Another week has passed and with it more hours of comedians talking about things of varying worth. As usual, if you agree or disagree with our rankings let us know in the comments. Of if you want to recommend a show for us to listen, please do so. We will definitely listen to it but cannot promise it will be deemed worthy for our round up. Until then, here are the week’s best podcasts of the comedic persuasion:
Top 5 Comedy Podcasts This Week (In alphabetical order)
1. Comedy Bang Bang #1061 — Andy Richter, Paul F. Tompkins
This week’s episode is the first of two parts so in lieu of pithy summary we decided to rank the Top 5 Paul F. Tompkins characters:
1) Andrew Lloyd Webber
3) Cake Boss
4) Garry Marshall
5) John C. Reilly
Do you agree?
2. How Was Your Week? #11 — Enter Dancing
With its second really great episode in a row, it’s clear HWYW has really hit its stride. This week’s conversational recount of host Julie Klausner's week is particularly charming, touching on a truly awful massage, the similarities of magicians and alt-comedians, and how much of a dope and/or schmoo Grimace is. Her guests are Paul Scheer and Sally Kellerman, whom she refers to as A-listers as genuinely as if it were George Clooney or Reese Witherspoon. Paul and she talk about pop culture blind spots, letting the listener in on the fact that he grew up not liking music and he is dangerously good at guessing what the plot is for Catcher in the Rye and Casablanca. The Sally Kellerman interview was surprisingly interesting. Well, maybe part interesting and part super weird. Rarely do you get podcast guests who can talk about showing their boobs for a Robert Altman (who she called “Bob”) film, figuring out a way to fall in love with Rodney Dangerfield for a role, and who think Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want To Miss a Thing” is a good song. It is these types of conversations that make HWYM so unique.
3. Pop My Culture #43 – Paul F. Tompkins
PFT is also great at playing PFT, a man who apparently between podcast appearances is able to consume a ton of pop culture. They touch on the how a rapture might make Pirates of the Caribbean 4 better, a post-apocalyptic Beyonce, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and whether or not Paul is dog-Christ. Still, most of the episode is spent on American Idol, a show they all seem to hate passionately but watch religiously, especially Paul, who is particularly filled with vitriol as a result of being asked to recap every episode for New York Magazine. All the while Vanessa Ragland is delightfully incoherent (asking Paul if he’d eat turds in marinara) so much so that Cole warns of giving her a time out. Maybe Paul is to blame for his tendency on podcasts to help the host step up their game. It’s almost cheating to have him on.
4. Sklarbro Country #271 — Matt Braunger, Seth Morris, Nick Kroll
Randy and Jason Sklar were firing on all cylinders this week with the best episode of their sports-themed comedy podcast in recent memory. Right out of the gate, even their endorsement for sponsor LegalZoom was kind of funny. Main guest, comedian Matt Braunger, brought a lot of caffeinated energy and enthusiasm to the table, capping his appearance off with a killer bit about Jim Morrison that should be heard by all immediately. The big news this episode, though, was the crossover appearance of Bob Ducca, the character Seth Morris honed at fellow Earwolf podcast, Comedy Bang Bang. Bob Ducca guest spots on CBB can go in a lot of funny directions, but the one thing they all have in common is a list-joke. While visiting the calming shores of SklarBro Country as “a vicarious supporter of sporting activities”, Ducca may have gotten to his list a little too directly, but who cares when you find out that the physical maladies preventing him from playing sports include “athlete’s foot, philosopher’s tits, bird bones,” etc. Almost like a victory lap for an episode that was already a winner, Nick Kroll guests at the bottom of the hour as Randy Moss’s dog, who he voices like an elderly gay Jewish uncle.
5. You Had to Be There — Reggie Watts
Nikki Glaser and Sara Schaefer’s podcast returns from a short hiatus this week with plenty of tales to tell. Sara reveals her tough decision to leave her job at The Jimmy Fallon Show (for which she won a friggin’ Emmy) to go on to less time-intensive TV writing that will allow her to focus on stand-up. Good for her! Later, both comedians recount the ordeal of being at a drunken event recently where Andy Dick wreaked havoc on everything and everyone present. Hearing this story serves as a perfect counterpoint to Andy Dick’s recent appearance on WTF. Meanwhile, this week’s guest Reggie Watts gives good interview and performs a couple of his, well, to call them songs would be inaccurate. Actually, one of the highlights of this episode is listening to Sara describe what it is that Reggie does, coming closer than anyone else probably has.
Doug Loves Movies — The Benson Interruption
Ordinarily, when Doug does his Benson Interruption podcast, the episodes are $1.99, but this week’s edition is available for free as a hybrid episode of Doug Loves Movies. Essentially, it was an episode of TBI with a bend toward movie-talk and The Leonard Maltin Game tacked on, but that is not a bad thing. Lively guest appearances from Ngaio Bealum, Chris Porter, Graham Elwood, and the always-funny Matt Besser make it worth a listen.
Nerdist #91 — Patton Oswalt
If there is one comedian born to drop by the Nerdist podcast, it’s Patton, which is why this one was such a long time coming. There is some rehashing of previously podcasted stories but there’s enough here to make it a worthy listen. Especially, his explanation of what it was like working for the life-suck that was MadTV while comedians he knew got to work on the beacon of comedy that was Mr. Show.
The Lavender Hour — Tom Lennon
One of the interesting things about Natasha Leggero and Duncan Trussell’s podcast is how open they are about discussing drugs, and the amazing things they get their guests to reveal in this context. Tom Lennon is such a class act — even when talking about bull murders and puppet-fucking — that it’s sort of jarring to hear him tell a story about being in Amsterdam with some of his famous cast mates from The State, tripping off so many mushrooms. Elsewhere, Duncan relates a similar experience, in which he hallucinated elves were crawling inside his body and told Natasha, “I got 99 problems and they’re all elves.”
WTF with Marc Maron #176 — Phil Rosenthal
Phil is the non-famously loved half of the team behind Everybody Loves Raymond. He was there to talk about his new documentary about trying to adapt Raymond for Russians, Exporting Raymond. Mostly, his appearance displayed that he too is a likeable fellah and helped explain why much of the Barone family seemed, well, Jewish.
WTF with Marc Maron #177 — Garry Shandling
These are the type of guests that get Marc NPR deals. If you are the type of person who would read a weekly recap of comedy podcasts than you probably revere Garry Shandling as well. After a better than usual rant at the top, the two get into a nice conversation partly about Garry’s career and partly about Marc’s desire for Garry to bring him peace. Maybe it’s due to a lack of demons, but the episode never gets to the level that makes a truly great WTF.
Jesse Fox is a freelance writer, podcaster, cat person, and Jew (in that order). He lives in San Francisco. His iPod is broken.
Joe Berkowitz edits books and writes stuff. He also has a Tumblr.