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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Kumail Nanjiani Talks Pornography, Chris Hardwick Tells Road Stories, and More!

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.

Road Stories - Chris Hardwick and Howard Kremer

ROGER: Roadstories exists for us as a reminder that busy, successful comedians usually earned it. After a five week hiatus, Murray Valeriano's podcast returned with an episode that dived into Chris Hardwick's Hard 'n Phirm days. Hardwick, as you are probably aware, is now all over the place, lately known for being the guy who's always hired to host wrap-up shows on TV for preexisting TV shows, so it was different to hear about his pre-running a podcast network empire days, getting booed for playing bluegrass Radiohead covers with Mike Phirman, and the eureka moment when he found his fanbase. In another lifetime, Hard 'n Phirm toured with Who Charted? co-host Howard Kremer and his Dragon Boy Suede rap persona, and Kremer was a guest that sat back and provided his own entertaining tales of the past. The boy of Summah (he explained that the end of Labor Day weekend is the"Still Summah" part of the year) touches upon the always funny in retrospect stories about getting into an argument with an old agent on a long drive home and working with dubious and rigid last second edits on his Comedy Central half hour. READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Chris Gethard Makes It Weird, and Michael McKean Visits Maron's Garage

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 K Ohle #18 - FactTime with Paul F. Tompkins and Matt Oberg

ROGER: Apparently bored with rotating between shows loosely based around boats, pets, and blindfolded guests, Kurt Braunohler decided to change things up and make a straight parody of the popular WNYC podcast Radiolab. Comedy podcast listeners who are not familiar with Radiolab can still appreciate the attention to detail and feel like they are in on an inside joke, considering that the "FactTime" episode sounds generally like you would assume an NPR show would, not to mention the casting of seemingly ubiquitous Nerdist producer Katie Levine to help with making fun of the WNYC show's usual opening. Braunohler and Matt Oberg nailed Jed and Robert's back and forth rhythms too, but possibly the episode's funniest aspect was Paul F Tompkins's increasingly absurd and needlessly dark squirrel anecdote that the pilot to "FactTime" was focused on. READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Colin Quinn, Michael Ian Black Eats Chips, & More!

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 Todd Barry Podcast #18: Colin Quinn

ROGER: It was fun to hear old chums Todd Barry and Colin Quinn talk about everything and nothing for almost an hour, with the two essentially following a pattern where Barry makes a declarative one sentence statement (usually in an intentional or unintentional sarcastic tone), Quinn expresses his paragraph long opinion almost as quickly, and Barry elaborates on his actual opinion or moves on to a similar topic. Quinn isn't an ubiquitous podcast presence, so his annotations on the comedy advice he gave out in his recent Just For Laughs speech were new. Naturally, the two veterans got into old standup anecdote territory, with Quinn's tales of bad openers and fighting passive aggressive behavior with more passive aggressive behavior being the highlights. Barry opening up a conversation about Twitter by pretending to congratulate Colin in a begrudging tone on his funny Twitter account, leading Quinn to admit to having a "gift for a turn of phrase that just irritates everybody," was just as entertaining, and a sign that Barry is getting the hang of this hosting a one-on-one interview podcast thing. READ MORE

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Fun Thing to Buy of the Day: 'The Mindy Project' on DVD

Look, we all know The Mindy Project has had some ups and downs (drastic casting changes, episodes airing out of order, etc.). But its merit exists not in the depth of its side characters, but in the journey the audience takes with Mindy as she stumbles her way through love, life, and a less-than-romantic job as an OB-GYN. The show flirts with stereotypes of rom-com love, only to shine light on how absurd it often can be (in the last episode, angry neighbors yell at Mindy for running down the street into her lover's arms in the middle of the night). Its strong writers (which includes Kaling, along with Fallon's Jeremy Bronson and MadTV's Ike Barinholtz, to name a few) make sure that every episode has both laughs and moments of genuine learning and growing. It's an interesting show that fortunately got renewed for a second season on Fox, so make sure to get season one today so you're all caught up for the fall! READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Bill Hader and a Wompler Party!

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.

