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5 Comedy Podcasts That Will Keep You Laughing In Public

Matt Smith 03-06-2011

There’s few things more unusual than watching someone listen to a comedy podcast in public. First you wonder what they are laughing at. Are they just insane? Is there someone you don’t see that just told a great joke? Are you losing your mind?


Then you see the earbuds and realize that no one is crazy. They’re just listening to a great comedy podcast, and having more fun than you. Well, I have good news – with the right podcast, you too can randomly burst into laughter in public spaces.

Comedy Bang Bang: The Podcast

comedy podcasts

Once known as Comedy Death-Ray Radio, Comedy Bang Bang is the brainchild of Scott Aukerman, a writer and comedian known for his work on Mr. Show with Bob and David. Like many podcast How To Make Your Own Podcast For Free Read More hosts, Scott has certainly been around the block, but often flew under the mainstream radar.

The show has numerous guests, but it is far from your typical interview podcast. Instead, the guests often operate as partners-in-crime. There are sketches, there are impressions, and there’s even the occasional improv game. It’s all a bit silly, but Scott knows when to let absurdity reign and when to reel the show back in, resulting in a tight podcast packed with laughs.

The Mike O’Meara Show

stand up comedy podcasts


This show is a survivor. Originally aired on radio, the Mike O’Meara show was cut when its station was converted into a sports channel. Rather than give up and go home, the crew decided to keep chugging on as a podcast, and I’m glad they did, because the show is a hoot.

You don’t have to listen long to recognize the show’s radio roots. It’s a very organized, high-quality production staffed with rich radio voices. The show is topical, but also contains bits, a mailbag and more. This would be a particularly good podcast for a workout; it’s always an hour long and can act as a no-pressure timer.

The Nerdist

stand up comedy podcasts

Yep, the Nerdist is a podcast that’s aimed at nerds. Who would have imagined!


To be honest, though, the “nerd” label is a net that can be cast quite wide these days, so this podcast is more accessible than you’d think. If anything, the Nerdist would be best labeled as an alternative pop-culture podcast, which is reinforced by a guest selection that has recently included Patton Oswald, Ed Helms and Adam Carolla.

While the Nerdist doesn’t typically force me into belly-laughs, the smooth hosting of Chris Hardwick, Jonah Ray and Matt Mira keeps a smile on my face, and the Nerdist arguably has the best selection of guests on any comedy podcast currently being produced.

Pod F. Tompkast

stand up comedy podcasts

A relatively new podcast, the Pod F. Tompkast is the creation of comic Paul F. Tompkins. Unlike most comedy podcasts, which tend to focus on current events and guests, the Pod F. Tompkast is an exploration in the absurd. There’s not always a clear logic to what’s happening, and if you’re looking for great jokes, excellent bits or in-depth interviews, well, look elsewhere (though that’s not to say bits don’t exist, or that guests don’t take part at times).


Yet there is something indiscernibly engaging about Paul F. Tompkins’ voice. Wherever he leads, I’m happy to follow. Indeed, it sometimes seems as if the entire point of the podcast is to see how far deep into absurdity Paul can go while remaining comedic. Be sure to check out the extrasodes, particularly Ice T’s Pyramid Scheme and Cake Boss Answers Christmas Questions From Kids.

WTF with Marc Maron

comedy podcasts

Okay, I must admit, I’ve saved my favorite for last. I’ve been a long-time listener of this podcast, and of all the many that I listen to, this is one of the few podcasts that I absolutely never, ever miss.

The format of WTF is simple; an introduction of about ten minutes, usually consisting of Marc ranting about whatever is on his mind, followed by an in-depth interview with a single guest. It’s hard to say what it is about Marc that seems to disarm his guests so thoroughly, but he seems to inspire candidness in everyone who sits with him in front of a mic. This is often the source of the podcast’s comedy, in fact, as Marc and his guests tackle everything from family issues to the art of comedy.


WTF can ramble on at times, but it’s the lack of structure that gives it an edge. You never know what’s going to happen, and it’s not unusual for an interview to become hilariously confrontational when Marc hits a nerve – the Gallagher interview is the most famous example, but just one of many.


If you’re going to listen to just five comedy podcasts, these are the ones I’d recommend. Fortunately, you don’t have to listen to just five if you don’t want to. Feel free to share your favorite comedy podcast in the comments.

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  1. chaoooo
    March 31, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Highly recommend CastBox app, which contains all genres of songs I like for free! You can a lso set the alarm before bedtime, and fall asleep with podcast or radio on. It’s a surprise in my Android phone. Anybody else who likes it?

  2. Anonymous
    February 21, 2016 at 3:35 am

    Just wanna find a Podcasts app for myself, hope it’s an amazing way to discover, subscribe to, and play your favorite podcast. My must-have point is numerous free audio and video radio podcast in the Featured tab, or browse Top Charts to see what’s hot right now. So that I can add favorite radio and podcast to personal stations that stay up to date when new episodes become available. I wanna try PocketCast, RadioLab, any evaluations on CastBox this new podcast app on Google Play? I also hope the podcast can also for kids when story time and for my parents as they would like to listen to the radio with their new smart phone.

