Step away from the screen and let these comedy podcasts delight your ears with witty content about ghosts, other worlds, and relationships.
Who doesn't need a good laugh now and again? Podcasts are the perfect solution because you can listen anytime, anywhere, for free. Turn your car into a comedy club, see if you can laugh and walk at the same time, or pop in earbuds and make dishwashing a joy (well ... close!). There are tons of comedy podcasts out there, so we've curated an eclectic mix that will have you in stitches.
Actress Anna Faris loves talking about relationships. Her podcast, 'Anna Farris is Unqualified,' started as a hobby while her former husband was on a film shoot. Six years and almost 250 episodes later, Faris's guests have included Lisa Kudrow, Elliot Page, Allison Janney, Paul Scheer, and many more in side-splitting conversations about life, hypothetical dating scenarios, and the film and television industry. She also enlists the help of experts to give listeners advice on their current dating and relationship troubles, including personal stories from both Faris and the expert.
The show has a two-part format. The first features guests ad-libbing or doing comedic sketches. Faris also has a fictional persona named Karen Sarducci, a disaffected studio executive with a pronounced vocal fry and two sons Milo and Ventimiglia. (Yes, named after the actor who plays Jack Pearson on 'This Is Us.')
Have you ever seen a movie and wondered how it ever made it past the idea stage? Then 'How Did This Get Made?' is the podcast for you!
Hosts Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, and Jason Mantzoukas break down movies so bad they're amazing. Episodes typically feature a guest attempting to dissect ridiculous plots in a desperate and good-natured attempt to make sense of why the movie exists. It's the ping-pong banter between the cast that makes it so fun, especially Mantzoukas's infectious energy and outrage at the tragic choices production made. But the highlight may be Scheer reading sincere 5-star Amazon movie reviews in a painfully funny segment called "second opinions." With more than 250 episodes, you've got hours of giggles ahead.
True crime turns to dark comedy in 'My Favorite Murder.' Writer Georgia Hardstark and comedian/writer Karen Kilgariff created the show as a form of talk therapy to face their deepest fears.
Each week the hosts share a story about a "favorite" murder, one they can't get out of their heads. Cases range from highly publicized to lesser-known true crime tales. With endearing chemistry, Hardstark and Kilgariff banter about what makes each story spooky and how they trigger their anxieties and funny memories of childhood and parenting in the pre-digital age. They also break down local news stories and transport listeners into the concerns of days long past.
It's obviously very dark to have a show about favorite murders, but the two hosts balance it with empathy for both the perpetrators and their crimes. While they acknowledge the morbid curiosity that comes with a love of true crime, they also pay ample attention to issues like mental illness, sex work, and religion. Many times having fun at their own expense by sharing personal experiences and anecdotes, including substance abuse, rehab, therapy and mental health, stand-up comedy, and growing up in California.
What would you do if you discovered an erotic novel your dad wrote under a pen name? Well, if you're Jamie Morton, James Cooper, and Alice Levine, you read chapters of it each week to an audience of 280 thousand.
Based on the 'Belinda Blinked' book series written by Morton's father under the pen name Rocky Flinstone, 'My Dad Wrote a Porno' shines a light on just how bad some erotic writing can be. Cooper and Levine offer genuine, often hysterical reactions to over-the-top descriptions of Belinda's anatomy and imagine what led Rocky to believe that this is how sex works.
Another podcast adding some levity to America's obsession with crime and the paranormal, 'And That's Why We Drink' is a balm for the soul. Through creepy and unsettling tales, the show dares listeners to ask, "Why do people do what they do?" Hosts Christine Schiefer and Em Schulz vulnerably deep-dive into their own obsessions, offering frank admissions about what they're into and what keeps them up at night (in short, the reasons why they drink).
What sets this podcast apart in the crowded spooky space is its fascinating perspective about the uncanny connections between true crime and the otherworldly. Episodes begin with Schulz discussing a paranormal story about a haunted location, UFO sightings, conspiracy theories or creepypastas. Schiefer follows with true crime, delving into murders, serial killers, abductions, and unsolved crimes. The real fun comes when the hosts hypothesize what could have been going through these people's heads. It's lighthearted enough that you almost forget we're talking about all things dark and twisty. Check out the pilot episode, which does a great job juxtaposing the Winchester Mystery House with the Jonestown massacre.
Twice a month, the podcast also features listener stories and personal paranormal experiences. The stories are chosen without Schiefer and Schulz's knowledge, so you get genuine, real-time reactions of "nopes" and "oh my god!"
Sometimes the biggest laughs happen when there's no script. Arnie Niekamp hosts the improvised 'Hello from the Magic Tavern,' playing a version of himself trapped in the fictional world of Foon after falling through a dimensional rift in Chicago. Niekamp navigates the magical land by interviewing various characters at the Vermillion Minotaur tavern with his cohorts: a wizard named Usidore the Blue, a shapeshifter who changes into whatever animal he has sex with, and a talking flower. The improvised comedy podcast features guests from the Chicago comedy community, with many performers coming from the famed Second City.
One of the brilliant things about podcasts is that you don't have to go out. There are hundreds of hilarious shows waiting to deliver laughs on demand. Check these out and browse hundreds more to find your vibe on apps like Spotify, Apple, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.