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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: The One Year Anniversary of 'Terrified' with Dave Ross and the 300th Episode of 'Comedy Bang! Bang!'

feelings-meganbaker1-dave1The 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.

Terrified - Dave Ross

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LEIGH: To mark the one year anniversary of Terrified, host Dave Ross moves over to the guest spot and has his friend Jake Weisman take over as host. (It's also worth mentioning that Weisman's turn as guest on Terrified is one of my favorite episodes.) If you're not familiar with the format of the podcast, it starts with two questions: "What are you afraid of?" and "What do you not like about yourself?" Maybe it's because they're friends, or because Ross has listened to so many others answer these questions before, but it gets pretty deep and honest right off the bat. Weaving naturally and seamlessly between lighthearted jokes and more serious stuff like self-worth, self-esteem, and "being a piece of shit," the conversation is both funny and therapeutic. It's pretty heavy stuff but don't kid yourself — if you have any kind of feelings at all, you can relate. Above all, listen to this episode for the new Dave Ross sound effect. READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Diablo Cody Visits 'Professor Blastoff'

Diablo-CodyThe 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.

Professor Blastoff  - Diablo Cody
PBFULL-162x162ZOE: If you liked Beverly Cleary’s Ribsy, you’ll love this week’s episode of Professor Blastoff. By the way, Ribsy was street, right? Hosts Tig Notaro, Kyle Dunnigan, and David Huntsberger welcome screenwriter Diablo Cody to discuss this week’s topic, writing. You may recognize Cody from the 144 book reports she wrote in elementary school, but you probably know her from Juno, Young Adult, and United States of Tara. Cody also published a book on her year as a stripper, which she explains she pursued as a way to depart from the typical writer track. This open-minded and active approach to new experiences permeates the rest of the interview, leading to some very interesting reflections on her personal life and career. Since she’s already a pal of the hosts, the four have a great dynamic and there’s no lack of riffing here. She and Notaro reveal they’re working on a top secret project, which they have to keep under wraps, but a project we do know a little more about is Dunnigan’s mother-son memoir, Mommy’s Handsomest Baby Boy. To get a taste, listen to Dunnigan’s “Mother Meditation,” where he takes his listeners through a visualisation exercise complete with calming soundscapes and walks us through a worried mother calling you at 5:30am to make sure you have galoshes (even though she knows you wake up at 10am). It’s one of the funniest podcast bits I’ve heard all year. Breathe in through your nose, breathe out through your mouth, then listen to this awesome episode. READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: 'Call Chelsea Peretti' Returns to Staples Center

chelsea-perettiThe 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.

Call Chelsea Peretti – The Real Chelsea is Back

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LEIGH: This week on Call Chelsea Peretti, one of the greats makes her triumphant return! If you've been keeping up, you know that the past few episodes were recorded by a robot. So it was music to my earholes to hear that the real Chelsea was back. That music was of course the G'd up version of Tank's "I Can't Make You Love Me." After a quick awkward catch-up conversation, Peretti fills us in on where she's been -  touring, taping a special, petting her dog, cooking meals. There's no topic for the episode, so the conversations with callers run the gamut. From dating advice and food recommendations to hot prisoners and Toronto, it's clear how lucky we are Peretti is back. These are all topics a robot would not have any insight on. At the end of the episode, comedian Yassir Lester calls in. The two tease listeners with the idea of them doing a show where they choreograph dances to 10-20 songs. A night of yearning, beauty, accuracy and prancing we can only hope becomes a reality. READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Nathan Fielder Returns to 'Comedy Bang! Bang!'

nathan for you 107The 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.

Comedy Bang! Bang!Nathan Fielder, Joe Wengert, James Adomian

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JOSH: Nathan Fielder made his triumphant return to Comedy Bang! Bang! this week and finally answered the question Comedy Bang! Bang!-ingans have been incessantly asking for fifteen months: What is the status of Nate and Jazz Jazz's epic friendship? After the Jazz Jazz-shaped elephant in the room is discussed, Fielder and Aukerman get taken to "Brad-uate" school when Brad Hammerstone (Joe Wengert), a man who most likely swapped bodies with a duck, joins the show to chat about pantsless pool parties and eating bread. Later, ousted CEO of American Apparel Dov Charney (James Adomian) makes a thunderous entrance into the CBB studio providing the show with a sufficient amount of "ambient sexuality." "I ride around in a motorcycle with a sidecar like Darkwing Duck, and I have a life-sized Launchpad McQuack stand-in that sits in the sidecar of my fucking motorcycle," Charney at one point asserts. "That's how I get around!" Scott Aukerman and Nathan Fielder continue to be one of the most entertaining pairings in the CBB universe. Aukerman's subtle goading deftly blends with Fielder's repeated deferential corrections to inspire some incredible banter. Does Nathan Fielder know more than 500 words? Find out on this week's quacktastic episode of Comedy Bang Bang!  READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Paula Pell Visits 'Employee of the Month'

paulapellThe 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.

