Culture Trips

‘I almost wet myself laughing’: 50 funny podcasts to make you feel much better | Television & radio

I love the expansive and imaginative universe that Ben Partridge has created with this podcast. Ben plays the host, who is cheery to the point of derangement. He interviews all kinds of returning characters (such as Eli Roberts, the terrifying abattoir owner/cult leader/mosquito farmer), who are played by some of my favourite comedians. It’s always funny and silly – and never predictable. Josie Long, comedian




The Sink: A Sleep Aid.

The Sink: A Sleep Aid. Photograph: BBC

The Sink is not the kind of podcast that will have you guffawing immediately – in fact, you may be confused by this parody of sleep-inducing meditation shows. But once you get acclimated to its surreal conceit – the process of dredging up “what’s stuck in your tubes” and remedying the “bad smell” in your brain – Natasha Hodgson’s comedy-horror show is full of brilliantly unsettling laughs. Hannah J Davies, Guardian deputy TV editor





Nicole Byer of Why Won’t You Date Me?



Nicole Byer of Why Won’t You Date Me? Photograph: Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP

Nicole runs the gamut from incredibly filthy and raunchy to deeply heartfelt in the conversations she has with her guests about therapy, the daily struggles of maintaining a relationship, grief, the realities of existing in a body that society sees as Other (fat, Black, POC, trans, etc). There’s no dating lately because of Covid, but it seems like the podcast is even better because the tangents run all over. One thing is for certain: it’s always so damn funny. Nicole B, California

Kate Butch and Caitlin Powell revisit the TV shows and movies they grew up with and ask the question: “Did this make us queer?” It is lighthearted, irreverent, sometimes absurd and occasionally poignant, but always utterly hilarious. I’ve rediscovered shows I’d forgotten existed and cried with laughter at the stupid things that happen in kids’ TV. It’s a must-listen for any gay person in the UK. Bethany Twigg, Exeter




Wolf and Owl podcast Poster/logo image

It is always so good to hear two friends – comedians Tom Davis (The Wolf) and Romesh Ranganathan (The Owl) – having a genuine chat and reminiscing as hosts of this podcast. The pair always have each other in stitches discussing subjects relatable to anyone who grew up in the 80s. Living abroad, I rarely see my friends and family, and this podcast reminds me of the times when we were together, laughing uncontrollably about similar things. Phill, Amsterdam





Phoebe Robinson (left) and Jessica Williams.



Phoebe Robinson (left) and Jessica Williams. Photograph: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for HBO

It last aired in 2018, but this podcast’s sometimes acerbic, sometimes silly humour has been a blessing to revisit during lockdown – the back-and-forth between hosts Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams evokes the joy of listening to two BFFs chatting, a few rosés deep. Buckle up as they discuss everything from the power couples they wish they were part of, to the need to “channel your inner white lady” when not getting served in a shop. Ellie Violet Bramley, writer




Fake Doctors, Real Friends with Zach and Donald

Photograph: iheart

On screen/off screen BFFs Zach Braff and Donald Faison reminisce about every episode of 00s sitcom Scrubs – from their first auditions and giving up their day jobs to pratfalls, in-jokes and celebrity guests. They make you feel like part of the gang and Faison turns up high half the time and records from his walk-in wardrobe. A luscious lockdown love-in. Deborah Frances-White, writer and podcaster

Since I can’t go to a pub and cackle like a witch until closing time, this podcast has been my surrogate. Each episode is a themed party – hosted by the comedians (and best mates) Rose Johnson, Camille Ucan and Beattie Edmondson – featuring an array of segments ranging from “so funny” to “so stupid it’s funny”. I was a guest once and Camille barked songs like a dog for me to guess – I nearly wet myself laughing. Stevie Martin, writer and comedian




It’s Not A Book Club Podcast Poster/logo

Despite the name, this really is a book club. The podcast unpacks the themes of various books in a real, raw and entertaining way with occasional special guest authors. It is hosted by three south Londoners: Reuben, Zach and Kehinde. They have covered Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, Sula by Toni Morrison, A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess and Skinhead by Nick Knight, to name just a few. Nikki Iyayi, Essex





Let’s have a ramble chat ... Adam Buxton.



Let’s have a ramble chat … Adam Buxton. Photograph: Fabio De Paola/The Guardian

Adam Buxton is the king of podcasts and each episode of this is guaranteed to make me laugh at least half a dozen times. While listening to the podcast on a run, I have found myself having to stop to catch my breath; it’s not easy running and cracking up with laughter at the same time. Edith Bowman, broadcaster and host of Soundtracking





Fortunately... with Fi and Jane.



