This Week in Comedy Podcasts
If there was some kind of divine nickel exchange program for oft-repeated occurrences, fans of new podcasts would have a shit-ton of loose change all the time. Every week, it seems, the known galaxy of headphone-hilarity expands further, taking up even more storage space on iPhones the world over. In fact, it’s entirely possible that while you were reading that last sentence, Dana Gould conceived of and began recording a show of his own. Such is the extent of the current comedy podcast boom, which shows no signs of letting up. It’s a situation that has left listeners with the very enviable problem of having too much of the thing they enjoy to possibly get through each week. That’s why we are going to be sifting through each week’s offerings henceforth to determine which episodes are not to be missed, and which can wait for a long car drive in the distant future. If we missed your favorite podcast, please direct your cries of “Philistines!” to the comments section below, and perhaps a future episode will make the cut. For now, though, here are the best podcasts of the week:
Top Five Comedy Podcasts for the Week
(in alphabetical order)
1. Comedy Death-Ray #103 — Paul F. Tompkins, Reggie Watts, Andrew Daly, Paul Scheer, Tig Notaro, Nick Kroll, James Adomian
This week’s episode finds host Hot Saucerman (formerly known as “Scott Aukerman”) celebrating the show’s two-year anniversary and final episode (it will henceforth be known as Comedy Bang Bang) with a Murderer’s Row of CDR all-star guests. Paul F. Tompkins is the co-host for the entire plus-size duration, and instead of tapping into his arsenal of characters, he just serves as Aukerman’s right hand for once, which is kind of refreshing. The other main guest is Reggie Watts, who does his funny/badass comedy/music thing throughout, as a parade of funny people rolls by. By the time voice-master James Adomian arrives at the end, the show has spun wildly out of control, but it’s worth hearing all the way through. Also in this episode, listeners finally find out the answer to the four-month long question of whether or not the catch phrase, “What’s Up, Hot Dog?” will be coming back to the show. Cross those fingers no more!
2. Doug Loves Movies — Ellen Page, Michael Rooker, James Gunn, Sean Gunn, Steve Agee
It’s a packed house on Doug Loves Movies this week, as nearly everyone involved with the indie movie, Super, is featured on the podcast. The unlikely BFF-ship of Steve Agee and Ellen Page is the source of much fun (“If they ever coupled, we could call them Pagee!” –someone terrible, probably). However, this episode belongs to Michael Rooker, the character actor you might remember from Cliffhanger and Mallrats, who goes full Busey here. Rooker acts a fool the entire time and whenever he seems a little too in love with his own outrageousness, Doug Benson gets some subtle digs in that quietly mock the guy. Even the Name That Movie-style Leonard Maltin Game portion of the show (which I personally find to be kind of a drag usually — sorry!) had a lot going for it this week, as Rooker was unable to win a round dedicated to movies that he’d starred in.
3. Pop My Culture #41 — Thomas Lennon
Thomas Lennon rivals Paul F. Tomkins in sheer volume of podcast appearances, so at first pass his appearance on PMC doesn’t merit stick shaking. Yet, what resulted was one of the, if not the most, off the rail episode in the show’s history. Very quickly the show descends into madness with the introduction of the hopefully reoccurring Beefroni character. There is some talk of the royal wedding, the Black Eyed Peas, and X-Files, but its mostly Vanessa Ragland being fantastically ridiculous. The escalating absurdity of her character work with Lennon gave the episode a Comedy Death Ray feel. There was some obligatory rehashing of old The State stories (Did you know David Wain punched Ken Marino in the face? If you listen to podcasts enough, you won’t be able to avoid knowing). The show ends with a display of Lennon’s Morrissey superfandom and Ragland asking the best question of the week, “If you stripped for us right now, would you be more flattered if I said, ‘Wow! Great body.’ or ‘That’s a pretty sick dick?’”
