Sure, Kristine Levine is funny. Everybody knows that. But what you might not know is that her kids are funny, too. In Levine Large, the blue-collar comic—voted into our Funniest 5 last year—gathers her three kids, ages 17 to 24, to discuss everything from school to current events to erotic King of the Hill fanfiction. It's like an audio sitcom, except the kids are actually smart and the mom was once a porn clerk.
Kristine: "Are you ready for a girlfriend, babe?"
Chris: "No, I'm ready to die."
Read It and Weep
Alex Falcone—the man behind monthly variety show Late Night Action—hosts a weekly panel of guests to discuss the dregs of television, literature and film. Recent selections include NCIS, the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie and Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections (burn!). Falcone's attention to the format keeps the podcast interesting: He's measured the show's episode count in popes and Phillies losses, and he likes to make guests answer questions as their own sexy ghost.
Guest Ezra Fox on the 2014 remake of Left Behind: "The Rapture could have only taken hold as an idea in a time before Amazon Prime. Two days is about as long as I wait for anything good."
Doing the Dishes With Rafferty Thompson
Many podcasts follow a host's train of thought wherever it chugs. Most of these are insufferable, like self-indulgent diary entries read aloud. But Rafferty Thompson's is no ordinary train of thought. He riffs on a different topic each week—such as Guy Fieri's sex life ("he definitely eats during sex") or homophobia in baseball—and occasionally interviews guests. He theoretically does the dishes, too, but you can't hear it during the recordings.
To Fox Sports writer Rob Neyer: "For the folks listening at home, what is baseball?"
Reading the Bible With Dan
The title's not a joke: Crotchety comic Dan Weber reads the Bible aloud. The jokes—mostly blasphemous observations—come in between verses, as Weber points out the absurdity in God's perpetual references to bringing the tribes out of Egypt, or how getting stuck watching the Ark is a bum deal (he's still on the Old Testament). Should he complete the project, it will be a legitimately great way to experience scripture. Turns out some of the stuff not adapted for VeggieTales is pretty slow.
On the Israelites' request for a king: "Do you really want to have a king? All this means to me is that you haven't been to all the other countries, 'cause I guarantee you that no one that has a king wants to keep their fucking king. Kings very rarely work out."
According to the show's tag line, Cera, Char-Q , Patsy and Olivia—whose names may or may not be fake—are "four women searching for love, laughter and libation…and the perfect patio to drink on in Portland." Recorded largely on bar patios and occasionally in hot tubs, it finds the gang and guests discussing the perils of dating. It's a refreshing reminder you're not the only one lost in the seething abyss that is OkCupid.
Cera: "Do you want to explain to people why you were mad at me?
Char-Q: "'Cause I woke up with a used condom wrapper on my cheek."
Black by Popular Demand
Curtis Cook—this year's Funniest 5 runner-up—co-hosts this "race-tastic" (his word) podcast with Raishawn Wickwire. Though they've known each other for only two years, they have the chemistry of old friends, and often draw the best out of their guests. Recent topics have included the racial politics of Rocket Power and how Erykah Badu singing your name can change your life.
Curtis: "I don't really like podcasts, I'll be honest with you."