Comedy podcasts are great for a pick-me-up. They are what you need when all the news is bad, and politics podcasts tend to be similarly grim.
Hundreds of hours of free entertainment, with just the odd advert for Squarespace and a mattress brand? That sounds like a good deal to us.
We have some top suggestions for you. Want a simple funny pod? We have those. There are podcasts about the craft of stand-up comedy. And hilarious interviews with some of the funniest people in the world.
Think we've left one of the best comedy podcasts out? Let us know in the box at the bottom. And upvote your favourite.
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Best comedy podcasts
1. The Comedian’s ComedianView now at Apple Podcasts
Stand-up comedian Stuart Goldsmith’s podcast is about comedy, rather than a straight comedy vehicle. But when guests include some of the US and UK’s best comedians, there are often plenty of laughs on the way. Frequently discussed topics include the creative process of writing stand-up and the life of a road comic.
2. Athletico MinceView now at Apple Podcasts
Athletico Mince started off as a football podcast. And episodes often begin with football chat, but usually devolve into a strange absurdist ramble within a few minutes. Icon Bob Mortimer and comedy writer Andy Dawson are the two hosts. Each episode is them chatting for 30 minutes and, well, that’s about it.
You may have heard of this one. TV exec Jamie Morton’s retired dad has written a series of erotic novels under the name Rocky Flinstone. Morton and of his friends, Alice Levine and James Cooper, dissect the so-ripe-it’s-rotten text paragraph by paragraph. It’s one of the UK’s biggest podcasts, with over 150 million downloads to date.
4. Beef and Dairy NetworkView now at Apple Podcasts
“The number one podcast for those involved or just interested in the production of beef animals and dairy herds.” The Beef and Dairy Network sounds like a trade magazine offshoot, but is actually a surreal and satirical work of genius you can only understand by listening. It also won the top comedy gong at the British Podcast Awards two years in a row.
5. The Guilty FeministView now at Apple Podcasts
I’m a feminist but…
It’s how each episode of The Guilty Feminist starts, with anecdotes about how the guests are failing at life and feminism while being pretty keen on both. It sets up the tone of this thoroughly reliable and modern comedy show. Recent guests include Emma Thompson, Sara Pascoe and Jessica Fostekew.
6. Judge John HodgmanView now at Apple Podcasts
Is a hotdog a sandwich? Should a wife be able to compel her husband to wear fewer second-hand clothes? Domestic disputes like this are Judge John Hodgman’s wheelhouse. In his fake internet courtroom, the defendant and complainant make their case, and Judge John makes his verdict. It’s gentle and good natured, about as far from Jerry Springer as you can get. You may recognise humorist and stand-up John Hodgman from the Mac vs PC adverts from 2006. He was the PC, and also writes a New York Times column as the judge.
7. Throwing ShadeView now at Apple Podcasts
This podcast tackled issues of “ladies and gays”. That's its own blurb. But you don’t necessarily have to be either to enjoy Throwing Shade. Like many of the best comedy podcasts, it feeds off electricity of the relationship of its hosts, Erin Gibson and Brian Safi. In recent years Throwing Shade has become more political — like about 85% of podcasts that were around before 2016. But the laughs remain.
8. Lovett or Leave ItView now at Apple Podcasts
Jon Lovett is the comedy faction of the Pod Save America podcasting network. And Lovett or Leave It is his own spin-off pod, presumably after his irreverence started to take over the main show. This one is still (almost) pure politics, with a very strong Democrat leaning. Hate Trump? You’ll find a lot to like here. Lovett weaves in elements of gameshows, and there are excellent interviews too.