Fortunately… with Fi and Jane. Photograph: Robert Shiret/BBC

Fi Glover and Jane Garvey are hugely respected broadcasters who have talked about every topic imaginable, launched BBC Radio 5 live (Garvey) and been commissioned by the secretary general of the UN (Glover). So, it’s all the more hilarious when they kick back in the “BBC media cafe” to talk about vegan yoghurt pots and what side of the bath to cock your leg out – alongside important things, too, of course. Tom Allen, comedian





Sh**gged. Marred. Annoyed.



Sh**gged. Marred. Annoyed.

Rosie and Chris Ramsey are relatable as a couple, discussing everything from child-rearing to camper van holidays. The easy, relaxed banter between them (especially during the “What’s your beef?” segment, where they highlight one thing that has annoyed them about each other that week) is refreshingly honest. I can’t wait for the next episode and frequently revisit past shows to get my comedy fix. Linda Saunders, Glasgow





Jason Mantzoukas, June Diane Raphael and Paul Scheer.



Jason Mantzoukas, June Diane Raphael and Paul Scheer. Photograph: Earwolf

If you have ever wanted to hear an absurdist recap and deconstruction of the film Swordfish (2001), or perhaps Cellular (2004), complete with deep dives into the imagined mindset of John Travolta or Jason Statham as they filmed these cinematic triumphs, I can’t recommend How Did This Get Made? strongly enough. The chemistry of the witty hosts (Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas) is palpable and hilarious, while their guest roster is packed with comedy royalty. Bim Adewunmi, writer and podcaster




Wheel of Misfortune.

Wheel of Misfortune. Photograph: BBC Sounds

Parties, hair, funerals, parents, pee, dead pets, breakups, bad dates: the horror show that is the human condition becomes a space for anecdote, empathy and cackling laughter in Wheel of Misfortune. Each week, the comedians Alison Spittle and Fern Brady share a story based on the theme, play voice notes sent in by listeners and invite a guest comedian to tell their story of glorious wrongness. If you miss howling with your friends, just borrow these two. Nell Frizzell, writer





Laughable Logo Black on White Background Press publicity image


I love this podcast from Jayde Adams, Red Richardson and Garrett Millerick – three incredible comedians who would each make for a hilarious podcast, but combined they are hysterical. They unearth overlooked news stories from the week and revel in the absolute absurdity of the British media. It’s great comedy minds telling bizarre tales, sprinkled with just the right amount of sweary bickering. Sarah Keyworth, comedian





Bob Mortimer and Andy Dawson, hosts of Athletico Mince.



Bob Mortimer and Andy Dawson, hosts of Athletico Mince.

Before Train Guy, there was Barry Homeowner. He is just one of Bob Mortimer’s many creations on Athletico Mince, the podcast he has produced with Andy Dawson since 2016. It’s notionally about football, but don’t expect punditry or discussions about Var – it’s more surreal, long-running jokes and inaccurate impressions. King among them is “Harry Kane”, who appears as the leader of the White Harts, embroiled in a clandestine gang war between Premier League clubs. It once made me laugh so much that I had to get off the bus because people were staring. Andy Welch, Guardian assistant production editor





From left: Ganesh, Austin and Shane.



From left: Ganesh, Austin and Shane.

There is plenty of chemistry between hosts Austin Hannah, Ganesh Sarma and Shane Burklow, who are clearly close friends – and when they make fun of each other, it’s hysterical. Let’s Stop There is centred on the reading of a random ebook – some, like Fat Vampire or My Favorite Husband, are funny on their own, but even if the book itself is a dud, the hosts’ commentary and interjections always provide plenty of laughs. Kate, New York





Natalie Palamides (left) and Carrie Poppy of Hidden Mickeys.



Natalie Palamides (left) and Carrie Poppy of Hidden Mickeys. Photograph: Publicity image

Supposedly an exploration of “the lesser-known side of Disney”, this riotous show is rather an excuse for Carrie Poppy and Natalie Palamides to entertain each other. That sounds self-indulgent – but I have spat out food laughing as they pontificate about such seemingly niche topics as Dumbo merch and Pizza Planet restaurants. They have released only 18 episodes since 2017, so when a new one drops, even the anticipation of listening brings me great happiness. Olly Mann, podcaster and host of The Modern Mann