4. Superego episode 3:3 — Patton Oswalt, Jeff Davis
This week featured another truly hilarious episode from the boys at Superego. It started off with two great sketches featuring Patton Oswalt. The better of which featured Oswalt as Leg-El, lawyer to Superman nemesis General Zod. Unabashedly nerdy, the brief segment is packed with great lines and features the best knock knock joke in years. Oswalt then plays guest host in the reoccurring Heartlines of the Shore. In which, we’re introduced to Engorged Harrison the guitarist of The Flab Four, the fat Beatles cover band with songs like, “Swellanor Bigby.” Speaking of mocking England, the episode’s best sketch is built around the simple premise of M repeatedly asking James Bond “How British Am I?” The completely absurd scene only gets more so over its four minutes. This sadly only once a month podcast is really like nothing else out there.
5. WTF with Marc Maron #170 — Andy Dick
Andy Dick is always Andy Dick, and his penchant for debauchery makes him a perfect WTF guest. Marc starts the episode ranting about taxidermy testicles to varying comedic success. Still, it was the perfect way to set the tone for his interview with Andy Dick, which was everything you’d expect it to be. They discuss first grade butt bongos, boners induced from doctor’s offices, dropping ball bearings into a babysitter’s bush, and getting caught streaking — and that is just the first five minutes. The episode does touch on some more serious subjects including Andy watching his mother die, his finding of his birth parents, and his relationship with Phil Hartman. Best timed is the discussion of alcoholism, foretelling his most recent arrest for being drunk in public just a few days ago. Maron succeeds by lovingly poking fun, asking the right questions and then getting out of the way of the hurricane. Dick has one of the most infamous reputations in Hollywood and he doesn’t disappoint (I haven’t even mentioned the seduction of his arresting officer in New Orleans).
Comedy Film Nerds #55 — Rondell Sheridan
It’s great when a podcast can have a giant star on but sometimes it’s better when they have an incredibly small one. Rondell Sheridan is a perfect mix of “who the hell is that?” and “oh, that guy!”
How Did This Get Made? #9 — Fast Five/Adam Scott
Fast Five (aka “Ocean’s 11 with Axe Body Spray”) is a movie built for HDTGM’s mix of mocking and adoration. The three hosts and Griff from Boy Meets World (Adam Scott) yelled about the impossible lack of injury and the giant plot holes. Yet, partly in spite of this and partly because of it, they loved every minute of it.
Jordan Jesse Go! #173 — Enos with Mary Roach
When you think of comedic powerhouses, you don’t think of popular science writer Mary Roach, and that is for a good reason. However, there is enough interesting material in her most recent book, Packing for Mars, to fuel a couple of conversations about space-boners which are not to be missed in this week’s episode.
Judge John Hodgman — Tips, Tricks and Justice
JJH is at its best when he openly mocks his subject and this week in which two video game nerds fight over whether it’s cheating to use strategy guides is no exception.
Mike and Tom Eat Snacks #15
This week on MATES, Mike and Tom try 3rd Degree Burn Scorchin’ Habenero Doritos. They make a bunch of jokes about cocaine and reveal that 3rd Degree might not be as spicy as 2nd Degree.
The Pod F. Tompkast — EXTRASODE: Prince? Charming?
Instead of delivering an episode on time Paul went to see Prince (I wouldn’t be so mad, if I wasn’t so jealous). Luckily, to make up for it he offers up a hilarious clip from his live show, in which he does the introduction as Prince. The impression is lacking but PFT nails the joie de vive, “I do the theme to Home Improvement. I make Tim Allen come on stage and I put him in a dunk tank.”
SklarBro Country #40 — Jay Mohr, Chris Cox
This week the Sklars welcome Jay Mohr, who may come off kind of douchey at times (okay, a lot of the time), but whose Joe Pesci impression and genuine friendship with the hosts help carry the episode.
Who Charted? #22 — Paul F. Tomkins
Fret not for those still with the need for more PFT, as he sits down for an extra long chart fiesta. We learn how Paul plans to handle his son Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka Tompkins and that he is jealous of Madea’s “Good afternoont” catchphrase.
Jesse Fox is a writer/podcaster who lives in San Francisco and is incapable of walking, washing dishes, or tying shoelaces without a podcast playing.