Dave Top Ten Podcasts
Top 10 comedy podcasts
Posted by Dave Heckler on 3 Nov 09
Adam and Joe Did you know that the term 'podcast' was coined by some bloke by accident? Back in 2004 a Guardian journalist called Ben Hammersley wrote a piece about the boom in online radio and was musing on what to call this new craze talking over the web.
He came up with several names for this new phenomenon and wouldn't you know it, one of them stuck. Now, the world has embraced the podcast, none more so than in the comedy industry. And so, because I'm nice, I've compiled what I think are the ten best free comedy podcasts out there - so get downloading and you can freak out other commuters by laughing like a maniac on the bus or train to work.
10. Richard Herring: As It Occurs to Me
The first of two entries involving the former Fist of Fun star is worth a mention because it's quite revolutionary in its own small way. Mr Herring has decided to make a full on topical comedy stand-up and sketch show, like what we used to have on telly, recorded in a London theatre and released for free online as a podcast. As it's written on the week of broadcast it doesn't always work but when it does it's damn funny. Is this the future of comedy? Who knows, but it's a hell of a ride anyway.
9. Stephen Fry's Podgrams
As a self-confessed technophile, it made sense for Stephen Fry to embrace the podcast and he's done so with both hands. These are everything you'd expect from the man: witty, intelligent, thoughtful, occasionally angry and sometimes surprisingly confessional, these will enrich your life and probably make you a better person.
8. Trev and Simon
Remember these two from Saturday morning kids' shows Going Live and Live and Kicking? They taught us to swing your pants and when Simon rolled around the studio floor dressed as a giant fruit not able to get up, well that was one of the funniest things to happen on kids' TV. Point is, they haven't gone away, they've grown up and make these wonderful little podcasts that are the very definition of random. Check it out - you'll be surprised.
7. Robin Ince's Utter Shambles
A true comedian's comedian, Robin Ince is one of those comics who is effortlessly funny and blessed with a random bank of knowledge that borders on a case of Asperger's Syndrome. These podcasts feature a host of great comedy guests ranging from Josie Long, Rhod Gilbert and Stewart Lee to Alexei Sayle, Rob Newman and Barrie Cryer, with whom he talks about, well, just about anything.
6. The Perfect Ten with Phill Jupitus and Phil Wilding
Reuniting the pair from their days on BBC 6 Music, this fortnightly podcast sees the Buzzcocks mainstay and his crony (people don't use that word anywhere near enough these days) discuss ten topics submitted by the listeners or themselves and just witter on for 30 minutes. Like most of these entries, it's the banter between the two that makes Perfect Ten work, as well as the running jokes. From Ringo Starr's pin number to cricket porn, this show has it all.
These US-based podcasts are from Kevin Smith who, if you didn't know, wrote and directed cult comedy flicks Clerks, Mallrats, Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back and Zack and Miri Make a Porno to name but a few. Smith is joined by his producer Scott Mosier and anyone familiar with how funny and engaging his DVD commentaries are will know that they're in for a treat as these two talk about anything and everything. Expect anecdotes.
4. The Ricky Gervais Podcast
Well it'd be rude not to, wouldn't it? With Stephen Merchant, this man essentially put comedy podcasts on the map. Whether you still love everything he does or think he's gone off the boil of late, there's no doubt that these podcasts are genius, if nothing else than for introduction of orange-headed idiot/genius Karl Pilkington.
3. David Mitchell's Soapbox
Essentially this generation's Stephen Fry, David Mitchell is practically a British comedy institution and I can't think of anything he's done that isn't good. This video podcast basically involves David ranting about the everyday pressures of trying to be a modern man. Proving that he's not too far removed from Peep Show's Mark Corrigan, this has the right mix of bile and insightful observation.
2. The Collings and Herrin Podcast
The pairing of music and film journalist Andrew Collins and comedian Richard Herring has proved an internet hit, and with good reason. Essentially it's a skewed take on the week's news, recorded directly onto a laptop in Richard's attic, but done with genuine wit and intelligence. It's rare to find podcasts that are totally unedited but which are also consistently funny, but these two manage it. They could do with recording it in a slightly less low-fi environment but that's just me being picky. In all, a shambolic triumph.
1. Adam and Joe
Adam Buxton and Joe Cornish first made their mark on Channel 4 using Star Wars figures to create quirky sketches and we've since taken them to our hearts. They initially made podcasts on Xfm before jumping over to the BBC (or Big British Castle) and you can still download them all. The pair could get away with more on Xfm but the Beeb ones are equally good. Stupid songs, daft observations and true warmth, this is life-affirming stuff.