Beautiful Anonymous Podcast poster logo image


You might laugh uncontrollably at this, or you might … very much not. It all depends on the episode you choose. This unpredictability is part of the podcast’s charm: each week, the comedian and host Chris Gethard has an hour-long phone call with a stranger, who leads the conversation wherever they choose. The chats have covered sex, grief, the refugee experience and pet racoons. It’s not always a laugh a minute, but the funny episodes will leave you gasping for air. Leah Green, Guardian video producer




Lockdown Parenting Hell Podcast poster image

This podcast is fantastic and has cheered me up during each lockdown. Very real parenting problems are discussed with much humour by Rob Beckett and Josh Widdecombe and their guest interviews are also great. It has really helped to hear that other people, including celebrities, are experiencing “lockdown parenting hell” and trying to survive the pandemic with their sanity intact. Rhona Easton, Scotland




You’re Wrong About Podcast Poster/logo

AKA “Aww, sweetie, no”, You’re Wrong About explores the misunderstood and misremembered. The topics are wide-ranging, but the hosts, Sarah Marshall and Michael Hobbes, are in their element reassessing moral panics, such as snuff films and “maligned women”; The Crown ought to bend the knee to their five-part study of Princess Diana. Across the board, YWA avoids preaching to listeners or judging its subjects, instead casually exuding rigour, heart and plenty of wit. Freddy McConnell, writer





Lou Sanders Cuddle Club Podcast press publicity poster image


The comic Lou Sanders started this podcast way before it was illegal/potentially fatal to dish out a hug. Questions are cuddle-oriented, sure, but she probes far deeper. Think of it as an exploration of the psyche of comedy’s finest (former guests include Sara Pascoe, Nish Kumar, Katherine Ryan). Come for the anecdotes about Jamie Demetriou’s vomiting father, stay for the fantastically irreverent lo-fi jingles and interludes. Harriet Gibsone, Guardian Guide deputy editor





Have a Word Poster/logo image


My go-to podcast genre is true crime, but Have a Word is the exception. This 14-month-old podcast from standup comedians Adam Rowe and Dan Nightingale is outrageously funny. Just a couple of “top lids” (and occasional special guests) chatting about every subject imaginable – nothing is taboo. They also film every episode – I love watching the clips on Twitter or Instagram. Tez Ilyas, comedian. Tez’s new book The Secret Diary of a British Muslim Aged 13 3/4 is out on 8 April.





This Foul Earth Poster/logo image


A new podcast made by John Tucker, a Welsh comic artist whose writing has always been exceptionally funny and well-crafted. This is his first audio work. The production quality is good, the stories are short and witty, and John performs the characters with care and consideration. I’ve recommended it to everyone since I started listening it’s a real treat. Lise Richardson, Bath





Trashy Divorces podcast Press publicity poster image supplied by presenters


Hosts Stacie and Alicia discuss celebrity scandals and, 22 years into marriage, this podcast speaks to me – I always come away from it thinking I’m a phenomenal spouse. Other people’s pain is not to be laughed at, but Stacie and Alicia are fundamentally compassionate and empathic – and I believe that, if you’re not laughing through the darkest moments of the human experience, then you are wasting the fact that we, as a species, have a sense of humour. Sindhu Vee, comedian. She is touring the UK with her show, Alphabet, later this year





The Things That Made Me Queer.


This riot of a podcast from Drag Race UK’s Crystal is full of joy and pride and humanity. Each week, Crystal asks a guest to talk about five things that informed their queer journey – with guests including Le Tigre’s JD Sampson and the writer Juno Dawson, the show veers from heartwrenching stories about family estrangements to Catwoman’s greatest latex moments and Jean-Claude Van Damme doing the splits. Jenny Stevens, Guardian Features commissioning editor





OFF MENU - podcast - logo -press image


It’s funny and it’s about food – what’s not to like? Presented by comedians and food fanatics Ed Gamble and James Acaster, the episodes where foodie guests talk passionately about their dream meals makes me miss restaurants, but the guests who pick abominations and anger Acaster (such as Joel Dommett choosing a protein shake to drink, or anyone picking a cheeseboard over dessert) are what really make it special. Emma Hawley, Stockport





Better Known podcast Press publicity poster image


The premise here is pretty simple: each guest chooses six things they think should be better known, and discusses them with the host, Ivan Wise. Mostly it’s fascinating – Jim Al-Khalili on the Bohr-Einstein debate, say, or Joanne Harris on Fanny Eaton. But there’s a levity to it, too, and some of the nominations – sherry, the anti-snore backpack, the baked potato – made me laugh out loud. Laura Barton, writer





