Technology with attitude

An Introduction to Comedy Podcasts: Comedy on Your Computer

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The Pod F. Tompkast
The Pod F. Tompkast

Earlier this week, comedian Paul F. Tompkins released his anticipated new podcast called the Pod F. Tompkast!  Just one episode in, and it is guaranteed to be one of the best “podcastual recordings” on the Internet.  While Mr. Tompkins is just starting his podcast journey, there are many fantastic podcasts that not only already exist but also thrive.  Here is a primer for you, the uninformed podcast non-listener, to get you started in the wild, wonderful world of FREE (except where noted) comedy on iTunes.

1. Comedy Death-Ray Radio hosted by Scott Aukerman

Mr. Show alum Scott Aukerman has created the funniest thing on the Internet.  Aukerman and fellow comedian BJ Porter host Comedy Death-Ray, a weekly alternative comedy show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Los Angeles.  In May 2009, Aukerman began hosting the accompanying radio show that features a lot of the comedians that appear in the live show.    The show features a host of characters, skits, and games that often result in gut-busting laughter.  Notable guests include the aforementioned Tompkins, Sarah Silverman, Weird Al Yankovic, Zach Galafianakis, Aziz Ansari, TV’s Jon Hamm, Doug Benson, James Adomian (who’s produced some of the best characters on the show), Matt Walsh, Matt Besser, and tons more.  Listen to any episode on iTunes and it will be awesome, but I suggest you start from the beginning.

2.   Doug Loves Movies hosted by Doug Benson

Comedian Doug Benson loves movies!  Doug hosts this live show that happens each week right before the CDR live show.  Three of Doug’s comedian friends join him on stage to discuss the last movie they’ve seen and even movies in which each guest has appeared.  Each episode ends with the crowd favorite “The Leonard Maltin Game,” a game of Doug’s own creation that gets very comeptitive.  Doug uses Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide as his source and contestants bid on how many names it will take them to name the title.  I’ve stolen this game and play it with my friends and it is quite fun.  Also available on iTunes, check out the episode that has Leonard Matin playing the game named after him.  It’s like seeing a universe collapse in on itself.

3. The Best Show on WFMU hosted by Tom Scharpling

It takes a lot of balls to name your program The Best Show, but Tom Scharpling fully delivers on the title.  The Best Show is a weekly call-in radio show that also streams worldwide (and is available in podcast form on iTunes).  The show revolves around Scharpling and his interaction with the wide variety of callers, both real and “fake.”  The fake callers are usually played by Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster and are often the highlight of each program.  Tom also knows a lot of famous people!  Said celebrities include Tompkins, Zach Galafianakis, Todd Barry, Tim and Eric, Patton Oswalt, and John Hodgman.  Scharpling is a masterful host with incredible wit.  Check out this episode that features Scharpling and Tompkins discuss “The Gathering of the Juggalos” which turns into one of the funniest things I’ve ever experienced on the Internet (the discussion begins around 1:27:00, but listen to the whole episode).  If you’re not hooked after this, you are dead inside.

4. Never Not Funny hosted by Jimmy Pardo

This is not a free podcast, but it is absolutely worth subscribing to it!  Comedian Jimmy Pardo has perfected the podcast format and brings his hilarious, quick-witted stand-up style into your home every week.  Along with producer Matt Belknap, Pardo sits down with a different guest comedian for a delightful conversation that touches on a wide variety of topics.  Some notable guests include Conan O’Brien, Andy Richter, Paul F. Tompkins, Sarah Silverman, Todd Glass, Jimmy Dore, Doug Benson, and tons more.  You can sample episodes on iTunes or purchase individual episodes and whole seasons at NNF’s website.  A single season includes 24 or more episodes and costs just $19.99.  Definitely worth the price!

This is a great start for instant comedy on your computer.  Keep your eyes peeled for another article where I will discuss even more podcasts for your listening pleasure!!