Archives for category: Comedy


This podcast is one of the most intentionally funny things I’ve ever heard. They really go for it on every episode, and the improv skill level is high enough to make it work. If you’ve finished watching Comedy Central’s Review, which you should do as well, but you need more Andy Daly, here is your chance to experience some of his most insane character work. And, as Chip Gardner would say, “Hail Satan!”

Episode 1: The Wit and Wisdom of the West with Dalton Wilcox




With the Best Show on WFMU coming to an end, here are some opportunities to get your Tom Scharpling fix elsewhere. These podcasts can’t fill the soon-to-be empty shoes (which may or may not have been purchased at a lean-to furnished Lady Footlocker), but they’ll help get you through the inevitable withdrawal process.

1. Low Times

Tom’s music podcast, co-hosted by Maggie Serota and Daniel Ralston. Tom’s musical tastes and adventures have been a major part of the Best Show, but here he gets to dive a bit deeper while holding conversations with some incredibly influential musicians, and the interviews never follow the typical media interview script.
Recommended Episode: March 19, 2012 with Dave Wyndorf of Monster Magnet

2. Am I Right?? on CJSW

Am I Right?? is a comedy interview show on Calgary’s indie radio station CJSW. Scharpling has appeared quite a few times, most recently alongside Andy Kindler where they really just run away with the show to the delight of the hosts, Jesse and Evan.
October 28, 2009
May 31, 2010
March 30, 2011
May 3, 2011
November 29, 2012

3. WFPK After Dark with Sean Cannon

After Dark is a nightly music show on Louisville’s WFPK. The show also features interviews with musicians, comedians, and actors which are released as a podcast. It’s a great opportunity to hear Tom on the line instead of in the booth.
Episode 102

4. Sklarbro Country

It’s no secret that Tom has a penchant for professional sports, most notably the NBA and Chuck Wepner’s unscrupulous boxing techniques. Here we have a chance to hear his usual mirth filtered through the lens of sports news alongside Randy and Jason Sklar.
Episode 79

5. Analyze Phish

So, this one may take some convincing, but it’s worth it, I swear. Take one of the most unlikely podcast premises ever, throw in some Scharpling, some “goo balls,” and a little bit of unlistenable musical twaddle, and you’ve got a hilarious combination.
This show involves comedian and writer Harris Wittels taking on the daunting task of persuading his guests that Phish is a band worthy of your valuable time. As you can guess, Tom is not a fan, and the result is amazing.
Analyze Phish #8
6. A Bit of a Chat with Ken Plume

Ever wanted to hear Tom call in from a 7-11 while buying a juice? Ok, maybe not the best selling point, but these interviews with author Ken Plume are very casual, very winding, and very enjoyable.
August 8, 2010
November 2, 2010
May 13, 2011
December 30, 2011
October 3, 2012
October 22, 2012
April 23, 2013

7. Judge John Hodgman
Hodgman’s audio courtroom comedy finds the titular justice settling the most ordinary of disputes. This episode features Scharpling as the guest bailiff, filling in for Jesse Thorpe.
Episode 108: A Room with a Feud

8. The Hivecast with Matt Pinfield
After Scharpling interviewed Matt Pinfield on Low Times, Pinfield returned the favor on his own podcast in this episode. They talk records, growing up in New Jersey, and a lot about Tom’s music video directing career.
January 30, 2013

9. The Holding Court Podcast
The charming thing about this episode is that it’s very clear that Tom is a frequent listener of this basketball podcast featuring “The Greggulator” of Best Show caller fame. It’s not the typical conversation about Best Show history that comes up so often in interviews with Tom, they really dive into telling stories and discussing the sport. Their website seems to be defunct, and it’s no longer available on iTunes, so you may have to resort to messaging the guys at the Holding Court Facebook page. Sorry about the goose chase, but it’s out there if you’re a completist! (The episode is from June 12, 2012)

