Everyone has a podcast and who has the time to listen to them all? You don’t have to, but you should probably try.
Here are this year’s 10 best comedy podcasts: funny, occasionally educational, and exclusively hosted by comedians.
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Host: Marc Maron
Everyone knows WTF and even if you can’t relate to Maron’s cats and neuroses, he continually gets some of the greatest interviews out there.
Who was your favorite interview this year?
Marc Maron: It was a real thrill to talk to Bob Newhart.
Paste Magazine: If you had one last WTF episode, who would you have on?
Marc Maron: Lorne Michaels.
Host: Adam Carolla
Carolla is the king of podcasting (seriously, he has the Guinness World Record for most downloads).
Why did you decide to get into podcasting in the first place?
Adam Carolla: Podcasting is better (than radio) in so many ways. You don’t have to do stupid stunts like the Wing Bowl and give out the time and traffic to please some stupid program director. Also you can talk directly to your audience, however you want, and The Man isn’t there to tell you what to say, or how to say it.
Paste Magazine: If you had one last episode, who would you have on?
Adam Carolla: I’d like to talk to my dad’s dad, so I could find out what he did wrong.
Hosts: Mark Normand and Joe List
Mark Normand and Joe List are friends. They don’t get to see each other as often as they would like to, except on Tuesdays, when they meet for their confessional podcast, discussing life on the road, Mark’s groupies, and stories from behind the stage. And some jokes.
Do you make any of this shit up?
Joe List: All of our stories are true with the exception of the few that involve stand-up comedy. We’re not actually stand-up comedians. That’s all a lie. But the other stuff is all true.
Paste Magazine: So, who shouldn’t listen to Tuesdays with Stories?
Mark Normand: The only people who shouldn’t listen are close-minded people, people with no sense of humor, people who can’t take a joke, ex-girlfriends and the deaf.
Hosts: Neal Brennan and Moshe Kasher
Neal Brennan: I would describe the podcast as two white people having a conversation with people of color—mostly black—about their lives. The convo almost always (though unintentionally) flows to race, upbringing, comedy, religion, and sex.
Moshe Kasher: The Champs podcast is an experiment into the theoretical possibilities of having people of color featured regularly on podcasts. They said it couldn’t be done but that’s just because it hadn’t yet. Another way to describe it is inviting a friend over to witness a dysfunctional family—Neal and me attempting to conduct an interview.
Paste Magazine: Who shouldn’t listen?
Neal Brennan: I guess the people who should listen are people who like comedy and would enjoy hearing white people and black people talk in a relaxed, honest way about things that they don’t normally talk about. At least in public. Oh, wait, who should NOT listen to it? Ummm—squares. No squares.
Moshe Kasher: Anyone who is interested in honest conversations about race and sex and comedy should tune in. It would also help if they like rivalries.
Paste Magazine: If you had one last episode who would you have on?
Neal Brennan: I think my dream guests would be Eddie Murphy, Paul Mooney, Dick Gregory, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Frederick Douglass. Not really kidding about FD.
Moshe Kasher: My dream guest would be Angela Davis, the famous Black Panther and professor who I once foolishly cold-emailed and asked to come on the podcast. For some unknown reason, she never wrote back.
Hosts: Rich Vos and Bonnie McFarlane
Rich Vos and Bonnie McFarlane are married to comedy and to each other. It’s comedy gold.
Bonnie McFarlane: It’s marital strife in action
Paste Magazine: Do you ever feel like it gets too personal?
Rich Vos: She gets more upset than I do. I put my whole life out there.
Paste Magazine: What’s too personal for you?
Bonnie McFarlane: Sex life, religion, finances, everything Rich loves.
Hosts: Neil deGrasse Tyson and Eugene Mirman
Is science funny? Yes. It is hilarious. Tyson and comic co-host Mirman answer all your questions about constellations, space and alien life. Recent guests have included Buzz Aldrin and Richard Dawkins.
Eugene Mirman: This is one of the most fun things I could do. Neil is an amazing guy. Comedy and space are just a great fit.
Paste Magazine: Name your favorite constellation.
Eugene Mirman: I would be lying if I named one.
Hosts: Sean Donnelly and Dan St. Germain
Donnelly and St. Germain’s podcast is basically a hangout session with their friends, all of whom are comedians. It’s not dumb at all. Recent guests have included Chris Gethard, Rachel Feinstein, and Dan Soder.
Who shouldn’t listen?
Sean Donnelly: My mom shouldn’t listen.
Host: Marina Franklin
Marina Franklin is a personal favorite. She is funny and honest, the kind of person you would call when you need a reality check.
Marina Franklin: It is a show featuring women of color with very different views on hot topics. I do include my Jewish sisters by the way… they can relate! There seemed to be a lack of awareness of how many funny and intelligent women of color are out there. It was as if they thought we were hiding… but also a place where people could hear us talking in a more open way. With Friends Like Us you can relate!
Host: Dave Hill
One of the best parts about Dave Hill’s show is that you can call in and annoy Dave and his wonderful guests. Dave is a whole lot of rock ‘n’ roll with a dash of delicious ice cream. Seriously, the man loves to talk about why ice cream should be served at bars. Who could disagree?
Dave Hill: So far a lot of it is just me trying to figure out how all the radio equipment works. There’s a lot of knobs and buttons and since the show is broadcast live, I’m constantly screwing up on-air, even 10 months in. But in between all that I take phone calls, ramble about various topics on my own in various states of undress, play some hot rock jams, and interview guests live in-studio. I usually rip a couple sweet guitar solos while I’m at it too. Sometimes there are snacks.
Paste Magazine: Who have been your favorite guests so far?
Dave Hill: Dick Cavett is always pure gold. He’s called in a few times. Phil Anselmo, singer from Pantera and Down and known heavy metal gentleman, is also always great.
Host: John Hodgman
Second to Judge Judy, Hodgman is America’s favorite judge.
John Hodgman: The pleasure of the show is hearing from all the smart, funny people out there in the world not from NYC or LA or Chicago. The Sturdevant Brothers with their bat-infested house; Jason Sims of Huntsville, Alabama with his Christmas sadness tree; the shy kids and the weird dads (so many weird dads!); the food truckers and the pony hoarders. It is incredible and inspiring to hear from all of these lovely seekers, makers, and weirdos (before they start their own podcasts, I suppose). I love meeting them. And I love telling them when they are wrong.