What podcasts did you listen to this week?
Since I asked you that the first time, dear readers, I've heard back loud and clear that there are quite literally dozens of great shows out there that I need to get to know. I've started listening to several of them, and am looking forward to highlighting them in this space each week.
But first, I want to highlight a few shows that portray where comedy podcasts are, where they came from, and where they may be going.
"The Bugle." John Oliver ("The Daily Show") and Andy Zaltzman celebrated the 200th episode of their political comedy podcast last week, a remarkable achievement by any measure. Their show, which mocks mostly European politics, is a big hit in the U.K., but attracts an American audience thanks to the intelligent and informative way the comedians poke fun at the news. "The Bugle" made headlines last year when the Murdoch-owned News International dropped the show, and some suspected Oliver and Zaltzman's coverage of the phone hacking scandal.
In the clip below, listen to Oliver talk about how the media can't ignore that Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is one of the more salacious leaders Europe has seen in a while. Download the full episode here.
"Comedy Bang! Bang!" Scott Aukerman is a busy man these days. Even though "Comedy Bang! Bang!" was adapted to a TV show currently airing on IFC, he still continues to produce episodes of the podcast that started it all, and it's hard to blame him for going back to the well in some cases. Not that we're complaining -- last week's episode brought back Adam Scott, Harris Wittels and Chelsea Peretti, who star, write and wrote (respectively) on NBC's "Parks and Recreation" for a reunion episode of sorts. When the trio appeared on the show last year, it was among one of the most popular episodes ever, and they once again entertained throughout.
Click below to hear Peretti give some fake spoilers on next season's "Parks and Rec," including a major character death. Download the full episode here.
"You Had To Be There." Will 2012 be remembered as The Year Podcasts Turned Into TV Shows? Probably not, because that would be really weird. But network executives have undeniably taken notice of the talent found on free comedy podcasts. While not exactly being adapted to TV, Nikki Glaser and Sarah Schaefer's podcast directly led to the comedians co-starring on an MTV talk show debuting early next year.
In this week's episode, they take some time off from basking in the (totally earned) glow of their big news to welcome comedian, author and musician Dave Hill. Hill tells a true story of his ultra-disgusting assault by a homeless man in the subway. Warning: This one is not for the squeamish. Download the full episode here.
"The Nerdist Podcast." Podcasts can be a great opportunity to get big celebrities to open up about their innermost thoughts, but sometimes, the best episodes are getting funny people in a room together and letting them riff. Chris Hardwick's flagship show of his podcast network is a nice mix of both.
This week's show welcomed guest Matt Braunger, whose new Comedy Central special just debuted. In this clip, he and Hardwick, along with co-hosts Jonah Ray and Matt Mira, joke about a particular complaint about Disney World. Download the full episode here.