Podcasts are hip again.
They never went away, but the runaway success of Serial, a podcast detailing research into a US murder, really put podcasts back on the map in 2014/15.
The comedy scene, however, never forgot them. For years, your favourite acts and thousands of newbies on the comedy scene have been producing podcasts to showcase their work.
And why wouldn’t they? It is a cheap, easy way to get material online in a discoverable and consumable way, and a great platform on which to try out new material.
We’ve picked out eight podcasts (in no particular order) that we think are worth your time. There are some big names in there (and some stalwarts of the comedy podcast world), but also some lesser known acts.
Check them out! Sorry if we miss out your favourites, but please do let us know about your own top picks – if nothing else, we’d like to give them a listen.
The Comedian’s Comedian
What could be better than a series of interviews, many of them recorded live in front of a theatre audience, with some of the biggest names in comedy? Stuart Godsmith’s podcast, The Comedian’s Comedian, brings you just that.
Interviewees include Dave Gorman, Isy Suttie, Mark Steel, Jason Byrne, Matt Lucas, Katerine Ryan, Nathan Caton, Mitch Benn, Mark Watson…the list goes on and on (there are more than 160 episodes!). If you’ve got a spare month or two, head over to SoundCloud.
Here’s the Dave Gorman episode as a taster:
Ok, so if you’re into your comedy (and since you’re here on our site you likely are) then you have probably heard of The Bugle, described by it creators Andy Zaltzman and John Oliver as an “audio newspaper for a visual world”.
This satirical take on the world has clocked up nearly 300 episodes and is reportedly downloaded around half a million times every month. If you’re not one of the people doing so, and you like your satire cold as ice, then you really should be. Head over to their site for the full back catalogue. Here’s, at time of writing, the most recent episode:
Is it a sitcom? A sketch show? Well, it’s sort of both. And it’s very funny too. In their own words, Rufus and Howard said stuff, recorded it, edited it and put it together for you to listen to. You can’t say fairer than that.
You can listen to the show over on the guys’ website. In the meantime, here’s one for you to check out right away:
Answer Me This!
Got a burning question that you need an answer to? Like how long will you live if you only eat chip butties? Or if a drunk party guest breaks your furniture, can you ask them for compensation?
This might not be selling it well, but it’s a hugely effective formula (listeners send in their questions) and more than 330 episodes show it has real enduring appeal. It’s is a consistently funny (and informative) podcast in which Helen Zaltzman (yes, another Zaltzman – they’re siblings), Olly Mann and Martin the Sound Man will give you the answers to questions you never thought you would hear asked.
Here’s their website, and here’s a recent episode:
The Complete Guide to Everything
The title of this podcast makes a bold claim, but this weekly US show has a pretty good go at covering “everything from North Korea to Nicolas Cage”.
New York-based Tim Daniels and Tom Reynolds leave no stone unturned in what they call their humble quest to make the world a more informed place. Here’s their site, and here’s a taster:
An Irishman Abroad
We all know that just about everyone is Irish. right? Seriously – just ask a random stranger if they’re Irish, and you’ll be amazed at the response you get.
Actually, don’t do that. Instead, have a listen to Jarlath Regan’s podcast, which is a collection of interviews with Irish emigrants like himself (he was born in Kildare, but now lives in England). They include Graham Linehan, writer of Father Ted, Black Books and The IT Crowd and comedian and presenter Dara Ó Briain.
Get them all here, or check out the complication below to get a flavour of what’s on offer.
No Such Thing as a Fish
You’ve probably heard of QI, the long-running BBC comedy panel show that brings you obscure facts and fascinating trivia under the guidance of Stephen Fry (and soon, Sandi Toksvig). Well, all of that useless information doesn’t gather itself together. No, in fact it is all pulled together by a group of people known as the “QI elves”, and, well, this is their podcast.
All episodes here, one of our favourites here:
Comedians Telling Stuff
What was your worst gig? What about your first ever show – was it a success? In this series, host Sofie Hagen asks six comedians the same six questions, and it makes for a hilarious and insightful podcast.
There are some big names in there too. Al Murray, Colin Mochrie, Carl Donnelly, Matt Kirshen, Paul Sinha and Arthur Smith are among the guests. It’s revealing stuff, and you can listen to all the episodes here, or click “play” below for a taster.
Photo by brainblogger