“So many podcasts, so much time!” That’s the major complaint on every unemployed comedy fan in America’s lips right now, I’m sure. #firstworldproblems, etc. But which comedy podcasts will you listen to this weekend — all of them? Preposterous! That would mean no time left over for TV and other antisocial pursuits. Thankfully we’ve done the hard, grueling work already, scouring through most of the crop for you, and selecting only the juiciest offerings to put in your ears. These are the best comedy podcasts of the week:
Top 5 Comedy Podcasts This Week (In Alphabetical Order)
Comedy Bang Bang #121 — Jimmy Pardo, Paul Rust, and Rob Delaney
This week’s Comedy Bang Bang is called Bro-in’ Out and as such it consists of host Scott Aukerman constantly exhorting his all-male roster of guests to engage each other in some bro-talk. The centerpiece of this leitmotif comes in the form of a new feature called Hot Topics, wherein Scott mines the website of televised gabfest The View for topics Whoopi and co. talked about months ago. If you were wondering about Jimmy Pardo’s stance on Arnold Schwarzenegger impregnating his housekeeper, wonder no more! Add to that a ridiculous, but apparently non-fictional conversation about how much each person in the room weighs (“How you weighin’?” Scott asks, Joey Triobbiani-style) and it adds up to a terrific parody of daytime television. Also notable is that while comedian Rob Delaney has guested on several podcasts as an interview subject, he’s never really cut loose like this before. The freewheeling CBB-style definitely suits him.
Jordan Jesse Go #190 — DC Pierson
He may not be Nick “Repeat” Adams, who has visited Jordan Jesse Go at least as many times as Justin Timberlake has been on Saturday Night Live, but DC Person returns to the podcast for this week’s episode, which is full of terrific discussions about television. At the top of the episode, there’s a warts-and-all appraisal of Arrested Development, a show that everyone here rightly points out has grown criticism-proof in its post-cancellation reputation. Later there’s a great discussion about how self-conscious “edginess” on TV is conflated with quality — with Showtime singled out for seemingly not being able to create a lead character that doesn’t lead a double-life. The crown-jewel of the episode, though, is a rebuttal of the idea that one needs to have music playing during sex. “If it’s too on-the-nose, it’s weird; and if it’s too off-the-nose, it’s also weird,” Jordan Morris points out. DC ends up stealing the show here, though, with two hilarious stories from his life when the background music during sex came to a head. (Surely there’s a pun in that sentence, but let’s just leave it alone.)
Mike & Tom Eat Snacks #33 — Pop Chips
It’s definitely not the case every week, but when Michael and Tom are on, they have no rivals in terms of sheer banter alacrity. Where most, even the best, chat podcasts are meant to sound like normal dudes just chillaxin’, Mike and Tim blaze through bits like they’re going out of style. This week the boys are particularly amped, gleefully reviewing the merits of Pop Chips. Unlike any snack that had come before it, this one was sent from the corporation itself. As a result, their guards were up and they were not going to take even a whisper of guff. This set-up created a tension of sorts that resulted in one of their most impassioned episodes. Maybe, more than anything, MATES is 33 episodes old and at this point the hosts know how to take the number one podcast faux pas of eating into the mic and turn it into something genuinely funny and fun.
Pop My Culture #52 — SuperEgo
On this week’s episode of Pop My Culture, get ready to go deep on the MTV Video Music Awards. The event itself may be old news by now, but it proves to be a surprisingly fertile source of funny takes on pregnant Beyonce and skinny Jonah Hill. It also gives co-host Vanessa Ragland a chance to vent her Lady Gaga rage at a new person: Gaga’s male alter-ego, Jo Calderone. More important than the VMA’s, though, this episode is notable for being a crossover podcast, like when the Cosby kids visited the Hogan family. (What?) A visit from the mad comedy scientists behind Superego on PMC this week means the best of both worlds. The interview questions and pop culture chatter of the latter gets infused with the essence of an anything-goes sketch show and it all blends together nicely.
Who Charted? #40 — Lee
This was quite possibly the most impressive, ingenious episode of Who Charted? yet. Everyone should listen to it TWICE. From this point on, consider yourself SPOILER ALERT’d. When I first listened to this episode, I was planning on writing about how Lee is as much of a character as Howard makes him out to be and how it ended up being such an interesting dynamic between the two brothers with Howard basically remaining speechless the whole time. Then I looked at the photos on the Earwolf page and there it was, Howard with a wig on as “Lee.” This was a beyond Comedy Bang Bang level of commitment to a bit, as Howard goes the entire episode with out a wink. Praise goes to Kulap, as well, who also played it straight but not too straight. Is there a Podcast Hall Of Fame yet? No. Ok, well when there is, this episode should be a first ballot inductee.
Ronna & Beverly #8 — Jon Daly
As Luke pointed out in this week’s “Webseries You Need to Watch” column, Jamie Denbo and Jessica Chaffin’s portrayal of New England Jewish Mothers is spot on and wicked (get it, like how Boston people talk words) funny. Their podcast is a natural extension of that web series and consistently fantastic. As is common on their show, they start their interview by accusing Jon of being gay. Then when he admits he has a girlfriend, they shift gears instantly and ask why he hasn’t proposed to her yet. This is a definitively R&B moment.
Totally Laime #83 — TV’s Andy Daly
Not to toot on our horn, but back in July, we called Totally Laime the front-runner to win the Earwolf Challenge and with one round left in the competition they’re securely in the final two. It’s not necessarily the funniest podcast out there but it definitely feels the most hospitable. Elizabeth and Psychic Andy just seem like people you’d want hang out with for an hour. TV’s Andy Daly lives up to his reputation for being one of the two nicest people in Hollywood and also one of the funniest. To up the cuteness, somehow even more, they literally discuss their dimples.
Doug Loves Movies — Jay Mohr, Jeff Garlin and Evan Glodell
I know what you’re thinking — “Jay Mohr, the star of Gary Unmarried, was on Doug Loves Movies this week, and it’s only an Honorable Mention?” You were thinking that, weren’t you? Anyway, this episode does not belong to Jay, or Doug, but to the one and only Jeff Garlin. He is a whirling dervish of funny stories and ball-busting, which more than makes up for the episode a couple weeks ago when he was scheduled to appear, but ended up a no-show.
Jesse Fox is a freelance writer, podcaster, cat person, and Jew (in that order). He lives in Brooklyn. His iPod is broken.
Joe Berkowitz edits books and writes stuff. He also has a Tumblr.