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6 Comedians to Put on Your Radar from ‘2 Dope Queens’ Host Phoebe Robinson

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In just a couple months, 2 Dope Queens has become podcast royalty, consistently landing on iTunes’s charts and other sites’ “required listening” lists.

Hosted by comedians Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson, the show melds comedy and storytelling, often spotlighting up-and-coming talent. After their sold-out Brooklyn shows started to gain buzz, Williams and Robinson approached WNYC Studios in order to reach a bigger audience. Launched in April, so far the podcast has featured funny, insightful guests like Hari Kondabolu, Janeane Garofalo, Jean Grae, Baratunde Thurston, and Beth Stelling

“We felt like it would be something that would resonate with a lot of people, just because our audiences tend to be so diverse: different ages, different races, different sexual orientations,” says Robinson, who met her co-host while Williams was shooting a piece for The Daily Show. “But [when] we were on top of iTunes the first week we debuted, we didn’t expect that. That was pretty wild and crazy.” 

2 Dope Queens’s first season wraps June 14, but the hosts plan to record more new episodes this summer. Also coming up is a sold-out appearance at the Werk It women’s podcast festival, held June 15-17 in New York. (Werk It’s daytime panels will be streamed at wnyc.org.)

Below, Robinson shares a few of her favorite up-and-coming comedians, some of whom may pop up on future episodes. 

“We always have our ears and eyes open for people who are really talented,” she says. “Once we fall in love with them, we’re like, ‘You’re doing our show—you can’t say no!’”

1. BARON VAUGHN

“I am obsessed with him,” Robinson says of the L.A.-based comedian, who can be seen on Netflix’s Grace and Frankie and heard on the podcast Maltin on Movies, which he co-hosts alongside film critic Leonard Maltin

2. NAOMI EKPERIGIN

“Jess and I love, love, love her,” Robinson says of the comedian, who also works as a writer on Broad City. “She just got a half-hour for Comedy Central, which is a huge deal.” (You can hear Ekperigin on the April 7 episode of 2 Dope Queens titled “Billy Joel Has the Softest Hands.”)

3. ALI WONG

Robinson raves about this L.A. comedian and writer, whose one-hour Netflix comedy special, Baby Cobra, has been gaining buzz since its release last month. “She talks about what’s it like to be a new mother, and that’s just a perspective you don’t really hear,” she says. “Like, you hear about Louis CK being a dad, but you don’t hear the female perspective, and I think that’s really cool.” 

4. JOSH SHARP

“He’s Southern, he’s gay, and he has a really interesting, super-funny, very quick perspective that I like,” says Robinson, who did a standup show with him recently and was blown away. “I was like, ‘Whoa, this guy needs to be on a bigger platform.’” 

5. APARNA NANCHERLA

Robinson applauds this “very different and quirky” comedian who also writes for Late Night with Seth Meyers. “I know everyone says this, but I really do feel like this is a really great time for comedy, because I feel like it’s so diverse,” she adds. “Not just in terms of like, ‘Oh, they’re women and people of color,’ but [in terms of] the different kinds of women that can succeed, I think it’s better than ever.” 

6. LINDY WEST

Robinson says she’s a longtime fan of this former Jezebel writer and author of the recent memoir Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman. (West appeared on the June 7 episode.) “I was like, ‘I know you’re crazy and on the middle of a book tour, but would you ever want to do our podcast?’” Robinson says. “She was like, ‘Yeah, my agent is, like, this 50-year-old white guy. He loves your show.’ She read from her book, and it was just so funny and so good.”

She adds, “That definitely made us feel like, ‘Oh yeah, we want to have more people read from books on our show.’ Like, in a dream world, if I could get David Sedaris, I would cry.” 

In addition to 2 Dope Queens, Robinson hosts a web series, Woke Bae, for Refinery29’s RIOT channel. Her new book of essays, You Can’t Touch My Hair, will be released in October.

For more of Whitney Matheson’s podcast interviews and recommendations, visit the archive.

Here's What the Elaborate Maze From S-Town Looks Like

John B. McLemore created a world of wonders in the middle of nowhere. The protagonist of the popular S-Town podcast was famous in his hometown for his loud mouth and regular diatribes about tattoos and climate change. Elsewhere in the world, he was better known as a master craftsman and a genius.

Much of McLemore’s income derived from his extraordinary work as a horologist, or clockmaker, but his property in Woodstock, Alabama, is littered with other inventions and projects—including his legendary hedge maze.

Photo courtesy of Imgur

Photo courtesy of Imgur

Reddit users report that the maze has recently begun to fall into disrepair, news that upsets the S-Town listeners who have grown so fond of the clockmaker and his complicated, beautiful creations.

Photo courtesy of Imgur
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Serial Productions/iTunes
Serial Creators Announce Release Date for S-Town, Their New Murder Mystery Podcast
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Serial Productions/iTunes

It has been more than two years since the creators of Serial captured listeners’ attention with season one of their investigative podcast. Now USA Today reports that the team behind the true crime sensation is returning this March with a brand-new story.

Titled S-Town, the new podcast from Serial Productions will center around murder rumors that have been percolating in a small Alabama town. It starts when a Serial listener reaches out to S-Town host and This American Life producer Brian Reed about a wealthy resident who has reportedly been boasting about committing the crime. From there, news of more death, a feud, and treasure add further intrigue to the mystery.

Executive producer Julie Snyder promises that S-Town will be more than just another true crime story. “It’s a story that goes beyond any expectations,” she told USA Today. Following three years of reporting, all seven chapters of the podcast will be released at once on March 28. You can get a taste of what’s to come in the new preview, available now on iTunes.

[h/t USA Today]

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