10. How Was Your Week with Julie Klausner
Listeners of The Best Show are familiar with Ms. Klausner from her many appearances in the WFMU studio, if you haven’t heard the flipped version of Tom and Julie hashing it out, Tom has appeared on her show a number of times, including some live performances.
July 8, 2011: Episode 18
February 24, 2012: HWYW Live
February 27, 2012: Mini Episode with Gary Tha Squirrel
October 26, 2012: HWYW Live for Halloween
January 31, 2013: Episode 100
May 31, 2013: HWYW Live

11. Jason Sims Puts You in Your Place
“Hello, Tom”
This smooth and simple greeting always sets up a highlight of The Best Show, but here, yet again, the tables have turned! Scharpling appears on Jason (from Huntsville, Alabama) Sims Puts You in Your Place to talk about what it’s like being from New Jersey.
Episode #2: December 10, 2012

12. Comedy and Everything Else
Jimmy Dore’s podcast featured two back-to-back episodes featuring Tom Scharpling and Paul F. Tompkins in April 2010.
Episode 85: April 5, 2010
Episode 86: April 12, 2010

13. Doug Loves Movies
This one took some digging, but back in 2010, Tom appeared on Doug Loves Movies, Doug Benson’s cinema-inspired, game-laden live show podcast alongside Paul F. Tompkins and Jon Hamm. Unfortunately, you’ll have to shell out $.99 for this one which took place in “Season 2” of DLM.

Season 2 Episode List

14. AST Radio
This is one of the oldest episodes on this list. Back in 2007, Tom Scharpling and Jon Wurster appeared on A Special Thing Records Radio, the podcast counterpart to the comedy label.  They discuss some of their own history as friends and the origins of the show.
July 2, 2007

15. The College Years
Going back even further, this show, The College Years, is an archive of older recordings from Jesse Thorn and Jordan Morris (Bullseye, Jordan, Jesse, Go, Maximum Fun). The original recording of Scharpling and Wurster’s episode is from February 3, 2005 and it was released on iTunes on October 27, 2010.
The College Years

16. Comedy Bang! Bang!

Before its IFC show, and even before the name change (in this episode, the show was still called Comedy Death-Ray), Tom appeared on Scott Aukerman’s talk show with “Weird Al” Yankovic and Paul F. Tompkins.
Episode 91: February 7, 2011

17. WTF with Marc Maron

Everybody knows WTF, everybody loves it, but if you missed the Tom Scharpling episode, here is your chance!
Episode 149: February 14, 2011

18. The Marc and Tom Show

Along with his appearance on WTF, Tom and Marc have collaborated to record three episodes of the Marc and Tom Show. All three episodes are available to purchase in iTunes as standalone conversations.
Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3

19. The Majority Report with Sam Seder

The Majority Report is Sam Seder’s daily political talk show. He often hosts comedians on his “Casual Friday” episodes, and Tom appears on the December 6, 2013 offering and they talk about Tom’s role in getting the Majority Report off the ground.
December 6, 2013: Casual Friday

20. Quit It

Brian Thompson’s show revolves around those things we all wish we could just stop doing. In an unfortunate, but completely justifiable bit of foreshadowing, Tom Scharpling’s episode sees him grappling with an attempt to quit “Working for Free,” and now, here we are with only two episodes left of The Best Show on WFMU. Hopefully, the extensive archive of free audio entertainment, both Best Show-related and otherwise, provided by Tom over the years will suffice until we all find out what he moves onto next.
“Working for Free”

New feature!
When I’m trying to avoid eye contact with random strangers by staring at my phone, I’m going to write up a quick podcast rec.

For the first post, I’m going with…
The Mutant Season.

This adorable podcast is hosted by a 9 year old kid named Gil, and it’s one of the most endearing things I’ve ever heard. Google it, because I can’t post a link easily from my phone.

Harness The Chaos Majick

Need a hilarious, LSD-friendly podcasting guru?  Need more astral projections in your podfeed?  Look no further!  Check out the enlightening rants and longform interviews of comedian Duncan Trussell and his eclectic guests.  Yeah, maybe he looks a little bit like Charles Manson, and maybe the show is kind of “culty,” but save your judgments for your square, shoe-polishing neighbor.

