This Week in Comedy Podcasts

Much like trying to stay up with the latest TV shows avalanching across broadcast, cable, and streaming sources, the scramble to shove podcasts in our ears as fast as they drop is a never-ending endeavor. Which is why I’m only now catching up to the audio sci-fi comedy treat that is Voyage to the Stars. Voiced by the spot-on cast of Colton Dunn, Felicia Day, Steve Berg, and Janet Varney, this semi-improvised narrative lampoons every science-fiction trope ever troped … and has a great time doing it.

In this week’s thrilling installment, the alien-built starship’s artificial intelligence, A.I. Sorry (Varney), has crunched the numbers and determined the useless meat sacks that comprise the ship’s crew are a danger to sentient beings everywhere, and it’s her duty to eliminate them for the good of the galaxy. Everyone takes their best shot trying to talk A.I. out of her plans, including guest star Suzy Nakamura as the captain’s intern (or “Padawan learner,” as the bombastic Captain Tucker insists on referring to her).

There are tons of wall-to-wall spoofery going on in this space opera, and it’s all played pretty straight, which helps to make the funny a little more funny. Does Varney’s misguided A.I. complete her task and snuff the crew? Only time will tell — in another time-honored genre trope, this episode is to be continued … —Marc Hershon

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