This Week in Comedy Podcasts: ‘How Was Your Week’ Celebrates 200 Episodes
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. We hope to have your ears permanently plugged with the best in aural comedy.
How Was Your Week – Chris Spooner, Thomas Middleditch
Elizabeth: It’s the 200th episode of How Was your Week and what better way to mark the occasion than a discussion of everything from cannibalism to poetry. Julie shares her feeling on the ends of Letterman and Mad Men, the Kurt Cobain documentary, and Robin Wright’s sleepwear line before Chris “Spoony” Spooner comes by to talk about the new Cannibal Cop documentary Thought Crimes. They agree that the film lacked a discussion of the sexual aspect of his obsession and the role of the internet. Later Julie sits down with Thomas Middleditch to figure out whether or not he’s a hipster, how Shakespeare can be improvised, and why people like poetry. Thomas also gets passionate about the intellectual property of improv shows—specifically the concept of Improvised Shakespeare, which groups have tried to imitate—and talks about creating the character of Richard on Silicon Valley and analyzing his own work.
Call Chelsea Peretti – White Recluse
Leigh: Chelsea Peretti finally returns to the Staples Center to record another episode of treasured American podcast Call Chelsea Peretti. And this time she’s joined by her boss and acquaintance, Mike Schur. They talk Letterman, Schur’s famous father-in-law, flash vs no flash, the correct pronunciation of “the”, TV critics, the myth that is Lyme disease and of course, some gruesome attack stories. It’s got all the makings of a classic CCP – sound effects, fan favorite original songs, spirited callers and shout outs to Brendon Walsh. While it’s been over two months since the last episode I think you’ll agree, this one was worth the wait.
WTF with Marc Maron – Tommy Davidson
Pablo: Has Marc Maron run out of comedians to interview? Through five months of 2015, there have been more actors, directors, writers, musicians, wrestlers, and NPR hosts then comics venturing to Highland Park for a chat. So this week’s full-length interview with In Living Color’s Tommy Davidson is a great sight for longtime fans of the show. Davidson’s childhood was fucked up, to say the least. Literally abandoned in the trash by his birth mother, he was adopted by a white single mom with two kids of her own. The family moved to Washington D.C. just as the ’68 riots that followed MLK’s assassination were going down, which is pertinent to the interview as they recorded it during last month’s Baltimore riots. As his family moved around the DMV, Davidson faced adversity from people calling him both “cracker lover” and the n-word until they finally settled in an integrated Maryland suburb. There Davidson found solace in entertainment, not comedy initially but through singing, thanks to his prepubescent similar to Michael Jackson’s. Later when Davidson started performing stand-up at The Comedy Store, he befriended MJ and learned after his death that he was the King of Pop’s favorite performer. But as Davidson recalls, even comedians invited to host a 5,000 person party at Neverland Ranch had to pay for their own limo.
The Pauly Shore Podcast Show – Doug Herzog & Camille Grammer
Marc: Pauly Shore pulls deep from his contacts this week on The Pauly Shore Podcast Show, starting with guest Doug Herzog. Back in 1989, when Shore was still finding his footing as a comic, he was tapped to be one of MTV’s VJs (a “video jock”.) Doug Herzog was running the channel’s non-music programming, such as its Beach Party specials. Recently named head of Viacom’s newly-formed Music and Entertainment Group, Herzog had time to pop in and catch up with “The Weasel” (Pauly’s old surfdog alter ego). While Shore’s chats aren’t exactly hard-hitting journalism, his disarming style helps him slip in some interview curveballs. Herzog does a bit of tap dancing around the subject of what happened to the musical elements that used to drive MTV, which he is now in charge of as part of his new duties. In the back half of the show, Shore is joined by another MTV alum, Camille Grammer (née Donatacci), who was a dancer for MTV’s Street Party series, and who met Shore when they both had to visit the Beach Party set as part of their duties. She’s more well-known these days as the ex-wife of Kelsey Grammer and as the ditzy fixture of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. With both guests, Shore has a lot of fun reminiscing while conducting a loosely-wrapped history lesson behind the scenes of the short-lived yet iconic music video days of MTV.
You Made It Weird – Noel Gallagher
Kaitlynn: It may be one of the shortest episodes in the podcast’s history, but it certainly has one of the most prolific guests. Noel Gallagher is the guitarist and songwriter of Oasis who is now playing with the band he founded, High Flying Birds. As a musician known for being blatantly honest especially in interviews, Noel and Pete hit it off and get into it very quickly. All the usual YMIW topics the podcast usually covers are mentioned: God, spirituality, love, and drugs, and instead of comedy they focus more on music and songwriting. Noel has a distinct artistic viewpoint that an individual’s perception can change everything and whatever meaning you find in his work is perfectly yours. Even more exciting is the plethora of laughs between guest and host. Noel has a great sense of humor, although to the untrained ear the British accent and quick delivery might take extra intensive listening skills. There are great moments of honesty that really strike the listener, especially coming from a prolific individual who is self-assured. Gallagher admits he has done every drug there is and doesn’t see the reason to do any more. He speaks in depth about music being a calling and there is nothing else in the world that would feel so fulfilling. Even he is wondering why someone could leave The Rolling Stones and even why Zayn would leave One Direction!
Other Podcasts We’re Listening To:
The Hooray Show – Kattan’s in the Cradle
Classic Loveline – Fiona Apple
Don’t Ever Change – Liza Treyger
The Sibling Rivalry Podcast – Wheelchair of Regret
Sklarbro Country – Flula Borg, Daniel Van Kirk
The Adventures of Grett Binchleaf – The Adventure of the Glow-In-the-Dark Chickens
Elizabeth Stamp is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York.
Leigh Cesiro is a writer living in Brooklyn who only needs 10 minutes to solve any Law & Order: SVU episode.
Pablo Goldstein is a writer from Los Angeles, CA.