  3. Anonymous
    June 12, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Check out this very new podcast/audio comedy series. All characters are voiced by the same guy and it's hilarious!

  4. TanTanRicky
    August 26, 2011 at 3:39 am

    Anyone listen to The Podcast Eating Contest?  Pretty great stuff.

  5. tbphenom
    August 19, 2011 at 5:13 am

    How about something more raunchy.  Drunken fun of Bone's Lair Podcast.

  6. Mati Dear
    July 5, 2011 at 3:47 am


  7. Bro McBrosef
    June 25, 2011 at 1:34 am

    Doug Loves Movies is good.
    Man I LOVE the Nerdist podcast. Mat Mirah, Jonah Ray and Big C are awesome.
    And I totally agree with the thing about them having the best guests. Just listened to their 100th Simon Pegg ep, Rainn Wilson, The Muppets, Zooey Deschanel etc.

  8. Andrew Berry
    June 20, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Rooster Teeth Drunk Tank is always funny

  9. Ric
    June 14, 2011 at 5:21 am

    not for nothing but you missed a few. Tell Em Steve Dave and Hollywood Babble On both from (Kevin Smith's Podcasts, Yes That Kevin Smith). And I would be remiss if I didn't plug my podcasts while I was at it, THIS WEEK IN BULLSHIT hosted by the All New Stooges (Formerly of 88.5fm Sydney's 2rrr radio station) and BACK TO THE FACT hosted by the Big Boys a weekly movie trivia and fun facts show. Plus we have two more coming in the next couple of months. Fin us at [Broken URL Removed]
    From Ric The Real Stooge

  10. Blipton
    June 14, 2011 at 12:35 am

    A comedy podcast list without the #1 (in terms of itunes downloaded comedy podcasts) makes the entire list suspect.

  11. Chris Chip
    June 12, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Love WTF, will check out the others.

    Am surprised "the complete guide to everything" didn't make it though, its probably my favourite podcast of all.

    You look nice today is another excellent one with Merlin Mann, who its probably familiar to many folks here. They play it very straight, so it can take a bit to get used to their humour ( e.g. "but Scott, what do you do to distance yourself emotionally from your children?" is asked almost seriously), but once you get into it is both hilarious and intelligent - think arrested development style of comedy.

    As it occurs to me is also one of my favourites, but seems to be an acquired taste (and as its so self-referential, makes no sense if you don't listen from the beginning).

    Anyway, those are me top three, will check out the others and let you know!

  12. Toby
    June 10, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    The GameSpy Debriefings is possibly the most hilarious show, if you like gaming. Or even if you don't, they hardly talk about it anyway. They have a best-of episode out if you want to get into it.
    Or the Hamish and Andy podcast. I think it's the most popular podcast in Australia, so it must be good, right? It is just their nationally syndicated radio show, with all the music cut out.

    They are both really great, seriously. Go listen to them on iTunes.

  13. Cie McCullough
    June 10, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me is the funniest podcast around! I was hoping you would mention it and tell me more like it!

  14. Emily Johnson
    June 10, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Mediocre Show
    Geekshow Podcast
    Radio from Hell

  15. Klebbo
    June 9, 2011 at 11:30 am

    No Ricky Gervais Show? 

  16. GillyMate
    June 9, 2011 at 1:12 am

    check jerry jackson he destroys any and all of these people his footie is the sex.

  17. Anonymous
    June 8, 2011 at 6:15 am

    I'll give it one more chance with another show, but from what I heard of Maron in my first listen, he's dull.  If you want funny then listen to John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman in The Bugle podcast.

  18. Spoonflipper
    June 8, 2011 at 6:06 am

    Wow, the neg comments on here so hilariously unnecessary.  I think these picks are solid; I haven't listened to the Mike 0'Meara show myself.  But WTF and Comedy Bang Bang are absolutely in my top 5 and The Nerdist gets my love because it got me into Doctor Who.  Obviously, Never Not Funny.  And pretty much anything on Earwolf's website -Earwolf produces Comedy Bang Bang and they have bunch of cool shows that are all pretty unique.  I like Paul Scheer's How Did This Get Made?  He and Natasha Legerro and another dude whose name I can't remember right now dissect terrible movies for an hour.  Good fun.  And in some cases, probably WAY more entertaining than watching the movies; I have a feeling that Old Dogs is better left to my imagination the way they described.  Also; Doug Loves Movies, and Comedy Film Nerds.  Also; comedy is subjective, so don't be a dumbass about it.

  19. Ajvilla514
    June 8, 2011 at 3:29 am

    one word  SMODCAST!

  20. Thomas Johansson
    June 7, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    This list lacks SModcast or Hollywood Babble-On.

  21. Scott
    June 7, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    This could have easily been a top 10 list instead of 5. And I can't believe you left out Wait Wait Don't Tell Me.

