More audio comedy for my 12-year-old son
February 9, 2016 6:40 PM   Subscribe

4+ years ago y'all gave my son a treasure trove of audio comedy, some of which he's listened to hundreds of times. Now he's almost 13 and needs a recharge. Help?

My son still puts his audio comedy on endless repeat, audible in our small house. Need a refresh.

First of all, here's what he's already worn out:

-- Cabin Pressure (Hat tip to That's Numberwang!)
-- Nebulous (Thanks, Nonane.)
(BTW, the many suggestions of The Goon Show were perfect in spirit, but it kind of came and went with him; perhaps too hard to fathom. C'est la vie.)
-- All three of John Hodgman's audiobooks in the Areas of My Expertise series.
-- Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
-- Comedy records from Jim Gaffigan, Eddie Izzard, Steve Martin.
-- John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme (good stuff, creator of Cabin Pressure)
-- Still Firesign Theatre. Monty Python.

Any more suggestions? As you can tell, comedy rules with this one. Thanks.
posted by argybarg to Media & Arts (21 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
The Unbelievable Truth!
posted by HoraceH at 6:45 PM on February 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

He will be unspeakably cool if you turn him onto The Firesign Theater. I discovered them at his age and I'm still making references. Hell, there's one in my damn profile. It's a cult. One of us. One of us.

Oh. He's already turned on. My bad.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:12 PM on February 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

At thirteen, I was given a bootleg of Carlin's "Class Clown" by a classmate.

Later, my ability to quote lines from that contraband tape helped endear me to my (now) wife.
posted by notsnot at 7:15 PM on February 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

If he likes Hodgman, how about the little grey books series?
posted by blue_beetle at 7:24 PM on February 9, 2016

Best answer: Here's a dump of british radio comedies that I've enjoyed, or enjoyed in their later TV incarnations.

Round the Horne -- classic 1960s radio comedy, tapping into the Goon vein.
Concrete Cow -- sketch comedy ensemble including Robert Webb
That Mitchell and Webb Sound -- before they were on TV as That Mitchell and Webb Look, which inspired such MeFites as "That's Numberwang!"
A Bit of Fry and Laurie was also radio before it was TV; the marvelous duo of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.
Saturday Night Fry -- Stephen Fry's sketch comedy show after he parted from Hugh Laurie, on radio at least.
The Museum of Everything -- a personal favorite, a sketch-com set in all aspects of all possible museums; Cheers and thanks and cheers!
The Consultants -- great three-man comedy team
The Harpoon -- I love this one too; it's themed as an Edwardian Adventure magazine for young boys, right down to being delivered by the postman at the start of each episode.
The Boosh (before they were Mighty)
Ectoplasm -- Not dissimilar to Nebulous
Little Britain did a good bit of radio stuff before their TV shows.
We Are Klang -- Surreal sitcom set in a council office, IIRC.
Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show -- sitcom about an old fool who was once a famous vaudevillian; I've only seen the TV version, but the character of Arthur is really great and I assume the radio show is comedy gold.
The League of Gentlemen - on radio before it was TV; sketch-y dark comedy set in a creepy semi-rural village

Those are all from BBC, but here's one from CBC:
Canadia: 2056 -- Scifi sitcom set aboard the Canadia, Canada's publically-funded spaceship (replete with diverse crew) sent to join the United States' armada to battle aliens, though the Canadia has a slightly less glamorous role.
posted by Sunburnt at 7:27 PM on February 9, 2016 [8 favorites]

Maybe Weird Al's parody songs? I think they'd be OK for kids.
posted by amtho at 7:27 PM on February 9, 2016

Cheech and Chong

Spike Jones

And definitely Weird Al
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:29 PM on February 9, 2016

Yay for John Finnemore! Your son might enjoy his latest show, Double Acts, which was a series of longer sketches done for two voices. They're interesting!

Seconding The Unbelievable Truth. If that's his gateway to comedy panel shows, you can also find episodes of QI and Would I Lie To You. While there are some visual aspects to both, neither suffer for just being listened to.

Mitchell and Webb Look might be a taaad too raunchy, but the Mitchell and Webb Sound is a bit tamer, and stronger for it. Also, John Finnemore was a writer on both, and you can really tell sometimes. It's cool to see those influences and growths through people's careers.