Comedy Bang Bang #238 – Marissa Wompler’s Birthday Pool Party LIVE

JOSH: This week's aquatic episode of Comedy Bang! Bang! is chock full of ziplines, deception, marriage proposals and (unfortunately) "Not enough Combos for all your Asian friends," which can mean only one thing: It's Marissa Wompler's Birthday Pool Party Extravaganza! All your favorite Wompler-adjacent characters visit the Marina Del Rey common area pool to celebrate 17 glorious years of Womping it up. Marissa's step dad Seth drops by the above pool platform to discuss his sexual gamma rays and his past dependency on "emotional flashcards" to better understand human expressions. Ms. Listler keeps the party rocking with her "Best of 1990s Will Smith" party mix and takes a break from attempting to lure Seth to a tarp-covered couch him to introduce her new boyfriend Karim. Discover how the movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days doomed the epic Wompler/Gutterman romantic saga and uncover all the steamy details of a tantalizing love affair involving Marissa Wompler's arch-nemesis on this week's Comedy Bang! Bang! READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Paul F. Tompkins, John Oliver, and More

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 Bugle #243

MARC: I’ve been enjoying John Oliver filling in for the movie-directing Jon Stewart on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show since the beginning of June, but was curious how – with the onerous workload of hosting a daily TV show – he was simultaneously coming across as the weekly co-host of podcasting’s The Bugle. So I downloaded the latest episode and was delighted to find that he and co-host Andy Zaltzman are as topical and funny as ever. The Daily Show gig now being old news, this week the lads are crowing over Oliver’s voice work as Vanity Smurf in the just-released Smurfs 2 (still unseen by Oliver at press time) and then jumping into one of their favorite go-to subjects, former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and his ongoing legal woes. Much like The Daily Show (but with a more international focus), The Bugle chomps into deep news stories with relish, the hosts’ sole goal to then lambast and lampoon them mercilessly. Such Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, who has been accused of rigging the recent election. The only indication that Oliver may be a bit pressed for time these days is the length of recent shows, which rarely go over a half hour – still ample time to educate yourself beyond what the US mainstream news seems capable of delivering while getting some great laughs. READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Amy Poehler, Jimmy Fallon, and More

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.

Comedy Bang Bang #234 - Bill Hader and Seth Morris 
ROB: This week’s bonus episode of Comedy Bang Bang is a must-listen for fans of the show – and for fans of a particular character that has not been around for more than a year. It’s Bill Hader’s first appearance on the CBB podcast, and Scott Aukerman and Hader first discuss The To Do List, which Hader’s wife, Maggie Carey, wrote and directed. The movie is based loosely on Carey’s experience, which apparently made watching the premiere of the raunchy sex comedy – with Hader and Carey sitting next to their respective parents – pretty awkward for him. (Aukerman, of course, isn’t afraid of asking awkward interview questions either, so he goes there). In the movie, Hader plays an itinerant loser who works and crashes at a pool, which flows perfectly with the guest character’s appearance in the next segment. Who is it? Here’s a hint: Morris’s character opens the door and, in his nasally, tarnished yam simplex-damaged voice, utters, “Scott… How are ya kiddo?” That’s right, Bob Ducca – Scott’s ex-stepfather who had his own Earwolf podcast but suddenly dropped off the face of the earth – returns! Longtime CBB fans who have been suffering from a lack of Ducca get to hear a couple lists this week. Also, there’s an extended sequence of Ducca replacing a bandage and lancing his wounds, and Morris brought along sound effects. It’s nice hearing Ducca back on the podcast, but is it too much to ask for Morris to restart his Bob Ducca podcast Affirmation Nation?

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Fun Thing to Buy of the Day: 'Mystery Science Theater 3000 XXVVII' on DVD

Comedy nerds and science nerds alike already know about Mystery Science Theater 3000. In case you're not in the know: the Peabody Award-winning satire series ran for a few years on a Minneapolis CW-affiliate before being picked up by Comedy Central in the early 90s and eventually making its way onto SyFy. The cult show followed a man and his robot sidekicks, who are imprisoned on a space station by an evil scientist and forced to watch a selection of bad movies (think The Room) as part of a psychological experiment. To stay sane, the man and his robots provide a running commentary on each film, making fun of its flaws and wisecracking their way through each reel. It's a bizarre premise with a hilarious result, and definitely worth checking out. Buy the latest MST3K DVD, which has four of the earliest and best episodes of the show, on Amazon today! READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Sir Paul McCartney's Comedy Podcast Debut

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 Paul Mecurio Show #23 – Paul McCartney

MARC: In the podcast game, a great “get” is that interview that no one else seems to be able to bag. Marc Maron scores a lot of great gets. So does The Nerdist. But they’ve done hundreds of episodes. Paul Mecurio has done precisely 23 as of this writing and has already grabbed Jay Leno, Bob Costas, and Lewis Black. This week, however, the comedian and former staffer for The Daily Show and The Colbert Report has balls’d his way – by his own admission – into interviewing Sir Paul McCartney. The story of how he did it is in the show, but then he gets the former Beatle and Wings frontman to go pretty deep in the half-hour they spend together. Paul gets Sir Paul to talk about how the lads from Liverpool decided to keep changing their sound in spite of the fact most rock bands just kept hashing out the same stuff album after album, “We just didn’t want to get bored,” starts McCartney, who also talks about the difference between the art of band diplomacy amongst four equals as a Beatle versus the shouldering responsibility for everything produced as the creator and driving force behind Wings. He also equates musical creativity to comedic creativity, acknowledging Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce and citing Robin Williams. Quite a coup, Mr. Mecurio. READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Mulaney, Silverman, Jeselnik, and More Make It Weird

