Wait! Wait! I've run out of episodes!
January 15, 2008 5:47 PM   Subscribe

I am madly in love with NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me. Please recommend similar shows, preferably available via podcast.

I have an unhealthy obsession with this show - I often use it as amusing noise to go to sleep, listen to it while commuting, etc. I've heard all the episodes many times, and need to expand my options.
posted by CaptApollo to Media & Arts (26 answers total) 64 users marked this as a favorite
The News Quiz is the obvious British equivalent. You'd probably need to be au fait with the week's British news for some of the jokes, but most of it crosses the pond unscathed.

(Most of Radio 4's panel games are a good fit: ISIHAC isn't podcast, but you can snaffle it if you have the kit.)
posted by holgate at 6:02 PM on January 15, 2008

PublicRadioFan.com has a list of podcasts, one section of which is "funny programs". You might try experimenting there. Unfortunately, one of my favorites, Says You, isn't likely to come out with a podcast, so you'll have to give that a listen online.

If you're a classic Trek fan at all (just a wild guess based on your username), you might get a kick out of Look at His Butt. It's ostensibly all-things-Shatner, but it covers a wide range, and both hosts are a hoot. It's my occasional late-night guilty pleasure.
posted by metabrilliant at 6:07 PM on January 15, 2008

Seconding the News Quiz -- or without the need to understand the British news scene, you can catch episodes of Just a Minute for some of the same type of humor. BBC.

Also seconding ISIHAC (I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue).
posted by blue_wardrobe at 6:11 PM on January 15, 2008

Quite Interesting is another quiz show in a similar vein to Wait Wait. Here's an outtake

Very British. It's like a cross between WHo's Line is it and Wait Wait.
posted by cosmicbandito at 6:29 PM on January 15, 2008

Unfortunately QI is video, and not available as a podcast. When you find it online it's usually via YouTube, sliced up into eight-minute segments, making it no fun at all to fall asleep to. It is, however, brilliant and worth your attention when you're awake.

What is it about Wait, Wait that appeals to you so? The faux quiz-show format? The bite-sized internal structure? The current-events aspect of it? The panel of media personalities with celebrity call-in guest? The voice of Carl Kassel? The humor? The hour-long length? The live studio audience? If you could have one single aspect of similarity, which would you choose? Two? I ask this because I feel like we're focussed on the fairly limited pool of news-related-humorous-quiz-shows, and there is very likely a broader pool of material to suggest if only we knew what your essential criteria were.

And preemtively, I'll suggest The Guardian Unlimited's Science Weekly podcast, which is not a quiz show, but is current events (in science) in multiple segments, done by an irreverent ensemble crew, and something I enjoy falling asleep to.
posted by mumkin at 6:56 PM on January 15, 2008

I would reccomend the much funnier but non-quiz-oriented The Bugle, which features Andy Zaltzman and John Oliver (of the Daily Show) having a very funny conversation about the news.

If it's just the WWDTM tone you like, you might try "Says You," or the British version, "My Word," or possibly Michael Feldman's "Whaddya Know?"
posted by YoungAmerican at 6:58 PM on January 15, 2008

Michael Feldman's Whad'Ya Know? is a very, very midwesterny version of Wait, Wait. It has similar news quizzes, but people get actual prizes, not that I wouldn't be excited to get Carl Kasell's voice on my answering machine.
posted by Alison at 7:10 PM on January 15, 2008

"Whad'Ya Know" versus "Wait Wait" is the difference between Wisconsin and Chicago. Literally, that's where they are, respectively, produced. I'd almost say that Whad'ya is approaching that mythical old-timey style of midwesternness that Prairie Home Companion has perfected.
posted by gjc at 7:16 PM on January 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

mumkin thanks for making me clarify. I think it's the irreverent yet pseudo-intellectual take on current events (for pseudo-intellectual read: not a 'funny' version of TMZ). Mostly it's just smart banter, I guess. Interaction is key - not a monologue

Good points about Whad'Ya Know v Wait Wait - I think I'm definitely more in the Chicago school here - Feldman can get very, uh, unfocused in his audience segments.

So, an educated panel being clever about mostly non-trashy current events seems to be what I'm looking for.

