The comedy podcast universe is ever expanding, not unlike the universe universe. We're here to make it a bit smaller, a bit more manageable. There are a lot of great shows and each has a lot of great episodes, so we want to highlight the exceptional, the noteworthy. Each week our crack team of podcast enthusiasts and specialists and especially enthusiastic people will pick their favorites. Also, we'll keep you posted on the offerings from our very own podcast network. We hope to have your ears permanently plugged with the best in aural comedy.
JAY: Pete Holmes has been a podcaster for one full year and what better way to celebrate than with the comedy gift that is Zach Galifianakis? Answer: none. There is none better way. Or something like that. You may know Zach from such comedy films as: Hangover 1, Hangover 2, Due Date, and not Funny People (to borrow a phrase from Brody Stevens.) Pete and Zach get right into it, philosophizing about the differences between the way comedians and "normal" people communicate with each other, the importance of laughter, and the craft of acting. Zach then asks why movie reviewers would even write a review unless it was positive? I agree wholeheartedly. Galifianakis speaks to the pitfalls of being such a recognizable figure, how he tries to remain grounded, and being "show business fat." They discuss the talk show format and their mutual respect for Johnny Carson and Dave Letterman, taboo jokes, spirituality, and laughing in church. And that is part of why we love podcasts. They are about two artists speaking honestly, having fun, and every once in a while, giving us a "laughing in church" moment. Happy Anniversary to Pete Holmes and You Made It Weird. You couldn't have picked a better guest to celebrate this milestone than Zach Galifianakis.
ELISE: For a non-Halloween fan such as myself, listening to this scary-movie special of How Did This Get Made? constituted my entire celebration of the holiday, and could easily become an annual tradition for me. Listening to the gang, with guest Zack Pearlman, attempting to make sense of the baffling 80s slasher film Sleepaway Camp is an absolute delight. As is often the case with HDTGM, the joy comes from listening to them talk about a movie I haven't seen and trying to figure out what the hell they're talking about. It's hard to conceive of a movie that's as insane as they've described, which makes it the perfect HDTGM film.
BRADFORD: It's an eclectic lineup for Marc Maron's latest live episode, with guests from all over the comedy landscape (plus Moby). The only thing missing is Maron show regular Eddie Pepitone, who's busy touring around his documentary The Bitter Buddha, and any sort of female presence. Highlights include Aries Spears's story about almost getting Paul Mooney to write for MADtv, Maron reminiscing him about meeting him as a kid, Dave Hill re-telling an epic bum urine tale he's shared plenty of places before, Maron calling not-present Pete Holmes an "emotional vampire," TJ Miller dissecting "the WTF fad," and the gang sharing dominatrix stories. It's a long episode at an hour-and-a-half but one that's packed with fun interactions and stories, concluding with everyone on stage bugging father figure Marc Maron for his approval.
Beauty and Da Beast #111 – Ari Shaffir
MARC: Readers of "This Week In Comedy Podcasts" may wonder how and why those of us on this review team choose the shows we do. Everyone’s got their methods. One of mine is seeing what people are listening to that I haven’t heard yet. Case in point: Beauty And Da Beast with comedians Joey Diaz and Felicia Michaels. BADB is nominated for the 8th Annual Podcast Awards in the Comedy category so I figured I’d see what jumped them into that field of battle. The two hosts bill their show as “laugh out loud black and blue comedy” and it gets pretty rough. If you’re a fan of such fare asWalking The Room, you’re probably sturdy enough for the place Diaz drags Michaels around through. Along with this episode’s guest Ari Shaffir, they start out mildly enough, talking conspiracy-theory-as-fact about such things as TSA security(“In two years they’ll be at movie theaters and at parks!”) But by the two-thirds mark, they’re deep into chatter about crotch sweat, its attendant odors and how do you trick a girl into taking a shower so you won’t have to deal with it. The show’s got a whiff of “What if Tony Soprano had decided to start a podcast?” And Diaz, who is a powerhouse of commentary, liberally carpet f-bombs all the way back to base. If you can hang with that premise, then you’ll definitely enjoy the no-holds-barred-nor-apologies-issued style of Beauty And Da Beast.
The Todd Glass Show #71 – Doug Stanhope and Daniel Kinno
ROGER: It's not as if I believe that the outspoken Doug Stanhope spends his days yelling at women and children that they were a waste of space or anything, but the very idea that he is an avid listener of the sweet and cuddly Todd Glass Show is amusing to me. The fact that Stanhope specifically professed a love for the particularly silly "Baby Elephant Walk" bit is just plain funny. Stanhope, who recently released the stand up album Before Turning The Gun On Himself and was the guest of Friday's Todd Glass Show bringing up a story from the early 1990s involving Todd Glass successfully impersonating actor Treat Williams (he played David Letterman's manager in Late Shift) to acquire a ton of perks was really funny. But none of those things could match one of the greatest payoffs to a running gag in recorded history. Literally eighty minutes into the show, after Glass had played the first few seconds of an unidentified jaunty tune that "sounded like farts" for the tenth or so time, Stanhope commented that it sounded like something that Hitler should shout over.. It was then that Glass wasn't interrupted by Stanhope or Daniel Kinno and played the whole song, revealing it to be "Der Fuehrer's Face", a parody of the official Nazi theme, "The Horst Wessel Song." Stanhope in between boisterous laughter swore up and down that he had no idea, and the all-time classic status of the episode was cemented. Diehard fans of the show will particularly enjoy the guest calling Glass out on not explaining what "to George Carlin" means often enough and for repeatedly insisting to his cohorts that he will edit something out when he clearly doesn't.
