Top Podcasts That Are Surprisingly Funny

By Vivian El-Salawy on November 7, 2017

College is full of long car rides, whether it is a trip home for Thanksgiving Break or a road trip for Spring Break with your best buddies. Other times, drives might seem long and lonesome and you might find yourself having overplayed the same Spotify playlist over and over again. Many college students do not realize the potential of podcasts.

Generally, the average audience for a podcast does not consist of many college students. Usually, the youngest listeners, depending on the podcast, tend to be in their late twenties. According to Edison Research, 65 percent of podcast listeners are 35 and older.

However, there are plenty of podcasts in countless genres that can appeal to all sorts of college students. There are podcasts for sports, arts, politics, and all kinds of spicy topics for conversation. While many podcasts are particularly informative, there are others that are more personal or conversational, and often humorous as well. Here are some of the top podcasts that are surprisingly funny.

Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People

Image via Los Angeles Times

The title says it all: this podcast shares some of the most beautiful stories told by anonymous individuals over a 60-minute phone call with the one and only host: Chris Gethard.

Chris Gethard, originally from New Jersey, is a comedian in New York. He is known as the host of The Chris Gethard Show, a strange, yet hysterical show on public access television. He also recently released his stand-up special Career Suicide, where he sheds light on mental health issues and some of the comedic instances that have come out of them in his own experiences.

In the creation of Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People (or Beautiful Anonymous), Gethard initially expected the show to be blatantly hilarious, however, most of the episodes ended up having more serious and genuine underlying tones. Some of the episodes are intense, dramatic, and at times, a little hard to listen to without your heart sinking into your chest.

However, other episodes are unexpectedly hilarious, with unheard of situations, crazy twists and turns in stories, and comical scenarios. When you pair an oddball comedian with a random individual in the world, you can only begin to imagine what kinds of things would come out of it.

The Whole Ref’n Show

Image via Podbean

Similar to that of Beautiful Anonymous, The Whole Ref’n Show recently had a live-audience recording at FEST 16 in Gainesville, Florida. The Whole Ref’n Show is a weekly wrestling podcast that “calls it right down the middle,” hosted by wrestling super-fans and childhood friends Perry Smith and Daryn Beasley.

While the show is a wrestling podcast, you do not have to be anything close to a wrestling expert or fan to find it enjoyable. Their recent live episode from FEST 16 starred Rich Bocchini, Maxx Gregg, Effy, Matt Cross, and Chuck Taylor — all of which represent some of the most interesting wrestling characters and representatives in the wrestling world.

This episode was loaded with interesting questions, with hilarious, yet meaningful responses from the panel of guest stars. While they are all somehow involved in the wrestling business, it is fascinating to listen to the implications of wrestling culture now versus its historical roots, or how there are things that even wrestlers despise about the sport (or art) of wrestling.

Listeners also gain some insight on some aspects of wrestling that cannot be found anywhere else. Some of these aspects of wrestling are unpopular opinions, and it is always interesting to see which wrestling stars agree and disagree with one another, and why. If you already follow wrestling, you will be pulled right into the podcast from the very beginning, but if you have yet to witness a wrestling match, it pulls you even further into the world of wrestling.

The Art of Wrestling

Image via Podbay

Yet another wrestling podcast is being introduced, however, this one is truly a gem. Colt Cobana travels the world and continues to wrestle, all while recording podcast episodes highlighting his many experiences. Once a week, Cobana sits down with a person and talks about wrestling, and it truly highlights the beauty of the “art of wrestling.”

Similar to that of The Whole Ref’n Show, you do not have to be a wrestling fan to find this podcast enjoyable. Cobana shares his experiences in wrestling with speakers that are either also wrestlers, announcers, or just wrestling fanatics. Hilarious stories are told and new perspectives on the art are gained.

The show is not entirely funny, as it also highlights some of the struggles of the business. There are many downsides and rough spots to living this dream, but one fascinating thing is that everyone involved in the wrestling world is incredibly invested both physically and mentally. Many of these wrestling podcasts emphasize that you should not enter the world of wrestling unless you are fully confident and passionate about this form of art, and that is what makes it so appealing to wrestlers and non-wrestlers alike. The Art of Wrestling is hysterical, engaging, and informative all at once.

My Favorite Murder

Image via Podbay

My Favorite Murder is far different from any of the previous podcasts mentioned. In fact, this podcast series is a compilation of true crime stories told by lifelong fans Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. They share with one another some of their favorite tales of murder and listen to hometown crime stories from friends and fans. While this podcast may seem morbid, disturbing, and potentially terrifying, it is incredibly entertaining and comedic in its storytelling.

Murder is a topic that many people find interesting because it is a real occurrence, however, it is not something that every individual experiences within their life. It is a taboo subject in many close-knit communities, and for that reason, people are either discouraged from talking about it or are even more fascinated with murder stories. This podcast pulls listeners in because it is one way that people can listen to these experiences without experiencing them firsthand.

When stories are told by two individuals in casual conversation over a podcast, it creates a comfortable environment and an open forum for those interested, and in many ways, can create a more positive connotation to the topic.

These shows are just a sample of the many podcasts that could pull in college listeners, both new and old. Podcasts are an underrated method of passing time or even spending time. They can be therapeutic and are a nice way to take a step back from reality, while still being engaged in realistic topics.

Podcasts can open new dialogues between students, whether these dialogues circulate around sports, art, romance, entertainment, literature, or politics. At the same time, podcasts may not be for everybody, however, at the end of the day, it doesn’t hurt to give a new medium of entertainment a try.

Vivian El-Salawy is a senior at Florida State University. She is currently pursuing a degree in Editing, Writing, and Media with minors in Slavic (Russian) Studies and Communications. Alongside writing for FSView & Florida Flambeau, WVFS Tallahassee 89.7 FM, and the Good Life Community magazine, she is a member of the World-Renowned Marching Chiefs and Seminole Sound.

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