The pandemic of 2020 – 2022 was a tough time for comedians. Without their natural environment of comedy clubs, it would be easy to get rusty. I think that is why there has been such an explosion of comedians with podcasts.
It was a natural transition to keep their craft sharp without the pesky dangers of COVID-19 spoiling the party.
As we’ve discussed before, it’s easier than ever to get a podcast started, and these are trained professionals. With the success of the Joe Rogan Experience, just about everyone in the comedy world fired up a show.
This was also great for audiences who would get to hear these brilliant men and women work, which was a boon for all of us who were stuck inside during the lockdown.
So, without further adieu, let’s dive into some of this comedy gold. I should note, these aren’t presented in any ranked order. If they’re on this list, they have excellent shows and you should be listening to them regularly.
Comedians with Podcasts, an Unordered List…
Now, I chose to do this in an unordered list because comedy is a subjective art form. And George Carlin isn’t around to top the list anymore. I mean, could you imagine George Carlin being on the list of comedians with podcasts? He’d have to be near the top. Oh, we can only imagine.
Neither is Richard Pryor nor so many of the true legends of comedy.
What makes a great comedy podcast? Well, the best comedy podcasts must be authentic. It’s an intimate art form, so they can’t just be telling jokes. They have to be telling stories and adding a more vulnerable human element to them.
The podcasters on this list have managed to achieve that. Perhaps stepping outside their comfort zone to master this new art form.
They don’t even necessarily have to be funny podcasts per se to make the list. Rogan, for instance, isn’t leaning too heavily on his being funny, but it’d be hard to say he’s not doing something right over there. Some of the best interviews have been done on that show without necessarily being laugh-out-loud funny.
Others on this list really are genuinely funny. But that’s not necessarily a requirement. It’s that authenticity that ties this list of comedy podcasts together. Well, that, and they are professional comedians and comedic actors.
So, let’s get into the best comedians with podcasts.
Two Bears, One Cave with Tom Segura & Bert Kreisher
These types of interview shows just work for comedians. And after 175 episodes and counting Tom Segura and Bert Kreischer are among the best in the business.
They are longtime real friends so the chemistry of their interview ping-pong comedic timing is brilliant. As of late Bert has been dealing with some health issues that have sidelined him leaving Tom to do the show with a slew of guest “bears,” filling in for Bert.
Their latest episode features Ryan Holliday, who we’ve discussed many times on this site for reintroducing the ancient philosophy of stoicism to modern audiences.
It’s a fantastic example of comedians being able to pivot and the authenticity on display from Tom is palpable.
While this episode errs less towards comedy it’s still extremely entertaining.
Other recent guests that have contributed to a very entertaining series of episodes have included the likes of Dana Carvey, Tony Hawk, and Louis C.K. Showing that there aren’t many topics that are off-limits.
There are episodes without guests with Tom and Bert essentially telling wild stories of their lives on the road and the general hijinks that one assumes is part and parcel of the comedy lifestyle.
It’s hard to sing the praises of this comedy podcast more.
WTF with Marc Maron Podcast
Maron is closing in on nearly a thousand episodes.
So, it makes sense he’s spoken to just about every comedian, actor, author, thinker, and person of interest on the planet. This is another show where Marc showcases an ability to create meaningful connections with his guests.
The result is that these are some of the most interesting discussions in podcasting. Again, comedians with podcasts don’t always equate to something “ha-ha” funny, but it does equate to an entertaining and enjoyable listen.
As I mentioned there are nearly 1,000 episodes in the archives, there is plenty to go back and listen to.
Some of the interviews that stand out are:
- Kat Williams, the legendary comedian.
- Marc Summers, of Double Dare fame.
- Gallagher, who actually walked out on the interview.
- Radhika Jones, Editor and Chief of Vanity Fair
- Whitney Cummings, the brilliant comedian.
The list just keeps on going. Bradley Whitford of the West Wing and Handmaid’s Tale has become a real fan of the show which made their latest conversation an absolute delight. In fact, comedians with podcasts can create some of the most haunting interviews.
There’s something for everyone after a thousand episodes, so make sure this one finds its way into your podcast app of choice.
Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend
Conan has been a comedian for more than 30 years. He’s late night royalty. He’s made us laugh on television and on the internet, and now he’s mastering this new art form: the podcast.
This weekly podcast is from a legend where Conan interviews his friends, who are also comedians. The show is funny, but it’s also a way for Conan to get out of his comfort zone and have some real conversations with people he doesn’t know very well.
The guests range from Jimmy Fallon to Jane Lynch to Richard Lewis, but they all seem to be having a great time talking about their lives and careers as comedians. You want to be a fly on this wall.
Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey are best friends, and they’re back at it with a new podcast. Well, not so new at this point.
I had no idea they were best friends in real life, but I guess that’s the kind of relationship you develop on a show like this over such a long period of time.
