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The Last Podcast on the Left

by Noah Bartel 6 months ago in psychological
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And why this True Crime Podcast Kick Ass

The title card for "The Last Podcast on the Left."

"There is no place to escape to. This is the Last Podcast on the Left."

That is the opening to one of the funniest, wittiest, and spookiest podcasts on air.

The Last Podcast on the Left (LPOTL) is a true crime podcast featuring Ben Kissel (a comedian), Marcus Parks (a researcher and comedian), and Henry Zebrowski (also a comedian). The show is split between regular "episodes" that focus on specific serial killers, paranormal shenanigans, and/or cult leaders; relaxed fits, which are episodes that are particularly laid back; and Side Stories, which are short, weekly newscasts that highlight the ridiculousness of life in the United States while occasionally finding time for Henry to rant about aliens. All three of these series have their draws, reaching a variety of curious listeners at their own pace.

Let's dive into how this podcast kicks ass, starting with Ben Kissel.

"Hail Yourselves." Ben Kissel is the tall, large, and charismatic lead host of LPOTL. While Marcus is the researcher and Henry is the talent, Ben is the foundation. He bridges the gap between humor and information, mingling banter with a legitimate desire to learn. He is also part of Abe Lincoln's Top Hat, a political podcast that focus's often on how fucked America is.

But while Ben Kissel embodies the listener's questions, Marcus is the one who answers.

Marcus Parks is the resident researcher of the LPOTL. Not only does he give legitimate sources for the narrative, he does so highlighting the absurdity of these horrific scenes. Indeed, on episodes 470-472, the squad deep dive into the Ken and Barbie Killers, namely Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka. Marcus during these episodes shows obvious anger and confusion on the shoddy and unprofessional work of the Canadian Police during the 90's. He not only provides coherent storylines for these true crimes, but also brings empathy, reminding the others about the personhood of the victims effected.

Then there is Henry. Oh god, there's Henry.

Henry Zebrowski is a comedian who ties the other two together, providing quips that cause you to laugh at the murders themselves. This adoption of greek comedy works excellently well at giving us a killer to sneer at. We get to chortle at the idiocy of these perpetrators. His impersonations are unmatched, his parody: absurd. His comedy also casually focuses on real Satanism (not this occult nonsense) and extra-terrestrials, consistently trying to find reasons to share his conspiracy theories.

This cast, while playing their own important roles within the LPOTL, also complete the image by making themselves the butts of many jokes. They banter between themselves, highlighting their own humanity while allowing their audience to connect. They also rant against many organized groups, from wealthy family's such as the Rupert Murdoch's to the Roman Catholic Church, highlighting the natural draw from power to vice.

These rants often take place in Side Stories, a series that generally only includes Henry and Ben. Side Stories is LPOTL's weekly news roundup, covering most topics that many news outlets do not, while also touching base with some of the larger stories. They have recorded episodes concerning the metal artist "Prince Midnight" and his legendary guitar supposedly crafted from his uncle's bones, Gary the Zodiac Killer, and Jens Haaning now famous "Take the Money and Run" scandal.

Relaxed Fits are my favorite episodes. The crew talk about a specific event or cult, doing little research and focusing more on witty, rather crude, conversation.

As you can probably tell, the Last Podcast on the Left is not a series for children. They are, however, one the most informative and comedic true crime podcasts out there, and I highly recommend a listen. You can find them on Spotify.

Noah Bartel is an amateur horror writer, poet, and pixel artist (https://www.pixilart.com/nabbishdrew/gallery). If you have any comments, questions or criticisms, feel free to reach me at [email protected]


About the author

Noah Bartel

Interested in eldritch horror and existential dread.

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