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. READ MORE

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Fun Thing to Buy of the Day: 'The Bitter Buddha' on DVD

Every good stand-up comedian knows that it's both a blessing and a curse to be a "comic's comic." On the one hand, you receive high praise and validation from those "in the know," and your comedy "street cred" is through the roof. On the other hand, it's hard to continue pursuing standup without reaching broader audiences and building a larger fanbase – only the most hardworking, naturally talented comedians (Louis CK, for example) have been able to achieve both. The Bitter Buddha explores the middle age career surge of a true comic's comic, Eddie Peppitone, as he grapples with family struggles, sobriety, and self-doubt. The documentary features interviews with a ton of comedians, from Sarah Silverman and Marc Maron to Zach Galifinakis and Jen Kirkman. Fans of stand-up and fans of documentaries need to see this movie. Pick it up July 23 on Amazon!

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: The Return of 'Analyze Phish'

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.


Kickin’ It Mary Lynn Style
#32
– Casey Wilson and Eliza Skinner

MARC: The Nerdist Network continues to be the gateway for comics, actors and comic-actors to find their way into Podcastland. Folks mostly likely would recognize Kickin’ It host Mary Lynn Rajskub from her turns on TV’s 24 and The Larry Sanders Show. She gets real with actress-writer Casey Wilson about her labor-of-love movie Ass Backwards that Wilson created with co-star June Diane Raphael before they begin wallowing in the pain of learning how to (and how NOT to) audition in Hollywood. They get deep inside the mechanics of seeing one’s vision being brought to life by a director. At almost the exact mid-point of the show, comic-writer-and actress Eliza Skinner finally makes it to the podcast due to having been at an audition. The conversation then spins into deeper ruminations about auditions: “I always find it interesting how actors go on on how they chose this part and chose that part,” says Skinner, at which Wilson wonders, “Is there a whole lot of choosing going on?” People not in the Hollywood “scene” are just as likely to find the actors’ explorations as interesting as those who live the life. Rajskub proves to be a host who easily keeps the conversation moving along, refreshingly light but never bubbly. READ MORE

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Fun Thing to Buy of the Day: Del Close's 'How to Speak Hip'

What better way to honor improv guru Del Close than with a post about a spoken word record he released in 1959? With an entire three-day marathon of improv, you say? Maybe. But sadly, the Del Close Marathon only comes once a year. Until DCM16, pick up a copy of How to Speak Hip, a hilarious satire of language-learning manuals. Del plays the teacher, instructing the listener on the language and lifestyle of the ellusive "hipster" that was such a popular subculture at the time. With John Brent playing the hipster, Del walks the listener through basic vocabulary and follows Brent through a typical beatnik day. Not only is it a blast from the past, when "dig it" was considered "hip slang," but it is also an interesting and genuinely enjoyable piece of comedic history, as most things that Del worked on have become. Order a copy on Amazon and cling tightly to it as you count down the days until the next "improv Christmas." READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Ben Schwartz Sings R. Kelly and John Hodgman Hates Writing

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.

Who Charted? #134 - Ben Schwartz

JOSH: Ben Schwartz joins journalistic odd couple Howard Kremer and Kulap Vilaysack to discuss a hodgepodge of topics including the origin story of Kulap's engagement to Comedy Bang Bang's Scott Aukerman, Ben's mismatched feet and a possible new Superman movie co-starring Home Alone's Macaulay Culkin and a Tomato on this week's episode of Who Charted?. A Ben Schwartz appearance tends to inspire a jolt of conversational energy to a podcast, and this week is no different as Schwartz's upbeat charm adds to the already contagious chemistry of the program. Schwartz performs his new R. Kelly inspired single "I Believe I Can Fry" and divulges his unique method when preparing for a Hollywood sex scene. "Whenever I have a sex scene in a TV show or movie," Schwartz reveals, "I look them in the eyes and say this is real to me." Kulap breaks down the week in music and film while Kremer endearingly asks Schwartz the hard hitting questions like, "What's the running time of your movie?" and "Do you shoot most of your scenes indoors or outdoors?" Ben Schwartz plugs a few movies while Kremer plugs his admiration for mandarin salad dressing in yet another entertaining episode of Who Charted?. READ MORE