If Midge Maisel — the main character from the hit Amazon series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel — was living in the world of today, I’d like to think that she would have a comedy podcast. Women-hosted comedy podcasts have carved out a wonderful niche for powerhouse women in comedy, and I, for one, could not be happier.
Podcasting has provided a platform where our favorite funny women can air their grievances on just about everything — from sexism within the comedy profession, to questions about life and love, to debates over whether or not men tend to be intimidated by funny women. Listening to the relatable, hilarious, and completely unfiltered conversations on my favorite women-hosted comedy podcasts often feels like having one-on-one time with my funniest friends. It has a special way of pulling me out of a bad mood or making even the most boring task enjoyable. The following podcasts are five of my favorite shows hosted by women in comedy.
2 Dope Queens
2 Dope Queens is a fitting name for a show hosted by the two dopest queens of comedy: Phoebe Robinson (Instagram|Twitter) and Jessica Williams (Instagram). These two badass women host a live comedy show in Brooklyn, and the podcast is a recorded version of each show. While 2 Dope Queens has snagged some very high-profile guests (Michelle Obama, John Stewart, and Michael B. Jordan, to name a few), the number-one highlight of the show is frequently their opening monologue. Phoebe and Jessica open each show by providing social commentary on their lives, as both women of color and women in comedy.
Given Jessica and Phoebe’s impressive comedy backgrounds, the success of 2 Dope Queens in the world of women-hosted comedy podcasts is no surprise. Phoebe has written for several hit TV shows (Girl Code, Broad City, Portlandia), plus she’s the author of two books and recently costarred in the Netflix film Ibiza. Jessica was the youngest correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and she appeared in the recent hit movie Booksmart, directed by Olivia Wilde.
The podcast 2 Dope Queens has received such critical acclaim that it was made into an HBO special in 2018. Start by listening to a couple episodes of the podcast and you’ll quickly understand how the electric chemistry between these two powerhouse women has fueled their success!
Why Won’t You Date Me?
Why Won’t You Date Me? is an absolutely hilarious show hosted by comedian, actor, TV host, and writer Nicole Byer (Instagram|Twitter). She is the host of the Netflix comedy bake-off reality show Nailed it! She first rose to fame for her work on MTV’s Ladylike and Girl Code, and went on to star in a scripted comedy based on her life, Loosely Exactly Nicole.
On her HeadGum podcast, Nicole interviews fellow comedians — including some she has been sexually involved with in the past — and deep-dives into her mission to understand why each person hasn’t dated her. It may sound like an incredibly awkward premise for a show, but Nicole’s confidence, self-awareness, and savvy sense of humor makes the outcome far more comedic than cringe-worthy.
Yes, the title of the show may sound like the embodiment of low self-esteem and anti-feminism, but have faith that Nicole Byer is very much in on the joke. She is confident and well-aware of what she wants in love and in life, which allows her to be her unfiltered, provocative self and laugh along with us.
Before you dive in to Why Won’t You Date Me?, take note that Nicole tends to get quite detailed about the ins and outs of her sexual encounters. If you’re sensitive to oversharing, some of the content on this podcast may not be your cup of tea. Personally, I see Nicole’s decision to talk so openly about her sex life as an effective strategy in destigmatizing any negative connotations the listener may be harboring about sexually forward women, and she pulls it off in a way that is utterly hysterical. Nicole’s unbridled sense of humor makes Why Won’t You Date Me? a fun and addictive piece of listening material — so don’t miss it!
Amy Schumer Presents: 3 Girls, 1 Keith
3 Girls, 1 Keith is the 3/4-women-hosted comedy podcast headed by Amy Schumer (Instagram|Twitter). As we all already know, Amy Schumer is a comedy A-lister who is the creator/co-producer/co-writer/star of the Peabody Award-winning Comedy Central sketch comedy series Inside Amy Schumer, as well as the writer/star of the movie Trainwreck.
On each episode of 3 Girls, 1 Keith, Amy talks about life with her two best girlfriends, fellow comedians Bridgette Everett (Instagram|Twitter) and Rachel Feinstein (Website|Twitter), and stand-up comic Keith Robinson (Twitter) rounds out the circle. I look to 3 Girls, 1 Keith for listening material that is casual, fun, and always funny. Naturally, it’s a professional production, but the conversational tone feels like it’s set in a living room, not a recording studio. It’s casual in a way that makes the listener feel like part of the conversation.
First and foremost, I appreciate the authenticity of this show. It never feels like any of the hosts are censoring themselves to please other people or avoid controversy. 3 Girls, 1 Keith is a discussion about life through the lens of levity; it allows the audience to listen in on naturally funny people giving their honest opinions on otherwise serious topics like money, death, and memory.
Unquestionably, the show is a little rough around the edges. With four co-hosts in play, there is plenty of opportunity for drawn-out commentary or debate on nearly any topic. Occasionally, I found it cringeworthy hearing Keith get repeatedly berated as the only male host. Regardless, there’s no denying that any podcast that comes out of this comedy quartet is going to be a winner with a multitude of loyal fans.
Sooo Many White Guys
Sooo Many White Guys is the solo podcast from Phoebe Robinson of 2 Dope Queens, and it’s just as fabulous as her duo endeavor. On her show, Phoebe interviews people at the top of their field who aren’t white guys! (Although she does make an exception for Tom Hanks.)
Sooo Many White Guys highlights Phoebe’s warm and funny interview style, a skill that makes her conversations feel accessible to her audience. She also manages to give a humorous analysis of social justice issues through the conversations she has with her guests, and it provides some valuable brain food to take away from every episode. If you love Phoebe on 2 Dope Queens, then Sooo Many White Guys is a definite must-listen!
You Up with Nikki Glaser
Nikki Glaser (Instagram|Twitter) is a stand-up comedian, actress, and TV/podcast/radio host who had her own show, Not Safe with Nikki Glaser, on Comedy Central. Her podcast, You Up with Nikki Glaser, is a spin-off of Glaser’s Sirius XM radio show by the same name. The show focuses on the trials and tribulations of dating and relationships, and Nikki’s takes are insightful, relatable and fun. For me, the type of discussions on You Up with Nikki Glaser serve as a comforting reminder that almost everyone feels clueless and self-conscious in the mysterious world of dating and relationships.
For example, one episode of the show featured Glaser’s conversation with the co-hosts of Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live, Michael Che and Colin Jost. As the trio discusses their past and present dating experiences, they come to a shared realization that dating opportunities can be very different for a woman versus a male comedian.
Nikki explains her hypothesis that most of the time, a man isn’t interested in pursuing a partner who is funnier than he is. She argues that it is common for women in the audience to approach male comedians after a show, but male audience members hardly ever pursue the funny women they enjoy watching on stage. One of the most poignant moments of the episode is when Nikki confidently concludes that she will always be funnier than the man she is dating, and the right guy will just have to be secure enough to accept that.
Aren’t we all in need of a little more laughter in our lives? Listening to women-hosted comedy podcasts like the five fantastic shows highlighted above can make a long commute or a massive closet clean-out into a far less painful (and maybe even enjoyable!) activity. The confidence, intelligence and quick wit of these women is not only incredibly entertaining, but it’s also inspiring to listen to. Check ’em out!