It was so popular last year that we decided to do it again! Join us this holiday season as we introduce you to twelve of our favourite podcasts in the 12 Days of Podmas.
Comedic conversation podcast Giving It Up For Less gave up its run in September 2020, after just under 50 episodes. So why, with new and fresh podcasts available every single day, as well as mature podcasts that have been running for absolutely years, am I recommending this piece of (partly) pandemic ephemera? One reason: Lauren Ash.
If you’re a fan of workplace sitcom Superstore you’ll know who Lauren Ash is. She played feisty assistant manager Dina Fox; part of an ensemble cast that made the show the success it was. As you could probably guess, Canadian-born Ash is a comedian as well as an actress, and somewhat known for talking about her real life. And boy can she talk!
It honestly feels as though Lauren Ash could hold an easy conversation with just about anyone. Listeners certainly thought so, as they wrote in to have their stories read out on one of the weekly segments, Dumb Lies People Tell (which does what it says on the tin, with Lauren also usually sharing a story from her large comedic stash), Never Let Go (all about those grudges, petty or not, that we just have to hold onto), and – later on – Ask Ash (a surprisingly more serious and thoughtful segment, where Ash turns into something of an agony aunt for the listener in question).
Giving It Up For Less is billed as a podcast about oversharing, and Ash certainly gets her guests to spill for comedy value. Throughout its guest-per-episode run, Ash has most of the cast of Superstore on, as well as some other big names from the world of television and popular culture, with conversation between the two usually taking the form of snowballing anecdotes about originally awkward, embarrassing or bewildering situations that have now been rendered hilarious by dint of being shared with an audience of complete strangers.
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Ash is not shy about sharing her own experiences, and listeners gradually get to know her over the course of the podcast’s run. She seems to be that one friend that everyone has, who always has outrageous stories of things that happened to them, and you can’t help but stop to listen – whether in shock, awe, or a little envy. Giving It Up For Less feels like inviting that friend round for coffee, and then sitting back and watching what unfolds. It’s over, yes, but still worth listening to if you haven’t already.
If you can’t get enough of Lauren Ash, you can also find her over on her newer and more popular podcast True Crime and Cocktails, which is good value for fans of true (and often unsolved) crime, but lacks the lighter banter and anecdotes that made up Giving It Up For Less. Although you could just cheat and listen to the introduction, and then turn off when it gets to the crime part.
Giving It Up For Less is available on various podcast platforms.