Ready for a post-holiday pick-me-up? Listen to these top 7 funny podcasts!
I have a problem. It involves my phone, the gym, laundry, dishes and earbuds. Basically, in order to exercise or perform household chores, I must be listening to a podcast at all times. If my phone dies, I automatically leave the gym. If my podcast app crashes, I ditch the dishes immediately. I’ve turned into an audio info junkie, which would be useful if I could retain the info.
Being a podcast addict does have its benefits, however. I come across many fascinating stories, some of which have led to breakthroughs in different areas of my life. But once in a while I stumble upon a brilliant bit that hits my gut more than my brain. These funny podcasts are my lifesavers because I don’t have to think about anything while listening and unloading the dishwasher. I just get to laugh, and for a few moments my overactive mind gets a break and everything is right with the world.
Need an extra dose of cheer this time of year? I’ve got you covered with this list of funny podcasts.
This American Life, Episode #476: “What Doesn’t Kill You” (running time 57:30)
This one is particularly relevant for anyone experiencing increased levels of challenge or hardship right now. The humorous part of this episode begins in act one, titled “Too Soon?” in which comedian Tig Notaro performs her now-famous stand-up routine about being diagnosed with cancer. It’s especially funny to hear the reactions of her live audience as she’s describing all her current life trials, as the crowd doesn’t quite know whether she’s joking at the beginning, but it seems the more serious she gets, the funnier it becomes. I’ve never heard someone lament in such a candid way. If you want to stay at the point of laughter, stop listening after act one. Acts two and three are quite serious, though fascinating.
Tig Notaro via Getty Images
NPR’s Morning Edition, “Santaland Diaries” (running time 7:19)
Feeling a bit glum that the holidays are over? Whether you’re cleaning the house or driving to work, here’s a popular piece that’ll have you giggling like an elf! Listen as comedy writer and humorist David Sedaris reads excerpts from “The Santaland Diaries,” true stories about his short stint as Crumpet the elf in a Macy’s department store. This is the shortened version, but it includes my favorite part, as he describes Crumpet’s warning to a misbehaving child about how Santa no longer traffics in coal and what he does instead to boys and girls on the naughty list.
David Sedaris / Photo by Suzanne Opton / The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images
The Bugle, Episode #280: “On the Way Out” (running time 33:45)
Fans of HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver may know about this podcast taglined “An audio newspaper for a visual world.” John Oliver cohosts the podcast with Andy Zaitsman, and amid their British accents, puns and wit, you definitely have to be alert while listening to this one if you want to catch all the satire. This episode tackles everything from whiskey reviews to robots overtaking the earth (i.e. discussion of Stephen Hawking’s claims about artificial intelligence in the future) to careers that cannot be replaced by machines (i.e. priests, although that becomes a farcical debate). If you love political humor with a bite, this is definitely one to check out.
John Oliver via Getty Images
Laugh Podcast: Daily Standup Comedy (running time 5:00 and under)
These last three are the quick fixes of funny podcasts. For those who need some laughter in a pinch, these short episodes will have you chortling in minutes. This is the first “host-less” podcast I’ve come across, featuring brief, hilarious snippets from famous comedians. Since they’re all five minutes and under, they’re perfect for a short drive to the kids’ school or the store. My three favorites:
Chris Rock / Photo by Dana Edelson / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
This bit is from Chris Rock’s HBO stand-up special Bigger and Blacker. It takes a talented comedian to take an aspect of a serious issue like school shootings and make a hysterical, valid point.
Wanda Sykes: “First Black President”
Wanda Sykes via Getty Images
First, I just love Wanda Sykes. Second, it makes me happy to reminisce about the historical election that took place eight years ago, as it had a very different feel from the one that just transpired. I also love it when people can poke fun at themselves, as Wanda does.
Jim Gaffigan: “Disneyland Is Like Standing in Line at the DMV”
Jim Gaffigan / Photo by Brad Barket via Getty Images
Sorry, Disney fans, but Jim Gaffigan makes his family’s trip to Disney World sound miserable — comically miserable. I love this line: “You can walk around for 12 hours, sweating your ass off and still gain weight.” So true.
If you’re looking for consistently funny podcasts, Laugh Podcast is definitely one to add to your playlist.
So grab your smartphone and earbuds — and your Depends — and start listening!