For a while I was limiting my comedy podcasts to bootleg RSS feeds of the CBC's Wiretap --Jonathan Goldstein's weekly offering which lands somewhere between a solo sitcom and a Larry David-inflected version of NPR's This American Life.
But while it was funny, it was an acquired taste. Like David Sedaris' work, you had to get used to the voice, and then the mind behind the voice, and over time, as you got to understand Goldstein's quirks and the regular foibles of his co-stars, the humor built up occasionally into laugh out loud moments.
Then the feed stopped. Don't know why.
Then, a chance bit of Facebook trivia ("Brett S. has joined the group The Bugle- Audio Newspaper for a visual world") led me to follow the link to, of all places, the The Times Online, the web site for one of the United Kingdom's national newspaper.
The Bugle has British comedy writers John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman dissect the news of the week. They've been compared to The Onion, but fake news is a mere 5-10% of their show. They comment on the news-- it's more like The Daily Show (Oliver, is, in fact, a writer and correspondent for that show).
The two hosts also play off each other, like the Car Talk guys, but, I have to say, English accents work way better for this shtick than Boston ones.
With Zaltzman based in London, and Oliver in New York, they tend to cover world affairs... and it's surprising how many laughs they can generate over political violence in Zimbabwe, the war in Iraq, the global response to climate change (true, much of the humor is at the expense of the United States). The international perspective on American politics is nice to hear, and they even make British sports (rugby, cricket, football) funny knowing that their American audience has little idea what they are talking about.
At least one laugh out loud moment, usually more, per episode.
3 out of 4 episodes will actually find me in tears from laughing so hard.
Available on iTunes, or get episodes here: The Bugle