Funny serial podcasts?
October 12, 2020 9:26 PM   Subscribe

Looking for funny serial podcasts to keep me entertained while folding clothes.

Lately I've been really enjoying listening to The Damage Guild Podcast with my kids. The members are hilarious and tell a great story. (I don't really even play D&D, but they're such a funny group that it doesn't matter.) In a way it brings me back to the days when I would listen to the Hitchhikers Guide radio show on cassette on long car rides - funny, bite sized episodes of a forward moving storyline.

my schedule is changing so that I'm going to be up later at night by myself, and I want something to a company when I'm doing home drum tasks. Can you recommend any other funny serial podcasts? Does not need to be kid friendly. I definitely prefer fiction, sci fi/ fantasy typically but it doesn't have to be.
posted by rouftop to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
(Apologies for the text to speech shenanigans and lack of proofreading... "I want something to accompany me when I'm doing humdrum tasks")
posted by rouftop at 9:34 PM on October 12

It's another D&D (sorta, its more of a vehicle for their storytelling) podcast, but The Adventure Zone (Balance) is pretty great.
posted by furnace.heart at 9:59 PM on October 12 [5 favorites]

Mission to Zyxx!!!!

It's an improvised episodic (but with a multi-season-spanning story arc (of sorts)) space exploration comedy podcast with incredibly well produced sound design.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:20 PM on October 12 [2 favorites]

EOS 10 is an excellent serialized space comedy.
posted by RisforKickin at 11:02 PM on October 12

Here to second The Adventure Zone. Balance is one of my favorite pieces of fiction.
posted by Pacrand at 11:30 PM on October 12 [1 favorite]

Nthing Mission to Zyxx!

Definitely not kid friendly but on the D&D front, I have enjoyed Dungeons and Daddies and Rude Tales of Magic a lot. There’s also Definitely Human’s podcasts- MarsCorp is scripted, while The Infinite Bad and Pax Fortuna are roleplaying podcasts. A couple others might be Wooden Overcoats, Thrilling Adventure Hour (specifically the Sparks Nevada eps), Dimension 20, Bubble, Alba Salix or The End of Time and Other Bothers?

Arguably My Dad Wrote a Porno and The Beef and Dairy Network Podcast fit the serial bill too, ha...
posted by actionpact at 11:32 PM on October 12

The BBC's Cabin Pressure, while not SFF, is a very funny long running office sitcom with a lot of wacky situations and pun based humour.
posted by MarianHalcombe at 12:01 AM on October 13 [3 favorites]

Look Inside This Book Club is a podcast that reads, reviews (and makes fun of) free sample chapters of romance novels. They’re doing a series right now where they wrote their own story and have been reading it one chapter at a time. I often have to stop whatever it is I’m doing because I’m laughing too hard to continue. I think they are up to chapter 18. Highly recommended.
posted by janepanic at 1:19 AM on October 13

In the vein of "actual play" podcasts, there's Not Another D&D Podcast, which features people who used to work for CollegeHumor. They finished their first main campaign and several side campaigns, and just started their second main campaign a few days ago, so it's not a bad time to jump in.

There's also the Dimension 20 series, which is mostly available on the Dropout streaming platform, although they have released various campaigns as podcasts and as YouTube series. The players vary per campaign but the DM is always Brennan Lee Mulligan, another CollegeHumor alumn. I would start with the Escape from the Bloodkeep campaign (for the podcast, look for the episode titled "Welcome to the Dark Side").

My favorite actual play podcasts come from The Glass Cannon Network. They generally play Pathfinder instead of D&D. Their main podcast, The Glass Cannon Podcast, probably has more drama than comedy, especially as the campaign has matured. But their other podcasts tend to be more light-hearted. Since COVID-19 hit the US, they've been playing short campaigns under the name Side Quest Side Sesh; I highly recommend starting with those (they start in the main podcast feed here). They also have a Patreon-only podcast called New Game, Who Dis? where they play other game systems with hilarious results.
posted by neushoorn at 1:27 AM on October 13

Rude Tales of Magic is a great D&D podcast, with most of the number-crunching mechanics/dice rolls edited out so it's just a brilliant improvised story with hilarious dialogue and bizarre characters.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:43 AM on October 13 [1 favorite]

I suppose it makes sense that there are a lot of MaxFun podcasts popping up in this thread :) I generally listen to other genres, but I've heard enough good things about these that I feel comfortable recommending:
- Adventure Zone - D&D-based, and then goes off in other directions. Like the one you mentioned, it isn't a comedy per se, but naturally funny people playing and telling a story. I believe there are three different arcs/seasons now.
- Bubble - Buffy-meets-modern-hipsters. It's full, scripted radio play, being made into a comic book and movie
- This Sounds Serious - parody of serial true crime podcasts. The suspense is real though!
posted by moogs at 5:29 AM on October 13 [1 favorite]

BBC Radio Four released Fags, Mags and Bags on Audible. Very gentle, very funny comedy set in a Glasgow corner shop.
posted by citands at 5:54 AM on October 13

I’ve been enjoying the comedy fantasy series Alba Salix and its spinoff The Axe and Crown (same website).
posted by moonmilk at 6:29 AM on October 13

Critical Role is the most popular D&D podcast because they are all voice actors. I recommend starting from episode 1. Very Fun.

There are two "podcasts" that were actually audiobooks - "Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality" and "The Worm Audiobook Podcast"- both written as serial dramas. The Methods of Rationality podcast is unique that different voice actors voice the different characters, so it's really well done, compared to most other audiobooks. It's, uh, quite the story, too, if you make it past the first few chapters.
posted by bbqturtle at 7:10 AM on October 13

I say this on so many podcast posts, but oh my gosh you need My Dad Wrote a Porno. Three best friends come together to read the terrible erotic novel series written by one of their fathers. Over the course of their reading, it slowly morphs into the worlds’ most inept spy novel. I’m doing a complete re-listen now, and am continually amazed by the sheer volume of awkward turns of phrase and impossible feats of anatomy per minute.
posted by ActionPopulated at 8:48 AM on October 13

+1 on Rude Tales of Magic, Dungeons and Daddies, and Adventure Zone (except the current season, Graduation, which is pants). These three tend to be rules lite, so you don't have to worry much about following the numbers.

Also consider Wooden Overcoats, a British radio-play style podcast about undertakers.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:58 AM on October 13

I'll throw out Voyage to the Stars, a partially improvised comedy series set mostly in outer space. Fun characters and frequent laughs, especially in the early seasons.

Welcome to Night Vale is classic-- maybe more eerie than flat-out funny but it has a nice dry sense of humor, I think.
posted by underthehat at 8:20 PM on October 13

The One Shot RPG grabs talent--often from the local Chicago improv scene--and does actual play of various games. Most games last 3-4 episodes. Haven't listened to all of them and some are funnier than others based on the cast. But good starting points on the goofy side might be the 13th Age (D&D like game, Episode 114) or Visigoths vs. Mall Goths (a game that does what it says on the tin, Episode 355).

Hello from the Magic Tavern.

Of the many other great ones listed here I'd strongly second Thrilling Adventure Hour (though I love the Thin Man meets Twilight Zone parody Beyond Belief segments even more than Sparks Nevada) and The Glass Cannon with the caveat that it isn't primarily comedy, though it can be very funny at times.
posted by mark k at 4:39 PM on October 14

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