In today’s podcast news roundup, Will Ferrell joins with Las Culturistas’ Bowen Yang and Matt Rogers for a series showcasing up-and-coming comedy talent; Apple TV+ digs into the notorious case of the Unabomber; iHeartMedia premieres a show about NFTs hosted by… three NFT characters; and more.
iHeartMedia and Will Ferrell’s Big Money Players Network are set to launch “Clown Parade: An Anthological Character Piece Carefully Curated by Las Culturistas,” a comedy podcast series presented by Ferrell and Bowen Yang and Matt Rogers of the “Las Culturistas” podcast. The first episode of “Clown Parade” will premiere on iHeartRadio and all major podcast platforms on June 29. Each month, the show will feature four episodes by a different up-and-coming comedian in the spirit of Ferrell’s “The Ron Burgundy Podcast.” The roster of comedians curated by Ferrell, Rogers and Yang includes: Greta Titelman (“Los Espookys,” “Search Party”), Martin Urbano (“National Lampoon Radio Hour”), Rekha Shankar (“Between Two Ferns: The Movie”), Chris Burns (Netflix’s “We Have the Receipts” Podcast), Desi Domo (UCB’s “Characters Welcome”), Raphael Chestang (“Adam Ruins Everything”), Milly Tamarez (“The Celebrity Dating Game”), Sarah Smallwood Parsons (UCB’s “Characters Welcome”), Steve Han (“The Big Leap”) and Sudi Green (“SNL,” “Shrill”). The first “Clown Parade” miniseries is “Stepmom Presents: The Husband Hunt” from Greta Titelman.
“I’m really thrilled to have had a chance to help promote these innovative comedy voices through the launch of ‘Clown Parade,’” Ferrell said in a statement. “I can’t thank Matt and Bowen enough for seeing something in me that I didn’t see in myself… that I have inner strength much like a Helen Reddy album. Thank you for this opportunity guys, I will never be able to repay you.”
Apple TV+ released the trailer for original podcast “Project Unabom,” an eight-part series premiering on Monday, June 27. When Ted Kaczynski, dubbed “the Unabomber,” was arrested in 1996, the world got a glimpse of the serial bomber who had terrorized the nation for 18 years and murdered three people. The podcast features new original reporting from host Eric Benson (“Suspect,” Witnessed: Borderlands”) including access to thousands of original documents from Kaczynski’s personal papers and FBI files, exclusive interviews with his brother David Kaczynski, and the never-before-told story of the original suspects in the UNABOM case. Produced by Audacy’s Pineapple Street Studios, the podcast is executive produced by Pineapple Street co-founders Jenna Weiss-Berman and Max Linsky. The senior producer for Pineapple Street is Jonathan Menjivar (“The Clearing”).
iHeartMedia on June 22 launched “Prop Culture” – a podcast hosted by three NFT characters who place friendly wagers on the relentless pop-culture absurdities in the world of NFTs that seem to get weirder every week. The three NFT characters are Loot Bag #2020 voiced by Matt Harrigan (TV writer, producer and voice actor known for his work on “The Late Show With David Letterman” and “Aqua Teen Hunger Force”), Quirkies #1988 voiced by director-writer Jiyoung Lee and Quirkies #307 voiced by Dave Bonawits (producer and musician with featured series on Adult Swim). In the series, the trio will be joined by other celebrities who are proud NFT owners including Paris Hilton‘s Bored Ape NFT. The debut of “Prop Culture” follows iHeartMedia’s announcement of The Non-Fun Squad and Non-Fun Podcast Network, a podcast slate leveraging characters and voices from an array of NFT collections.
“The People’s Court Podcast,” featuring audio-version episodes of the daytime TV staple, are now available with new episodes dropping daily starting June 21 on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other audio platforms. In the long-running show, Judge Marilyn Milian presides over “The People’s Court,” dispensing justice and provide legal insight to ordinary people who have filed grievances in civil court and have opted to have their cases heard and mediated by Judge Milian. “The People’s Court” also features Harvey Levin, who serves as host and legal reporter, court officer Douglas McIntosh and Doug Llewelyn, who returns to interview litigants after a decision has been rendered in their cases. The show is produced by Ralph Edwards/Stu Billett Productions and Warner Bros. Unscripted Television in association with Telepictures.
Spotify on June 22 debuted original podcast “Sound Barrier: Sylvester,” documenting the musical career and cultural impact of genre-bending icon Sylvester, including exclusive never-heard-before interviews, recordings and demos from Sylvester himself. The series is hosted by music journalist and New York University professor Jason King, chair of NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. “Sound Barrier: Sylvester” takes listeners into the backstage battles, glamorous European discos, and the San Francisco neighborhood that was ground zero for the Gay Rights Movement. Episode 1 includes rare early recordings of Sylvester singing blues and jazz classics “Stormy Weather” and “God Bless the Child” in his Miss Ruby Blue persona, which he modeled after his idols, Lena Horne and Billie Holiday. Guests this season include Patti LaBelle, Anita Pointer, Billy Porter, Mykki Blanco, Purple Disco Machine, Big Freedia, Bob the Drag Queen, Alex Newell and DJ Nicky Siano.
“The Backroom With Andy Ostroy” weekly podcast premiered June 18, billed as “an unscripted, humorous no-holds-barred take on politics and pop culture” featuring interviews with a range of politicians, celebrities, entertainers, journalists, media personalities and businesspeople. The series is produced by Ostroy and Radio Free Rhinecliff. The premiere episode’s guest is actor Paul Rudd.
Bloomberg Green, Bloomberg’s multiplatform news brand focused on climate-change news, analysis and solutions, will debut “Zero,” a podcast hosted by Bloomberg Green senior reporter Akshat Rathi, in the fall of 2022. The weekly podcast will focus on interviews with business leaders, investors, policymakers, and innovators whose near-term decisions will shape the transition to the carbon-free future. In addition, set for an October 2022 premiere is a new Bloomberg Quicktake show, “Getting Warmer With Kal Penn,” hosted the actor and former White House aide, about climate, clean energy and business.
Common Sense Media, less than two months after launching its first research-backed podcast ratings and reviews destination for kids, teens and families, announced that it has expanded its distinguished “Selections” seal of excellence to recognize outstanding kids-and-family-centered podcast programs. An initial 21 podcasts have been recognized with the Common Sense Selections seal, including “Mija Podcast,” “Stoopkid Stories,” “The Two Princes,” “The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel,” “Wow in the World,” “Tumble Science Podcast for Kids,” “A Kids Book About: The Podcast,” “Adventures of Cairo,” “Circle Round” and “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls.” The complete list of Common Sense Selections podcast recipients is available at this link.
Brooke Minters has joined Vox Media’s The Verge as editorial director for audio, overseeing its podcast operations. She most recently was executive producer of audio at Politico and before that led video teams at Gizmodo Media Group, Fusion and AJ+. In her new role, Minters is tasked with developing the Verge’s audio slate, launching new shows and working to grow existing shows, which include “The Vergecast” and “Decoder With Nilay Patel.” In addition, “The Vergecast” will now release two episodes weekly (on Wednesdays in addition to the existing Friday episode).