Hosted by comedians/best friends Matt Rogers and Bowen Yang, “Las Culturistas” combines culture and comedy into 1 1/2-hour-long episodes that are guaranteed to have you laughing out loud.
If you consider yourself a “culturista” like Rogers and Yang, then you’re sure to get hooked after just one episode. From hilarious takes on pop culture to introspective games like “Star or Actress” and intelligent discussions on navigating the world as members of the LGBTQ+ community, “Las Culturistas” has something for everyone.
Like any podcast, the hardest part is taking the leap and getting started. Lucky for you, what follows is a guide to “Las Culturistas,” giving insight on what to expect and where to start your listening. Enjoy!
Do I have to start from the beginning?
“Las Culturistas” officially launched in March of 2016 and since then have published over 100 episodes each over an hour long. Needless to say, if you start from its inception, it’s going to be a while before you’re able to hear Yang and Rogers give their take on more current pop culture trends like “A Star is Born” or the latest season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
It’s up to you, but I would say start with a more recent episode and work backwards. While you might miss out on some terminology or minor references to past conversations, each episode is standalone content for the most part, so you won’t find yourself getting lost.
So where should I start?
Like I said, you can really start anywhere. Each episode features a different guest, ranging from fellow comedians like Joel Kim Booster to cultural icons like Padma Lakshmi, so finding one that you’re already familiar with could help ease you into things. There are also certain episodes dedicated to cultural events, like the Academy Awards or the Grammys, so those could act as good gateways to your soon-to-be obsession as well.
What’s in an episode?
While each episode of “Las Culturistas” is different from the next, each one follows roughly the same structure. Rogers and Yang will banter for a few minutes, catching listeners — or “readers,” as they often refer to them — up to speed on their own personal lives and careers before introducing the guest(s). What follows is roughly an hour (sometimes more, sometimes less) of conversation in which nothing is off limits. About midway through each conversation, either Rogers or Yang poses “the question” to their guest: What is the culture that made them say, “Culture is for me?”
Finally, each episode wraps up with “I Don’t Think So Honey!,” the staple segment turned live show where Rogers, Yang and their guest each take one minute to rant about something, anything in culture that annoys or bothers them. These range from truly serious issues, like corrupt politicians, to seemingly innocent targets, like perishable foods — “I want all food to be canned. Fruits and vegetables, you’re done,” proclaims Yang.
Wait, where do I know them from?
Great question. Yang is admittedly the more recognizable of the duo, as he was recently promoted from staff writer to featured player on the current season of “Saturday Night Live.” There, he has had a breakout start, stealing the scene in nearly every sketch he appears in.
Don’t feel like Rogers plays second-fiddle to his co-host though, as the Long Island native recently wrapped up filming on “Gayme Show,” his live show with comedian Dave Mizzoni that was picked up by new streaming service Quibi.
What are the best episodes?
While “best” is subjective and there are certainly plenty to choose from, there are certain guests that are guaranteed to have you laughing to yourself on your morning commute. Long-time friend of Yang and Rogers, “SNL” staff writer Sudi Green is always a joy. The closeness of the trio makes their episodes feel like listening in on their casual, everyday (hilarious) conversations. Joel Kim Booster, another friend of both hosts, gives off similar vibes in his multiple appearances.
Personally, I love when the two welcome fellow members of the LGBTQ+ community into the studio, like James Anderson, Aaron Jackson and Josh Sharp, as the conversations always manage to lean into those oddly specific cultural moments that every queer person seems to remember and relate to.