If you’re completely new to the show, let me clear something up.  The Duncan Trussel Family Hour manifested into being after the dissolution of The Lavender Hour, a show hosted by Trussell and Natasha Leggero.  Although the show has evolved into a solo effort, I definitely recommend going back through the archives to hear the earlier episodes while the show was a collaboration.

TDTFH boasts conversations with riveting guests running the gamut of this little floating orb we call home.  You can hear comedians like Chelsea Peretti, Tim Heidecker, Paul F. Tompkins, and Pete Holmes, musicians such as Emil Amos (from the Holy Sons, OM) and Honey Honey, or maybe you’d enjoy the episode recorded from within the glamorously tortuous chambers of a Los Angeles S&M mistress.

The show doesn’t take itself too seriously, but the conversation inevitably stumbles into profound territory, and it’s equal parts funny, peculiar, and transcendant.

One of the other things I really appreciate about this show is the existence of an online forum in a rare and promising constructive corner of the internet.
Download some episodes, sign up for the forum, and unleash your inner cosmic teacup pig.

You Made it Weird with Pete Holmes

I’ll keep this short, I know you have better things to do, like organizing your backpack or something.  You Made it Weird is a show hosted by comedian Pete Holmes.  He and his guests attempt to make it all weird by discussing “comedy, sex, and god.”  Pete brings it every episode, not by trying to fill every moment with a joke, but by diving into each encounter with unbridled energy and unaffected curiosity.  Holmes approaches the talks with an almost uncomfortable openness, but it helps push the guests into topics where they seem to do some real mining.

Live YMIW from SXSW

Who Charted? with Howard Kremer and Kulap Vilaysack

Do you love pop culture charts? Always trying to keep track of who’s who in the worlds of dubstep, math rock, and independent record stores? Well, none of these things are necessary to enjoy Who Charted? on the Earwolf network, but they may earn you some street cred at your local trivia night. But, be careful, some people get way too into trivia night, and they may poison your next basket of buffalo honey habanero poppers. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, you overly confident dingleberry.

Who Charted? is one of my favorite shows. I rarely miss an episode, and I think Howard Kremer and Kulap Vilaysack are my favorite chart-centric podcast duo. Who Charted? loosely relies on entertainment charts as a springboard for the hosts and their guests to divulge personal stories based on the charts du jour. Who Charted? gives you the opportunity to hear Paul F. Tompkins riff on reality shows on a cable television chart, or Marc Maron investigate some country artists he has never heard of.

Although much of the media on top charts is pure junk, the show never gets bogged down in sanctimonious critique, and the guests usually find a way to weave the charts into entertaining conversation. Who Charted? doesn’t function as an advocate of the charts’ stock, nor does it exist to simply rip apart mainstream media; the charts serve as a non-invasive backbone for the dialogue.

Kremer’s mirthful nonchalance compliments Kulap’s infectious enthusiasm, and the two chartists build a welcoming environment in which an impressive number of skillful comedians explore their reactions to anything from 90’s hip-hop to modern reality television. The show keeps up an incredibly jovial atmosphere, partially because of Kremer’s original theme songs used to introduce each category (Kremer also operates under his hip-hop moniker Dragon Boy Suede).

Recently, the team added a second show to their weekly output titled Two Charted?, giving Kulap and Howard a chance to bring in their own personalized charts of things they enjoy. These shorter episodes provide a platform for them to geek out a bit on personal favorites, and if you enjoy the regular Who Charted? episodes, check these out as well.

Happy listening!

It’s not easy to develop a natural, charming chemistry between performers, it may take years of work and training with each other to develop such a bond.  Or, you can all come from the same gene pool- that helps also!

The My Brother, My Brother, and Me podcast presents the witty, improvisational adventures of three siblings as they offer advice to real-life morons seeking relief from their puzzling predicaments as found in their Yahoo! Answers requests.  They also answer questions from listeners and friends of the show, but the Yahoo! Answers queries offer the real comedy gold.

