Everyone is losing their goddamn minds about the announcement of the possible release of the iPhone 5 this week. In the off chance you haven’t heard, there’s a huge Apple event tomorrow, but it’s veiled in secrecy. You see, Apple sent out an invite, titled “Let’s Talk iPhone” to the media last week. So, the smart bet is that they’ll be trotting out their new fancy phone gadget, which tech insiders assume will have a larger touch screen, better camera, faster processor and maybe even some crazy voice-command options.
With that all said, we at Laughspin figured now would be an excellent time to take a look into our favorite comedy-related iPhone apps (just the free ones) that would work real nice-like on the new iPhone 5, or whatever they end up calling it. So, here they are, in no particular order.
(Earwolf Media, LLC)
If you’re a regular Laughspin reader, you are no doubt familiar with Earwolf, arguably the most respected network of comedy podcasts. Well, their iPhone app is just as slick, user-friendly and plain lovely as their full site, which gives access to their programs.
The app allows you to search through your fave shows – Comedy Bang Bang, Sklarbro Country, How Did This Get Made and more! – and easily stream current and past episodes. You can also queue up your own playlist so you don’t forget to listen to other shows while you’re already listening to one show.
Check out my current queue to the right. Pretty nice, right? You even have the option to download podcasts from iTunes and listen to that shit using Earwolf. My favorite part of the App is that it tames the enormous herd of comedy podcasts out there and wrangles them all to one place. Too much information not organized neatly scares the shit out of me. Thanks, Earwolf, for making my world less scary.
iheartradio (24/7 Comedy)
I know, I know. Pandora now has comedy stations. Whatever. I don’t care. I like what 24/7 Comedy is doing. Pandora is basically like listening to your iPod on shuffle. 24/7 Comedy’s channel on iheartradio (just two taps and you’re there) is a real radio station. After each track, they tell you what you just listened to; you don’t have to constantly look at your iPhone like you do on Pandora.
Also, you’ll get an occassional quick news report between tracks. I like that. Finally the interface is 89.32 percent nicer and more user-friendly than Pandora’s. Oh, and if you want to make your own station a la Pandora, that’s an option as well. You can see that I created a Jim Norton station. Super fun!
You should also know that 24/7 Comedy exists online at 247Comedy.com where you can stream the same programming that runs on their app. 24/7 Comedy also broadcasts on terrestrial stations in a few markets across the country.
Robert Kelly Live
(Stay Square, LLC)
More and more comedians are investing in their own iPhone app. And it’s a good move. Even crappy comedian apps are valuable at this point because there are relatively so few out there.
Robert Kelly’s newly launched app, however, is not at all crappy. It’s quite the opposite. It’s super easy to navigate, looks pretty and has everything you’d want in a comedian app: you can stream his podcast, check out his tour dates, watch videos, buy his album, waste time with his soundboard.
My two fave features? Upon opening the app, a message pops up telling you where Kelly is performing next in your area! Also, when you’re on his tour page (you can view it as a list or a world map with Bobby’s bald head signifying each city he’s hitting), just click a date you want from the list and you’re presented with every ticket buying option available. You can tap once and be on the phone with that venue’s box office. Amazing.
The concept behind Witstream is simple but effective. Founder Lisa Cohen along with comedian Michael Ian Black curate a feed of the funniest Twitter users – they call them “Aristocrats” – and they send them to your phone in a live stream. Not unlike the full online version at witstream.com, the app makes it super easy to search things like “hot topics” – a list of widely used hashtags among Aristocrats – as well as “Tweet The Press,” (a popular Witstream feature wherein selected Aristocrats offer running commentary on live press events) and a list of every Aristocrat in alpha-order, yo.
And the cool thing about said Aristocrats is that it’s not a lazily thrown-together group of the most popular comedians and comedic actors on Twitter. It’s truly a selection of people – famous and unfamous – who are wickedly skilled at being funny and/or insightful in 140 characters or less. This app is a must-have for any comedy fan who spends time on Twitter every day. And if you’re not spending more than a few minutes on Twitter every day, you need to stop living in the real world so much!
WTF with Marc Maron
Some comedy apps are just simply a means to an end. That’s what this one is. If you listen to WTF with Marc Maron, you’re probably going to want to download the app that goes with it.
Easier than dealing with iTunes downloads and using up all that much-needed space (for HD porn videos) on your computer or iPod’s hard drive, you can just stream all the most current episodes on your damn iPhone! And once you scroll through some episodes, you can star the ones you know you’ll what to check out so as not to forget. The app is free, but you can buy yourself a “premium” subscription ($2, 5 or $9, depending on whether you snag the one month, six month or year-long pass).
The premium setup gets you access to every WTF episode (not the case with the free version) and you’ll also enjoy not having to deal with ads or push alerts. You’ll also get all bonus content offered for the duration of your pass. As Maron would say, “do it.”
Anyway, the title of this iPhone treat is pretty self explanatory. You can create your own Futurama-styled head in a jar! Get into playing God by selecting your species, the type of head, eyes, nose, hair and “extras” (hats, ties, scars?, sunglasses and more); and when you’re done you can share that shit on Twitter and Facebook and then archive your masterpieces in the “head museum.” Check out the sweet head I made the other day (to the left).
The app also serves as a Futurama video clip viewer. And you can check out Comedy Central’s complete Futurama airing schedule and set up alerts so you never have to miss an episode again. And that’s something you’ll probably want to do. Because you’re insane. Certifiably.
Sometimes you just need a little mindless distraction from the real world, right? Allow the folks from FX’s cult hit It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia to help you out with that. Flipadelphia is nothing but a digital game of flip cup. You can play “solo” or “versus”; for the latter you’ll need to engage your Bluetooth to get in touch with other handheld device users. I say, fuck that. I’m burying my face in my iPhone screen; what makes you think I want to deal with real-life people—in-person or virtually? The object of the game is to land six cups as quickly as possible. It took me two minutes and 9 seconds to complete a recent round. (the proof is in the picture). I’m pretty sure that sucks. Tip: get drunk alone in your apartment and play a few rounds for even more fun!
So, Laughspinners: What comedy apps — for iPhone or any other handheld device — do you enjoy? What did I miss? Sound off in the comments section!