Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
A man at Barry Island, near Cardiff in Wales.
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PodmassPodmassIn Podmass, The A.V. Club sifts through the ever-expanding world of podcasts and recommends the previous week’s best episodes. Have your own favorite? Let us know in the comments or at podmass@avclub.com.

Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast
Ernie Kovacs Centennial Celebration With Josh Mills And Ben Model

Illustration for article titled iWhat A Day/i is the daily news recap for those who are already very tired

Perhaps one of the medium’s most overlooked gems, Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast is doing great work in keeping alive the legacies of countless performers from Hollywood’s golden age while being utterly profane and riotously funny. Between the eponymous Gottfried and co-host Frank Santopadre, the show is a sort of encyclopedic celebration of all the unjustly forgotten film and television talents of yesteryear. This week’s episode is a bit of a calamitous dream for comedy fans, as Gottfried and Santopadre fête the memory of television pioneer Ernie Kovacs. Joining the pair are Josh Mills (the son of Kovacs’ widow, Edie Adams) and archivist/silent film accompanist Ben Model. It’s archetypal Amazing Colossal Podcast material, by turns nakedly offensive, side-splittingly funny, and genuinely informative. Whether it’s Gottfried forcing Model to improvise a score for a fake silent film or Mills finding his own mom on Playboy’s list of “most fuckable women,” this episode is rife with delights. [Ben Cannon]

Night Call
The Very Abyssal Episode

Illustration for article titled iWhat A Day/i is the daily news recap for those who are already very tired

If you had to sleep with one of the lead male characters on Seinfeld, who would you pick? This is one of the many questions debated on the latest episode of the freewheeling pop culture podcast Night Call. Hosts Molly Lambert, Tess Lynch, and Emily Yoshida make a case for each of those terrible men and conclude that their choices are based on individual tolerance levels for freeloading, sociopathy, and whether they bring sandwiches to bed. There is also much disagreement among the three when it comes to the subject of Gwyneth Paltrow. Lambert has a particular dislike of the actor-turned-influencer’s lifestyle grift, while Yoshida says, “I want to be a woman in STEM. I want to work at the Goop Lab!” They also kick off their series on bad early CGI in film with James Cameron’s The Abyss. This becomes a problem, because the movie actually has great CGI. Instead, they focus on Cameron’s apparent obsession with almost getting members of his cast and crew killed. [Anthony D Herrera]

The Daily Show With Trevor Noah: Ears Edition
The Daily Show Podcast Universe Episode 1: These American Lies

Illustration for article titled iWhat A Day/i is the daily news recap for those who are already very tired

The Daily Show With Trevor Noah offers up its first entry in a five-episode miniseries that’s kicking off a stream of podcast parodies (separate from its usual Ears Edition podcast). This first episode, “These American Lies,” apes This American Life to drill down into Donald Trump’s claim that three to five million people voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election. Daily Show correspondents Desi Lydic and Michael Kosta give us the scoop, unpacking Trump’s lie and explaining why the president was so bothered about losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton. Lydic and Kosta give a dead-on impression of This American Life, their performance infused with The Daily Show’s political wit, absurdist humor, and deadpan delivery. There are even a few surprise faux-commercials. An interview with political science professor Brian Schaffner and a tale of a conversation Trump had with German pro golfer Bernhard Langer make this bite-sized political briefing hilarious and actually informative. [Kevin Cortez]

The Heart
Lesbian Separatism Is Inevitable

Illustration for article titled iWhat A Day/i is the daily news recap for those who are already very tired

Radically intimate podcast The Heart has returned after a long winter’s sleep, awoken by new producers Nicole Kelly (NK) and Phoebe Unter, collectively known as PU/NK, and the audio art company Mermaid Palace. The Heart is known for its rawness and rich storytelling, and PU/NK’s inaugural episode is a love story that feels like the next natural phase for the podcast. It follows Unter and NK meeting, falling in love with feminism and art, and learning how to embrace even the angriest, most hopeless parts of themselves. This episode is comforting and familiar, and yet distinct—from the quiet introduction with host Kaitlin Prest to PU/NK’s longing, rage-filled letters. They describe their technicolor memories of life-changing journeys and feminist authors, and impart lessons about feminist utopias and privilege. [Elena Fernández Collins]

What A Day
Dems Debate In Des Moines

Illustration for article titled iWhat A Day/i is the daily news recap for those who are already very tired

Crooked Media has created a spoonful-of-sugar remedy to the daunting, joyless slog of keeping up with the news. The 15-minute daily current events podcast, What A Day, has an energizing but low-key vibe; hosts Akilah Hughes and Gideon Resnick are like a more bantering and irrepressible set of NPR reporters. This episode is a crash course in the (mostly uneventful) Democratic debate in Iowa, highlighting Elizabeth Warren’s response to Bernie Sanders’ alleged comments on the electability of women, Tom Steyer’s affable way being, and where the candidates stand on Iran. If you haven’t had a chance to research the primary candidates yet, this is a great primer on what each is about. Also, an update on the Houston Astros illuminates what sign stealing is, why its fine is so high, and some weird news from Great Britain about paying to make Big Ben “bong” once more. [Morgan McNaught]

Wind’s Howling
S1E3: Betrayer’s Moon

Illustration for article titled iWhat A Day/i is the daily news recap for those who are already very tired

With an expansive story that appears in books, video games, and now a Netflix series, The Witcher has a lot going on. Luckily, Wind’s Howling (from the Lore Party Podcast Network) exists, serving as a companion to the Henry Cavill–starring series and providing both context and commentary. Each installment starts with a thorough synopsis of an episode, so those looking to avoid spoilers should be wary. For fans who might be too hungry to wait for season two next year, Wind’s Howling is a great listen. Since the hosts Abu and Brett are also familiar with the Witcher books and games, their insight helps listeners dig deeper into this TV series that deftly interweaves numerous timelines, complicated plots, and an extensive cast of characters. [Jose Nateras]

You’re Wrong About
The D.C. Snipers

Illustration for article titled iWhat A Day/i is the daily news recap for those who are already very tired

At the start of this episode, Michael Hobbes asks his co-host, Sarah Marshall, what she remembers about the D.C. snipers, and her answer is probably pretty close to what most Americans remember. Not too long after the September 11 attacks, a man and a teenage boy committed a series of random killings in the D.C. area, firing a high-powered rifle from a concealed position in a parked car. At the time, the killings were framed as a terrorist attack, but the culprits, John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, didn’t end up fitting neatly into that narrative and soon fell out of the public eye. What we learn in this two-hour opener to a three-part miniseries is that the D.C. snipers’ real motive was far more pedestrian. By centering the narrative around Mildred Muhammad—mother, survivor, and long-suffering wife of John Allen—the hosts of You’re Wrong About reframe this horrific killing spree and remind us that behind every sensationalized event, there is often a series of forgotten victims who have been failed by our institutions. [Dan Neilan]

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