5 Dead Comics Who Would Have Been Slam-Dunk Podcast Hosts

5 Dead Comics Who Would Have Been Slam-Dunk Podcast Hosts

Everyone knows that Joe Rogan is the king of comedy podcasting, but that’s only because Patrice died before they invented Patreon.

In the contemporary comedy climate, just about every single stand-up has their own podcastfrom the superstars to the open-micers. The democratization of the pathways to audience-accrual coupled with the unfortunate affordability of passable podcasting equipment has given every comedian their own platform free from the limitations of the clubs and soundstages that traditionally guarded the gates of success in stand-up. Every single comedian who wants to raise their profile in show business has to have a massive digital footprint to become a household name, and there’s no easier way to flood the internet with content than to record yourself and your buddies sitting around shooting the breeze in 90-minute increments once a week.

The vast majority of these shows are absolutely unlistenable as room-temperature-IQ comedians demonstrate how difficult it is to build a full hour of funny material by floundering in an improvisational setting, but the business model is a sound one for those who can make it work. In addition to Rogan’s show, Marc MaronBill BurrTheo VonTom Segura and tons of other white-guy stand-ups have elevated their brand with popular podcasts. However, there are, sadly, so many deceased comics who will never have the chance to host their own show or rake in reliable $5 subscriptions every month from their premium followers. A recent thread in the stand-up subreddit recently discussed which dead comedians would kill in the podcasting game. Here are their top picks, starting with…

Rodney Dangerfield

The first hypothetical podcast on this list is also the most exhausting. More than any comedian in history, Dangerfield had the ability to turn on at a moment’s notice and could never quite find the off switch; giving him free rein to riff into a mic for as long as he wanted would invariably create some comedy gold, but his podcast’s producers would be wise to make it a live show as well. The man needed an audience.

George Carlin

This is the obligatory answer whenever there’s a hypothetical involving dead comedians. Obviously, the former radio DJ and de facto moral compass of comedy wouldn’t go the route of the cancel-culture complainers who dominate today’s podcasting scene and would attempt to dive deeper into real truths and open his listeners’ hearts and minds — brought to you by Squarespace.

Joan Rivers

One of the quickest wits in the history of comedy, Rivers had endless energy and a near-superhuman ability to entertain every time she stepped in front of a camera or leaned into a microphone. Giving Rivers absolute, uncensored access to an online audience whenever she wanted would have been must-listen material for mean comedy fans — and the stuff of nightmares for whichever A-list actress Rivers was beefing with that week.

Greg Giraldo

The former lawyer turned his gift of gab into an outstanding 18-year standup career before dying unexpectedly at the age of 44, but before he went, he showed audiences that he had an acid tongue as caustic as anyone’s in comedy, especially during his many appearances on many Comedy Central roasts. Weekly insults from the king of sting would win scores of subscribers.

Patrice O’Neal

Anyone who ever listened to an episode of Opie and Anthony when they had Patrice in the studio knows that he is the undeniable numero uno of would-be podcasting giants, pun intended. Many comedy fans consider the New York-born comic to be the best stand-up in history, and his off-the-cuff rants and immediate punchlines on the aforementioned radio show proved that he at least deserves to be in the conversation. If he came back to life and learned to use Audacity, Patrice would break Patreon records within a couple weeks.


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