction in Southern California, where most people, Liberals or Conservative, do not.
    But either way, even if he were a zealous Republican, he's funny. He has incredibly quick wit, and can be funny about anything. As much as he likes to say he repeats himself a lot, I have heard Chris Hardwick (whom I really really like) and Kevin Pollak (again, big fan) repeat their stories far more often in a year or so of listening to their weekly podcasts than I have heard Adam Carolla repeat himself in a daily show in the last two years.

    Beyond that, I agree with almost everything else you say in this post (although I think Marc Maron has an annoying habit of directing every conversation towards himself, but maybe he's just not my style.) But I would seriously challenge you to give Adam another chance and review him again.

  • http://twitter.com/Mokoshne Kris Francis

    http://www.poddsocks.com is a fun weekly podcast

  • Lucas Geml

    Jon Hamm episode 215 of WTF!!!!! Do better research

  • abeyer56

    How about anything on the riotcast network? Most of those are comedy based, and some are actually good.

  • Nick Mastro

    Ummm, how about Penn's Sunday School, and Robert Kelly's You Know What Dude.