Having trouble sleeping lately? Racing thoughts? Agita? Perhaps you are looking to ease the emotional hangover from that nail-biter of a presidential election. Utterly apolitical podcasts are just the ticket. These shows are not current events- or pop culture-based. They are not trying to teach you anything. They do not seek to challenge you, or stretch your brain in any way. Instead, the hosts of these shows have one goal: to make you laugh. Tuning in to any of these goofy podcasts to relax, unwind and giggle.
Three brothers from Huntington, W.Va., — Justin, Travis and Griffin McElroy — dole out jokey advice for the “modren era,” as they pronounce it at the top of every show. Their mission is to give the funniest possible advice to questions that desperate souls have left on the Yahoo Answers website. Start anywhere in the more than 500-episode catalog, which tsackle big questions like, “Is it weird that I’m attracted to Transformers?” or “What is your favorite wizard swear?” Sprinkled throughout are recurring segments like “Haunted Doll Watch,” an appraisal of eBay’s latest possessed playthings, and “Munch Squad,” reporting the latest innovations in fast-food dining, such as the Olive Garden Lifetime Pasta Pass. Occasional “guestperts” include Hank Green, Jimmy Buffet and Lin-Manuel Miranda, himself a superfan of the show who delights by putting the boys’ bits to song. It’s a silly, consistently funny, no-stakes show that gives you the feeling of sitting at the McElroy family dinner table, listening to three natural improvisers trying to make each other laugh.
Have you ever been so annoyed by a product or experience that you took to the internet to leave a sharply worded negative review? Depending on how unhinged your screed reads, it very well may have been read aloud by the hosts of “Beach Too Sandy, Water Too Wet.” Alex Schiefer and his older sister Christine, herself a co-host of the (highly-rated) paranormal/true crime podcast, “And That’s Why We Drink,” perform dramatic readings of one-star reviews, adding background music and the serious tone that they deserve. Sometimes, they even get through them without cracking up. Listen to the recent Halloween episode, in which the pair performed a negative review of “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” (too sexy), or their airing of grievances against grocery stores in “Tescos in Dublin, Ireland.”
Meet Sasheer Zamata, a former cast member of “Saturday Night Live,” and her best friend, Nicole Byer, the host of Netflix’s “Nailed It!” (She also has her own podcast, “Why Won’t You Date Me.”) Every week, the pair check in and catch up with each other on the kind of things iconic best friends do, like getting away with passing gas at work (pretty easy when everyone is in a mask, it turns out) and how their roller skating hobby is progressing. These two seasoned comedians have different personalities that complement each other in the most satisfying way: Byer’s outlandish, often pervy energetic charm plays beautifully against Zamata’s more low-key, earthy type. Each episode moves from laugh-out-loud casual chitchat to answering the most absurd quizzes the internet has to offer, like “which Disney princess are you based on the sushi roll you build.”
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