Heard anything good lately? Below is my weekly roundup of standout podcasts along with a few things they taught us. Peruse the archive for more listening suggestions, and feel free to share your own!
JACKIE ORMES IS CONSIDERED THE FIRST FEMALE AFRICAN-AMERICAN CARTOONIST.
The history of women in comics is so dense that Stuff Mom Never Told You delivers it in two sizable chunks this week. The first encompasses early figures like Ormes, who penned a long-running and groundbreaking newspaper strip in the ‘40s and ‘50s. The second part breaks down more contemporary cartoonists, and the show’s site offers tons of resources for further enjoyment.
UNABLE TO MOVE, ONE MAN LEARNED TO TELL TIME BY STARING AT SHADOWS.
Martin and his wife, Joanna; NPR
As you may have heard, NPR’s new podcast has gotten quite a bit of promotion via Radiolab, This American Life, Nerdette, and other outlets. Its first episode delves into the power of thoughts, with the second half focused on Martin Pistorius. Unable to move or communicate with anyone, Martin spent years in his own world. In a moving interview, he explains how he learned to tell time by studying the shadows in a room.
XANADU WENT $13 MILLION OVER BUDGET.
A live episode delves into the head-scratching history of Xanadu, the 1980 film about roller-skating, Greek mythology, and the Electric Light Orchestra. Michaela Watkins joins regular hosts Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, and Jason Mantzoukas to try to make sense of it all and share little-known facts about the budget and cast (i.e. John Travolta turned down the lead).
COMEDIAN TIG NOTARO IS ENGAGED.
In this funny and thoughtful installment, Notaro is joined by her fiancée, actress Stephanie Allynne, for an update on her recent headline-making tour/hospitalization and her personal life, which involves a trip to Amsterdam and a romantic proposal.
W. KAMAU BELL TOLD THE FIRST BARACK OBAMA JOKE.
This week, Mike Eagle chats with the comedian about his childhood and early days performing standup. Among the highlights: Bell reveals that an Obama joke he told in 2006—the punchline being he’d never be elected president—was declared to be the first presidential Obama joke by Comedy Central.
ROASTS ARE A NEW NATIONAL PASTIME.
Comedian and “Roastmaster General” Jeffrey Ross notes comedy roasts aren’t just for well-known comedians anymore and are an “extension of our animalistic instincts.” Sideshow goes inside an amateur roast battle to go deeper into the NSFW story.
ANDY COHEN APPEARED ON SEX AND THE CITY.
Jeffery Self’s new podcast has been on an uphill climb, and his engaging conversation with the face of Bravo offers a few surprises. Among them: Cohen popped up in the background of a few episodes of Sex and the City, including one as a shoe salesman.