Panel Shows: Podcast Edition
July 6, 2016 8:01 AM   Subscribe

I really love British panel shows. I would love to find some podcast equivalents, with the caveat that I am in the US so they need to be available for (relatively) easy download directly to my iPhone in the US, preferably through iTunes, though iTunes availability is not a dealbreaker. Any recommendations?

Yes, another podcast recommendation question! I have quite a bit of longer travel coming up, so I’d love to find the podcast equivalent of some of my favorite UK panel shows – far and away my three favorites are Would I Lie to You?, QI, and 8 Out of 10 Cats (regular, not Countdown edition). I don’t really care for Mock the Week (feels very scripted in advance, and am not a huge fan of a number of the regular panelists/captains) and can take or leave Have I Got News for You (this is very guest dependent). What I like about these are the extant but not rigid framing devices that allow very sharp people to be quick-witted, funny, and sometimes insightful with a fair amount of back and forth (banter) as opposed to one person doing an uninterrupted narrative. I know about the US Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me which is close, but not quite there. I enjoy The Unbelievable Truth when I can find it, but availability is spotty in the US.
posted by HonoriaGlossop to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
You must be aware of the QI elves' "No Such Thing as a Fish". Originally a podcast offshoot of the show, it then eclipsed its origins by becoming a TV show in its own right.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 8:06 AM on July 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

International Waters might fit the bill. From their website: "International Waters is a pop culture comedy quiz show where land laws do not apply. Join host Dave Holmes and competing teams of world-famous comedians from the US and UK in a hilarious and lively test of pop culture knowledge (and the ability to make up baloney when that knowledge fails). It's part panel show, part trivia quiz and all laughs."
posted by adastra at 8:11 AM on July 6, 2016

The vast majority of all "comedy" podcasts are basically a British panel show format. It's a couple or three comics, sometimes all regulars, sometimes guests, usually a mix, riffing about whatever the topic of the podcast is.

Good examples of the form that are informative in the way that the best panel shows are:

How Did This Get Made? - movies
Sawbones - medicine and the history of science
Lady To Lady - women's issues
Who Charted? - "top five" pop culture format
Spilled Milk - roundtable on food by two food writers (they're not really comedians, though this has a similar tone to the "panel show" format)
The Dollop - history
Answer Me This - literally a British panel show in podcast form. They take questions a la AskMetafilter and each panelist gives their spin or what they think the answer is/what they would do in a Human Relations type situation.

But ultimately you should just go down the list of "top comedy podcasts" and see what you like. Especially if you like a more free-form or guest-oriented panel show concept.
posted by Sara C. at 9:10 AM on July 6, 2016 [3 favorites]

You should check out The News Quiz (from the BBC.) Not sure how it compares to "Mock the Week" in terms of scriptedness, though.
posted by Johnny Assay at 9:36 AM on July 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Well, what about the BBC radio panel shows? Johnny Assay mentioned The News Quiz, but there's also Just a Minute, I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue and The Unbelievable Truth. A full list here. I don't know much about these shows, but if you like BBC TV this seems like a better place to investigate than American podcasts.
posted by crazy with stars at 10:56 AM on July 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

The Infinite Monkey Cage, Astrophysicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince talk science with a panel of scientists (and others). Informative and funny.
posted by Moxx of Balhoon at 11:10 AM on July 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'll second "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue;" it calls itself "the antidote to panel games," and rightly so. It's a panel show in format, but the games, while played mostly with a straight face, are preposterous, comedic, and substantially improvised. This is the original of the cryptic game Mournington Crescent, the rules to which take years to comprehend in full. The original host, Humphrey Lyttelton, passed away in April 2008 after doing the show since 1972, and Jack Dee has (mostly) hosted it in the years hence.

We're in the midst of the 65th series (6 episodes apiece) of ISIHAC, and thanks to MeFite coleboptera, I know where to find all the new episodes for download, but you can hear the latest episode on BBC Radio4 Extra's iPlayer, here. (Radio 4 Extra is that which was formerly known as Radio 7, though 4 Extra is a better description of its function as an online place to find current and classic episodes of Radio 4 material over the years.)
posted by Sunburnt at 4:19 PM on July 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have the same favorites! Agreed that a lot of comedy podcasts have a similar but slightly looser format. Judge John Hodgman is probably the closest that I listen to regularly in that there is a defined starting topic and someone in charge that is smart and silly. Another thing is that if there are particular guests you like, many of them have been on podcasts or have shows of their own. Rhod Gilbert, who's on a lot of panel shows, has a regular radio show for BBC Wales that get posted to itunes, and I found lots of David Mitchell interviews the last time I looked.
posted by tchemgrrl at 4:23 PM on July 6, 2016

Answer Me This is exaaaaactly what you want! And it has a massive back catalogue.
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:33 PM on July 6, 2016

Do the right thing is a comedy podcast which is a live panel show;
posted by chrispy108 at 11:06 PM on July 6, 2016

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