5 funny podcasts to help you unwind

Podcasts are everywhere now, the medium’s at large in 2019 and there’s no escaping it. There is at this point – I’m quite sure – a podcast on every conceivable subject: a podcast on pyramid schemes? Check. A podcast on the history of gnomes? Absolutely. A podcast on the ancient art of stone clearing?  Been going for nearly a year that one. A podcast on podcasting? Probably well into the developmental stage. In this omni-podcasting world that we inhabit, as in the third podcast I mentioned actually, no stone has been left unturned. Alongside such niche subjects, the motivational and comedy podcast begins to look as oversaturated a market as my-dog-could-write-this, post-watershed ITV dramas or films with superheroes in. With this in mind, here are five great comedy podcasts to help you unwind!

Off Menu with James Acaster and Ed Gamble

In each episode, young comedians Acaster and Gamble invite a guest on, from Jess Phillips MP to Serge from Kasabian, to talk through their dream meal. The guest gives the two a rundown of their perfect restaurant experience, from their choice between ‘still or sparkling?’ to making a panicked decision as James Acaster, one of the nation’s most-popular comedians playing the role of genie-waiter, shouts loudly ‘POPPADOMS OR BREAD?! POPPADOMS OR BREAD?!’ It’s basically Desert Island Discs but with food – Dessert Island Discs? (They do starters and mains too though.)

 My Dad Wrote a Porno

Probably one of the best-known comedy podcasts, this one, and does exactly what it says on the tin. When Jamie Norton’s dad (for some reason) shared his awful erotic novel Belinda Blinked with him, Jamie (for some reason) shared it with his two best friends, James Cooper and Radio 1 DJ Alice Levine. The three then (for some reason) decided to make a podcast where they read a chapter of the terrible, terrible pornography each episode. This podcast really shouldn’t exist (for multiple reasons) but everyone who’s heard it is glad it does: the three are on to the fifth hilarious season of the podcast, have an HBO special behind them, and have toured the world doing live readings.

Athletico Mince

A comedy football podcast that abandoned football, at least in any real sense, about six episodes in. Writer Andy Dawson and British comedy royalty Bob Mortimer take the listener into a fantastical world where the English Premier League is bitterly divided, Gangs of New York-style, and Jeremy Corbyn brags about his romantic history, how many times he’s driven around a roundabout, and his highest ever darts score. Quite difficult to do proper justice to this one, but it’s exactly the sort of absurdist hilarity that has cemented Bob Mortimer, with his outstanding appearances on shows like Would I Lie to You? as a legend of British comedy. 

Drunk Women Solving Crime

My Dad Wrote a Porno-style in the sense that the title tells you pretty much everything you need to know about this podcast. Comedian/writer hosts Hannah George, Catie Wilkins and Taylor Glenn invite guests to come along and test out their inquisitive skills while inebriated. The three, and whoever joins them that episode, from comedians to crime writers, tend to tackle personal instances of injustice, true-crime cases, and aim to help listeners with their own experiences of wrongdoing. The investigations tend to become derailed, however, as the consumption of alcohol begins in earnest and laughter ensues.

Brian Gittins and Friends

The least-known of the five, but certainly my favourite. Athletico Minceian in that it sounds unfollowable, ridiculous, and about 10% as funny as it actually is when I try to write about it, but gruff-voiced Gittins, a rough diamond in the British comedy scene, is joined by mealy-mouthed media teacher David Edwards, a hidden gem in the British comedy scene, and Charles Petrescu the Robot, a literal tin man in the British comedy scene, as they embark on a different adventure each episode. Whether recording a song with the band Royal Blood, piloting an aeroplane to Tenerife with poet Tim Key, or shooting a film with director Jim Field-Smith, Charles Petrescu’s mechanical interjections and Gittins’s constant reprimanding of David Edwards ensures that this podcast is always incredible.

Tom Jones

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