Employee of the Month – Paula Pell

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ZOE: There are plenty of podcasts out there that focus on “making it,” but what’s so great about Employee of the Month is host Catie Lazarus' absence of agenda; she's a natural interviewer that lets guests talk about their careers however they’d like, allowing the time to relate a funny story or anecdote. This makes for more of a storytelling vibe, kinda like The Moth meets Making it. From Jill Abramson to Janeane Garofalo, she’s spoken to quite an impressive mix and, lucky for us, she doesn’t skimp on comedians. This week, Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock writer Paula Pell swings by to talk about pig whispering, her 13-year-old diary, and her recently greenlit feature The Nest with Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. Pell walks us through her early jobs in lottery commercials, Disneyland’s Pleasure Island, and then Universal Studios’ Murder, She Wrote, where Lorne Michaels first noticed her. Of Lorne Michaels’ jarring interview style she says, “It’s like you’ve met him, gone to the bathroom, and then come back. You think you blacked out in the first session because he’ll be like, ‘The thing is, the phoenix will rise again from the ashes,’” which makes sense of the seemingly opposite and polarizing portraits of Michaels that have been relayed over the years. Employee of the Month is an extremely listenable podcast, and Pell is an extremely listenable person, which leaves you with an extremely listenable episode. READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Jon Daly as Oscar Wilde on 'The Dead Authors Podcast'

jon-dalyThe 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.

The Dead Authors Podcast – Jon Daly

ROB:Wilde No historical writer is quite as perfect to be a guest on The Dead Authors Podcast as Oscar Wilde, and it would be hard to find a better comedian to portray Wilde than Jon Daly. His hyperactive and mischievous comic sensibility blends into his Oscar Wilde seamlessly and actually brings the character to life in a not-so-unrealistic way (at least compared to other, more absurdist DAP guests). Actually, Daly seems to have done a lot of homework — or at least he printed out Wilde’s Wikipedia article — because he follows the historical conversation closely and seems prepared to spin a half-true story at every turn. And, as the “making up Oscar Wilde quotes” internet meme is still well-known enough to constantly be in the back of the audiences' minds, Daly’s various turns at fabricating creative, counterfeit Wilde quotes don’t go without appreciation. Though Daly doesn’t get all of his facts straight (but, of course, that’s not the point), his Wilde impression is full of enthusiasm, and it fires up host Paul F. Tompkins’ H.G. Wells character to encourage lots of hilarious detours. This is an all-time great episode of DAP because there’s nothing quite like having two modern comedians from Pennsylvania faking old-timey British accents while having a BS conversation about literature. READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Jenny Slate, Merrill Garbus, and Jon Daly Visit 'Comedy Bang! Bang!'

jennyslateThe 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.

Comedy Bang! Bang! – Jenny Slate, Merrill Gabrus, Jon Daly

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LEIGH: How lucky are we that Jenny Slate seems to be everywhere these days promoting her new movie Obvious Child? The answer is very, very lucky. Even luckier for us, her latest stop was this week's episode of Comedy Bang! Bang! along with Merrill Garbus of the band Tune-Yards and drunk British roller-blading tree, Sappity Tappity (Jon Daly). Because Slate has been making her rounds promoting the movie recently, host Scott Aukerman makes sure they stick to asking her only questions she's never been asked before. Important questions like "Is it confusing when the director calls cut?," "What do you eat for lunch as a comedian?," and the one thing we all want answered, "Why isn't LeVar Burton in Obvious Child?" But this episode was more than just talk about Obvious Child (though I wouldn't complain if it were). There were some brilliant ideas including a Bourne Identity-type movie where Jenny Slate plays a half-car, half-assassin named Honda Slate, and Monocles Lewinsky, which are exactly what they sound like: monocles designed by Monica Lewinsky. After a lot of singing, the episode closes with a pretty hard round of "Would You Rather?" where Aukerman has his guests choose between shedding their skin like a snake every morning or involuntarily cat calling everyone in a grocery store.  If you think you're having a hard time deciding, just hear how hard it was for Slate, Garbus, and Sappity Tappity. 

