We could all use a little more laughter in our lives. Whether you’re looking for some comedy on the commute home or unwinding during the weekend and needing an uplifting escape from the non-stop news cycle, we’ve got you covered.
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There’s some compelling research out there suggesting that an ample quantity of smiling and laughter actually increases your lifespan. So, if you’re default setting isn’t giddy, give some of these genuinely funny podcasts for a spin.
Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend
There’s been a void in late night television ever since Conan left the network circuit. His quick wit and antics were worth staying up for, night in and night out. O’Brien’s latest podcast series reminds usof just how hilarious Coco is. Whether he’s making fun of his own athletic prowess, picking on an intern, or diving into one of his signature wormholes, the comedian remains one of the best around. And while a guy responsible for some of the best Simpsons episodes of all time can more than hold his own on tape, this series is extra good because it involves equally funny guests, like Charles Barkley, Sarah Silverman, and John Mulaney.
Podcast But Outside
Hosts Cole Hersch and Andrew Michaan live up to the podcast’s name by simply taking things outside and into the streets. Imagine a lemonade stand run by two full-grown men who manage to lure people to their table only to converse on anything and everything. Their misadventures are many, as the duo sets up shop at various gatherings (vegan street fairs, Costco parking lots, residential streets during Halloween) to interview perfect strangers. While it’s funny as a listen, there’s an added layer of humor in the cheesy camera work, fake ads, and visuals related to the constant threat that they may get kicked out of wherever they happen to be hosting.
2 Dope Queens
Although it only ran for a flash between 2016 and 2018, 2 Dope Queens is worth a revisit. The self-described “black girl magic” is the comedic work of hosts Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson, produced by WNYC in New York. They leave few topics untouched, spanning the subject matter realm from sex and dating nightmares to stand-up comedy, food, and strange Brooklyn encounters. The two hosts feed off of each other expertly and add extra laughs with the likes of esteemed guests like Jon Stewart. Plus, they show us the funny side of the more formal guests like Michelle Obama.
No Such Thing as a Fish
With this fascinating British broadcast, you’re as likely to cock your head as you are to laugh out loud. The show riffs off of a handful of factoids each week, reminding us of some of humanity’s strangest creations. The hosts have essentially combed through the internet for some of the most bizarre hobbies, inventions, professions, and more and unearthed the very hardest to believe. Think sentient jelly, hedgehog circuses, and sexy ceiling fans. In true British fashion, the humor is often dry, ironic, tongue-in-cheek or all of the above at once. Listen closely or you’re likely to miss a quick jab here or there.
It’s easy to relate to Entry Level, a podcast focused on all of the worst jobs out there. Anybody who’s ever made minimum wage will appreciate the narratives here. The show brings in real people and comically dissects their weirdest, most unappreciated gigs. The jobs are fantastic and run the gamut, from ballroom dance instructor to go-kart track manager. It’s a chuckle-driven reminder not to take anything for granted, or too seriously. Cooler still, the show pushes the genuine talents that the guests actually have, touching on their websites, artistic abilities, and all of the valuable endeavors they take part in away from the skinny paychecks.
Technically a basketball podcast, Horse examines the broad-reaching cultural phenomenon that the sport exists within. You know, the fashion, the ridiculous amounts of cash, the superstitions, the off-court shenanigans, the tweets, the odd business side of the league. There’s a “that actually happened” segment that’s full of comedic gold, from Michael Jordan almost getting seriously injured by a samurai at an evangelical prison show to a college player getting cat-fished by his entire fanbase. It’s about so, so much more than hoops and will make you giggle even if you can’t name a single starter from this year’s All-Star game.
If you burn through all of these, you should check out our favorite podcasts for road trips, our top overall picks for 2020, the best fiction podcasts, podcasts to listen to at work or during your workout, some great options for commuting, a few sports-centric podcasts, or The Manual’s own podcast. If you’re new to podcasts, you’ll need one of the top apps for listening.
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