Spotify is getting into original comedy podcasts in a big way: over the next week the streamer will be launching three new and exclusive comedy podcasts, from an all-star lineup of comedians and writers. The first of these shows, Nosy Neighbors, launches today, with the other two, The Sketch Factor and Flameout, starting on April 1. Here’s a quick rundown of each show, along with an exclusive trailer for each one.
It seems like most comedy podcasts rely on a combination of improv and off-the-cuff conversations. That can be hilarious, obviously, but it’s also a bit of a tightrope walk. The Sketch Factor removes some of that risk by focusing on scripted comedy sketches, with one per episode. And these sketches won’t drag on—those episodes will only run for three to five minutes each, making this one of the shortest podcasts I’ve ever heard. It’s hosted by Fred Armisen in the role of Xander Szavost, some kind of Bezos/Musk billionaire who almost shares a name with a character from Eyes Wide Shut, and whose accent curiously veers in and out of sounding like John Cale on the Velvet Underground’s “The Gift.” Szavost is in search of the perfect comedy sketch, and each episode will consist of him listening to and then evaluating a different sketch. And between Portlandia and Saturday Night Live, Fred Armisen’s probably pretty dang qualified to judge the quality of a comedy sketch. Tim Robinson, Jo Firestone, Kurt Braunohler, Yamanika Saunders, and more guest throughout the season. The Sketch Factor’s entire season will be available on Spotify starting on April 1.
Nosy Neighbors is a weekly recap of the weirdest news and stories from neighborhood apps and websites, hosted by
Candice Thompson (who was a writer on Lights Out with David Spade) and comedian Chinedu Unaka. Considering how often weird stories of local drama and small town weirdness goes viral, this is clearly something the people are interested in. Expect Thompson and Unaka to be joined by various other comedians, who’ll be calling in to discuss their own brush-ins with the folks next door; so far the announced guest list includes The Daily Show’s Roy Wood Jr., Zainab Johnson, and Carl Tart. Nosy Neighbors launches today, with new episodes running weekly.
Finally, Michael Ian Black narrates the trailer for Treefort Media’s Flameout, a new show in which comedians discuss some of the most spectacular and infamous business disasters and the out-of-control personalities who drove them into the ground. Expect comics like Black, Abbi Crutchfield, Alison Becker, Atsuko Okatsuka, Joel Kim Booster, Baron Vaughn, Candice Thompson, and Chinedu Unaka to relive such ignominious failures as American Apparel, Cross Fit, and “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli. Flameout debuts on April 1, with a new topic every week.
Senior editor Garrett Martin writes about videogames, comedy, travel, theme parks, wrestling, and anything else that gets in his way. He’s on Twitter @grmartin.