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.
The Dana Gould Hour – Love and Marriage
ROB: The Dana Gould Hour is back for its second season, with an episode called "Love and Marriage" out just in time for Valentines Day. Don’t expect much romance out of this episode, as Gould and his guests mainly talk about the idiosyncrasies of wedding ceremonies, before straying off topic entirely. This episode features two groups of comedians, separated by gender, which Gould alternates between throughout the episode. Dana Gould is known for putting a lot of post-production work into his podcast, and the effect here is great – Gould cuts the conversations up into small segments and pits the somewhat cynical attitudes towards marriage of Eddie Pepitone, Jonah Ray, and Rob Cohen in direct contrast to the (slightly) more sanguine perspectives of Sarah Burke and Arden Myrin. Gould really runs the conversations in this episode though, and almost all of the funniest moments in any segment belong to him. Also in this episode is Gould’s recurring segment, “Political Talk with Two Guys from Boston,” but there are no other sketches or live clips. Listen for some hilarious stories involving lawn grubs and hordes of birds, Space Priest 3000, Horny Joe: the steeple-humping acid casualty, and, though Gould says he doesn’t want to get too prurient, a comparison of something to a chainsaw wound in an orangutan’s back.
Comedy Bang Bang #200 – Jason Mantzoukas and Andy Daly
JOSH: When comedic scientists finally get around to sculpting a “Guests of Comedy Bang Bang” Mount Rushmore it will most likely include this week’s guests, Jason Mantzoukas and Andy Daly, as well as Paul F. Tompkins and, of course, the incomparable Teddy Roosevelt. The first three due to their exceptionally prolific CBB character work and T-Rose because the guy’s a 100% class act. Episode 200 of Comedy Bang Bang is a must-listen, instant classic that definitively answers the question, “What movie did Jason Mantzoukas receive a handjob during?” If you answered Encino Man, you are incorrect. No callback is safe as Scott and Jason eventually introduce part-time daycare employee/full-time holes enthusiast,Cactus Tony as they discuss topics as disparate as “assisted fall” hole murder and the ol' “popcorn for handjobs” movie theater night shift. Eventually, Cactus Tony jumps out the window effectively ending the interview as well as his life, while the true puppet master behind his death is revealed. Episode 200 of Comedy Bang Bang is such a delightfully hilarious episode that you need not be a fan of semi-erotic experimental theater or handjobs to enjoy it.
Doug Loves Movies #634 – Zach Galifianakis, Tom Lennon, Riki Lindhome, and Alex Berg
JAY: Its 2-Ocean's Thirteen. We made it through Sober January. Now its time to party Doug Benson-style. And what better way to celebrate than with an episode of Doug Loves Movies featuring the stars of the upcoming horror comedy Hell Baby and mystery guest Zach Galifianakis? Since it is Valentine's Day, this podcast kicks off with a discussion of the true meaning of the holiday: Riki Lindhome's vagina. Lennon then explains what it's like to be the Grand Marshal of a parade in Reno.The panel comments on recent movies they've seen and then its on to Doug's (Reindeer) games. We begin with ABC Deez Nuts with the letters from Hell Baby and the episode concludes, of course, with The Leonard Maltin Game. If you listen to one podcast this year that mentions both Yentl and Krippendorf's Tribe, make this it.
Penn’s Sunday School – Peter Noone
MARC: Ah, Penn Jillette. Magician, conman, truth-sayer, provocateur and atheist. It’s the last of those that drives many of the discussions around Penn’s Sunday School, although in the latest installment, none of that comes around until after the first hour, during which time Peter Noone (of Herman’s Hermits fame) is Jillette’s guest. And Noone turns out to be a treasure trove of fantastic stories from the early days of the British Invasion and beyond. The child TV star (from BBC’s Coronation) had turned to music and was playing at the age of 16 while hanging around the Beatles before they took off. He tells of John Lennon knocking out five blokes in a working man’s bar and of meeting and hanging out with Elvis in Hawaii a few years later. Jillette punctuates Noone’s tales with his trademark hoarse guffaw. Later in the show, after Noone has left, the host shares how his own atheist beliefs have been picked up by his young daughter and how that causes a bit of a problem with a god-fearing boy in her school, about which Jillette is a little leery about dealing with. Jillette’s shows tend to run over an hour, and each extra minute is well worth the listen.
Mental Illness Happy Hour #100 – Brody Stevens
ROGER: Brody Stevens had an all too public series of manic episodes in 2011, which eventually landed him at the UCLA psychiatric ward. He got back on his medication and was able to star in his own gripping and great HBO Go series Brody Stevens: Enjoy It! last year, which documented the comedian's mania after deciding to stop taking Lexapro. Unlike in the show, where most of the series of disturbing incidents were talked about by his friends and family with the aid of some video footage, Stevens was able to give his point of view and discussed his own interpretation of events on the 100th episode of The Mental Illness Happy Hour. Host Paul Gilmartin managed to be respectful to his guest while remaining genuinely curious about mania, asking the right questions and letting Stevens find his way back to the correct chronological order of events on his own instead of possibly having him lose the train of thought entirely. The science of what happens when the human mind fails, and how much is understood about it by the public changes all the time. As the conversations continue, Happy Hour is fighting the good fight, giving a therapeutic forum to not just comedians who have suffered or continue to battle some form of mental illness, but from the individuals who began strictly as fans and listeners of the show themselves.
