Each week, I recommend my favorite podcasts.
Weird Adults With Little Esther
The Feral Audio podcast network has grown exponentially in the last few months, adding podcasts from such well-established comedians as Chelsea Perretti, Steve Agee, and Brody Stevens. Unlike other podcast networks, the Feral Audio podcasts seem to allow each guest to take full creative control of their podcasts; the podcasts reflect an open conversation between the hosts and their guests and can lead anywhere, from music to life, to career, or bodily fluids.
One such podcast is Weird Adults With Little Esther (comedian Esther Povitsky). I relate to Esther as a fellow somewhat neurotic Jewish girl. Something you have probably picked up if you regularly read this column is the podcasts I enjoy the most are the ones where the guests are their most "real" and reveal insecurities and emotions. Esther certainly does not hold back from this, and can always find an obscure example from her life to help relate to her guest. Having only discovered Weird Adults recently, I've only listened to a handful of episodes, and I feel I know a lot about Esther's feelings about her family, dating, and her career. I am tempted to use the word quirky, but Zooey Deschanel has sort of co-opted that characteristic at the moment. Esther is not quirky in the obnoxious Zooey way, but in a "I want to hear her reaction to that" kind of way. Living as a woman trying to make it in comedy in LA, she has a lot of vulnerable feelings to share. She's someone who deserves success in the comedy world, and the fact that she continues to do it among all the bullshit is an inspiration to us creative types. I'll proudly admit I have a total friend crush on her.
Comedy Bang Bang
It seems odd to me that in writing about comedy podcasts, I have not yet mentioned Comedy Bang Bang, the flagship show on the Earwolf network. (A television show also aired earlier this year.) It was only because I assumed it was known to podcast enthusiasts, but if you are new to comedy podcasts, it's essential listening. In fact, my favorite episode of the year was an episode of CBB.
Host Scott Aukerman plays the proverbial straight man to the crazy characters that come on the show. Much beloved staples of the alternative comedy scene, such as Paul F. Tompkins, Andy Daly, Brett Gelman, James Adomian, and Jason Mantzoukas, play over-the top characters who interact with Aukerman and the well-known comedic guests. Tompkins's Andrew Lloyd Weber and Ice-T are character standouts, as well as anything James Adomian does. (My personal favorites of his are Dov Charney, smarmy owner of American Apparel, and Jesse Ventura). CBB is a showcase of the best comedians and improvisers at the top of their game. Don't let that make you think this is mainstream comedy... the brilliance comes from some of the most bizarre scenarios you've ever heard.
I bring up CBB now because the two-part best of the year episodes are available, which is a good place to start for new listeners.