It’s refreshing to hear the chemistry between the McElroy bros because they genuinely make each other laugh without overdoing it.  Their treatment of the questions leans more towards absurd than cruel, never taking the easy way out to poke fun at the often ridiculous pleas for guidance.

Here is an example of an actual Yahoo! Answers question they use as a launching pad for one of my favorite portions of riffing.  (The original question, complete with ludicrous responses, can be found here.)

It reads:

“Hi, i was wondering if anyone knew where the website boyskinz has gone. I wanted to buy a thong form there but saw they no longer where up. I also wanted to buy my son one since he saw mine and wanted to try it. No im not a pedo, hes 15 and can speak for himself thanks.

Does anyone know where i can buy adult and youth boy thongs?


If you wish to hear how the McElroys deal with this perfectly legitimate request, check out episode #88 “The Lion, The Witch, and The Boyskinz.”

My Brother, My Brother, and Me is part of the Maximum Fun family, and new episodes drop every Monday.

The Mental Illness Happy Hour

“Everybody I know is bizarrely, beautifully, fucked up in some weird way…”

-Greg Behrendt talking with host, Paul Gilmartin

All forms of entertainment are ways for us to shut out the horrific thoughts of our inevitable expiration as we meander through the deadening events on which the journey of life is constructed, right?  So why not make a show about how we deal with those thoughts?  Genius.  I can smell the cash from advertisers rolling in already!

Paul Gilmartin’s The Mental Illness Happy Hour is an interview show summarized at the beginning of each episode as “an hour of honesty about all the battles in our heads.”  Gilmartin makes it very clear that the show is not a substitute for professional help, but rather “a waiting room that hopefully doesn’t suck.”

I chose this show as my first post for a few reasons:

  • Unlike many podcasts, TMIHH doesn’t feel like a promotional tool for those involved.
  • The topics and tone used to describe them are seldom found in any mainstream media.
  • It’s genuinely funny throughout each episode, despite the weight and murkiness of the subject matter.
  • By avoiding directly administering advice, the listener can glean subtle and profound insight into serious questions they may or may not have about mental health.
  • Nothing seems sensationalized for dramatic effect.

One of my favorite things about the podcast medium is the depth interviews reach without the interference of advertisers and the temporal limitations imposed by television or radio.  Gilmartin and his guests find themselves diving into personal stories and constructive digressions that would never survive the hasty editing of most talk shows, and these moments of intimate disclosure are the core on which this show is built.

Paul Gilmartin’s background as a comedian coupled with his own experience with mental conflict seem to give him a unique ability to traverse these delicate conversations with the appropriate amount of inherently dark humor while retaining a manner of sincerity.  Likewise, many of the guests are comedians, performers, and writers who are able to express their stories in an engaging fashion without the timbre of a rehearsed performance.

I haven’t listened to every episode yet, but here are a few that I would highly recommend:

  • Kulap Vilaysack: 10/14/11
  • Paul F. Tompkins: 11/11/11
  • Greg Behrendt: 6/3/11
  • Rob Delaney: 1/6/12

I discovered this show by searching for comedians in iTunes, and I initially checked out episodes based on the guests, but I’d urge you to listen to episodes that may not include a familiar name, they are equally as enjoyable as many of the episodes with more widely known artists.



Here is a quick bio of Paul Gilmartin from The Mental Illness Happy Hour’s website:

“Since 1995 Paul Gilmartin has been a co-host on TBS’ Dinner and a Movie, and a stand-up comedian since 1987. His credits include Comedy Central Presents: Paul Gilmartin, numerous Bob and Tom albums, comedy festivals and the Late Show with Craig Ferguson. He is also a frequent guest on the Adam Carolla podcast, performing political satire as right-wing Congressman Richard Martin.

Paul was thrilled to be diagnosed with clinical depression in 1999 because it meant he wasn’t just an asshole. By 2003, he realized he was still an asshole and an alcoholic. Since 2003 he has been sober, mostly happy and a tiny bit less of an asshole. He leads a happy life in Los Angeles with a patient, loving wife and two spoiled dogs.”