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Ross Luippold

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Comedy Podcast Roundup, August 7 Edition (AUDIO)

Posted: 08/07/2012 2:53 pm

It's been a big week for podcasts. Splitsider announced the first big comedy podcast network in New York City, and Jay Mohr started a new one in Los Angeles. Two comedy heavy-hitters, Jay Leno and Will Ferrell, made their podcast debuts, and a beloved comic made a heartbreaking announcement on her show. Plus, a legendary singer-songwriter turned a public radio show into a jaunty hour-long chat.

So without further ado, we give you some recent highlights in the world of podcasting:

"Professor Blastoff." If news of Tig Notaro's breast cancer diagnosis left you unspeakably sad (as it did the HuffPost Comedy team), we recommend you listen to Tig's announcement of the news on her podcast. Yes, the news is true, but listening to her first-person account of the news the day after she visited the doctor, and before her biopsy had even come back, transcends comedy and lets us into her battle as she's willing to share it. (Her biopsy later came back as positive, and she recorded another episode reacting to that.) In another age, only fans of Tig who lived in Los Angeles would likely be able to hear her honest confessionals about this news in her own, unfiltered words, as they did at her now-infamous Largo show. Thanks to her podcast, though, anyone with an Internet connection can hear Tig approach this with honesty and humor as she comes to a speedy recovery. Listen to an excerpt of the episode below, and download the full episode here.

LISTEN:

"The Pod F. Tompkast." Although this is not a typical episode of Paul F. Tompkins' classy and original podcast, we're glad he released it as a half-hour bonus episode. Most of it is a recording of a a monologue he gave at a live show in which he gives one of the clearest, not to mention funniest, arguments yet of why boycotting Chick-fil-A is necessary. Download the full episode here.

LISTEN:

"The Nerdist Podcast." It seems like Will Ferrell has stopped pretty much everywhere on his press tour for "The Campaign," so why not the world of podcasts? Will makes his comedy podcast debut in a great, extended conversation with Chris Hardwick, Jonah Ray and Matt Mira about how he keeps a level head as one of the biggest comedy stars in the world. In this clip, Will recounts one of the stranger urban legends he heard about himself. Download the full episode here.

LISTEN:

"Mohr Stories." Jay Mohr's new podcast network launches with this episode featuring Jay Leno. The only thing missing from this episode is Mohr trying to explain to Leno what a podcast is. In this clip, Leno tells some stories from his early "hell gigs" in stand-up, including opening for some very surprising (and legendary) acts. Download the full episode here.

LISTEN:

"How Did This Get Made." Comedians Paul Scheer and Jason Mantzoukas (sans show regular June Diane Raphael) join Nerdist's Matt Mira and Marvel's Jesse Falcone. Having watched the famously awful "Batman & Robin," they all then spend an hour tearing it to shreds. Download the full episode here.

LISTEN:

"WTF with Marc Maron." This show was the first introduction to podcasting for legions, and he devoted his 300th episode as a sort of State of the Podcast. He talks to The A.V. Club's Nathan Rabin about the medium as a popular form of entertainment, then talks to Jesse Thorn, the proprietor of Maximum Fun, and the man who helped Maron get "WTF" off the ground, about the challenges of putting out a free product whose benefits are largely abstract, and closes it out with a chat with Pete Holmes, whose "You Made It Weird" podcast largely borrows from Maron's, and who, like Maron, has seen an increase in popularity as a stand-up since launching his podcast. I've included a snippet of Thorn and Maron's chat, which posits the question: "Why do we do this?" The answer they each come to is, "Hell if I know." But even if they say they don't know, they obviously do. They're both true trailblazers of an entirely new medium of entertainment, something that few people can claim. In an age when the Conan O'Briens and Dan Harmons of the world are unceremoniously booted because a few bald guys in suits made shortsighted decisions, it's about time for the real talent to move onto a more welcoming environment. Download the full episode here.

LISTEN:

"Here's The Thing." This episode of Alec Baldwin's WNYC podcast, where the actor interviews Billy Joel, was certainly a surprise. Turns out, Billy Joel sounds like a pretty fun guy. Aside from trying his hand at classical music (haven't we all?), he's all but retired from writing new songs, and apparently has spent that time learning how to be a real charmer. He sounds like he's told all these stories before, but it's definitely among the more cheerful podcast I've heard in a while. Download the full episode here.

LISTEN:

"The J.V. Club." Actress and improviser Janet Varney chats with Alison Brie ("Community," "Mad Men," as if you didn't already know that) about their high school and college experiences. In this clip, Alison explains why she may not have always done the required reading -- and why she's okay with that. Download the full episode here.

LISTEN:

"Judge John Hodgman." The Resident Expert of "The Daily Show" brings his unimpeachable opinion to a couples argument over the husband's habit of sneaking out for late night fast food a few times a week. They each state their case, and John Hodgman decides who's right and who's wrong. The best part of this one, as in many episodes of this podcast, is listening to Hodgman try his best to stay diplomatic, as befitting for a man of the law such as himself. Download the full episode here.

LISTEN:

"The Duncan Trussell Family Hour." Duncan Trussell's show is probably the only comedy podcast to unironically speak of the wisdom of the Hare Krishnas on a regular basis and go into depth about how the universe is likely the result of a cosmic computer code. But that's the beauty of his show -- strap in, and try to keep up. Duncan talks to "Community" creator Dan Harmon, and after they get the obligatory "getting fired" stuff out of the way, they have a thoughtful conversation about the nature of our souls. You know, typical comedy nerd stuff. Download the full episode here.

LISTEN:

 

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