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Podcasts are an amazing form of free entertainment, perfect for things like house cleaning, or long road trips. But just like the rest of us, podcasters have to pay the bills, so you’re going to get some commercials. The great thing about a podcast is, much like television in the days of old, it’s the actual stars of the show pitching you the product, just like Johnny Carson used to on The Tonight Show.
Well OK, hopefully they can hold it together a little better than that. Paul F. Tompkins fans know that he’s the master of this and could probably make a totally listenable hour-long podcast just doing ads. But not everyone is so smooth, and to make matters worse, all podcasts seem to cycle through the same 15-20 sponsors, pitching one of like five different products. For some reason advertisers believe podcast listeners really want a good night’s sleep and a clean shave. They’re also apparently the kinds of people who need their meals delivered but also want extremely fancy underwear, which honestly seems like two very different guys. Add to this the fact that so many podcasts seem to be about murder (another way it’s similar to television) and you have a recipe for disaster—and hilarity depending on how dark your sense of humor is.
Comedian Mike Drucker, who is also a podcaster, perfectly encapsulated this phenomenon on Twitter just the other day.
"After having sex with the dead body, the serial killer fed its flesh to children. And speaking of cooking, Blue Apron…" – every podcast
— Mike Drucker (@MikeDrucker) March 6, 2017
Druker clearly hit a nerve, as people quickly, and in volume, responded with similar tweets.
@MikeDrucker "The victim was found drawn & quartered, wearing a pair of briefs. At least he died comfortable — he was wearing MeUndies…"
— Samit Sarkar (@SamitSarkar) March 6, 2017
— Ben Kuchera (@BenKuchera) March 6, 2017
— Dustin (@Dukthepiper) March 6, 2017
@MikeDrucker "He stalked his victim through social media, and built his own beautiful and easy to use blog using Squarespace…"
— Biscuit Barrel (@theworldofdavo) March 6, 2017
Mattresses, as many people pointed out, seem to be a big go to sponsor for podcasts.
@MikeDrucker yes, this is driving me insane. '…his throat was cut and he was disembowelled on his own bed. And speaking of mattresses…'
— Ray Newman (@MrRayNewman) March 6, 2017
— Matthew Baldwin (@matthewbaldwin) March 6, 2017
@MikeDrucker "…homicide trial went on for 60 days—which is also the length of Casper's free mattress trial, until you reach YOUR verdict!"
— BD Smith (@BDSmiith) March 6, 2017
To be fair, one of the advantages of podcasts is that they tend to offer a discount on whatever product they’re slinging, making it easy for listeners to acquire all the razors and mattresses they need to commit their own grizzly murders.
@MikeDrucker remember to enter coupon code Any Fucking Podcast at checkout.
— Christian Spicer (@spicer) March 6, 2017
David Britton is a writer and comedian based in Rhinebeck, New York who focuses on internet culture, memes, and viral news stories. He also writes for the Hard Times and is the creator of StoriesAboutWizards.com.