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Morgan Freeman Does 'Nerdist'

freeman-db4a1244434ff8bbce7826bfd2aa38206e4750de-s6-c30The 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.

Nerdist – Morgan Freeman

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SCOTT: If you ever wanted to hear Morgan Freeman narrate his own life, this is the episode for you. Sometimes stilted and guarded, sometimes open and profound, this episode of Nerdist, the first podcast Freeman has ever done, succeeds in imparting to the listener the feeling of what it would be like to interview a legend. At first, it seems like Freeman is taken aback by the more intimate podcast style, and he even seems reticent to answer some personal questions, but eventually he gets comfortable enough with Chris Hardwick and Jonah Ray to toss out the occasional smooth burn while also saying the wisest thing you’ve ever heard. His perspective on his career, its seemingly late start, and its longevity, will speak volumes to anyone trying to make a go at a life in the arts, and it certainly satisfies Hardwick, who admits to seeking an ersatz father-figure in Freeman. They talk about Nelson Mandela, and when Freeman says that their relationship was one of equals, nobody doubts it for a second because throughout the episode he does nothing but radiate the aura of a truly great man. He not only tells us to enjoy our burrito, but he explains why we should do so, and it’s as powerful as anything else he’s said in the preceding hour.

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Marc Maron's 500th Episode of 'WTF'

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.

WTF with Marc Maron – Episode 500

MARC: Marc Maron chooses some interesting ways to honor his five years and 500 episodes in podcasting this week. Mostly by putting himself through a variety of emotional wringers that move him – and I dare say his audience –alternately to tears and laughter. The guest given the longest podtime is Steve Brill, a successful screenwriter and director who also happens to have been the person that Maron first faced his fears with to take to the comedy stage some 30 years ago in Boston. Their relationship has run the gamut from friends to enemies and back again, and Maron invites Brill in to attempt to bury the last hatchet thrown: A thinly-veiled and unpleasant caricature of Brill acted out by Eric Stoltz playing a movie director in the first season of Maron, the podcast host’s IFC TV series. While there are a few “cameos” by other comedians during this milestone installment, the real meat is served in the form of Maron’s family members. His brother, Craig, as well as his mother and, in a grand finale, Maron’s father appears via phone. Regular listeners to WTF are aware of the strained and estranged relationship between father and son, mostly fueled by the portrayal of the elder Maron on TV and in a recent book by the younger Maron. “We may never speak again,” Maron has been heard to lament in recent shows. Speak they do, and it is a tender and emotional conversation that serves to illustrate the measure of Maron’s growth as both a host and as a human being during these first five years of his show. READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy: HBO Is Developing a Show Created by and Starring Bill Hader, and 'SNL' Ends Its 39th Season

In case you missed it, here's all the big comedy stuff that happened this week:

-After the SNL season 39 finale, we created a bunch of guides for the season: We broke down each cast member's contribution, looked at how this season addressed raceranked the episodes, and listed the 24 best sketches.

-A year after leaving SNLBill Hader is set to create and star in his own HBO series.

-After seven months, two seasons, and 73 episodes, TBS canceled The Pete Holmes Show, effective in June.

-We released A Night at Whiplash, the second movie in the Splitsider Presents series. The standup film features sets by Sheng Wang, Carmen Lynch, Eugene Mirman, Janeane Garofalo, Jared Logan, Michael Che, Sean Patton, and host Leo Allen. Here's the history of Whiplash, one of New York's most influential standup shows.

-In the first installment of our new column Sketch Academy, Bill Oakley looked at "Dr. Tongue's Evil House of Pancakes" from SCTV.

-We talked to J.B. Smoove about hosting this season of Last Comic Standing, which premiered this week. READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Mitch Hurwitz Does 'How Was Your Week' and RuPaul Visits 'Maron'

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.

