No Joke, Scripted Comedies Are the Next Big Thing in Audio
With hilarious storylines and star-studded casts, this emerging format lets comedy creators engage fans in a whole new way.
July 9, 2021
If you’re a comedy fan, you're probably familiar with how satisfying great comedy audiobooks and memoirs can be. But though you may have encountered them before, you might not know that scripted audio comedies are a distinct format of their own—and their audience is growing as hilarious storylines, top-flight creators, and A-list casts are shining a spotlight on the form. Written with the listening experience in mind, scripted comedies are immersive and easy to binge, featuring cinematic storytelling and rich sound design. Increasingly, they showcase the talents of famous actors, comedians, Saturday Night Live stars, and award-winning creators like the ones on this list.
The best part? Scripted comedies are limitless. They can take risks and go in directions totally unique to audio, resulting in an entertainment experience wildly different from their television and film counterparts. You just never know what to expect with scripted audio, but here are a few of the absolute best of the best. (Just make sure to note that many of these titles contain adult material and themes that may be inappropriate for younger listeners—you might want to make sure the kids are in bed before pressing play!)
The Amelia Project is a dark comedy podcast about a secret agency that offers its clients a very special service: faking their deaths and bringing them back with a new identity. The agency serves clients from many different fields, and each episode features new characters. Scientists, politicians, cult leaders, and even A.I. are among those the agency has helped… but how long can their service remain a secret?
iHeartRadio presents Tampon Rock. It'sthe story of Deja and Chloe, two Black lesbians living in Oakland and navigating a world of music and dating. This show prides itself in being queer in every sense of the word. Yes, it's a comedy and a musical with a LGBTQIA+ theme, but it's also a story that refuses to be held back by labels. And Tampon Rock isn't afraid to get serious sometimes, though it's still a cohesive listening experience.
Emily Martin is a Contributing Editor at Book Riot and podcasts/blogs with Book Squad Goals. She has an MFA in Creative Writing, a PhD in English, three cats, and way too many books.