Actress and comedian Lauren Lapkus hates playing herself. And so does her dog, Franny pup.

Actress and comedian Lauren Lapkus hates playing herself. And so does her dog, Franny pup.

Hey, pals!

Actress and comedian Lauren Lapkus, best known for her roles on TV shows like Are You There, Chelsea? and Orange Is The New Black, has always loved playing characters. Like child star Victoria Conch. Or the “World’s Most Prolific Bridesmaid” Annabelle Tool. Or Wendy “The Worm” Weidelman, the first female breakdancer. She likes it more than she likes actually playing herself, which is why the premise of her podcast, With Special Guest Lauren Lapkus, is so perfect.

To quote the show’s theme song, she’s the host but she’s always the guest. And the guest is the host, so she’s not really the host. So that means each week Lapkus is tasked with playing a different character based on whatever podcast or radio show the guest invents. Shows like Deep, Deep, Deep, Dark Secrets; or Passions of the Christos; or Women’s Glib. And it’s all improvised.

Lapkus isn’t just into fake podcasts, though. She also listens to real ones. Currently, she’s putting her ears on:

Tell Me More Shows To Check Out!

  • We The Podcast — Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) is a man of many distinctions. He’s the first Muslim elected to Congress, he’s deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee and he’s the first legislator podcaster on the Hill. His podcast features frank discussions and political speechifying about how Americans interact with the economy. Not only is the show a way to reach constituents in a novel way, but it also shows Ellison’s command of the issues.
  • How’s Your Day — On each episode, this new podcast from KUOW in Seattle tells “a story you don’t know from a day we all remember.” So they look at stories that happened when Princess Diana died, when the twin towers fell and when Nelson Mandela took his first steps as a free man, to name a few. The podcast is a needle in a haystack exercise and it proved much more difficult than producers Arwen Nicks and Shane Mehling could have imagined. But the stories they found are beautiful and poignant.
  • Strangers — Storyteller Lea Thau has always prided herself on her show’s “radical empathy.” But after the 2016 presidential election, she found it hard to have any feelings other than rage at people who voted for Donald Trump. So she decided to explore that in a new mini-series called “Lea In Trumpland.” Thau travels to visit with Trump voters and stays in their houses, eats their food and gets drunk with them all in an effort to reach some better understanding of “the other.”
  • Very attractive listener recommendations: An Inexact Science and The Ready To Go Patio Show

Call Me!

Do you have a podcast recommendation you’d like to share with us? We want to hear it! Give us a jingle on the Pod Line at 202-885-POD1 and leave a message. Then we’ll put you on the radio and your grandma will brag to all of her friends at bridge club! 

Thanks for reading, pals! ‘Til next time…keep listening, America.

Most Recent Shows

LeVar Burton Reads (To You)

Thursday, Jul 20 2017Kids love being read to. But what about adults? According to actor LeVar Burton, they love it, too! We talk to the Reading Rainbow star about his new podcast for adults, LeVar Burton Reads. Also, we dig into black culture with the hosts of The Nod, and we unpack the stories behind the sports with Jody Avirgan of ESPN's 30 For 30 podcast. Plus: writer and director Ingrid Jungermann on her new feature film "Women Who Kill," about a pair of true crime podcasters. Keep reading...

Getting Invisible with Hanna Rosin and Alix Spiegel

Friday, Jul 14 2017What's more meta than a concept album about concepts? Not much. The women of Invisibilia explain the idea behind their third season concept album (it's like Lemonade, but with less dancing). We also delve into self-help books with the hosts of By The Book and explore the world of radionovelas with the creator of Celestial Blood/Sangre Celestial. Plus: a Swedish true crime podcast that actually uncovered a truth and helped exonerate a wrongfully convicted man.

Gillian Jacobs Gets Squeaky Clean With Podcasts (Encore)

Thursday, Jul 06 2017Actress Gillian Jacobs lets us in on what podcasts she listens to when she's in the shower. Then we head out to sea to learn about cargo ships with Containers' Alexis Madrigal, and we tickle the ivories with some of piano's greatest young stars with The Competition. And we get fizzy with the hosts of the heavily carbonated Seltzer Death Match. Keep reading...

Moose On The Loose: Podcasting Canada’s Sesquicentennial

Thursday, Jun 29 2017America’s hat is turning 150 years old! To celebrate Canada Day and our neighbors to the North, we talk to the women behind Love Me, a CBC podcast about the messiness of relationships, and we get a more realistic look at Canadian history with Canadaland's Jesse Brown. Then we catch up with Canadian-American hybrid Jonathan Goldstein, the self-styled mealy-mouthed mensch behind Wiretap and now Heavyweight. Plus: Native storytelling from the world's first indigenous podcast network. Keep reading...