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20 essential comedy podcasts

by linus on June 6th, 2010

Podcasts are a tricky thing. Despite the staggering number of ipods, iphones and mp3 players, podcasts are still seen by many as the solitary domain of tech-geeks and the self obsessed.

However, at its core, podcasting is just radio (or video) in a handy, self-updating and convenient form. Best of all, most of it is free! Of course, for every 1 great podcast, there are 10 mediocre ones, and 10 truly awful ones. So here I have compiled a list of essential listening, in no particular order:

Entertainment

  1. Superego (iTunes link)
    Superbly produced improvised audio comedy.
  2. The Bugle (iTunes link)
    The best political comedy podcast on both sides of the Atlantic, featuring Andy Zaltzman and John Oliver of the Daily Show.
  3. Answer me this (iTunes link)
    Britain’s best home-grown podcast. You’ve got questions, Helen and Olly have entertaining answers.
  4. As it occurs to me (iTunes link)
    Richard Herring’s sketch and panel comedy show, written and rehearsed in 48 hours. An interesting financial model too, where people pay to see the show live at the Leicester Square Theatre, and the podcast is put out for free download.
  5. Comedy Death Ray-dio (iTunes link)
    Scott Auckerman is joined by guests (mainly L.A. comedian, regulars including Paul F. Tompkins, Nick Kroll and Tom Lennon) in a free-flowing comedy chat with comedy songs in between.
  6. The David Feldman comedy podcast (iTunes link)
    A mix of comedic monologues, live sketches and comedian interviews.
  7. Doug Loves Movies (iTunes link)
    Stoner-comic Doug Benson and comedian friends talk about movies.
  8. Onion News Network (iTunes link)
    News satire done right.

Interviews / discussion-based

  1. WTF with Marc Maron (iTunes link)
    Marc Maron has a background in radio, and it shows here for his in-depth interview show. Usually pre-ambled by some personal confessions from Marc’s life, always fascinating and very open. His 2-part interview with Carlos Mencia (and some other Latino comics who have worked with Carlos in the past) (iTunes link 1 and 2) shows his ability to really get down to the issues in an entirely engaging way.
  2. We’re all friends here (iTunes link)
    Up-and-coming NYC comics do tell-all confessions. The interview subjects and their friends and family are probed for their darkest, most sordid secrets and interviewed about them in front of a live audience by Matt Ruby and Mark Normand.
  3. Comedy and everything else (iTunes link)
    While often getting into left-wing political ranting, there’s also lot’s of fantastic advice and tales of personal journeys in comedy on this long-form talk podcast. The episode featuring Patton Oswalt is particularly full of honest advice.
  4. The Nerdist (iTunes link)
    Chris Hardwick, king of the nerds interviews comedians and others.
  5. Doubling Up (iTunes link)
    UK comics Rob Heeny and Nick Doody interview comedians on the UK circuit. Also featuring an unheard interview with Bill Hicks in one episode.
  6. The Green Room (iTunes link)
    Phil Butler interviews comedians from around the UK.
  7. Roadstories (iTunes link)
    Comedians talk about life on the road.
  8. The Stand Up Chronicles (iTunes link)
    Great interviews with comedians about their process and journey in comedy.
  9. TVA Podcast (iTunes link)
    Canadian comedian Todd Van Allen interviews comics on the Canadian circuit, as well as guests from the US and UK.
  10. Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show (iTunes link)
    A long form chat show with actors and comedians, hosted by actor & comedian Kevin Pollak.
  11. The Sound of Young America (iTunes link)
    Jesse Thorn’s long-running public radio programme featuring guests from all over the world of pop-culture, including many great comedians.
  12. Marsha Meets (iTunes link)
    Marsha interviews UK comedians and guest comics from around the world.

From → Blog

5 Comments
  1. Jeremy permalink

    You might also try The SIbling Rivalry Podcast, Stack of Dimes and TBTL. Just a few of my favorites that are often overlooked.

  2. Tom permalink

    Firstly, thanks for your podcasts linus; the more podcasts of this type the better!

    I am very surprised to see the ‘Peacock and Gamble’ podcast and the ‘Carl Donnelly and Chris Martin’ podcast not on your entertainment list.

  3. I would really like if you would have a listen to one of our podcasts http://www.twodrinksminimum.com and tell us what you think (good and bad).

  4. Milo permalink

    Tom speaks the truth. both the Peacock and Gamble podcast and the Carl Donnelly and Chris Martin podcasts are hilarious. Peacock and Gamble in particular are a joy to listen to (i eventually gave up on Carl Donnelly and Chris Martin because peacock and gamble are better). I assume they haven’t been included in your list because you haven’t listened to them – but they (Peacock and Gamble) were at the top of the guardian’s top ten comedy podcasts list (described as 35 minutes of pure gold). You can get them from here on itunes http://is.gd/0hwQnR but if you don’t have itunes then look for episode 1 on this list http://j.mp/ibVtUv . I CANNOT RECCOMMEND THEM ENOUGH! and if you like them then do give Carl Donnelly and Chris Martin a listen (but they’re not quite as good)

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