Podcast Paradise

As someone who spends quite a bit of time on the train — where I normally read through the back issues of Computer Weekly that I have allowed to pile up — it’s nice to have something to do when you’ve not got much space, or you’re in that inevitable position of having fifteen to twenty minutes to wait for your connecting train.

It’s at times like that that my iPod comes into it’s own. I’ve got one of the iPod iPods. You know, it’s not a nano, or a shuffle, or an iPhone (I have a phone for the purpose of phone calls); it’s your bog standard iPod with 80Gb of space to fit all my stuff on.

But I tend not to listen to music in these circumstances. No, what I want to listen to at these times is comedy, and that’s where my favourite podcasts come into their own.

I no longer subscribe to the Ouch Podcast, not because I don’t like it, simply because as it’s a disability magazine (with large helpings of humour and irreverence thrown in — such as in their ‘guess my disability’ game “Vegetable, Vegetable or Vegetable”) you can get a transcript of it, and I prefer to read the transcript, as I’m what Bill Hick’s Nashville encounters would call a reader.

I was in Nashville, Tennesee last year, after the show I went to a Waffle House, I’m not proud of it, I was hungry. And I’m alone, I’m eating and I’m reading a book, right? Waitress walks over to me, “Tch tch tch tch. Hey, what you readin’ for?” … then… this trucker in the next booth gets up, stands over me, and goes, “Well, looks like we got ourselves a reader.”Bill Hicks

But as it features my big mate the comedian Liz Carr (well, I’ve been on the radio with her, and she’s my friend on Facebook), usually comedian Mat Fraser, along with a cast of various others, so even if you’re not disabled, why not pop by for a look at it? It’s entertaining…

But the podcasts I’ve been actually getting the podcast of are:

BBC Radio 4’s Friday Night Comedy Podcast which varies between the Now Show and the News Quiz. The one thing I would warn you about is that there may be a danger that you start laughing out loud when listening to these, which can lead to you getting some — quite appropriately — funny looks.

The Now Show is my favourite of the two, simply because there are few things finer in the world than listening to Marcus Brigstocke in full-on rant mode…

Then we have The Onion. Not only is this a great spoof news site, it also offers up two podcasts that I subscribe to. If you ears don’t already prick up at the sound “Hi, I’m Doyle Redland reporting…” then you’ve not listened to the (daily?) The Onion Radio News, and you oughta. But if you like something with them new-fangled moving pictures, you might also like to subscribe to the Onion’s video podcast (which I’ve already mentioned before — see World of World of Warcraft)

Next up is 8 out of 10 cats, yet another comedy panel show (there are a lot of panel shows around these days, aren’t there?), this one hosted by Jimmy Carr where his guests have to try to work out what the public have been talking about this week. If you watch the TV show, then this will be of less interest to you, as it’s basically a slightly condensed version of that, but if like me you can’t be bothered to watch it when it’s on telly but wouldn’t mind listening to it on a train, then it might suit you perfectly.

And finally, I’ll finish with some people who I think produced arguably the finest sketch show ever. Alexander Armstrong (who really ought to be made regular host on Have I Got News For You, as he’s clearly the best — you’ll know him from the Pimms adverts) and Ben Miller (The Worst Week of My Life). Their recent BBC series is great, superb, but unfortunately I don’t believe their earlier stuff for Channel 4 (somewhat edgier) is available on DVD. They are a little quirky, a little arty maybe, and this is reflected in their podcast for The Times.

In Timeghost, they are two art critics…

Craig Children and Martin Baine-Jones are the Times’ newest arts critics, playing the windsock to the cultural wind.Times Online: TimeGhost

It’s a little odd, certainly, and isn’t the laugh out loud jokathon that some of these other podcasts provide, and it took me a couple of episodes to get into it, as you really need to accept the characters as people before it starts to work, but now I’m hooked.

One Response to “Podcast Paradise”

  1. The Goldfish responds:

    I recommend you check out the other Times online comedy podcast, The Bugle with Andy Zaltzman and John Oliver. Like all such things, it may take some getting into, but I think it is very good.

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