Episodic humor podcasts
February 21, 2021 5:49 PM   Subscribe

I enjoyed Cabin Pressure and Wooden Overcoats. What else can I listen to? Difficulty level: in US.

Doesn't have to be British, but mostly is. I liked the episodic, cerebral, yet low intensity humor. If you know of a way I can access BBC radio from the US please share, or any podcasts that might scratch the same itch. Audiobooks also fine but like I said, I like the episodic thing.

(Not looking for comedians hanging out podcasts! Not my jam. I like that these are fictional, have a plot, etc).
posted by latkes to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
It's old, but if you never listened to Wiretap, that might fit the bill.
posted by coffeecat at 6:43 PM on February 21

Have you seen the software get_iplayer ? You can use it to grab BBC shows -- both radio and TV: https://github.com/get-iplayer/get_iplayer
posted by wenestvedt at 7:16 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]

After listening to Cabin Pressure and loving it, my effort to scratch the same itch found me Victoriocity. Definitely a different flavor but it is also silly and episodic.
posted by ElizaMain at 7:31 PM on February 21

Ooh, I don't get to answer Ask Metafilter questions very often, but this is very much my forte.

Here are some of my favourites, which you can get for free from the BBC website:
  • In And Out of the Kitchen: This is a sitcom about the day-to-day bumblings of a snobbish cookery writer. It's not laugh out loud funny, like Cabin Pressure. But it's sweet and charming.
  • Tom Wrigglesworth's Hang Ups: A sitcom that's mostly autobiography. Tom Wrigglesworth plays himself, a London-based comedian, calling home to talk to his eccentric parents in Sheffield.
  • Clare in the Community: A sitcom about a social worker who consistently fails to live up to her own high ideals.
Since you liked Cabin Pressure, you might also like John Finnemore's Double Acts -- which is a series of dialogues by the same author as Cabin Pressure. TBH I didn't enjoy this as much as Cabin Pressure, though there is one episode ("red-handed") which is a real gem. You can buy it online, e.g. through Audible.

Dad's Army is older, but still wonderful. You can buy it online (on Amazon, for example).
posted by HoraceH at 8:11 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]

Oh, I thought of another:
  • Absolute Power: A sitcom about two spin doctors, played by Stephen Fry and John Bird. Some of the political humour is dated, but it's still enjoyable. You can get it from Audible.

posted by HoraceH at 8:21 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]

I haven't listened to the two podcasts you mentioned and so can't directly compare, but based on your description I'd say you might enjoy:
The Beef and Dairy Network: fake interviews of people in the business of beef and/or dairy farming. It's hard to explain. The podcast network is American, but the show is British.
The Amelia Project: an agency helps various clients fake their own deaths. Is British and silly.
posted by Comet Bug at 8:59 PM on February 21

The Beef and Dairy Network: fake interviews of people in the business of beef and/or dairy farming. It's hard to explain.
Warmly seconded - and I'll add the St. Elwick's Neighbourhood Association Newsletter Podcast, which features some of the same people.
posted by kickingtheground at 10:42 PM on February 21

I enjoyed Bubble, an 8 episode sci-fi series set in a near future where "a small band of monster killers struggles to make ends meet and find love in a nightmarish version of the gig economy."
posted by mmascolino at 5:13 AM on February 22

When the dog dies is a BBC radio 4 production with Ronnie Corbett. There may be ways to listen over the BBC, but I found it on archive.org.

We caught one episode years ago and were hooked. With Ronnie Corbett, how could you not be? At that time there were only six but it turns out there were eventually 24 in all, so we'll start from the beginning and listen to all of them.
posted by sevenstars at 5:31 AM on February 22

If you liked Wooden Overcoats, I think these will be right up your alley:

1) Mars Corp - Our highly competent protagonist awakes from cryogenic suspension on Mars, only to find that the Martian colony she's meant to be running is full of idiots and completely dysfunctional.

2) Hector vs the Future - The cantankerous curator of a museum of obsolete technology struggles to compete against the neighbouring Uptodateum.

3) The Thrilling Adventure Hour - This actually comprises a dozen different shows. The "Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars" episodes are particularly great - the title character is played by Marc Evan Jackson, aka Shawn from The Good Place. "Beyond Belief" comes a close second, mostly because Paul F Tompkins and Paget Brewster sound like they're having a hell of a lot of fun hamming it up.

4) This Podcast Has Fleas - A dog and a cat start competing podcasts. Totally worth it just for the most incredibly peppy voice actor who plays Waffles the dog: "Being a dog and talkin' about it, Dog Talk!".

All four of the above have excellent voice acting and sound production. Both Marscorp and Hector vs the Future are British, and are very much in the same vein as Wooden Overcoats humour-wise. The other two are American.
posted by yours in calendrical heresy at 7:05 AM on February 22

Not a specific recommendation, but in the US you can download the BBC Sounds app (the replacement for the iPlayer app) and get all the BBC radio from there, both live and archived. Under the comedy category, you can drill down to spoofs, sitcoms, sketch, and satire, among others.
posted by carrienation at 10:02 AM on February 22

You can find many of the BBC radio sitcoms on archive.org. My mother just finished When the Dog Dies (no dog dies, or is harmed -- it's about a man with a difficult family but a nice dog).
posted by Francolin at 12:09 PM on February 22

Reluctant Persuaders has a lot in common with Cabin Pressure, with slightly less character progression but better jokes.
posted by Luddite at 2:27 AM on February 23

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