Bleak Expectations is good, too- funny, longform, and pays off like Cabin Pressure.
posted by Torosaurus at 8:39 PM on February 9, 2016

Bob & Ray
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:54 PM on February 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Derek and Clive Live is definitely too mature but oh god, is it funny. My dad played it for 14-year-old me I found it hilarious. So, maybe not something for right now but it's too good imho not to eventually aim him at.

current me finds it hilarious too
posted by BungaDunga at 10:36 PM on February 9, 2016

The Great Eastern... Very bizarre Newfoundland show I listened to and loved on CBC in my youth.
posted by chapps at 11:11 PM on February 9, 2016

Totally agree with lots of the earlier suggestions here. Even thought it's not full-bore ha ha comedy in all episodes, maybe he'd appreciate CBC's (now departed) Wiretap? I enjoyed the earlier episodes (archived here) a lot more than what the series eventually turned into, for what it's worth.

Not sure if it was covered in the previous post but he should definitely listen to Bob & Doug McKenzie's Great White North (and watch Strange Brew!)

OTRR is a group that collects a bunch of old time radio and puts it up on the internet archive- some old (oldddd) comedy and a bunch of other random things, a search for their stuff is here

My son particularly likes X Minus One (Scifi classics from the 50s)
posted by AaronRaphael at 1:14 AM on February 10, 2016

Run, don't walk, to get your copy of Chris Morris' Blue Jam!
posted by NordyneDefenceDynamics at 2:15 AM on February 10, 2016

I love your kid. Seems like he could use an introduction to the Golden Age of Comedy. Specifically:

Bill Hicks
2000 Year Old Man with Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks
The Button Down Mind of Bob Newhart
Anything by Tom Lehrer
Elaine May and Mike Nichols
Phyllis Diller
Lily Tomlin

Once you start looking up these people on Amazon, you'll see tons of suggestions for others. But most definitely Bill Hicks. He's very grar about people suck but it all comes together with a fairly positive message that everyone should just love everyone. Most teenage boys love Bill Hicks.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 2:41 AM on February 10, 2016

The 99p Challenge (and its predecessor King Stupid) were amazing BBC radio comedy shows featuring many now-famous British comedians. Might be tricky to get hold of but worth it.
If he has an interest in science, The Infinite Monkey Cage (current BBC radio show) is a mixture of really interesting science stuff and comedy.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:46 AM on February 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Before wading into any of the great recs you have, you must IMMEDIATELY play Cheech and Chong's Sister Mary Elephant.

Immediately. I am sitting in my living room snickering just remembering it and my cats think I'm insane.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 2:50 AM on February 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Vaughn Meader's The First Family.

The people who produced it later made one with Alison Arngrim (her mother had done the imitations of Caroline and JFK jr on the earlier albums) parodying Amy Carter, but it's not appropriate for kids; one sequence has Amy trying to sell Girl Scout cookies to (among others) Roman Polanski.
posted by brujita at 2:57 AM on February 10, 2016

Another British treasure, Kenny Everett, is worth listening to. I loved 'Captain Kremmen' in particular.
posted by h00py at 4:48 AM on February 10, 2016

There's such a flurry of recommendations, apologies if there's repetition, but have you both found early Lee & Herring? Recently Richard Herring has verged more towards the deliberately rude and Stewart Lee has become the monster of intellectual comedy who is loved and despised in equal measure (though I'm in the "loved" camp - he can have me almost incapable of breath with laughter), but early in their careers as a double act they were doing stuff that was much sillier - they wrote for On The Hour (the radio forerunner to The Day Today and also incredibly highly recommended) and moved on to Lionel Nimrod's Inexplicable World, Fist of Fun (on radio and TV) and This Morning with Richard Not Judy (on TV).

Nthing The Boosh - the TV version tends towards the wonderful, too.

For the very, very silly, of course, there's copious Reeves and Mortimer and Harry Hill.
posted by Grangousier at 5:37 AM on February 10, 2016

Why not get him introduced to some podcasts? John Hodgman has a delightful one called Judge John Hodgman. Some others are good (but maybe a little sweary, if that matters) like Spontaneanation. Pod F Tompkast. Thrilling Adventure Hour. Pistol Shrimps Radio is hysterical.
posted by getawaysticks at 5:38 AM on February 10, 2016

Oh, and when I was his age I was obsessed with Bob Newhart and Shelley Berman, of all people - I had memorised The Morning After several years before I got the opportunity to drink alcohol.

"So... were you fond of that cat?"

(Apparantly he amended the routine later to mollify cat lovers.)
posted by Grangousier at 5:39 AM on February 10, 2016

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