good conversation with... tommy crawford

Meet Tommy Crawford - stand up comedian, college journalist, aspiring screenwriter, my little brother! He was my first introduction to rap, podcasts, and a lot of other cool internety things. by the time he's 30, he'll be famous for comedy or some crazy invention and have a billion dollars. He once promised to buy me a fancy car once he has said number of dollars and I plan on holding him to that.

Make Fake Friends in Your Room, Alone.

by Tommy Crawford

Last week's Time cover story was about "Anxiety, Depression, and the American Adolescent." Maybe people wouldn't have these problems if they engaged in one-sided friendships like I do!

When you let podcasts become your pornography, you gain a lot and lose a lot, probably. I was having a conversation with my good friend Beefslate the other day about how listening to podcasts is probably the loneliest act of introversion one could partake in. You sit in your room, or in your car and listen to other people have conversation to the point where you feel like you know these strangers. If you ever met these people in real life, you couldn't talk to them like you'd want to. These friendships that you establish aren't real. But that doesn't mean they're a bad thing necessarily.

Podcasts have gotten me through many things. Breakups, loneliness, mild psychopathic episodes, you name it. This past summer I became good friends with Harris Wittles thanks to the hours of Comedy Bang! Bang! and You Made it Weird he is featured in. Harris Wittles has also been dead since February 2015. Finally, the one podcast relationship that has no potential to be awkward. There's no chance that this would end in me being called a stalker or given weird eyes from a person I think I know well. In death, this person who I've become friends with may as well be fictitious, but that doesn't change the effect he had on me.

Harris did what other podcasts before his have done to me. They inspire me. They entertain me. They changed the entire progression of my life. They have given me new interests, new hobbies, a new career path. I hate that. I hate admitting I've been inspired. It puts me on the same level as so many people that the Fluf Girl must know out in Los Angeles. Digression aside, listening to podcasts can change your life for the better, whether you'd like to admit it or not. Best of all, they're free so you don't have to pay to go see Jordan Belfort enlighten you or whatever.

Here's what I listen to:

The Nerdist

Perhaps second only to Marc Maron's WTF, this has become one of the leading podcasts for all of you that want to have a chat with your favorite people from Hollywood. Created and hosted by Chris Hardwick, and occasionally his fellow comedians Jonah Ray and Matt Mira, The Nerdist is more than just a typical interview delivery system. Say what you will about Hardwick's comedic abilities, he has an uncanny ability to bring down the awkward wall of formality that makes late night interviews so unbearable (except with Harrison Ford, that episode is quite awful). When Hardwick and his fellow host sit with a celebrity for upwards of an hour, they have no choice but to shed their allusive mystique and become unusually human. From Tom Hanks to Seth Rogen, it gives you a nice taste of what it would be like to hang out with people you only ever see in character. Better yet, the occasional "hostful" (an episode with only the three hosts shooting the shit) will make you laugh from inside jokes and weird character digressions you see in other, more strictly comedy podcasts.

Comedy Bang! Bang!

The only podcast destination for lovers of alt-comedy and strange characters. The podcast predates the TV show, but both are equally as genius. The long-term passion project of Scott Aukerman, the writer of "Between Two Ferns" among other things, this podcast will make you laugh harder than many stand-up specials on Netflix. The number of times I've laughed to tears on airplanes and looked like a crazy person due to CBB is uncountable, but I (almost) don't care. Every episode has multiple comedians from your favorite shows, movies, or from standup. From SNL alumni to road comics, the strange character pieces and rapid-fire improv of the guests, bouncing off the equally genius Aukerman, will make you shart yourself.


Straight from the narcissistic brain of Dan Harmon, and comptrolled by Who's Line regular Jeff Davis, Harmontown isn't as funny as it is human. If you like Harmon's work, whether it be Rick and Morty or the genius, underappreciated Community, you still may not like this podcast. It's essentially a dive into Harmon's twisted, flawed, often self-identified racist brain full of tangents and awful freestyle rapping. But what it does offer is critical, non-PC, critical thought from a man who is undeniably... smart? Opinions. Between fart jokes and Dungeons & Dragons sessions, this podcast will make you laugh and think, and will pull you into a conversation, or at least stimulating train of thought, more than a lot of media out on the market.

Looking back on this summary, I realized it doesn't really sound like an endorsement. Harmontown isn't for everyone, but it has kept me company for years and has been most consistently my favorite podcast the whole time.

The /Filmcast

The official podcast of movie news / review site SlashFilm (stylized as "/Film"), the /Filmcast offers movie news, movie reviews, and opinions better than most other movie review podcasts. The hosts are easy to listen to, semi-professional, and aren't all white, which is a rarity in podcasts (and almost all media) these days, all of which are vital for a good podcast. Moreso than other film podcasts, the producers of this podcasts do it for the love of digital media as opposed to some monetary or publicity-based motivation. You can tell their passion for film, and the perspective on underground and indie movies is great for those looking for movies that don't have the million-dollar marketing budget of most movies outside of art-cinemas. With great banter and many guests from other publications and the film industry, the /Filmcast is the best film podcast on the market.

Modern Love

I'll admit that I just started listening to this podcast, but it's short, digestible, and covers a subject you don't often find as the focus of podcasts. Produced by The New York Times, Modern Love offers real stories of modern romance from real people read by celebrity guests. It offers interesting perspective for both those in and out of relationships.


A lot of people have written about Serial so I'll just say this: listen to it. Start at the beginning. Don't google it or it will be spoiled. 10/10 probably the quantifiably "best" podcast there is.

20 Questions

Shameless plug for my own podcast that I don't make anymore! I stopped because I make too many inappropriate references...

This article was written in Helvetica and I would prefer if it stayed that way. Thank you and goodnight.