If you’ve ever watched The Office, you know what these two are like: Jenna is the sweet one who everyone loves, and Angela is the tough-talking woman who can always be counted on to say something outrageous. But in real life, they’re both the sweet ones.
In their podcast, they get together to talk about their time on The Office, as well as the many projects they’ve worked on since then. And while they don’t always agree on everything (who would?), they still manage to have a good time reminiscing about their time together on one of television’s biggest sitcoms—and that’s what makes this podcast so much fun.
There are interviews with the show’s cast and creators, as well as fans of the show. Like self-described “super fan,” Billie Eilish.
The Patdown with Ms. Pat
The Miss Pat show is an amazing show. Emmy nominated don’t you know. Have you been watching it?
That’s what makes this podcast so good. Ms. Pat pulls back the curtain on her show that she created and stars in. So, she knows the goods. Chris Spangle and Deon Curry (among others) join Ms. Pat to talk about making the show and share some unique perspectives on life.
Want to hear what she thinks of Cocaine Bear, or what she thought of her court experience? Want to hear Deon Curry leave one of the best comedians speechless?
I really don’t want to give too much away here. But this is a fantastic podcast with hilarious people talking about life.
Best Friends with Nicole Byer and Sasheer Zamata
I love listening to podcasts that take me out of my familiar perspective. Yeah, of course, I listen to comedy podcasts by people who look like me. That’s understandable I think.
That said, I think some of the best podcasting experiences are when you specifically go out of your way to broaden your horizons. This is one of those shows.
On paper, I have nothing in common with Nicole and Sasheer, which is why I learn so much from their podcast, Best Friends. I learn that I’m wrong. Sasheer is into My Chemical Romance. Or a fascination with the Blue Man Group.
It’s just one of those podcasts that’s tough for me to comment on other than you really should be listening to Best Friends. It’s one of the top 10 comedy podcasts that you just don’t see coming as a plain vanilla straight white guy.
I love this show and can’t say enough good things about it.
THE ADAM BUXTON PODCAST
Adam has one of the best funny British podcasts on Spotify. I’m a little concerned that there hasn’t been a new release in 2023, but when you’ve been doing this non-stop since 2015, we can wait a bit.
But, since the archive goes back to 2015, if you aren’t listening on a regular basis, you’ve got some catching up to do.
His discussion with the aforementioned Maron from 2017 is a masterclass in a comedian having a discussion with another comedian. I think the British perspective makes this one of the top free comedy podcasts UK can deliver.
As of this writing, there are 200 episodes for you, dear reader, to catch up on.
Comedy Bang Bang
Scott Aukerman hosts this show. It’s kind of a variety show that is a blend of conversation between a genius comedian… and Scott Aukerman. No, I’m kidding, Aukerman is from Mr. Show fame.
But it’s the special guest that gets to shine in each episode. Because it’s more than just conversation. It’s also some top-notch character work, games, and general revelry. It’s kind of like a looser, less NPR, wait wait, don’t tell me. So if you like that show and would like something a bit edgier, this show is for you.
The guest list is a who’s who of working comedians. Zach Galifianakis, Jason Alexander, David Cross, Nick Kroll, Mary Holland, and Allison Williams are just a few of the litany of brilliant guests that are on the show.
I highly recommend starting with the Best of Episodes that condense the show into something resembling digestible.
You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes
I absolutely love the premise of this show. The idea is that everyone has something weird about themselves. Think about that anecdote or idiosyncratic personality trait that you don’t lead with at parties.
Yeah, everyone has those. You can imagine if you’re drawn to comedy as a profession, you’re going to have more weirdness, or weirder weirdness.
Host Holmes gets some of the biggest comedians in the business to disclose theirs to his audience. The result is absolutely perfect. *Chef’s Kiss*
There are 779 episodes on Apple Podcasts as of this writing, which makes it another podcast with an archive to dip in and out of at your leisure. With so many guests, it makes it one of the top comedian podcasts that should be in your player of choice.
Comedians With Podcasts – Rarely Stand Up
Did you notice a theme on this list? Comedians with podcasts are rarely performing. They’re having authentic conversations. They’re having intimate conversations.
Even when they are performing comedians with podcasts are doing something more like a variety show. We’ve talked on this site about how the medium just lends itself to an intimacy that you aren’t going to get from a comedian on stage. That’s a performance, to a crowd.
It’s a shared experience. A podcast usually happens alone. And often, it’s a discussion that’s shared between the listeners between the earbuds. It’s a completely different experience.
This is what makes these comedians with podcasts, playing with the format, within the medium, so good. You get to see what makes these people so smart. We, as listeners, get to see the wheels turning a bit more than a polished special on Netflix. It’s a real treat to see how the work is done.
Are there shows I missed that I should be listening to? Let me know on twitter @discover_pods.