I started listening to podcasts during my first internship, which was a full-time desk job in editing for marketing. Sitting at a desk from 9-5 every day for three months was something I hadn’t been prepared for, and I had never even had a part-time job before then. It was too quiet, and I would listen to music, but it would be too distracting because I would sing along in my head, and I would need to turn it off. Then I discovered the podcast. I realized that all I needed was background noise, and podcasts fit the bill perfectly, especially the funny ones.
Comedic podcasts are a subgenre of podcasts that focus on humor. There are many different branches of the subgenre, as well, depending on the specific podcast’s audience and/or goals. Some may be solely interview panels or solo commentary, which can evolve into anecdotal humor, while others may be made up of skits, jokes, and sketches, and may carry out further than the recording studio and onto a stage.
In researching this genre, I’ve been surprised to discover just how interactive comedic podcasts can be. Most of them rely on the audience for material, and build each episode around answering anonymous questions or taking phone calls. Some show, such as “My Brother, My Brother and Me” by Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy, have even evolved into TV shows, and travel around the country to record with live audiences.
I have also come to realize that comedic podcasts are very difficult to keep running, if you can get them off the ground in the first place. Because of how comedy and humor trend, which is in a constant state of evolution, content creators need to be diligent and keep up, or their shows will go stale and lose listeners. Each show is unique, and it’s really amazing to see all of the distinguishing idiosyncrasies of each one, and even more so to imagine just how difficult it must be to come up with new content on a weekly basis.
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“Humour.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 19 Feb. 2018.
Leonard, Mark. “The Seven Most Common Podcast Formats: With Examples.” Medium, Medium, 19 June 2017
Stu Melton. “How Comedy Podcasts Are Evolving Into More Than Just Talk Shows.” Splitsider, 6 June 2017.