Ari Shaffir's Skeptic Tank #85 – Pauly Shore
SAMANTHA: It's a Los Angeles lovefest this week on Ari Shaffir's Skeptic Tank as our host — and longtime Comedy Store employee — is joined by Pauly Shore, son of the club's famed owner, Mitzi. Shore gives a brief history of the club before diving into stories about how he used to get high on the way to elementary school, how he saved up for a saltwater fish tank by slinging burgers at the Store, and how he was almost the star of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure; he also talks about his friendship with Sam Kinison (and some of the other amazing comics he's met during his 40 years in the industry), his relationship with Kylie Minogue (she was in Bio-Dome, remember?), and much, much more (hinting at a possible Pauly Part Two episode). There's also lots of reminiscing about what Sunset was like in the 80s, back when the Store was just a one-room club next to the projects and the Viper Room was called Filthy McNasty's. If you only know Shore from his early 90s oeuvre, let this mini history lesson shatter your preconcieved notions of The Weasel.
This Week in the Splitsider Podcast Network:
This week we get completely interrupted by a Frankenstorm hurricane named Sandy. While many lesser podcasts would say, "Sorry everyone, we can't record this week." We said, "Sorry everyone, we can't record this week." and then did a Live Google+ Hangout anyway. If you really want to fully experience this episode you'll watch it on our YouTube page
since there are a few visual jokes and the audio is kinda sorta terrible. However, we do discuss our new apartments, hurricane preparedness and not much else in this terrible fake episode.
You Had To Be There #85: Dan St. Germain
This week, Nikki considers the pros and cons of her new Manhattan digs and tells a grand story of comedic rebellion that explains why she doesn't get many corporate gigs. Though this is comedian Dan St. Germain's (John Oliver's New York Stand-Up Show, My Dumb Friends podcast) first official YHTBT appearance, he was previously the guest on this podcast's only lost episode, locked away in the Disney Vault for being, in Dan's words, "too sad." The talk this time around starts out kind of dour, too, with tales of epically vindictive exes, but soon morphs into a fun litany of frank sexual histories, including Dan's weird nuts, Sara's minor orgy, and something called "Jeff Dunhamming." Combat post-Sandy cabin fever with this great episode (and then check out this recent post from previous guest Gavin McInnes celebrating Nikki's photos from the subways (remember those?)).
Oh, hello! In this week’s episode of “Make Yourself Comfy with Abra Tabak” improv wonders Will Hines (The Stepfathers
), Morgan Grace Jarrett (Grandma’s Ashes
), and Michael Kayne (Diamond Lion
) join Abra to create a world where nipple clamps find danger, kids be munching on tiles, and movie theaters are for dump offs.
The Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show: Power Rangers' Bulk & Skull
This week on The Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show my guests are Jason Narvy and Paul Schrier, perhaps best known for their roles as Bulk and Skull on Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. Both have appeared in several hundred episodes of Power Rangers, making them by far the iconic show’s longest running characters. In this episode we discuss being on one of the planet’s most popular TV shows when you’re 18 years old, the classical origins of Bulk and Skull’s slapstick, and what they’re up to now.
It's That Episode 38: Dan Mirk Gets Spooky With 'American Horror Story'
On "It's That Episode" Craig Rowin (UCB Theatre) invites guests over to watch any episode of any TV show they want. They discuss the episode and other crap. Dan Mirk (Onion News Network) drops by for a Halloweeny episode of American Horror Story. Craig and Dan discuss spoooooky things such as what it would be like to be invisible, how Craig once pretended that he was beaten up by a penis on Halloween, and what a TV show featuring a family full of Wilsons from Home Improvement would look like.
A Funny Thing #33: Losin' It with Dan Harmon
We’ve been a little scrambled by Hurricane Sandy here at A Funny Thing headquarters. But Kelly and Taylor are safe and sound and now you get to relive one of our weirdest and most-loved episodes. Dan Harmon, creator of NBC’s Community, Channel 101, and all-around television savant, becomes a living avatar of losing things (cats, virginty, trains of thought) on stage at the UCB Theatre in Los Angeles. He told this story at the show This Feels Terrible, hosted by Erin McGathy and the story comes to A Funny Thing courtesy of her. Thanks, Erin! If you liked this or didn’t like it even, go check out Harmontown, Dan’s incredible podcast.
Bradford Evans is Splitsider's Associate Editor.
Elise Czajkowski is a freelance journalist in New York City.
Jay Kuperstein is a writer, founder of ComedyK.com, and attorney working in Washington, DC.
Marc Hershon is host of Succotash, the Comedy Podcast Podcast and author of I Hate People!
Roger Cormier is impatient when it comes to getting his McFlurrys.
Samantha Pitchel writes about and watches comedy in Austin and Los Angeles.