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Hello, fellow podcast lovers!

I have the absolute pleasure to introduce our first guest writer for the month of August, Podcake. Podcake has been working in multimedia reviews and editorials, in particular for fiction podcasts, since the dark days of Tumblr (or, around 2015). She's currently one of the writers at Discover Pods, where she writes carefully considered reviews as well as low-key, fun romps, as podcast review articles branch out from traditional critique and listicle structures. She also writes about all kinds of nostalgic media, and does it all with "a pinch of pink on the side", which makes her a delight to work with.

You can find her on Twitter @cakeradios and on Tumblr. I hope you'll give her a follow after reading about some of the thought she has on comedy podcasting, and recommendations for comedy podcasts below!

This is one of our guest articles for the month of August. I am taking a vacation! Expect the next newsletter issue on August 16th.
A pink painted wall with the words "In Pursuit of Magic" spray-painted in white all-caps.

Does anyone else feel like comedy podcasts are exceedingly slim pickings? Don’t get me wrong, podcasts under the comedy tag or podcasts with a strong sense of humor are all the rage, but I’ve found that those who qualify as “comedy”, whether it be behind a walled garden or assembled with toothpaste and sheer, infectious vigor, fall into one of the following very specific categories:

There are the witty interviews done by world-renowned comedians that are pretty much repackaged versions of their late-night talk shows, with people like Trevor Noah and Conan O’Brian squeezed between people with way fewer Twitter followers. 

There’s the My Brother, My Brother and Me-styled grab bags of topics exchanged among a good group of friends who aren’t the McElroy brothers finding humor in the mundane or sharing personal life stories. 

There’s social and political commentary shows like Yo, Is That Racist? that kind of has to be funny so it’s not depressing. All the while this category is crowded with trivia shows, movie reviews, music retrospectives一and the weird thing is that none of these shows even have to qualify as comedies to you personally unless you actually find them funny. 

But I think that’s the beauty of humor: it’s such a flexible and subjective topic that there’s bound to be something for everyone. And it just so happens that my personal brand of humor is in the form of scripted audio drama comedies.

Here’s my theory as to why the breadth and depth of scripted audio drama comedies looks the way it does: relying on the natural charisma of an experienced host is much less risky, anyone who's done enough roundtable D&D recordings can make inside jokes into outside jokes, but I think there’s a lot of pressure put on writers to ensure their sense of humor is not only universal but marketable. 

I think that’s what makes scripted comedy shows such a dime a dozen: there’s this pressure on creators to honestly reevaluate their own sense of humor and translate it to something everyone, or almost everyone, will think is worth laughing at too. I think that kind of ambition deserves recognition and with this list, I’ll recommend a few that I feel do this successfully. 

Hadron Gospel Hour: Hair Raising Adventure or Hilarious Hadronauts

It’s been four years since what I hesitantly call the final episode of Hadron Gospel Hour aired and it’s still on my mind to this day. Produced, written, and starring comedy duo Richard Wentworth and Michael McQuilkin, Hadron Gospel Hour tells the story of two unlikely strangers thrown into the midst of a fractured multiverse. What follows is a series of dimension hopping shenanigans that can be about plastic based superheroes one day and a battle of the bands the next and all without skipping a beat.

Hadron Gospel Hour isn’t just amazing by the merits of its overarching plot, but its excellent standalone episodes, witty dialogue, and seamless blend of existential drama and shamelessly nerdy, old school references I’m barely old enough to understand. Even if the show’s state一and its heroes at that一seemed to be trapped in cosmic limbo, it’s totally worth investing in just to see what all the fuss is about.

Subscribe: Apple | RSS

Less is Morgue: Get an Afterlife

Less is Morgue is one of those podcasts I feel personally ashamed for not checking out sooner. Yes, it did only debut in February of 2020 and I only recently started checking it out after vigorously scrubbing through the content of the Diregentleman YouTube channel一which just so happens to have writers Henry Galley and Gus Zagarella, among other Less if Morgue writers, contributors, and actors, hosting an absolute smorgasbord of content一but the point is that I like to get a jump start on these things mostly for bragging rights.

I don’t claim myself to be any sort of trendsetter, at least not always, but after giving Less is Morgue a proper listen, I can now say with full confidence that it's easily one of the best audio drama comedies to have come out in the past decade. 

Less is Morgue is a silly, sometimes scary, but nonetheless excellent black comedy that follows the afterlife of always-excitable and friendly ghost Evelyn Hooper and cynical conspiracy nut and not-so-friendly ghoul Riley Almanzor as hosts of their own paranormal talk show. Less is Morgue really has a taste for character writing and knows how to make its gallery of returning or one shot characters equally memorable.

