Things are feeling grim right now. Every time we turn on the TV, check our favorite news outlets, open our inboxes, or scroll through Instagram, the bad news seems to compound, with the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases climbing ever higher and the pandemic coming ever closer to home. It’s easy to feel deflated and powerless as we each self-isolate in our own homes, but the best thing we can do right now for ourselves and for the world (aside from following CDC guidelines) is to keep our spirits up. Nothing short-circuits grief like laughter.
So, we’ve rounded up five comedy podcasts to help you giggle your troubles away, even just for a little while. Listen while you’re cooking dinner or walking in the woods. Listen while you run on the treadmill, or when you just can’t bear it anymore.
My Dad Wrote a Porno
All families have secrets. Some are more haunting than others, but few are as downright hilarious as discovering your dad has authored an erotic novel. This is exactly what happened to James Morton, who, in 2015, found out his dad had written a book called Belinda Blinked under the pen name Rocky Flintstone. Rather than bury this family secret away, he decided to team up with his best friends James Cooper and Alice Levine to read a chapter from the book each week on a new podcast. Now in its 5th season, “My Dad Wrote a Porno” has been given its own HBO special and you can even buy the actual book—with the trio’s commentary, of course.
We’ve all had those jobs that just really blow. “Work Sucks,” as the seminal line from the 1999 cult comedy Office Space goes. Think of this podcast as an elaboration on that sentiment. On each episode of “Entry Level,” Brooks Wheelan and his rotating cast of commentators' interview a guest about the worst jobs they’ve had. Don’t worry, though, there is always has a happy ending and they have always left that crap job.
Yo, Is This Racist?
On this podcast, hosts Tawny Newsome and Andrew Ti, formerly a writer for Comedy Central, discuss listener-submitted questions about whether or not something is racist. “Yo, Is This Racist?” features plenty of witty repartee, gut-busting laughter, and profanity at the roundtable. At the same time, the podcast offers an insightful discourse on questions of race and political correctness, without ever preaching. It’s been called the “Dear Abby for Racists,” by the Huffington Post.
Uhh, Yeah Dude
With more than 500 episodes, and at least that many hours of listening “Uhh, Yeah Dude” is one of the longest-running and broadest podcasts available. The concept is simple: buddies Seth Romatelli and Jonathan Larroquette get together in one of their living rooms and exchange hilarious opinions. Nothing is off limits, and topics span from the end of Playboy’s print magazine to Pepsi Rockstar to news and current events, and anything in between. Their casual brotherly camaraderie makes the duo instantly likeable. And increasingly hearing them, they feel like your own friends.
Judge John Hodgman
Sometimes you just need to air your grievances—as petty as they are. And on this podcast, boy do they get petty. In his fictional internet courtroom, comedian John Hodgman acts as judge and arbiter in real-life squabbles. He’s as funny as he is sage in his advice, the Judge Judy of call-in pleas. The podcast is produced by Maximum Fun, which is also responsible for other hit shows like “Adam Ruins Everything.”