Audiofiles: Podcasts We Love — Fall 2015

Oct 20, 2015
Photo Credit: Sascha Kohlmann

Central Standard’s podcast connoisseurs take to the mic to share what podcasts deserve your time and attention. Here’s what they recommend:


Jeremy Bernfeld, editor of KCUR's Harvest Public Media

He's known as the host of "The Tonight Show" and that guy with all the cars, but legendary comedian Jay Leno is much more. On this edition of Up To Date, Leno tells some of his favorite stories, including the real one behind his children's book, If Roast Beef Could Fly.

Jay Leno performs at 7:30 p.m. Sunday Sept. 13 at the Kauffman Center. For tickets, visit

For many, the idea of public speaking is petrifying — nobody wants to put an audience to sleep with a dull talk. One solution: learn from stand-up comics and inject a little humor into your speech. 


Maz Jobrani has used his Iranian heritage to shape his comedy, and he laughs in the face of the stereotypes he sees of Middle Eastern people.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with him about when he was asked to wear a turban on stage, what it's like to be a panelist on NPR's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! and his Axis of Evil comedy tour.


Colm O'Regan


Irish comedian Colm O'Regan might have something to say about your mama. Rather, his Irish mammy might.

The comedian, who is in Kansas City for a stand up show Friday, achieved accidental Twitter fame while preparing for a comedy web-sketch.

"I wanted to make it look like an Irish mother, maybe 60 years or so, had a Twitter account — this was back in 2011 when Twitter wasn't as ever present as it is now," he says.

He started Tweeting ordinary things an Irish mother might say. For example:

Comedy can come from unexpected sources, for example, parents of children who have autism. It can be hard for these parents to talk about their particular parenting experiences, and to laugh about the funny (and even challenging) moments. During an event called An Evening With The Rents at the Gem  Theater, KCUR announcer and newscaster Jenny Whitty shared her experience about parenting kids on the autism spectrum.

Patrick Quick / KCUR

When Kansas City comedians tour nationally, it almost feels like cheating. Used to small crowds and tough audiences in KC, they’re surprised by the raucous applause and packed houses on the road.

“All around the country, Kansas City comics have a reputation of just coming in and shattering the crowd. They’re like, man, you guys are really good,” according to Mike Smith, a Kansas City-based stand-up comedian. “And we’re like, could you email our city and tell them that?”

John Picacio /

Want to shake up your weekend? Brian McTavish knows what to do. Check out his Weekend To-Do List for May 9-11.

The Blasters (Rock), 9 p.m. Friday at Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets: $20

Lisa Lampanelli: The Leaner Meaner Tour (Stand-up comedy from the “female Don Rickles”), 8 p.m. Friday at The Midland, 1228 Main, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets: $51.50, $61.50

Angela George / Wikimedia Commons

Need to put the Spring in your step? Check out Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List for April 11-13.

“Miracle on South Division Street” starring Connie Stevens (Stage comedy), Dinner seating at 6:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, noon and 6:30 p.m. Saturday, 12:15 p.m. Sunday at the New Theatre Restaurant, 9229 Foster, Overland Park, Kan. Tickets: $33 to $55

Wash away the recent rainy weather with Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List for April 4-6.

Ink's Middle of the Map Fest Music festival with more that 120 bands at six venues.  Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Gary Numan performs at 11 p.m. Thursday at Ernie Biggs Piano Bar. Country Club Plaza and Westport area. Tickets: $55 three-day-pass

To call raising kids with with autism or autism spectrum disorder a challenge would probably be underselling it ... by quite a bit.

For many parents of kids with autism, maintaining a sense of humor is an essential component. Those experiences will be illustrated by some Kansas City area parents in An Evening with the Rents where they will deliver stand-up comedy routines centered around living with children on the spectrum.

Beth Lipoff/KCUR

In America, you try to get to Olympics. In Russia, Olympics come and get you. Or at least, that's the way Russian comedian and Branson sensation Yakov Smirnoff might say it.

In the second part of Monday's Up to Date, Smirnoff joins Steve Kraske to talk about Sochi, comedy and more.


  • Yakov Smirnoff, comedian

Yakov Smirnoff on Sochi:

“Wicked”: “Wizard of Oz” prequel about the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good 7:30 Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 & 8 p.m. Saturday, and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday Music Hall, 301 W. 13th Tickets: Start at $30

Do you miss spending a night at the Roxbury? What about the glitzy flair, and the exotic touch of Mango, the uninhibited, scantily-clad dancer?

In the first portion of Friday's Up to Date Steve Kraske welcomes comedian Chris Kattan to talk about his years on Saturday Night Live and how sketch comedy compares with his new stand-up tour.

Beth Lipoff/KCUR

Comedian Jim Gaffigan knows that a four-year-old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor is pretty much the same thing, and he can teach you a thing or two about co-opting your kid’s Halloween candy.

Beth Lipoff/KCUR

Comedian Jim Gaffigan knows that a four-year-old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor is pretty much the same thing, and he can teach you a thing or two about co-opting your kid’s Halloween candy.

When he came to America in 1977, Yakov Smirnoff was already a comedian, but it was his fresh off the boat Cold War comedy style that got him noticed by the entertainment industry.

Looking for something to do this weekend? Up to Date's Brian McTavish offers up a few options in his Weekend To-Do List for May 31 - June 3, 2012.

Comedian Mike Baldwin

Dec 7, 2011

Meet a KC comedian who just took first place at the Seattle International Comedy Festival, the competition that launched comics like Mitch Hedberg. We'll hear how he's developed his technique and routine, and some common myths of stand-up comedy.

Mike Baldwin, comedian

It's "Air" Time, Baby!

May 19, 2011

When you work on a radio talk show and you’re waiting for your guests, who have names such as Romeo DanceCheetah (That’s one word: DanceCheetah) and Björn Türoque (Pronounced Born to rock), and they are renowned air guitarists in town for a regional air guitar contest, you discover 10 things: