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Thursday, June 16th, 2011

This Week in Comedy Podcasts

“So many comedy podcasts, not enough hours in the day.” That’s what people are constantly saying to each other all the time. Frankly, it’s getting old and people should really stop saying that. In the meantime, we’ve pledged to sort through as much of the clutter as possible to find out which shows are worth checking out each week. Because we’re total heroes. If we somehow missed your favorite, though, and let’s face it, there’s a good chance we may have done so, please direct all 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 5 Comedy Podcasts of the Week (in alphabetical order):

How Did This Get Made #12 — Matt Walsh

When the goal of your show is to break apart shitty movies and examine the debris, you’ve got to take a moment to appreciate it when a real piece of garbage comes along. This week’s episode of How Did This Get Made marks the long-awaited deconstruction of Mike Myers’ singularly awful crapsterpiece, The Love Guru, and it does not disappoint. Paul Scheer is in his element, clearly relishing the opportunity to rip into this movie, and June Diane and Jason get in plenty of good licks too. Much is made of its unrelenting offensive treatment of midgets and shameless abusing of comedy’s “funny names” rule (the hosts even asked listeners to email with their own terrible “funny name” ideas.) Surprisingly, though, everybody gives Mike Myers a thoughtful, some might say charitable level of respect overall when discussing how badly he dropped the ball here. Class acts all around.

Mike & Tom Eat Snacks #21 — Teddy Grahams

If you cut through the show’s great albeit disposable concept, MATES is about the dynamic of a friendship; Tom Cavanagh is a positive, grounded, happy (read: Canadian) fellah, while Michael Ian Black is a depressed, prickly, skeptic. 25 minutes into the episode MIB asks out of the blue, “Do you honestly believe in heaven?” From there came a surprisingly frank and honest conversation about faith. Fans of the bear-shaped snack will likely be disappointed, as it’s bearly mentioned; however, the episode is a must listen for fans of either or both of the actors. Additionally, it also featured some of the series’ funniest moments with the introduction of Snack Match, a game where they guess the favorite snack of celebrities (i.e. Charlie Sheen – Drugs).

The Nerdist #97 — Zooey Deschanel

If you're reading this, guy or gal, you probably have a crush on Zooey Deschanel. You might tell people you're "totes over her" or that "she's played out" but you're lying to yourself (also stop talking that way). So even though, you claim to be really into Annie Clark or Kate Miccuci or Krysten Ritter or Aubrey Plaza now, when you saw her name as the guest you couldn't get her froggy voice into your ear-holes fast enough. She is the living, breathing, podcast guesting embodiment of the manic pixie dream girl she oft plays in movies but with a little more discussion of gluten-induced upset stomachs. The Nerdist has pretty female guests more often than most podcasts, and usually with not the best results; however, to her credit Zooey was engaged, fun, and charming. There is also something incredibly oblivious and ironic about her making fun of hipsters.

Uhh Yeah Dude #275

It was an all-killer, no-filler kind of episode on this week’s Uhh Yeah Dude. One of the show’s strengths is its non-specificity, as the hosts go all over the cultural map to report what’s going on in the world and build on it. This week Jonathan and Seth dig deep and deliver the goods. They start out strong, likening Snoop Dogg to a soccer mom in his middle age, and giving a fairly accurate assessment of Blink-182’s late-period career prospects. Later on we learn about Babiators — the aviator shades made for babies — and the extent to which the average American is mad at “Godbama.” By the time Seth pitches a reality show called “Line for Line” that pits people from different walks of life against each other to see how many lines of cocaine they can handle, the episode is already one of the best of the year and it’s only 2/3 of the way through.

WTF with Marc Maron #183 – Amy Poehler

Amy Poehler is simply a joy. Midway through the interview, Marc tells her that she’s “just as funny as Steve Carell” and she shoots back flatly, almost pissed, “I’m not as funny as Steve Carell.” This small moment was very revealing. Amy might be one of the most lauded funny people of the last 20 years yet she is still exceptionally humble and gracious. In a year in which Amy was lifted to national treasure status, it is nice to hear her origin story. Especially interesting are her stories of moving to New York. It was there the two first crossed paths; Amy was starting the revolution that was UCB and Marc was selling out all their bits. Despite the longer than usual run time, the episode feels too short. Also, it’s revealed in the intro that Marc shot a pilot about, of course, himself as a guy who hosts a podcast in his garage.

Honorable Mentions:

Affirmation Nation with Bob Ducca

During the plug section at the end of this week’s How Did This Get Made, apropos of nothing, the gang starts talking about Bob Ducca and how much they love the character. Affirmation Nation is quickly becoming the comedy podcasters’ comedy podcast.

Comedy Bang Bang #108 — Rob Corddry, Erinn Hayes, James Adomian

James Adomian impersonations tend to veer towards the absurd quicker and more drastically then the other regulars. His Dov Charney does not disappoint, especially if you like hearing about “popcorn dick caskets.”

How Was Your Week #14

This week, Best Week Ever’s Michelle Collins joins Julie Klausner to rate the best and worst ever celebrity national anthems over drinks. Simultaneously funny and stirring, this segment works better than it reads on paper. Before getting to the second guest, the always on point Eugene Mirman, Julie settles the “David Byrne vs. Lou Reed” debate that you never knew you had a stake in.

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.

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  • Nathan Bennett

    Joe Rogan's podcast with Neal Brennan. Some amazing insight into the breakdown of Chappelle's Show.

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

      @Nathan Bennett Word. Thanks for the heads-up.

  • http://mattpayton.tumblr.com/ Charles Bogle

    There's always Slights Of The Roundtable, the podcast where they go around the table and read their late night talk show/Weekend Update style jokes:

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/slights-of-the-roundtable/id429083455

  • Matt Neff@facebook

    MATES and Uhh Yeah Dude have easily become my favorite podcasts. It's really fascinating to see how MATES has evolved in the short 21 episode life. I've only recently discovered Uhh Yeah Dude but for the couple of months I've been listening, it has been very solid.