Originally a forum for comedian Wil Anderson and actor Charlie Clausen to talk about Batman, time travel, and things that happen to men in prison, the podcast has grown up throughout its run.
Once Charlie left in late 2012 to star on ‘Home and Away’, the podcast changed its name to FOFOP (it is still listed as TOFOP on all good podcasting sites) because in Wil’s mind, FOFOP exists in an alternate universe to TOFOP. Trust me, it makes sense.
Wil is now joined by “Guest Charlies” who are almost always fellow comedians. The topics generally revolve around the specifics of stand-up comedy with the odd diversion into politics, Batman, time travel, and things that happen to men in prison. So not too much has changed.
For TOFOP look no further than the classic “Episode 12: Kathy bates to the Future” or “Episode 54: Ponyism” as a starting point. For the FOFOP incarnation go for any episode with Dave Anthony or fellow Aussie comedian Justin Hamilton.
#2 The Dollop
Speaking of Dave Anthony, The Dollop began last year as a side project, but once he recruited fellow comedian Gareth Reynolds, the podcast immediately became one of the very best going around.
Anthony is a podcast veteran at this point, as one half of the popular pod Walking the Room, and his combination with Reynolds proves to be a revelation.
Every week Dave and Gareth choose one seemingly innocent topic – generally from American history – and spend the next hour hilariously dissecting the stupidity and ludicrousness of the entire situation as it invariably spirals out of control. Gareth never knows exactly what’s coming, so when the story “goes full Dollop” the fun begins.
Topics covered so far include “The American Vampire Panic”, American baseball’s infamous “Ten Cent Beer Night”, and what I might call their greatest achievement “The Rube” about the famously brilliant but insane baseballer, Rube Waddell.
#3 The Football Ramble
Quite simply the most entertaining and insightful football podcast you could find. 4 mates discussing their love of the game, acting as a bit of antidote for a lot of the agenda driven football punditry you see these days.
Based in England, Marcus, Luke, Jim, and Pete primarily focus on English football, but cover the important events that happen throughout the world each and every week – they’ll even mention our very own “G’Day-League” every now and then.
Marcus’ love for Sven-Göran Eriksson is only outmatched by the Ramble’s collective love of mentioning the time Kevin Keegan got punched in a layby – much to the chagrin of Pete.
Sadly their famous profile segment, “The Dean Windass Hall of Fame” has had its gates permanently shut, but the space the segment took up can now be occupied by more ramble.
My advice is pick on of your favourite footballing moments of the past few years, and look for the ramble that followed it, or “Brazil v Germany – The Reaction”, which is arguably Pete’s greatest contribution.
#4 Conversations with Richard Fidler
This is one of the more refined podcasts going around, and the only non-comedy podcast that made the cut. Richard Fidler is able discover the brilliant stories that are often found in the lives of seemingly ordinary people. If anyone is able to remember Enough Rope with Andrew Denton, this is a similar style, just in radio/podcast form.
It can be hard to keep up at times due to the daily release schedule, but the sheer amount of quality episodes makes it worth it setting aside the time each day. It also means you have a vast back catalogue of episodes to choose from, so if you only cherry-pick the interviews that you think you’ll enjoy there’s still a lot here for you. Alternatively, you can tune in to ABC radio at 11am weekdays to hear the show.
His interviews with journalist Michael Ware are particularly outstanding, as Ware delves into the harrowing tale of his time as an embedded journalist during the Iraq war. The John Howard and Mark Donaldson episodes are essential listening as well.
#5 Filmdrunk Frotcast
An MMA fan with a masters in Creative Writing from Colombia University; a motorcycle riding Jew; an ex NFL Offensive Tackle; And a game designer/artist that may or may not draw squirrels for a living. Welcome to the Frotcast.
If you’ve ever wanted intelligent discussion about film, dissection of where the world is going wrong, and poop jokes (lots of poop jokes) in the space of 90 minutes, then this is the podcast for you
Equal parts vulgar and intelligent, the Frotcast started in June 2010 as an off shoot of the popular movie blog, FilmDrunk. Primarily focused on film criticism to begin with, the regular crew of Vince, Ben, Brendan and Bret decided very quickly that most movies are terrible and now spend roughly 5 minutes a week reviewing anything.
They basically use the pod as an excuse to laugh at Vince for doing stand-up, do amazing impressions of Willem Defoe, and fuel Bret’s complete disdain for humanity. Ben hasn’t appeared too much lately, but the “Irregular Regular” Matt fills the hole well.
With 220 episodes in the can, there are plenty of places to start but I’d recommend “Episode 209: Pain and Gain, the Handjob Robot”. Yes, the handjob robot is what it sounds like. Alternatively go all the way back to “Episode 36”, where the crew dissect Charlie Sheen’s epic mental breakdown.