The flexible nature of the plot allows a lot of wiggle room for our heroes to do just about anything, ensuring one episode will never be quite like the last. In one episode they’re giving Hell a deluxe interior makeover and in another they’re navigating financial troubles with the help of a pirate and literally none of it feels out of place. Evelyn and Riley leave no tombstone unturned in this fantastical interpretation of a paranormally charged Tallahassee, Florida and if you’ve got a big appetite, be it for flesh or your appeasing your teratophilia, it’s well worth a listen. With these two, basement dwelling has never been more freakishly fun.

Subscribe: Apple | Spotify | RSS


  • Where the Stars Fell has released their cast list for season two! A supernatural fantasy taudio drama set in the mysterious Jerusalem, Oregon. Find the cast list here, and get ready for season 2.

  • Podcake is a long-time podcast reviewer and has recently launched a Patreon for her future projects. Support independent, marginalized bloggers and critics.
If you want to see more reviews, interviews, and other articles from me, you can support me at my Patreon, or at my ko-fi account for a one-time donation! You can also sign-up to talk about advertising in the newsletter.
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Victoriocity: Way Above Elementary

Combine Victorian England with Sherlock Holmes-style espionage and you get Victoriocity, a detective-comedy podcast taking place in an alternate 1887 in the bustling streets of Even Greater London. Here we follow Inspector Archibald Fleet and journalist Clara Entwhistle as they uncover crazy conspiracies around a sprawling city that never seemed to know normal.

Victoriocity is a combination of suspense, steampunk, and spectacular writing supported by its great cast and audio editing. Fans of similar comedies like Wooden Overcoats will both recognize some voice talent and the same brand of quirky, subtle and smartly written humor. Victoriocity doesn’t just give you a good mystery to crack, but will have you cracking up in the process.

Subscribe: Apple | Spotify | RSS

The Theatre of Tomorrow: Cultured Clash

If you’ve got a taste for anthologies, you need not look further than Midnight Disease Productions's The Theatre of Tomorrow which has honestly become one of my favorite things ever put to audio. It positively adores recreating the retro aesthetic of old-timey radio which causes its modern humor coming out of the crackly audio mouths to be this perfect blend of classy and crass.

The Theatre of Tomorrow has every genre available, ranging from "Moonman Manscout" for sci-fi fans to the three parts of the "Hotel of Tomorrow" mini-series for horror enthusiasts. No matter the style or setting Midnight Disease has done their homework and knows how to create comedies that are love letters to pulpy genres that truly allow their personal touch to the formula to flourish.

Subscribe: Apple | Spotify | RSS

The Sword & The Stoner: The Blazed and the Bold

This 2019 debut is a much more recent discovery upon exploring a few leftover podcast recommendation lists you can still find plenty of on Tumblr.  From Tandon Productions comes The Sword & The Stoner, a modern interpretation of the famous King Author legend where two reluctant heroes, Arthur and Merlin, dodge destiny the way most would a tedious part-time job. 

Think a combination of 2011’s Your Highness with a bit of Wayne’s World, and that’s The Sword & The Stoner in a solid case of cannabis. No noble kings or wise wizards in sight, just a couple of unmotivated, unrelentingly self-serving idiots willing to blow off their destiny as hard as they blow out smoke. 

Big egos and big bongs collide in an urban fantasy blend where Arthur is a lazy couch potato and Merlin is an egotistical show pony. They don’t have very much in common besides a shared destiny and taste for the green stuff.  Solid acting, smart writing, and editing makes it an absolute breeze to listen to so don’t shrug fate and definitely don’t shrug off this find.

Subscribe: Apple | Spotify | RSS

Only Sketches About Podcast: Very Fresh Variety Hour

The Only Sketches About Podcast is a collection of short-form comedy skits that debuted the summer of 2020. With its small but strong cast and grab bag of jokes, it’s more or less a non-visual variation of Saturday Night Live一though one of those rumored good episodes I’ve heard about.

There’s no overarching plot like the other podcasts listed here; instead everything is strung together by a central theme such as chess, the product of success, or UFO’s. There are no recurring characters, nothing lasts much longer than two or three minutes, and no skit is ever like the other.

Only Sketches About derives all its best merits from its taste for variety, often spilling into pure absurdity. You’d be surprised just how much they can string together in a short few minutes before winding itself up for a punchline that was undeniably worth the wait. As far as finding any excuse to riff on random topics, there’s certainly a worse way to go and Only Sketches About definitely has you covered no matter what’s on your mind.

Subscribe: Apple | Spotify | RSS

Did you get here from a link online, or sent this by someone else?

To the peole who want to fight me on "dark days of Tumblr", look, I have seen things I cannot unsee.

If you'd like to ask me questions or comments, you can reply to this newsletter (it goes directly to my email!) or reach out to me on Twitter.

May your podcasts bring you joy,
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