A plethora of Podcasts

For those of you who don’t know, a podcast is like a homemade radio broadcast that you listen to on your iPod, computer or mp3 player. (Podcast/Broadcast) The beauty of a podcast is that it is free to download for the most part, and anyone can make one. Many comedians have discovered that if they do a podcast, they will probably sell more tickets when they tour.

This means that there are A LOT of podcasts out there for people to choose from, and it is overwhelming. In case you’re wondering where to start, I thought I’d post my recommendations. I listen to a lot of podcasts and these are my favorites.

My #1 recommendation is The Nerdist starring Chris Hardwick, Jonah Ray and Matt Mira.  Chris is the host of Web Soup on G4, and all three of them are standup comics.   The Nerdist’s definition of a nerd is someone who “nerds out” on a topic.  As a fellow obsessive, this topic is close to my heart.  They also offer encouragement to creative types.  It’s because of this podcast that I decided to start writing my book (although I have lost momentum and need to get back on that).  The podcasts posts twice a week – on has an interview with a guest, and the other is “hostful”, which means that there is no guest and the three hosts share their thoughts on current topics.  I actually prefer the “hostful” podcasts.  Enjoy your burrito!

My next suggestion is The Pod F. Tompkast, hosted by Paul F. Tompkins.  You probably remember him from Mr. Show, or from Best Week Ever, which he hosted for the final season.  What’s great about this podcast is that it isn’t a chat show.  Paul gives you an hour of unique entertainment, with sketches, off-the-cuff monologues, and clips from his live shows.  It’s the best produced podcast out there.  The only bad thing about it is that he only posts once a month, although sometimes you get EXTRAsodes, or bonus episodes.

Another podcast that you just can’t miss is Doug Loves Movies from Doug Benson (another VH1 talking head from Best Week Ever).  This podcast is taped before a live audience at LA’s UCB Theater, which makes it more exciting to listen to than the usual podcast.  What’s fun about this one is that it is a game show!  The Leonard Maltin Game is sort of a Name That Tune game, but with movies.  The guests try to guess a movie just by hearing a few clues and a few names from the cast list.  It’s fun to play along, even if you are terrible at the game like I am.  Before the game is played, the guests talk about the movies they’ve seen lately and of course, it’s hilarious because Doug always has good guests.  My favorite guest this year has been Edgar Wright, director of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.  He is a genius at the game!

Marc Maron’s podcast is pretty popular.  He even appeared on Conan O’Brien’s show a few months back, so you have probably heard of him.  Just in case you haven’t, I’m going to tell you a little bit about the WTF Podcast.  Basically, as a recent guest said, Marc Maron is the Barbara Walters of the podcast world.  His interview with Louis CK is legendary because he made Louis cry when he was talking about his kids.  The interview with Dave Foley is legendary because Dave spilled his guts about his bad marriages, bad divorces and even worse custody battles.  The interview with Gallagher is legendary because Gallagher stormed out halfway through.  The best thing about WTF is that Marc Maron is as paranoid as I am.  Most of the time he thinks that the guest either hates him or else they actually were mortal enemies and make up right there on the show.  I think that if I had a podcast where I interviewed people from the Duran Duran and LOTR fandoms, I would have a similar attitude.  Marc and I have that similar personality where we can turn a friend into an enemy or else just make ourselves think that a friend is an enemy.  This podcast is like therapy for me.

I love Pop My Culture because they always have great guests from your favorite old movies and TV shows.  Cole Stratton (creator of SFSketchfest) and comedienne Vanessa Ragland have hosted guests such as Bobcat Goldthwait, “Savage” Steve Holland (director of Better Off Dead), and Eddie Deezen (better known as Eugene from Grease). Cole does his research and asks a lot of thoughtful questions. Vanessa provides the insanity with her weird questions at the end of the podcast, which is like listening to a teenager at a sleepover giving the strangest dares ever.

The Mike and Tom Eat Snacks podcast was created because Michael Ian Black and Tom Cavanaugh love snacks, but even more than that, they love pretending to argue with each other and telling huge lies in the most deadpan voices ever.  This podcast is supposedly about rating snacks, but really that is only going to take them about 3 minutes and the rest is their witty banter.  The thing I enjoy most about this podcast is trying to figure out when they are telling a lie, which is 99.999% of the time.  For me, the biggest drawback is that I end up buying the snack they discuss, which is why I have a box of Keebler Fudge Stripe cookies in my house right now.

Julie Klausner is a hilarious comedienne and author, and one of the few women podcasters out there.  You also might know her as one of the ladies who writes the F/M/K posts at thehairpin.com.   Her podcast, How Was Your Week, is pretty new, but so far I have enjoyed it and it made me laugh a lot.  Ted Leo does her theme song, so that’s enough right there, you should just listen to it! She brings a New York sensibility to my podcast listening. Most podcasts are recorded in the LA area so it’s nice to hear an East Coast point of view.

I know that I made a lot of recommendations, but this is just a drop in the podcast ocean. I do not have time to listen to all of the podcasts out there. Please don’t suggest any to me, I can barely keep up as it is…

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