A Very Fatal Murder podcast



Photograph: Onion Public Radio

I was briefly into true-crime podcasts, until I found myself on a morning commuter train wondering why I was choosing to start my day hearing about the worst things human beings are capable of. The Onion’s A Very Fatal Murder satirises the true-crime genre, the media and podcasts more generally with wonderful absurdity. Weirdly, the plot is quite good and the adverts are the best bit. Ahir Shah, comedian




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I loved Phoenix Nights, the series in which Clinton first appeared as a terrible “Clairvoyant, medium and psychic” and this podcast is comedy gold – it just gets funnier with each episode. His outrageous arguments with nemesis Ramone are absolutely amazing; I often listen while exercising and get some funny looks as I jog along, crying with laughter. Cassie Saxon, Maidenhead





You’re Dead to Me podcast



Photograph: BBC

This podcast is always funny, yet it is also packed full of information and little nuggets of knowledge. The historian Greg Jenner hosts, and his guest each week is a comedian – something which helps balance out the heaviness of academia (and makes sure some silly questions are asked). I love how many female historians are featured on it, too! Sarah Massey, London





Sam Delaney and Andy Dawson.



Sam Delaney and Andy Dawson. Photograph: tftimemachine.com

Formerly a football podcast, now pretty much just a stream of consciousness – in a good way. There is an episode every weekday, with brilliant deep dives into footballer autobiographies (standouts being Roy Keane and Kevin Keegan) and also Roald Dahl (among many others). Special mention for the infinite Roy of the Rovers Odyssey, in which the character of Roy Race has been transformed into something quite spectacular – a shining example of how good Andy Dawson and Sam Delaney’s podcast can be. Steve Potts, Manchester





Drink Champs Podcast poster/logo image


While not strictly a comedy podcast, Drink Champs, hosted by former rapper Victor “NORE” Santiago and DJ EFN, always makes me laugh. As the name implies, drinking is key to the show, and with rappers and hip-hop industry heads as guests, the stories shared each week are always hilarious and revealing! Dane Baptiste, comedian





The Socially Distant Sports Bar Podcast Poster/logo


Each episode is based on a series of sports clips, documentaries and books, with hosts Elis James, Mike Bubbins and Steff Garrero (who keeps the other two in check) talking about their personal life experiences in hilarious and often graphic ways. Their passion for sport and all things Welsh comes through in every episode and their stories have me in fits of laughter. Start from episode one, otherwise you won’t get many of their references. Matthew Cornish, West Sussex

A hilarious panel show in which comedians battle it out to decide the right way to behave in a given situation – such as surviving freefall without a parachute, getting rid of an unwanted erection or the best way to get a hotel upgrade. You laugh, you learn, but you stick around for the chemistry between the acerbic host Danielle Ward and team captains Margaret Cabourn-Smith and Michael Legge. Too rude, racy and good for TV. Richard Herring, comedian





Burnt Toast Presents Podcast poster/logo


Burnt Toast Presents is a very funny parody of other podcasts. The first series focuses around one story about a missing toaster in the style of a true crime podcast such as Serial, while the second series is even funnier, with each episode taking on a different podcast genre – Nathan Peter Grassi does an excellent Ira Glass (This American Life) imitation, as evidenced in episode six. Adam Quinn, Oxfordshire





tailenders



Photograph: BBC

This podcast is loosely based around cricket and is co-hosted by the world’s greatest spin bowler, James Anderson. Each week Anderson, DJ Greg James, musician Felix White and Matt “Mattchin” Horan get together for a chat with various guests, as well as to play Mattchin’s made up cricket quizzes. It’s funny and entertaining, and keeps me company while I’m in the gym. Catherine O’Shea, Bahrain





Probably Science Podcast poster logo


This long-running podcast is equal parts fascinating and funny. Comedians Andy Wood and Matt Kirshen host, covering a selection of the week’s science stories. Guests are either comics or scientists – meaning the tone varies from episode to episode – but the team always manage to avoid over-simplifying, while keeping the show relaxed and accessible, as well as consistently amusing. Andrew Davies, Norwich





BudPod Poster/logo image


A fantastic mix of intelligent people discussing a dazzling spectrum of topics, ranging from the Myanmar coup, to public schoolboys starting a chicken fist fight club, to adjusting to life post-colostomy bag. Genuinely wonderful listening hosted by comedians Phil Wang and Pierre Novellie; a real silly goose time. Howard Websdell, Chester





Pound for Pound podcast Press publicity poster image


Jake Wood and Spencer Oliver are great boxing pundits but, in all honesty, I’m listening mainly for the adverts. I have never heard two men endorse a male grooming device as emphatically as these two – you honestly get the feeling they’d talk about shaving their testicles even if they weren’t being paid to – I even know what styles they like. Jacob Hawley, comedian and podcaster. Jacob Hawley’s Class Act is on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday 21 March, 7:15pm

