This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Chris Hardwick Visits ‘How To Be Amazing’
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 To Be Amazing with Michael Ian Black – Chris Hardwick
Leigh: If you’re of a certain age, you remember Chris Hardwick from MTV’s Singled Out. If you’re of another age you know him from a billion other things. On this week’s episode of How To Be Amazing host Michael Ian Black sits down with Hardwick to hear the story behind all of those things and how he went from being called “the MTV guy who’s trying to do standup” to running an empire. It starts with Hardwick spending a lot of time as a kid in bowling centers which, as we learn in this episode, is very different from a bowling alley. From there he goes on to discuss drinking too much, drinking not at all and eventually going on to make a business out of his point of view and the things he loves. It’s an inspiring and motivating conversation about getting your act together, filled with tons of helpful advice and far too many great quotes for me to pull just one to put in this blurb.
Lil’ Cuties – The Lil’ Cuties Meet Jake Weisman
Pablo: What is a Lil’ Cutie? According to hosts Dave Horwitz and Shawn Pearlman, it’s a person who’s at the age where society considers them adults, yet they’re not quite there yet. I think. It’s a purposely vague description, but one person who confidently calls himself an adult instead of a Lil’ Cutie is this week’s guest Jake Weisman. If you underwent four spinal surgeries and had a two-month spell with literally no sleep, like Weisman did in 2015, you would consider yourself a goddamn adult too. Coming off one of the most painful periods of his life, you’d expect the standup to be rightfully cynical. But Weisman is candidly optimistic about his professional future and his straightforward belief that if you have the talent and actually put in the work, instead of just talking about it at improv theater parties, you will be successful in entertainment. However, even if you’re a legit comedic genius, it’s still your job to compromise with the industry and show “the idiots in suits” how to make money off you.
Trailer Park Boys Podcast – Liquored up in London with The Mighty Boosh
Kaitlynn: If you don’t know the Trailer Park Boys, you might be living under a huge rock. They are Canada’s antiheroes comprised of Ricky (Robb Wells), Julian (John Paul Tremblay) and Bubbles (Mike Smith). They love drinking, smoking weed and jail. They already have 9 seasons of the mockumentary show (the previous two and next two through Netflix) and three movies under their belt. Episode 8 is live from London with guests Mike and Noel Fielding from the British comedy troupe The Mighty Boosh. The video version is available on their subscription based comedy network Swearnet. The group starts by trying out British snacks, where they can find weed, and why Bubbles wants a swan named Darrel. The episodes are casual conversations like a few people hanging out in a basement drinking, eating and probably smoking. They discuss where you can buy ice, the sights in London, the Queen, and the band Queen. The trio is constantly in character and having inhabited them for fourteen years, they wear the persona like a second skin. Mike and Noel play along and have a fun, laid back conversation where the riffs and jokes aren’t pushed down your throat (unlike the liquor).
Hello Today with Tripp and Tyler – Jon Acuff
Marc: With the growing interest in listening to podcasts comes more and more interest in producing them, too. Among the newest entries is Hello Today with Tripp and Tyler, which just dropped its fourth installment this week. Hosts Tripp Crosby and Tyler Stanton are best known for their YouTube videos, which they’ve been putting out since 2006. They are de facto comedians who gained their chops by hosting live events, including a regular live variety show in Atlanta, Georgia. This episode features their first podcast guest, author Jon Acuff (Start: Punch Fear In The Face), who joins them in sharing career low points — getting beat up by 12-year-olds while dressed as a rabbit at a bar mitzvah is unique — and the most embarrassing internet domain names that they’re still squatting on are among the diverse topics covered. For two guys and a guest who don’t claim to be comics, there are good laughs to be had.
Two Girls, One Pup – Baron Vaughn, Janine Brito, and Bob Weatherwax
Elizabeth: It’s been a great year for comedy podcasts about people who love dogs. First there was Can I Pet Your Dog, and now Monique Madrid brings her dog-friendly monthly standup show in LA to podcast or “pupcast” form. This week Monique and her pup co-host, Comet, released the first three episodes, welcoming comedians Baron Vaughn, Janine Brito, and dog trainer Bob Weatherwax. Each episode starts out on the street meeting dogs and their owners and ends with a rapid-fire questionnaire about favorite breed, dog names, dog movie, and their most doglike attribute. The first episode has an element of danger, as Baron Vaughn is allergic to dogs and is carrying an epi-pen. He talks about an awful experience living with mold, working with Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda on Grace & Frankie, and a period in his life where everything went wrong. Dog lover Janine Brinto describes Comet’s aura, meeting dogs on the internet, singing songs to pets, and the endless debate of cats versus dogs. Taking a break from comedians, Monique talks with Bob Weatherwax, son of Red Weatherwax, the owner and trainer of Pal, the original Lassie. Bob chats about growing up with Lassie, joining the family business, and training dogs for Roseanne, the Back to the Future series, Harry and the Hendersons, and Who’s the Boss. And it you’ve ever wondered if your dog could be a movie star, Bob reveals that if a collie can be trained for the big screen, any dog can.
Other Podcasts We’re Listening To:
Comedy Bang! Bang! – Jason Mantzoukas, Nick Kroll
If I Were You – Fantasy with Emily Gordon
Doodie Calls – Tara Copeland
High and Mighty – Power Hour w/Betsy Sodaro and Drew Tarver
Baby Geniuses – Claudia O’Doherty/Josh Fadem
The Dollop – The Battle of Brisbane
Mark Forward Podcast – Apps
Spontaneanation – Underneath the Eiffel Tower: Live from Largo
This Is Why You’re Single – You Ask Too Many People For Advice
WTF with Marc Maron – Jake Kasdan/Fred Stoller
How To Be A Person – Jared Logan – How To Be A Dungeon Master
Got a podcast recommendation? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.