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Rather old news, this, but Childproof, which we reviewed last year, won Best Comedy at this year’s Australian Podcast Awards. Why do we bring this up? Because, out of curiosity, we’ve spent the past month listening to the five other comedy podcasts it beat.

What was particularly interesting was the range of styles out there. It’s all too easy to think of comedy podcasts as being “some stand-ups natter on” or “the best bits from an Austereo radio show” because most of the popular and well-known comedy podcasts are one of them. But these five programs showed that there are plenty of different types of podcast being made – and some are worth subscribing to. Anyway, here’s what we thought of them…

podcasting

Obscure Music History

This series of mini music documentaries by musician Tom Hogan looks at obscure B-sides from bands and composers you’ve never heard of. Ranging from 60’s pop to musical theatre to more contemporary styles, this includes interviews with the musicians and a full play of the song being profiled. It’s a bit like The Blow Parade but with lower production values. Having said that, it’s every bit as much a geek out for music lovers and there are some note-perfect parodies of many well-known genres.

Bloody Murder

Imagine My Dad Wrote A Porno except they’re reading out descriptions of infamous real-life serial killings rather than bad sex fiction. That’s right, detailed descriptions of real-life murders and sex crimes being interrupted by sarcastic comments. It shouldn’t work…and it mostly doesn’t. Flippancy isn’t really the right response to a description of murder, incest, rape or torture, even if the comments are never directed at the victims or their families. Unless you have a very strong stomach for this kind of humour, this isn’t for you. And anyone with any personal experience of this kind of crime should avoid Bloody Murder altogether.

Attitude Consultant

This parody of self-help and life-coaching podcasts offers guidance on how to succeed at life. Host Rohan Harry dispenses his wisdom backed by inspirational, high-energy music and sound effects, in a series of increasingly bizarre episodes. In the most recent episode, Harry tried to help Siri improve her life, resulting in an hilarious circular conversation which should really have led to the device short-circuiting. Worth a listen.

The Wallet Inspectors

Wallet Inspectors Michael Vilkins, Alex Jones and Luke Gold speak to a different celebrity or notable person each week and ask them what their wallet looks like and what’s in. This could be funny but often isn’t. With this kind of thing, there are two ways to add comic value to the premise: 1. Funny questions, 2. Funny answers and The Wallet Inspectors often fails on both counts. The result is 25 minutes of a B- or C-list celeb explaining what’s in their wallet. Think about your wallet, does it contain anything interesting or funny? No? Exactly.

Welcome to Patchwork

A list of podcasts wouldn’t be complete with at least one “three blokes sit around talking about stuff” podcast, and here it is. Christian, Dion and Josh are friends talking about their lives. You know the deal, if you happen to find these three guys funny you enjoy the show, if you don’t, you unsubscribe. And when it comes to this done-to-death genre of podcast, we’ve heard much better than Welcome to Patchwork, even if the stories about Italian grandparents are kind of endearing.

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