This pod is a must for anyone who works in a school – it is full on hilarity from start to finish, with a few well deserved rants thrown in for good measure. Lee Parkinson and his brother Adam (who both work in schools) host, with segments including Teacher Confessions – which can be pretty wild! – and the bizarre tales of Cockney John. Georgina, Beverley

This is a sci-fi sitcom show about two space repair women – one of them a recent prison escaper, who also happens to be an heiress, the other very different. We Fix Space Junk is all about friendships, love, survival and a reflection of the imperfections of our world (a conglomerate is the major villain of the show). It also features a bunch of cute robots and colourful space creatures. Cecille, Philippines





Dear Joan & Jericha podcast vicki pepperdine julia davis


Rude, childish and oozing with body fluids, this horror agony aunt podcast is the funniest, filthiest thing you can subject your ears to. Its hosts, Joan Damry (Julia Davis) and Jericha Domain (Vicki Pepperdine), dispense terrible advice to listeners on their definitely-not-made-up problems, usually ending in lengthy digressions on the majesty of the male phallus. Less blush-inducing to listen to at home than on your morning commute – and, unless you live alone, use headphones. Kathryn Bromwich, Observer New Review commissioning editor




What You May Have Mythed podcast Poster/logo image

This podcast is laugh-out-loud funny and has taught me some very interesting facts from around the world. The voices/accents bring all the characters and stories to life – even if history isn’t your thing, each episode is a fantastical adventure story, suitable for any age. During lockdown, it has been refreshing to listen and learn about different cultures, and how the human race has changed over time. Tess Lari, London





Brett & Cliff’s Flea Circus Poster logo


This podcast is hosted by two down-to-earth geordie lads, who talk about cult movies, TV and retro gaming. It’s like being in the pub with your mates: endless, interesting conversation that never takes itself too seriously and is frequently littered with belly laughs. Brett and Cliff are very funny and likable chaps who are always entertaining; a true gem. David Hall, East Boldon





From left: Masud Milas, Sooz Kempner and Chris Stokes of Mystery on the Rocks.



From left: Masud Milas, Sooz Kempner and Chris Stokes of Mystery on the Rocks. Photograph: Kate Scott

A podcast where unsolved mysteries, cocktails and musical interludes combine. I don’t drink, or listen to true crime generally, but the hilarity hosts Masud Milas, Chris Stokes and Sooz Kempner bring to each unsolved mystery gets me laughing every week. They recently concluded a fantastic Hollywood Mysteries series – so if you want to laugh, learn about the murder of the Masked Marvel, and find out what to do with that bottle of frangelico in your cupboard, you can’t go wrong. Tazzy




2Shin (left) and Joe Bish of The Shit-Show podcast.

2Shin (left) and Joe Bish of The Shit-Show podcast. Photograph: Publicity image

This show takes an Agony Uncle format, using emails from “da listenaz” who are seeking advice regarding various dilemmas. Hosts Joe Bish and Tuvshin Bolor (AKA 2SHIN) aren’t afraid to die on a hill and tell it like it is, tackling everything from relationship issues, to sex-positive bedroom advice, embarrassing doctors appointments and awkward social gatherings. David, London





Bianca and Neal of How Neal Feel.



Bianca and Neal of How Neal Feel.

Hosts Neal Brennan and Bianca Sia share their perspectives on mental health, politics, culture and more, in this warm and funny podcast. Brennan also previously hosted a podcast called The Champs with Moshe Kasher, of which the Tiffany Haddish episode is a highlight – I laughed and cried all the way through. Anonymous, Chelmsford




Jenan Younis.

Jenan Younis. Photograph: Jenan Younis

The short and snappy episodes of this standup podcast from the comedian Jenan Younis always make me smile, and I love listening to people with different cultural backgrounds to myself. My favourite episode was about Middle Eastern attitudes towards money; it was easy to picture the fight scene over paying the cheque. Anonymous, London

Katherine Parkinson and Katy Brand are hysterical as Lillian Bayliss and Jennifer Hudson, best frenemies who refuse to acknowledge they are doing the podcast to make ends meet, identifying instead as “accomplished journalists”. From Lillian’s childhood trauma of living in a tree to Jennifer’s inability to edit the podcast to remove nasty bits, Women Like Us is an absurd, witty and delightful listen. Kearin Green, Cape Town, South Africa

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