A selection of the best comedy podcasts

A selection of the best comedy podcasts

Free comedy from Robin Ince, Richard Herring, Andrew Collins and Marc Maron

The explosion in free podcasts has been a boon for comedy fans, delivering intimate interviews, topical improv and experimental sketch shows, all the while plugging audiences directly into the psyches of their favourite stand-ups. US comic Marc Maron's WTF is necessarily biased towards American acts, but hearing Brendon Burns on the differing racial tensions over there or Maron drawing out Patrice O'Neal's views on women is fascinating. Maron also interviews the likes of Stewart Lee, Tim Key and Adam Bloom, while there's a fantastic two-parter with Louis CK.

For the cream of home-grown comics baring their souls, try Marsha Meets, in which XFM DJ Marsha Shandur reiterates the importance of an informed interviewer, willing to let her subjects simply be funny. Rather more immediate is The Green Room, in which stand-up Phil Butler collars comics backstage for a chat and intersperses it with audio clips from their show. Warm as he is towards his kindred clowns, he can't lay claim to the mother-daughter tensions of Janey Godley's Podcast, in which the Glaswegian stand-up and her offspring Ashley Storrie have great fun at Mr Godley's expense and passionately put the world to rights.

For sublime arsing around, download sketch troupe The Trap's Sodcast, while the increasingly infrequent News with Jokes delivers exactly what it promises as Gary Delaney, Andy White and James Cook strive to make each other snigger over the tabloids. Sadly, Nick Doody and Rob Heeney's Doubling Up is becoming increasingly sporadic, though it's worth discovering to hear a young Doody's interview with Bill Hicks.

Prolific podcaster Robin Ince lends a touch of intellectual enquiry to Utter Shambles with sidekick Josie Long. Yet the 'Podfather' remains Richard Herring, whose long-running Collings and Herrin with journalist Andrew Collins is wonderfully supplemented by As It Occurs to Me, his inspired stand-up and sketch antics for a live audience featuring Emma Kennedy, Dan Tetsell and Christian Reilly.

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