This Week in Comedy Podcasts
What’s up, podcast fans? Jesse Fox, who normally runs Splitsider’s weekly podcast roundup, is on assignment at SXSW this week, so he’s left me in charge of the column just like the time my parents left me their house for a weekend as a teenager while they went on vacation. Will I violate the trust Jesse Fox has placed in me by turning this into the blog post equivalent of a debaucherous, out-of-control house party? Or will I err on the side of nerdy caution like I did on that weekend in high school when I kept it a complete secret from my friends that my parents were out-of-town, refusing to turn my family’s home into a teeming cauldron of sin? Read on to find out!
BRADFORD: Totally Laime #110 – Matt Walsh
UCB founder and comedy industry pacesetter Matt Walsh has been popping up a lot on the podcast circuit lately to promote his new movie High Road, and this week, he stops by the Earwolf network’s Totally Laime for a fun and lively chat with host Elizabeth Laime and sidekick Psychic Andy. As with the best episodes of Totally Laime, the freewheeling conversation covers a lot of territory, from Scientologist conspiracies to urinal trough etiquette. Laime, Andy, and Walsh fall into a relaxed and easy chemistry right off the bat, and Psychic Andy actually scores some of the episode’s biggest laughs. For someone who doesn’t have a background in comedy, Psychic Andy has always proven to be surprisingly funny and a welcome addition toTotally Laime. He’s in fine form during this interview, especially when pontificating on when the appropriate time is to intervene in Elizabeth’s three-year-old nephew’s fascination with garbage trucks to prevent him from pursuing a career in the waste disposal industry. Don’t get me wrong, the two professional comedians in the room have plenty of funny moments here too, including Elizabeth Laime threatening to go silent for the rest of the interview after Matt Walsh says women talk more than men and Walsh’s story about how letting his son urinate freely in his backyard led to him getting in trouble for doing the same thing at school.
JAY: Mohr Stories #30 – Neal Brennan
Jay Mohr’s comedic talent knows no bounds. He’s a stand-up comedian, author, master impressionist, actor, and now a brilliant podcast host. This week’s guest on Mohr Stories is someone who Jay has known since they both worked at New York’s Boston Comedy Club back in the day: Neal Brennan. You may know Neal as the co-creator of Chappelle’s Show or the co-host of The Champs podcast, but to Jay, Neal Brennan is an old friend. This episode begins with the pair reminiscing about when they first met and Neal’s entry into the stand-up world. Neal enjoys working the clubs now (as opposed to being a writer) because of the attention and the immediate feedback from the audience. But he still struggles with comedy gatekeepers like bookers. Jay apologizes for the way he treated Neal in the old days and they recount some classic stories involving their friend Jason Steinberg and a Taser, as well as Jay’s old mob doctor, Dr. Frank. Each one admits the relentless side of their personality and how it negatively affects their behavior. This flows into a discussion of how not to act in show business. Then we get a glimpse into what they have learned about how to make it in the comedy world. Finally, we get to what everyone wants to know: what happened with Chappelle’s Show? Neal does not disappoint with his analysis, but ultimately values his friendship with Dave Chappelle and sums it up by quoting George Harrison, saying: “That’s me mate.” This podcast is a lesson in comedy, letting bygones be bygones, and friendship because you can never make new old friends. Jay Mohr and Neal Brennan are definitely great old friends.
JOEL: Jordan, Jesse, GO! #215 – Ali Wong
Jordan Morris and Jesse Thorn are skilled at goofing around and proposing theories to work their way back from. Comedian Ali Wong visits Jordan, Jesse, GO! and manages to coax the hosts into a particularly fun episode, combining both silly tangents and earnest conversations. The show continues to be a free-flowing topic dispensary. The three put forth a easy flowing chat, avoiding the normal eye rolling pitfalls typically conjoined to marriage talk and reminiscing on their current and past neighborhoods. They have a lot of fun at the expense of both Bay Area and various Los Angeles neighborhoods with plenty of details to bridge the gap for the non-locals. There’s even some socio-economic musings to go around. They also explore the profound effect of discovering what your favorite radio personalities look like. Jesse Thorn is again at his best, letting loose his proper persona to put forth a bunch of silly stories and fun theories on a crazy amount of topics. Wong’s infectious curiosity fits in perfectly with the Morris-Thorn theorizing style.
LINDSEY: You Made It Weird #30 – Kyle Kinane
Kyle Kinane is my favorite. He is in Austin for SXSW right now, and I have yet to track him down. (I don’t have a badge, so tracking him down means just walking around. Like normal. Whatever.) I would have wanted to see him anyway, but this episode of You Made It Weird sets his appeal at a personal high. Kinane and Holmes are old friends, and the conversation is full of fond memories of their Chicago days and a ton of nerding out about comedy. A solid, delightful installment from start to finish. The go to “weird door” lately for YMIW has been sex, so listen up if you want to find out what kind of woman Kinane needs or the inner-dialogue he has with himself while deciding whether or not to touch a girl’s arm. The things you shouldn’t seek out from a listen are hygiene tips. (Unless you want to get laid. Maybe try out that no shower thing and report back.) “I like your tits, I live over there” is a classic pick-up strategy, though. Use that one all of the time.
This will probably be the most defensive review of anything, but here we go: I am fully aware of the fact that between Friday’s podcast and Monday’s “bonus” episode of The Todd Glass Show, also featuring Paul F. Tompkins, in which Glass talks openly about the consequences of his coming out months earlier and his thoughts on homosexuality in comedy and in general, is the podcast of much more significance and the one that will be remembered. I am cognizant of the fact that Paul F. Tompkins is contractually obligated to appear on at least five podcasts a week, and that PFT was the guest on Glass’s show a month ago. I know that Todd Glass is the most tangential person on Earth. I know that for awhile now Glass has been joyfully messing around with traditional radio bumper music. But Episode 35 was when the running gag finally reached its hilarious potential when Tompkins stepped up to the plate and intoned that “the last living Clydesdale died in a knife fight; more details after this” before an actual old WCAU-FM jingle (Philadelphia, home city of both Glass and Tompkins) kicked in. There’s just something about a podcast subverting a terrestrial radio staple that’s very, very funny and very much like a snot-nosed 12-year-old giving senior citizens conniption fits by throwing a snowball at a decrepit public bus’ window.
Alison Rosen Is Your New Friend #5 – Dana Gould
The Duncan Trussell Family Hour #6 – Bert Kreischer
The Nerdist #180 – Baratunde Thurston
Nerdist Writers Panel #29 – Dana Gould, Liz Tigelaar, Robert Hewitt Wolfe
The Todd Glass Show #36 – Paul F. Tompkins (Bonus)
Bradford Evans is a writer living in Los Angeles.
Lindsey Allen lives in Austin, TX. She has perfect teeth and a nice smell. A class act, all the way.
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