This Week in Podcasts is a weekly roundup of the goings-on in podcasting, from highlights to pitfalls to updates and more. Have updates or crowdfunding campaigns you want listed? Check here for directions on how to get in touch.
This will be the final This Week in Podcasts for 2019. This Week in Podcasts will return January 20th, 2019.
Fun City brings union strikes to actual play
“8: International Policing and Security Professionals Trade and Labor Consortium, Annual Exposition”
Runtime: 1 hour, 32 minutes
Transcript not available
Shadowrun actual play podcast Fun City launches its players from a hijinks-filled boat heist into an arc that has taken on a more serious tone. The party has a decisions to make, and those decisions revolve around a police union strike. The episode has discussions of police violence, but also of labor rights, unions, strikes, and medical testing. The arc is, so far, a look into how–and why–we imagine cyberpunk dystopias in the first place.
College Humor veteran Amir Blumenfeld fails to graduate on Punch Up the Jam
Punch Up the Jam
“‘Hook” by Blues Traveler (w/ Amir Blumenfeld)'”
Runtime: 1 hour, 8 minutes
Transcript not available
Amir Blumenfield, College Humor performer and podcaster, guested on the most recent episode of comedy podcast Punch Up the Jam. While host Miel Bredouw tried to keep the conversation light and silly, Blumenfeld relied on unfortunately tone-deaf jokes, mocking the weight of the artist being discussed and verging on vague misogyny towards Bredouw at times. The end result was uncomfortable and borderline unlistenable. The tension throughout is tangible.
VALENCE teaser released
Our team at Hug House Productions have released the first teaser for our upcoming fiction podcast, VALENCE.
In the city of New Candler, magic is scarce by design. A tech mogul wants to keep it that way. And a magic user wants freedom. Welcome to New Candler, cultural epicenter of the United States.
You can find more information about VALENCE on the podcast’s website. VALENCE debuts January 11th, 2020.
RPG Casts’s Tess Cocchio assembles actual play podcast demographic data
Tess Cocchio of RPG Casts, an online database of actual play tabletop roleplaying game podcasts, has amassed data on the demographics for podcasts listed.
The full report can be found here.
Latino USA airs its first episode without translation in English
Latino USA, NPR’s long-running source for Latino news and culture, has released the first episode in its 25 year run that provides no translation for non-English languages used in the episode.
This special episode will shine the light on CommunityHealth in Chicago, the largest volunteer-based free medical facility in the nation. Nearly 70% of its patient population is Latino. By spending several days shadowing doctors, social workers and patients, Latino USA will illuminate the health challenges of a population that normally has no access to medical care and what it might look like if they did. There are nearly 28 million uninsured people in the United States, and free clinics are one of the places where people who don’t have access to healthcare, or can’t afford it, can actually get treated.
Earios releases “The Complete Christmas” via The Complete Woman
Earios’s satire of 1960s advice columns, The Complete Woman, has released its Christmas-themed mini-series: “The Complete Christmas.”
“The Complete Christmas” is the story of Marabel May, a little housewife who, driven mad from holiday stress, decides to cancel Christmas! She goes on a magical Christmas Eve journey, led by her talking kitchen appliances, throughout space and time and learns the true meaning of Christmas. It’s like The Christmas Carol, but for 1960s housewives!
National Lampoon Radio Hour launches its podcast
Comedy empire National Lampoon launches a podcast version of its long-running radio hour comedy show on December 19th, 2019.
When National Lampoon first released the ‘National Lampoon Radio Hour’ in 1973, it broke ground in audio sketch and introduced a cast of fresh young talent that lit the world on fire: John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Harold Ramis, and many more. Starting December 19th, the new “National Lampoon Radio Hour,” in partnership with Forever Dog Podcast Network, features Cole Escola (Emmy-nominated At Home with Amy Sedaris, Difficult People), Jo Firestone (Adult Swim, The Tonight Show), Brett Davis (Andy Kaufman Comedy winner, Podcast For Laundry), Alex English (The Rundown, Night Train), Maeve Higgins (Maeve in America: Immigration IRL, 2 Dope Queens), Aaron Jackson (UCB, The Opposition), Rachel Pegram (The Week Of, Don’t Think Twice), Lorelei Ramirez (Comedy Central: Up Next, Pervert Everything), Meg Stalter (Vulture: Up-and-coming Comedian of the Week, The Meg Stalter Show) and Martin Urbano (Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central). Joining the ensemble in guest starring roles throughout the run are some of today’s biggest names in sketch comedy, Rachel Dratch, Amy Sedaris, Chris Gethard, Julie Klausner and Jordan Klepper.
W Magazine launches new structured interview podcast 5 Things with Lynn Hirschberg
Celebrity interview podcast Five Things with Lynn Hirschberg launches with W Magazine, its first season featuring several prominent interviewees form the film industry.
W Magazine has launched a podcast series entitled, FIVE THINGS WITH LYNN HIRSCHBERG, in which Hollywood’s brightest sit down with W Magazine’s Editor-at-Large, Lynn Hirschberg, about “Five Things” that have made them who they are: a person, a place, an object, one positive event, and one negative event.
Academy Award® Nominee and star of the highly anticipated upcoming film Bombshell, Margot Robbie kicks off Season 1 as the first of eight all-star celebrity guests including Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Awkwafina, Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig, Saoirse Ronan and Quentin Tarantino.
American Public Media launches sports mental health podcast Tremendous Upside
From the team behind the fantastic The Hilarious World of Depression, American Public Media launches Tremendous Upside, a podcast focused on destigmatizing mental health in sports, on January 13th, 2020.
Admired for their strength, speed and skills, athletes can seem invincible. However, many face adversities that are invisible to fans. In recent years, more and more top athletes have come forward to openly address their depression, anxiety, substance use disorders and other mental health issues.
In Tremendous Upside, Holdsclaw has honest conversations about mental health with other pro athletes—and lets fans in on a side of them that’s rarely, if ever, seen. Holdsclaw herself lives with depression and bipolar disorder and has become a widely recognized and respected mental health advocate. She is candid about her journey and hopes to inspire others to seek help.
CovenCast: A Disaster’s Guide to Magic crowdfunding its first season
Upcoming fiction podcast CovenCast: A Disaster’s Guide to Magic is crowdfunding its first season via IndieGogo. The campaign has an a flexible goal of $1,666 USD and will be running until January 3rd, 2020:
CovenCast: A Disaster’s Guide to Magic is a supernatural audio comedy about a coven of disasters that learn to navigate the supernatural world. CovenCast is a show about family, sisterhood, facing one’s fears, and finding and protecting our magic.
This campaign is currently about 50% funded at time of publication.