How Was Your Week – Mitch Hurwitz

ZOE: This week, Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz stops by to chat with host Julie Klausner about writing for Golden Girls as a 23-year-old, why you should always support the showrunner, and the evolution of the beloved Bluth family. Hurwitz is so humble and delightful; his visit feels like a cosmic counteraction to the upfronts, which Klausner relays in painful detail during her monologue. The interview is full of juicy Golden Girls and Arrested Development lore, but equally entertaining is the mutual adoration she and Hurwitz have for each other. Whenever she raves about his work, he one-ups her with a heartfelt compliment about hers, and vice versa. If this sounds too nice for you, never fear: Klausner delivers her signature scathing, all-too-true commentary in her monologue, not the least being a ridiculously on-point argument against Jessica Seinfeld's existence. So whether you're looking for sun or shade, Klausner's got the goods. READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Jimmy Pardo Visits 'U Talkin' U2 To Me?'

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.

U Talkin' U2 To Me? – Jimmy Pardo

ZOE: If you like Scott Aukerman and Adam Scott's U2 podcast U Talkin’ U2 To Me? but wish it was lighter on the U2 talk, this episode is a run-to-stand-still situation. In order to meet U2’s delayed album release, hosts Adam Scott and Scott Aukerman have introduced “Slowing It Down” installments (hey, you can’t spell “installment” without “stall”), and here to help them is Jimmy Pardo. Pardo’s good-natured, barrelling energy is a great compliment to the hosts’ existing dynamic as they cover Chicago, The Eagles, Paul McCartney, R.E.M., and INXS. And if you could use a break from music altogether? The boys got some of your favorite meta podcasts: we’re talkin’ Talkin’ ‘Bout Turtle. We’re talkin’ When Do You Get There, Bro? And—of course—we’re talkin’ I Love Films. While we’re off the subject of U2, I’d also like to point out that Aukerman has reached a career high with his Stamps.com ad break, which is just as funny as any bit in the episode. At this point you may be wondering if they talk U2 at all. I can assure you that, yes, they definitely talk U2. Pardo makes an excellent suggestion that future episodes cover compilations and music videos. While the hosts leave it open, they announce that next week’s topic will be Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, where you’ll definitely find what you’re looking for. READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Seth Rogen Does 'How Was Your Week'

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.

How Was Your Week – Seth Rogen

LEIGH: Even if you don't follow Julie Klausner's instructions (given through a series of secret blinks) to take peyote before listening to this week's How Was Your Week?, it's hard not to love everything about it. And that's because Klausner calls bullshit on so many things we've all thought about but have probably never said out loud. Starting with Carvel's free cone day. Throw in thoughts on why Almost Famous is not a good movie, how "daddy issues" are not a thing, some deconstructing of the Fresh Prince's dumb raps, and calling Donald Duck out for his bad attitude and you might say that's enough for a pretty solid, fulfilling episode. But that's only half of it. We've still got a whole interview with Seth Rogen to boot. Rogen shares his experiences meeting and working with the late Harold Ramis, what it was like writing for Da Ali G Show, and how it feels to rewatch your favorite childhood movies years later only to realize they're not really that good. But you know what will probably still hold up years from now? This episode. READ MORE

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: 'Comedy Bang! Bang!'s Fifth Anniversary Bonanza

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! – 5th Anniversary with Jessica St. Clair, Lennon Parnam, Jason Mantzoukas, Lauren Lapkus, Paul Rust, Neil Campbell, Matt Besser, Paul F. Tompkins

ZOE: In the spirit of a favorite Comedy Bang! Bang! reference, this review is to be sung to the tune of “One Week” by Barenaked Ladies: It’s been five years since Scott Aukerman launched Comedy Bang! Bang!, originally named Comedy Death-Ray, and here to celebrate are some of its most beloved characters. Frequent guest Jason Mantzoukas and frequent ear-piercer Traci Reardan (Lauren Lapkus) hold down the fort for most of the episode but are joined by the likes of Marissa Wompler (Jessica St. Clair), Miss Listler (Lennon Parnom), the Bachelor Brothers (Paul Rust and Neil Campbell), Mike the Janitor (Paul F. Tompkins), and JW Stillwater (Tompkins yet again). The in-and-out shuffle over the course of the two-hour special allows for some amazing new character interactions and keeps the energy on a constant high: we go from teenage rivalry between Wompler and Rearden to collective delight in discovering the Bachelor Brothers’ latest venture of cars shaped like musical notes. And though Rearden’s grandma has passed (don’t worry, she’s getting the Weekend at Bernie’s treatment), this episode marks the birth of Mattilda Besserina Smith, a 12-year-old girl whose spot-on impressions of Matt Besser will blow your mind. Whether you’ve been been tuning in for the past five years or are a newcomer to the show, it’s a wonderful celebration of one of the most influential and innovative comedy podcasts around. READ MORE