B.S.

7 Comedy Podcasts to Replace Your Friends

For when your friend Dan isn't as funny as he thinks he is.

A bunch of bored researchers already published the obvious finding that 2019 was one of the loneliest times in human history.

2020 is looking to handily break that record. Considering social media's emphasis on constant human connection, it usually takes hard work and dedication to avoid people at all costs. But now, with over half a million podcasts streaming on Apple alone, we're finally free to go about our daily routines without speaking to another living soul. Still, when the number of available podcasts is bigger than the population of Miami, choosing which hosts should replace your real-life friends is a challenge.

But since your friends were never as funny as they thought they were (DAN Kahan), here are the top seven comedy podcasts you should be listening to:

1."My Favorite Murder"

Exactly Right

MFM is hosted by Karen Kilgariff, a long-time comedian who will always remind you, "Fuck off, I'm almost 50," and Georgia Hardstark, a food blogger who hates on her own vocal fry. The two friends are "lifelong fans of true crime stories telling each other their favorite tales of murder and hearing hometown crime stories from friends and fans." But their natural banter and anecdotes about how worthless their 20s were rank MFM as one of iTunes' top four comedy podcasts.

2. "Last Podcast on the Left"

Actor and comedian Henry Zebrowski co-hosts with fellow comedian Ben Kissel and their nerdy friend Marcus Parks. Last Podcast on the Left covers "all the horrors our world has to offer, both imagined and real, from demons and slashers to cults and serial killers." Tackling the most bizarre conspiracy theories and true crime stories has clearly driven the guys insane, and it's a miracle they can get through one cohesive story.

3. "Armchair Expert with Dax Shepherd"

Armchair Expert

The actor hosts "a podcast that celebrates the messiness of being human." After parodying a love expert on The Ellen Show, Ellen Degeneres praised Shepherd's genuine talent for listening to strangers' problems and giving them sound advice. He launched Armchair Expert from the loft above his garage shortly after; now it ranks near the top of the iTunes chart.

4. "How Did This Get Made?"

Is there ever a good excuse for a terrible movie? Grace and Frankie's June Diane and her husband, Paul Scheer, co-host with Jason Mantzoukas, as they examine how a film can be "so bad it's amazing."

5. "WTF with Marc Maron"

The veteran comedian's weekly podcast has been going strong since 2009. Maron interviews guest-starring comedians and actors about controversies, allegations, and inflammatory current events with the same no-bullshit approach used in his comedy.

6. "The Flop House"

Brooklyn-based hosts Dan McCoy, Stuart Wellington, and Elliot Kaplan also dive deep into bad filmmaking. Every two weeks they select a critical and/or commercial failure to break down how and why it failed. Sometimes they try to explain the debacle with behind the scenes gossip; other times, Dan has no idea what the fuck was happening in the movie.

7. "Why Won't You Date Me"

Comedian Nicole Byer is extremely single and wants to know why. Even though "she's smart, funny, has a fat ass, and loves giving blow jobs," Byer talks about drowning in the dating pool under role-play fetishists and weird penises. Bonus: if you leave her a dirty comment, she might read it on-air.

Culture Feature

All Your Favorite Childhood Brands Support Black Lives Matter

Black people can't feel safe in America just by playing Pokemon or building LEGOs.

The Pokemon Company

During times of hardship, we tend to gravitate towards nostalgia as a form of comfort and escapism.

Playing Pokemon games or building LEGO sets can transport us back to a time when life felt less complicated, but the sad truth is that those simpler times were always an illusion, and not every child had the privilege of living in that sort of bubble.

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CULTURE

Happy International Podcast Day: What's Your Favorite Murder?

Vote for the best episode of a true crime podcast!

Back in the dark ages (before 2004), you had to go to a coffee shop or use public transportation in order to eavesdrop on strangers' conversations.

Luckily, Adam Curry and Dave Winer invented the podcast, and ever since then it's become much easier for us to pretend we have more friends than we actually do. Today, which is International Podcast Day, we can reflect on our favorite podcasts—which means talking about murder, The Office, Joe Rogan's interviews with garbage people like Ben Shapiro, and more murder (according to the iTunes Charts).

But let's be honest, so many of us tune into podcasts for the true crime. There are more of us than we'd like to admit who have learned to accept—nay, adore—Georgia Hardstark's vocal fry in My Favorite Murder; and as inflammatory as host Mike Boudet's real-life personality is, Sword & Scale is a seminal fix for true crime junkies.

Here are some of the best episodes from our favorite true crime podcasts, from the most disturbing to the unexpectedly uplifting. Be sure to vote for your favorite, so we can all remind each other that loving true crime isn't always a morbid fascination and can be unexpectedly inspiring about survival and the strength of the human spirit.

