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.
You Made It Weird #167 – “Live from the Troubador Again” with John Mulaney, Jason Mantzoukas, Sarah Silverman, Kurt Braunohler, Chris Thayer, Rob Huebel, and Anthony Jeselnik
ROGER: I should be able to just point at the list of guests from this episode as my entire review, or I should just be able to bring up that John Mulaney talked about his wedding proposal that was basically ruined by Pete Holmes, or that Rob Huebel tried to insult fans of The League to get Jason Mantzoukas killed, or that there was a lot of funny friendly teasing over T.J. Miller even though he wasn’t even at the show, but that would be too easy or something. The one issue with podcasts that load up on the star power sometimes is that some of the funny names get short shrift, and even though there were long pockets of time where the presence of one or two of the funny people was completely forgotten about, it didn’t take away from the show’s enjoyment, and everyone left the theater having proven their comedic worth for yet another time. It legitimately felt like a bunch of comedians hanging out in the green room before a show catching up and talking about their strange fathers.
TOPICS #6 – “What Is Art?”
MARC: It’s a deep question and for Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter to take it on in the 30-minute space allowed in their most recent installment of TOPICS is a tall order. Until you realize that these two are pushing the envelope when it comes to answering the question, “What is comedy?” They’re both as deadpan as the audio medium will allow but one suspects that if you saw them on video, they’re painfully trying not to fall out laughing. It seems that unless Black authorizes it – whatever it is, either the surrealism of Marc Chagall or a cow in formaldehyde – it’s NOT art. And Showalter gets to the core of it: Unless it looks “real” to the other Michael (“Chagall’s goats don’t look like real goats. They look like cartoon goats. So, nice try, but that’s not Art.”), it’s just not going to cut it. The obtuseness of the discussion/argument grows until even the densest listener would realize that these two comedian-philosophers are doing their characterizations of the most articulate of idiots. And that’s Art.
Road Stories Podcast – “Rat Creatures and Dead-On Crickets” with Brian Regan
ROGER: Brian Regan is one of the funniest comedians in the business to never have starred – and if IMDB is believed – to have even appeared in a scripted show, building his fanbase exclusively from over two decades of road work and appearances on Letterman. It makes him the perfect guest for Road Stories, a podcast that lives by its title and focuses primarily on all things “the road” (this includes hotel showers.) Live from a Las Vegas hotel room with host Murray Valeriano, Regan talked about his working relationship with his brother Dennis, how he somehow lowballed himself when negotiating his first-ever paid gig, and why he works clean. The latter topic is something Regan has been asked so often that he brought up its popularity to a momentarily embarrassed Valeriano, only for it to quickly evolve into a very funny debate over Jeff Goldblum, so no harm done there. Usually Valeriano knows the right, sometimes unique questions to ask because of his career as a standup himself, and he had plenty of those for the rest of the podcast.
How Did This Get Made? #67 – Sharknado with Scott Aukerman
JOSH: The broadcast of the Syfy made-for-TV movie Sharknado was such an iconic watershed moment for the television landscape that How Did This Get Made? was forced to tape an emergency Sharknado edition to properly discuss the absolute insanity of this movie. The original plan was to cover – future HDTGM trivia question answer alert – Tyler Perry’s Alex Cross, but plans tend to change when a full-fledged Sharknado storms into town. Most Valuable Podcaster Scott Aukerman and the rest of How Did This Get Made team partake in an intricate 60-minute conversation – literally one full glorious hour – of Sharknado-related inconsistencies. Co-host and amateur tornado enthusiast June Diane Raphael takes a break to demonstrate her theatrical chops by performing a dramatic reading of an iconic Sharknado monologue, while longtime listeners finally hear Jason Mantzoukas explain his aversion to Twitter. Which How Did This Get Made member described the movie as, “It posited a world that I don’t want to live in, Sharknado or no”? Listen to find out.
Terrified with Dave Ross #1 – Kyle Kinane
ELISE: The latest addition to the Nerdist family, Terrified is LA comic Dave Ross's take on pushing the confessional nature of comedy podcasting even further. With any luck, the opening question for his first guest, Kyle Kinane, will become the trademark beginning to his interviews: "Do you hate yourself? Have you ever hated yourself?" It's a bold, cutting-to-the-core start that leads into a natural, meandering conversation between the two gravelly-voiced comics about the pros and cons of therapy, manliness, punk rock vs. hipsters, the DIY ethos, comedy as the new rock 'n' roll, growing up, and getting old. Clocking in under 50 minutes, the show never drags or feels too self-indulgent, a notable accomplishment for a premiere episode. It also provides the beautiful image of an eight-year-old Kyle Kinane listening to, and loving, '80s Madonna, which is more than enough to make it worth a listen.
This Week on the Splitsider Podcast Network:
The Complete Guide to Everything: Amazing Facts!
This week, Tim and Tom vie for the coveted title of Factmaster General of TCGTE in an epic showdown of incredible proportions. We try to outdo each other with amazing facts, to see who has the number one most amazing fact of all amazing facts. We relay some interesting info about the Three Stooges, the Empire State Building, the human brain, the universe and much more.
It's That Episode: Emily Axford and the Trashiest Show Ever, 'Dates From Hell'
Emily Axford (College Humor) drops by with an intense episode of Investigation Discovery's show "Dates From Hell," which completely shocks and disturbs Craig. Emily and Craig discuss the morally bankrupt episode and Emily describes a true crime from her home town involving a mother who survives getting hit in the face with an ax and defends her son who tried to kill her.
This week on the Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show it's all about Pacific Rim. Jeff sits down with Patrick Cassels (Collegehumor) and Nick Kocher (BriTANick, Much Ado About Nothing) to talk about the movie and what they thought about it.
Welcome back, hobots. After two months of TV-taping and globe-hopping, Sara and Nikki are back in the same room and ready to fill your ears with tales of scuba diving and melancholy. In their new streamlined format, the girls get you up to speed on season two ofNikki & Sara Live and their current views on leg stances and seafood. It’s worth the wait.
Roger Cormier hopes his fortune cookie never reads "origami snake."
Elise Czajkowski is a contributing editor at Splitsider and comedy journalist in New York City. She tweets at @EliseCz.