Look, there’s a lot of podcasts out there, and honestly, most of them aren’t so great. I know. I listen to a lot of them, and oftentimes it brings me nothing but heartache. To save you the arduous task of wading through the pod-roughs to find the one pod-diamond, I’ve decided to start recommending a finite number of podcast episodes each week. This week I’m going with five, one for each drive/ride/walk to work/school.
5. Sklarbro Country: “Hurdler Backpack”
Guests: Taran Killam, James Adomian, and Dan Van Kirk
Look, you guys, I do not care about sports AT ALL. I’m too busy putting on mascara and thinking about baby names to watch a football game. Gender socialization is oppressive, am I right? When I have children they’ll all wear yellow clothes and play with trucks and dolls and have medium-length hair and gender-neutral names like Ashton and Sasha. I am a first-year sociology student, I know what I’m talking about, you guys. Anyway, the point is that we live in a patriarchal society and need to cast off the shackles of male oppression. The other point is that despite not understanding the games they discuss or knowing anything about the athletes they mock, I still find this show immensely enjoyable because the Sklars are just so damn fun to listen to. Plus, this week their guest the adorable and charming Taran Killem of SNL.
4. Who Charted? with Howard Kremer and Kulap Vilaysack: “Ronna & Beverly”
Guests: Jessica Chaffin and Jamie Denbo
Who Charted? is one of the few podcasts I enjoy listening to every week, regardless of who the guest is. However, I was a little skeptical when I saw the guests this week were Jessica Chaffin and Jamie Denbo in character as Jewish fiftysomethings Ronna and Beverly. The Ronna and Beverly podcast is one of only two that I’ve ever turned off in the middle due to boredom despite Paul F. Tompkins being the guest. (The other one was Aisha Tyler’s podcast. Bleh.) I don’t know how to explain it, but being around chartists Howard and Kulap somehow made these two entertaining, and I actually really enjoyed them on this week’s show. They kind of put me in mind of Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler’s Bronx Beat characters, which is something I need more of in my life.
3. Freakonomics Radio : “The Power of the President — and the Thumb”
This show is really, really good, always, and this week was just as entertaining and informative as always. The first half addresses the question, “Does the President matter?” (Short answer no with an “if”, long answer yes with a “but”) and the second is about the decreased popularity of hitchhiking. Both are updates of old episodes, but there’s enough new content here that I was still interested. Since I have the attention span of famous ADD sufferer Adam Levine, odds are you’ll be interested, too.
2. Your Mom’s House with Christina Pazsitzky and Tom Segura: “Episode 41”
Guests: Paul F. Tompkins
I’ve never listened to this podcast before and, I’ll be honest with you, I’ll most likely never listen to it again, but as Paul F. Tompkins goes, so goes my podcast listenership. PFT advertised this as the “raunchiest [he] ever get[s] or [has] gotten,” and that statement stressed me out more than perhaps it should have. Look, I go to PFT for high-brow comedy about opera hats and cake dragees and stuff. If I wanted a poop joke I’d buy a Larry the Cable Guy album, you know? I was relieved that this episode was just PFT being the PFT I know and love. The raunchiest he got was grudgingly responding to a “would you rather” scenario that involved penises, then being asked if he’d rather “fill up/seal shut” Penelope Cruz or Salma Hayak and remarking that “fill up” and “seal shut” are weird euphemisms for sex. The married couple that hosts this show is a little gross for my liking, but with PFT in there classing up the joint this is still a delightful listen.
1. Comedy Bang Bang: “Time Bobby”
Guests: Paul F. Tompkins, Bobby Moynihan
And more PFT! Hurray! This week’s episode of CBB has the “co-host/interviewee” spot, normally filled by some sort of real celebrity, occupied by Mr. Tompkins in character as perhaps the classiest of all his characters, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber. It also features adorable little SNLster Bobby Moynihan as a scrappy street urchin with a passion for musical theater and a penchant for stabbing people. Also Scott Aukerman is there, doing his hosting thing! Yay! Aukerman! Seriously you guys, just listen to the episode. You shan’t regret it.