Stitcher has a plethora of podcasts worth listening to. Each week, we’re giving you new episode recommendations from some of our top shows to help keep you up to speed and ease the pain of the pod discovery process.
Scam Goddess — “The Manipulating Manager with Priscilla Davies”
Just in time to celebrate the United States presidential election results, Scam Goddess host Laci Mosley rejoices in booting Donald Trump, who she calls, “The number one scammer,” from the White House. Joined by comedian Priscilla Davies, the two take a hilarious (and occasionally dark) deep dive into the Milli Vanilli lip-sync scam.
As expected, we get a delightful “Hot In Fraud” segment, highlighting a letter from a listener they call “Bell Biv.” Bell Biv shares the story of a Bronx jewelry con where scammers offer fake gold for cash, prompting Mosley to delve into her own experience selling class rings to college students, which both she and Davies agree is a pointless investment.
Mosley is often praised for her sympathetic perspective on the scammers she covers. In this episode, Mosley offers that same sympathy to Rob Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan, the two faces of Milli Vanilli who were both poor models living in the Munich projects before agreeing to a deal that would pay them each thousands of dollars. But the two were hit with the brunt of the flack for the notorious lip-syncing scandal. Mosley says they were “pimped out” by German record producer Frank Farian, the true scammer behind the mess.
Davies summarizes Rob and Fab’s defense perfectly: “They were gorgeous. They could dance their asses off and they didn’t start no trouble.”
Queery — “Eman El-Husseini and Jess Salomon”
“We’ve got a nice quorum of faiths on this call,” Cameron Esposito says halfway through the latest episode of Queery. The always entertaining Earwolf show focuses on various voices within the LGBTQ+ family, as host Esposito expertly mines each interview for comedy and catharsis.
In the latest episode, Esposito welcomes Eman El-Husseini and Jess Salomon from the BBC podcast, Comedians Vs The News. El-Husseini and Salomon are a Jewish-Palestinian Canadian couple who reveal not only how they met (doing comedy), but how their families reacted to them dating and eventually marrying. “They always expected that I was going to marry outside of the faith, but did not expect that I would marry inside of the gender,” El-Husseini says.
The show is loaded with funny moments that include anecdotes from the couple’s courtship and a surreal story of Dave Chapelle going completely unrecognized in a Quebec strip club.
But the episode has its sincere moments when the guests discuss family with Esposito. El-Husseini’s family was privately welcoming of their daughter’s relationship, but would not publicly admit the two were together nor attend the couple’s wedding.
Esposito mentions how El-Husseini, a Canadian immigrant born in Kuwait, choosing her own career and partner represents the kind of dream most parents have for their children. “It’s just unfortunate sometimes when bigotry gets in the way of seeing that that’s true,” Esposito says.
The episode explores what it’s like to feel unnecessary guilt for being queer, in addition to having one’s own family accept it. It is both lighthearted and enlightening and worth listening to — especially for Salomon’s awkward encounter with Cher and how conservative Jewish audiences would rather hear about sexuality than a discussion of Palestine and Israel.
Fake The Nation — “Rise Above-y”
Looking for a group of smart, funny, and politically astute folks to celebrate the election results with? Look no further than the latest episode of Fake The Nation. This week host Negin Farsad invites New York Times contributing Op-Ed writer Wajahat Ali and Full Frontal host Samantha Bee to weigh in on where we are currently as a nation and where we’re headed.
Like a pair of old jeans, “democracy still fits!” Farsad asserts at the show’s opening, breathing the same sigh of relief her listeners are feeling at the prospect of Donald Trump leaving the White House. Bee echoes that sentiment saying that when she saw President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris deliver their victory speeches, she felt her “undercarriage relax.”
But of course with the relief comes frustration with Trump and his followers attempting to block any progress made from a Biden presidency. The episode title, “Rise Above-y,” gets its name from Farsad insisting that, regardless of what Trump does or says, we need to move forward, ignore the nonsense, and “Rise Above-y.”
Ali reiterates Farsad’s point, making a hilarious, but sadly accurate bathroom analogy: “You have a kid with a temper tantrum who always flings poo around the room and you kind of know he always will,” Ali said. “You’re like: ‘Let him fling his poo. Eventually, he’ll settle down. We, the adults are moving forward. We respect science.’”
The episode moves from election talk to predictions about the future of Trumpism. Ali anticipates Trump’s hold will weaken as time goes on, saying: “I think we’re witnessing Orange Julius Caesar.”
And most importantly, Bee proposes a new mantra for America in this post-election period: “What would Stacey Abrams do or say?” Bee mentions she plans to be on “her program for the rest eternity.”
— Ian Goldstein