Who Charted? #115 – Harris Wittels
SAMANTHA: Why is this week's episode of Who Charted "the bizarro episode"? Because Ku-Ku and Wie-Wie have switched seats in the Earwolf podcast laboratory, and absolute craziness has ensued. Sitting in each other's chairs doesn't just mean they're taking on each other's personalities (Howard gushes over his "bis-Scotty", Kulap says a lot of confusing things); it means Howard's counting down the charts and Kulap's made some seeeeriously badass new themes. They're joined by Harris Wittels, writer/Phish fan/gossip expert, who tells us all about One Direction and Taylor Swift and the creepy house he lived in as a kid. Also, Harris teaches us his favorite nacho recipe (spoiler alert: it's the Chili's nacho recipe), and Howard invents the best game in the world, Palm D'or or Pompadour.
This Week on the Splitsider Podcast Network:
You Had to Be There #97: Yannis Pappas
This week, Nikki and Sara marvel at how, two weeks in, they've already gotten used to the process of making their television show. Sara recently sawDjango Unchained in a now-rare moment of free time and when she says she liked it, Brooklyn-born comic and certified "grown man" (see ep. 96) Yannis Pappas(Modern Comedian, Twitter) offers his wholehearted agreement. After flinging fury at Brooklyn's bogus new neighborhoods, Philly's sports obsessions, and Beantown's general demeanor, Yannis tells the story of the shooting that shoved him into maturity early on in his career. The trio muse a bit on their futile little legacies but soon leap into a joyous edition of Talking Pee that includes a previral guessing gameon YouTube, a playful pedometer on everyone's waistband, Yannis's modest dog zoo, and Nikki's upcoming appearance on The Burn.
The Complete Guide To Everything: McDonald's Part 2 – The Return of the Arch Deluxe
This week, we go further down the McDonald’s rabbit hole and discuss the strange case of the Arch Deluxe, a hamburger marketed towards adults, and how kids everywhere thought that this pepper-flavored burger might convince their parents to eat fast food seven nights a week. We also talk about the brief history of hot dogs at the Golden Arches, which were banned for being “unhygienic” and debate whether or not Chicken Selects are available across the United States. (By the way, if your local McDonald’s sells Chicken Selects, take a picture and send an email to email@example.com so that Tim can win his $1,000 bet with Tom.)
It's That Episode 53: Eric Slovin Revisits 'The Bob Newhart Show'
Eric Slovin (Slovin and Allen, SNL) drops by to watch one of his favorite childhood shows, The Bob Newhart Show. Will the show hold up? Will there be tons of dated jokes about divorce and alfalfa sprouts? The answers are "no" and "yes." All that and talk about Eric's first days writing at SNL.
The Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show: WWE Writer Matt McCarthy
This week on the Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show, Jeff talks to comedian Matt McCarthy about his job of working for the WWE as a creative writer. They talk about how he got the job, the demands of putting together a live wrestling show, and what it's like to work with Vince McMahon.
A Funny Thing: John Flynn Cheats and Slap Fights His Way Off the Basketball Team
Our story this week: John Flynn was the sort of guy who cares more about the Oscar noms for Les Miserable than sports, until he discovered that a litte cheating and violent subterfuge could lead his highschool basketball team to unprecedented victory. He had found his place: riding high on the low road. What could possibly knock the dark prince of highscool basketball off his courtside throne? Listen to find out.
Left Handed Radio: Sequel Machine—'Die Hard 6'
Every month, The Sequel Machine recruits 25 writers to write the sequels for film's biggest franchises one page at a time. The catch is, the writers only get to read the page before theirs in a round-robin, exquisite corpse style. The end result is a hilarious, twisted, and as coherent as any misquided Hollywood sequel. This month: Die Hard 6.
Performed by: Adam Bozarth, Dan Chamberlain, Matt Little, Anna Rubanova, and Brett White with Shannon Coffey and Josh Ruben as John McClane. Script produced by Brett White and Matt Little.
Roger Cormier would probably run the light on his own podcast.
Marc Hershon is host of Succotash, the Comedy Podcast Podcast and author of I Hate People!
Jay Kuperstein is a writer, founder of ComedyK.com, and attorney working in Washington, DC.
Samantha Pitchel writes about and watches comedy in Austin and Los Angeles.
Robert Schoon is living in Brooklyn, soon to graduate j-school, and very employable. He writes about media, culture, and comedy.
Josh Sorokach is a comedy writer living in NYC who was once referred to as a "Poor Man's Joshua Jackson" while on a date.