"My Favorite Murder" Episode 18: The Survival of Mary Vincent

MFM The Top 3: #1 - Episode 18 - Investigateighteen Discovery

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Mary Vincent was 15 years old in 1978 when she accepted a ride from Lawrence Singleton. He would later be sentenced to a mere 14 years in prison for kidnapping, mayhem, attempted murder, forcible rape, sodomy, and forced oral copulation for what he did to Vincent. As she told the sentencing judge, "I was raped. I had my arms cut off. He used a hatchet. He left me to die." Singleton was released after only 8 years, and he's became a symbol of the justice system's failings. But the story of Mary Vincent and the full life she went on to lead is as inspiring as her attack was heinous.

"Sword & Scale" Episode 55: Kermit Gosnell's Bloody Abortion Clinic

Episode 55

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As per this graphic episode's description, "This story about abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell illustrates the workings of a man who has lost his humanity and no longer cares who he hurts on his path to profit. The Women's Medical Society, the clinic with a grandiose name that Gosnell ran, was a pill mill by day and an illegal abortion clinic by night. It is estimated Gosnell earned well over a million dollars conducting illegal late-term abortions. Many of the women who came to the clinic were poor and easily fooled by Gosnell and his staff of unlicensed 'doctors' who administered dangerous drugs to the unsuspecting patients.

"Even after two patients died, the Philadelphia Department of Health did nothing, due to political pressure. Had it not been for a tip related to illegal prescription medications bearing Gosnell's name, the clinic may still be operating today."

"Crime Junkie" MURDERED: Robert Wone

MURDERED: Robert Wone

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If My Favorite Murder's conversational and off-the-cuff comedian isn't for you, Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat's research-based reporting is chilling in its accounts of murder, kidnapping, and unsolved disappearances. In telling the twisted mystery of Robert Wone, they describe, "This is probably the strangest case of murder we have ever covered here on Crime Junkie. It's the story of Robert Wone who, while staying in a friend's DC guest room, was brutally attacked. But with a staged crime scene, a timeline that doesn't add up, and three people keeping secrets we may never get to the bottom of what happened in the Swann Street house on August 2, 2006."

"Case File" Case 109: Belanglo (5 Parts)

Case 109: Belanglo (Part 1)

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People outside of Australia might be unfamiliar with the fact that an uncanny number of eerie murders have occurred in the country's isolated territories. For instance, western Australia is the home of the Claremont serial killer and the killer couple David and Catherine Birnie, British tourist Peter Falconio disappeared from a northern road and has never been found, and the "Backpacker murders" refers to the seven bodies found in the Belanglo State Forest. Ivan Milat was eventually identified as having murdered seven missing young people aged 19 to 22 betwen 1989 and 1993.

"Casefile's" anonymous host recounts many of Australia's most lurid crime stories with a thick Australian accent and calm, steady baritone mixed with real audio from victims and criminals.

"True Crime Guys" #22 The Murder of Mark Kilroy

#22 The Murder of Mark Kilroy

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Though not as popular as My Favorite Murder or Crime Junkies, True Crime Guys mixes fact-based reporting, real audio of news coverage and interviews, and light banter to cover odd murders all over the world. The story of Mark Kilroy is particularly compelling for its mix of gruesome cult violence with ultimate justice. As per the episode's description, "Many people were mysteriously going missing on the streets of Mexico City in the late 80's to early 90's. It wasn't until the disappearance of a young and promising pre-med student that people took notice. Mark Kilroy seemed to have all the characteristics of someone who could change the world, but who knew those very traits could make him a target for one of the most gruesome rituals known to man."

"Last Podcast on the Left" Episode 152: The Dylatov Pass Incident

Episode 152: The Dylatov Pass Incident

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This mystery is f*cking insane, and it's only appropriately covered by a chaotic comedy podcast co-hosted by Ben Kissel, podcast producer and researcher Marcus Parks, and comedian and actor Henry Zebrowski. In covering "one of the 20th century's most enduring mysteries," they ask, "What killed nine hikers in the Siberian mountains one fateful night in 1959? Was it an avalanche? The KGB? Aliens? Indigenous peoples? Yetis? TINY TORNADOS?"

"Sword & Scale" Episode 31: Vince Li

Episode 31

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Sometimes referred to as the Greyhound Bus Cannibal Killer, Vince Li was a Canadian man suffering from severe and untreated mental illness in 2008 when he experienced a psychotic episode that resulted in him attacking, decapitating, dismembering, and partially consuming the body of Tim McLean on a Greyhound Bus. But what happened to Li afterwards is probably the most shocking part and speaks volumes about how the mental health system and justice system work inconsistently with each other.

BONUS: Morgan Ingram

Episode 11

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Even if Mike Boudet is a misogynistic loud-mouth, the story of 20-year-old Morgan Ingram being found dead in her childhood bedroom is too odd to be true. Dr. Phil has weighed in. NBC has weighed in. Legions of internet sleuths have weighed in. As Sword & Scale asks, "What happens when a family's grief slips into malice and madness, when a mother is so hell-bent on being portrayed as a victim that she begins victimizing everyone who doesn't see her as one? Welcome to the sad story of Morgan Ingram's untimely death and the circus of insanity that followed and continues to this day."