  22. Rajo
    June 7, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    I don't think I've laughed once during WTF. It's a great podcast that features interesting comedians, but it's not exactly about the comedy

  23. Upconvet
    June 7, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    WMMR's Preston and Steve have the funniest podcast around.  Current ones are on iTunes, and there's 6 years worth of archives on Steve is the funniest man on earth.

  24. Yahoo
    June 7, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    one word : smodcast

  25. Cool
    June 7, 2011 at 3:54 pm
    better than any of these stupid shows

    • Tina
      June 7, 2011 at 4:59 pm

      Isn't this a matter of taste and type of humor?

  26. Spicynoodle
    June 7, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    No Smodcast love? One of the best podcasts out there, Kevin Smith is the man!

  27. Andyhupp
    June 7, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    My Brother, My Brother, and Me

    Go listen, it's awesome.

  28. Jurz
    June 7, 2011 at 2:48 pm A mediocore time with Tom and Dan

  29. Jconnfilm
    June 7, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    i listen to Trap is Clean, they are pretty funny

  30. Guest
    June 7, 2011 at 11:34 am

    NSFW Show

  31. Ribs
    June 7, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Steve Dahl should be on that list, he's kind of the guy who created that whole "shock radio" thing back in the day. 

  32. Ace123
    June 7, 2011 at 8:49 am

    I would have put Corolla and Rogan on there. Maron sucks a bag of cocks.

  33. Saltandstars
    June 7, 2011 at 8:00 am

    No Joe Rogan Experience, and not one mention of any kevin smith related podcasts?? Do you listen to any other podcasts besides these 5? This is a pretty lame article... just another reminder of how many idiots exist in this world. Why even take the time to right this? An article simply directing people to the comedy section of podcasts on itunes would have been such a better use of your time.

    • Darryl
      June 7, 2011 at 4:10 pm

      It would be a pretty boring world if everyone had the exact same interests wouldn't it??  If this article makes him an idiot then there is no word to describe you I would imagine..

      P.S  Speaking of 'Idiots' who is the one who wrote 'write' like 'right'  ????

    • Tina
      June 7, 2011 at 4:58 pm

      Your comment lacks humor. I'm disappointed.

    • newfers
      June 8, 2011 at 12:32 am

      Yeh, y didd thay right thiss?

      Learn to spell, or your criticism means nothing.

  34. Dsgrga
    June 7, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Red bar radio dumbasses

  35. Jovenplayingcheckers
    June 7, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Comedy Bang Bang and WTF are great and the paul f tomcast is good but the other ones suck. This is a terrible list. The Adam Carrola show is by far the best, then CDR and distorted view is great, sick and wrong is great, the harland highway is real funny if your high, and you guys should listen to these podcasts because the person who wrote this article is a retard and can not be trusted because they just do and say whatever they can to be as liberal as they can.

    • M.S. Smith
      June 7, 2011 at 8:03 am

      I picked two great podcasts and one good podcast? Out of five in total? Hmm. I can deal with that record.

    • Team Hossafy
      June 7, 2011 at 12:29 pm

      you do realize that CDR and Comedy Bang Bang are the same show, right?

      Also, check out:
      Who Charted?
      Sklarbro Country
      Doug Loves Movies
      Wait Wait.... Don't Tell Me
      The Tobolowsky Files

    • Anonymous
      June 10, 2011 at 6:21 pm

      "can not be trusted"??  lol.  go away loser.

  36. Tyler Merrill
    June 7, 2011 at 7:35 am

    So no uhh yeah dude? I can't believe it wasn't mentioned in the comments yet. It's by far the best comedy podcast.

    June 7, 2011 at 7:26 am


  38. Jay C.
    June 6, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Since these are all LA-based podcasts, here's some fun ones with New York comics people:

    You Had to Be There (goofy chat stuff)

    Zach and Zach Save the Community Center (monthly sketch podcast)

    Left Handed Radio

    Best Show on WFMU (I do the Best Show Gems for just the comedy bits)

    Some of these are smaller, but some faves

    • M.S. Smith
      June 7, 2011 at 7:44 am

      Hah, I hope I'm not inadvertently starting a east coast vs west coast war :)

    • Dan
      June 23, 2011 at 1:37 am

      To be clear, O'Meara is East Coast based (out of DC), and a quality show -- the best of the bunch.

    June 5, 2011 at 12:42 am


  40. Taylor
    June 3, 2011 at 7:06 pm Amazing podcast, been around for years, and they have a huge fan base. I'm genuinely surprised they're not on this list.

  41. SilverRubicon
    June 3, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Wow, no Never Not Funny mention?

    • M.S. Smith
      June 3, 2011 at 6:51 pm

      I've listened to Never Not Funny but it didn't vibe with me. Same goes for The Adam Carrola Show. Those are podcasts are certainly popular for a reason, though.

  42. Anonymous
    June 3, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Gotta hear Dan Klass on The Bitterest Pill!  Listening to him for years!