Among the serious, dramatic music, deep-voiced true crime podcasts that seem to have exploded onto the scene in the wake of Serial, this popular podcast theme has one standout show that doesn’t only feature true crime, but comedy as well. My Favorite Murder with Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark has consistently been one of the best comedy and true crime podcasts out there, with nothing that really matches it in quality or content.
What I love the most about My Favorite Murder isn’t that it’s about murder and true crime — which I already enjoy — but it’s also about the community around it. The general idea when it comes to true crime podcasts is that it’s full of suspense, seriousness, and no-nonsense. Since the subject is murder, it’s hard to convey excitement about hearing about somebody’s gruesome death.
It’s hard to admit it out loud, but it’s interesting and addicting to learn about murders and serial killers and cold cases. It’s interesting to listen to stories about people who do things that are so horrific and terrible and then to talk about why someone would do something so bad.
The thing is, not everyone wants to talk about it. Not everyone’s eyes light up at the talk of murder, and those who aren’t interested normally shame those who are. It’s often socially unacceptable to say, “Ooo, yes, let’s talk about H.H. Holmes instead of that new cable tv show that just came out.” Not everyone wants to satisfy your morbid curiosity, and those that don’t are eager to tell you it’s weird or gross. It’s just not polite.
But you know what? Fuck politeness.
One of the best things about Georgia and Karen is that they unabashedly talk about true crime. They talk about it animatedly and with a level of interest that shows that they’re not only talking about something they love to talk about but also that there’s no shame in it. They’re not making fun of the victims or glamorizing the murderers, they’re being respectful and opening up a conversation that people tend to side eye. As comedians, they talk openly about using humor and laughter to get through some of the darkest stuff in life. For some, the topic can seem abrasive and callous, but it’s not a podcast for everyone.
Karen and Georgia are open with their mental health and their pasts in a way that women often aren’t, or rather in a way that people are told not to. It’s something that provokes honesty in face of nameless narrators and investigative journalists. Sure, it’s fun to listen to Sarah Koenig talking to you about Adnan Syed, but Karen and Georgia talk with you. There’s an open conversation and the casual tone doesn’t turn the subject into a lofty lecture or a taboo. And while shows like Serial and The Vanished are addicting for a totally different reason, My Favorite Murder is cathartic to the community of true crime fans who might have felt shamed for their interests.
Featuring their weekly “favorite” murder, the two hosts give their opinions and the general facts about each murder. It’s not an information session. You won’t get every crucial detail to break down a crime and solve it, but you’re getting something better than that. It’s all about the conversation and the open dialogue. They encourage their listeners to send in their personal stories and takes on their own hometown murders. No links to articles or Wikipedia entries, just tell them your story, rumors and all.
Some of the best parts of My Favorite Murder is listening to Karen and Georgia riff of each other. Their humor and charisma have landed them at the #1 spot on the iTunes comedy podcast charts last year, and they remain currently as #3 in comedy and #22 on the top charts. Their community of murderinos is even more expansive, with over 132,000 members in their Facebook group and even more individual local groups, the podcast inspires friendship among these people.
Devoid of bullshit and pomp and circumstance, My Favorite Murder feels like you’re sitting down with your friends. There’s no shame, no judgment, just laughter and bonding over something that you enjoy. If you’re an amateur sleuth or just an ID channel junkie, this is definitely a podcast you just can’t miss.
Look, sometimes podcast merch is kind of bad. It’s not well designed or made well, but damn if I don’t love My Favorite Murder merch. That toxic masculinity ruins the day again shirt should be sold in stores across the country at this point.
Somehow even their ads are funny?
Cats are the best, any podcast featuring cats is worth a shot. Elvis, you want a cookie?
Also, shout out to Mimi.
Sex workers, not prostitutes. Seriously, why does no other true crime podcast address this?
Steven!!! (Sorry for carrying your face around with me throughout Manhattan.)
Murderinos are the best people on the planet. If you are one, and you haven’t joined a local murderino group on Facebook, then you definitely should! I have done a few meet ups with mine, and I love them.