“Podcasts. There are a million of them, and they’re all amazing.”
Too true, Tom Haverford! How to decide which ones to treat your ears to?
Inspired by my recent forays into the world of comedy, I thought I’d share some of my favourite funny (or comedy-related) podcasts.
Even when I know that I want to listen to something comedy-related, it’s still a minefield... Dear Joan & Jericha, WTF with Marc Maron, Good One, Rule of Three. So many good choices.
And I keep discovering new ones, Oh, Hello the p’dcast, Radio 7...they just keep on making them.
So, here are a few old favourites, and a new discovery or two, for you to check out. A few of these have surprised me into snorting tea out of my nose. I hope they bring you just as much joy.
THE ADAM BUXTON PODCAST
The most avuncular presence in podcasting offers up discursive natters with people he likes and admires. While not the most high concept of podcasts, Captain Buckles’ self-proclaimed Ramblechats allow listeners to eavesdrop on funny and frank hangouts with guests from the worlds of comedy, music, film and more. Alongside the freewheeling conversations are stings, songs and jingles created in Buxton’s home studio, all of which are skillfully silly. Even the ads he records make me guffaw - see his pitch perfect US podcast parody ad for Squarespace for evidence. It’s still one of my most regular listens, even after - or maybe because - I once made a fool of myself on a bus laughing at Louis Theroux singing Yes Sir I Can Boogie.
Best for: Waffle and jingles
Bob Mortimer and Andy Dawson’s football podcast is not gonna please anyone looking for the latest Premier League chat, but it is hands-down the funniest on this list. From the dark delights of Bob’s ‘nonsense pottery’ Crime Files updates, to cameos from a cast of characters like Barry Homeowner, the Guru and one or two famous footballing faces. For those, like me, who don’t know their Arsenal from their elbow, the adventures of Steve McClaren and his snake Casper will still absolutely delight you, I promise.
Best for: Surreal silliness not sports
COMEDIAN’S COMEDIAN PODCAST
For anyone interested in the nuts & bolts of comedy writing and performance, this is the one for you. I was gripped by Stuart Goldsmith’s almost forensic digging into the process of creating comedy, even long before I began to dip a toe as a stand-up myself. With an archive of over 300 shows to choose from, this is a chance to hear practical and emotional insights from cult comedians and stadium-fillers alike. I have learnt just as much about the craft from them both, so alongside big names like Russell Brand and Katherine Ryan I heartily recommend checking out some of my recent favourite episodes from Desiree Burch, Russell Hicks and Janey Godley.
Best for: Wannabe comedians, fans of taking things apart (and hopefully putting them back together again...with a punchline)
In his new venture with Mat Ewins, the deft and very daft improvisational skills of John Kearns bring to life murderous celebrity chefs, psychic cops and hapless (haunted) theme park owners. Setting out to explain the unexplained, the pair often only just manage to suppress their amusement as they lark about under the guise of solving mysteries. Silly boys! I’ve only listened to a couple of episodes so far, but I have hopes that this will become a firm favourite.
Best for: Flights of fancy, fictional lighthouse keepers
THE ROB AUTON DAILY PODCAST
One of my favourite performers began his bite-size audio offering at the start of 2020. Auton’s acclaimed one-man shows have always taken universal, even everyday themes (the colour yellow, hair, time) and skewed them in the most imaginative, poetic and peculiar ways. His writing tickles me with its humour and its heart. It is funny and touching and life-affirming, and so is this equally delightful collaboration with podcast maestros Plosive Productions. Most episodes last less than five minutes, so there is always enough time to squeeze in a daily dose of a Northern man reminding you why life is actually pretty remarkable really.
Best for: A moment of funny, philosophical joy
Not strictly a comedy podcast, instead this radio 4 production offers a look at love by comedians and real-life couple Catherine Bohart and Sarah Keyworth. The duo talk openly about their relationship and ask other couples (and Joe Lycett) about the highs, lows and everything in between of modern love. It’s a cracking podcast premise. And an actually cracking podcast. The genuine warmth with which the hosts and guests discuss their lives together brings a smile to my face. Oh, and they’re funny too.
Best for: Getting you back on the dating apps
So, that's my six best comedy podcasts. What are you listening to? What did I miss?
Tell me on twitter what has been tweaking your funny bone.... @ShipshapeMKTG