Though the chance to win a nifty voicemail greeting is not to be underestimated.
posted by CaptApollo at 7:43 PM on January 15, 2008

The Whad'Ya know podcast is truncated. I subscribed to it for a few weeks and then unsubbed - it just wasn't the same.
posted by pinky at 8:02 PM on January 15, 2008

possibly the slate explainer podcast? it's topical and intelligent. i'm personally not a wait wait fan, so grain of salt and all that. as for witty banter, one cannot beat the genius that is jordan, jesse, go!
posted by ncc1701d at 8:31 PM on January 15, 2008

oh and you may like npr's sunday puzzle.
posted by ncc1701d at 8:33 PM on January 15, 2008

This might be a bit odd, but you ought to seek out some old episodes of My Word, a radio quiz/panel show from the BBC. The classic episodes are from 1956 or so, but they're brilliant.

(In fact, I think I've found some episodes here, though I'm pretty sure that collection isn't supposed to be available for free.)
posted by grabbingsand at 8:49 PM on January 15, 2008

Interestingly enough, one of the producers is a Mefite. :)
posted by WCityMike at 9:47 PM on January 15, 2008

BBC Five Live's Fighting Talk could be described as a sporting version of The News Quiz, though it's probably much less intelligible for non-Brits. (I wish they'd kept The Treatment in that general spot, which was a really good, funny weekly roundup show.)

You may want to look at This Sporting Life, which is two Australian blokes in character ostensibly talking about sports you'll know little about, but generally just playing everything for laughs. The fake commercial breaks are especially fun. It's currently off the airwaves, so you're stuck with archives, but it fits the bill for 'amusing noise at bedtime'.

Also, check your metamail.
posted by holgate at 10:55 PM on January 15, 2008

As far as humor and current events go, you may enjoy Fair Game with Faith Salie's podcast.
posted by Hot Like Your 12V Wire at 11:08 PM on January 15, 2008

I download Fighting Talk (BBC R5), the Now Show (BBC R4), The News Quiz (BBC R4) and the Bugle (The Times Online). I think all of which my fit your bill.

FT is a great show even if you're not a huge sports fan.

Love this thread!
posted by arcticseal at 1:10 AM on January 16, 2008

doh..."may fit your bill"...

Andy Zaltzman from the Bugle was on Fighting Talk this week.
posted by arcticseal at 1:12 AM on January 16, 2008

I concur with the recommendation for "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue." Somebody made a torrent out of more than 400 episodes of the show--30 years' worth--so look for that. It's really quite good and often has me laughing out loud.
posted by Mo Nickels at 5:48 AM on January 16, 2008

Yeah, I second mumkin's questions about what exactly you like about Wait Wait. For another data point in the meantime, I love Wait Wait; second the suggestion for My Word (and if you like that, you might try My Music too); don't care about cars but have a dopey affection for Car Talk; love the Puzzlemaster segment on Weekend Edition; and HATE HATE HATE Whaddya Know with the FIRE OF A THOUSAND SUNS.
posted by clavicle at 8:31 AM on January 16, 2008

The funniest podcast I know is The Ouch! Podcast. I am in love with it. My love for it is as strong as clavicle's hatred for Whaddya Know. (My hatred for Whaddya Know -- or, as I call it, The Dead Air Show -- is also as strong as clavicle's hatred for it.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:35 AM on January 16, 2008

You might also want to check out Love and Radio and In the Loop, both of which I podcast (along with TAL) and listen to on the way into work. Also a "radio literary-musical tragic-comedy" might be up your alley.
posted by melodykramer at 6:33 PM on January 16, 2008

This is very likely my favorite thread ever. Thanks for posting this question, CaptApollo
posted by dawson at 6:39 PM on January 16, 2008

If it's the panel, plus topical news then Slate's Political Gabfest may be a good fit. Also, Real Time with Bill Maher has a similar format, if you don't mind the more obvious bias than Wait Wait, or the Gabfest.

If it's topical news + interviews with people to discuss, than On the Media by NPR / PRI may be to your liking as well.
posted by garlic at 7:14 AM on January 17, 2008

It occurs to me that you might enjoy The Ricky Gervais Show podcasts if you've not heard them. Unfortunately, the old episodes are no longer free—they've bundled up each season of the podcast and sell them as $6.95 6-hour audiobooks—but it's the kind of humorous banter that I think you're looking for.
posted by mumkin at 10:26 AM on January 17, 2008

No, absolutely not: If you like “Wait, Wait” you will find it has nothing in common with “Fair Game,” which isn’t a humour show, or even funny, in any guise.
posted by joeclark at 2:23 PM on January 20, 2008

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