Get Familiar With The Women Behind The ‘My Favorite Murder’ Podcast Series

By Chelsy Ranard

If you’re a “murderino,” then you know this podcast and these women all too well. The fans of the ‘My Favorite Murder’ podcast have coined the term “murderino” as a way to unify and identify their own. The show’s content, humor, and hosts have created a passionate following all over the globe.

True crime is a genre taking over many media formats, so it’s not the easiest thing to break into the true crime world, but the women on the ‘My Favorite Murder’ podcast have done it. Not only is their content fabulous, but the hosts are amazingly relatable and hilarious. Throughout the jokes and conversational rhythm pops up some pretty significant stances on feminism and thoughts on issues within the criminal justice system.

About the Podcast

It was in January of 2016 that the first episode of ‘My Favorite Murder’ was released. Now, just over two years later, they have recorded over 100 episodes, have toured the globe, and have been written about in Rolling Stone. The reactions and responses have been largely positive, and its popularity has worked to unite true crime fans in feeling that their casually upbeat interest in this dark genre is altogether pretty normal — or at least common.

Each episode runs about an hour and a half long and consists of the hosts chatting naturally and unscripted about a murder of their choosing. It sounds a lot like how many real conversations about these topics would sound. They are humorous; sometimes facts are mis-remembered and corrected in a later episode; and they usually have wine. It’s a podcast that sounds like a regular Friday night for many of their listeners.

Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark

Kilgariff and Hardstark are the two hosts of ‘My Favorite Murder’, and the two of them together really make the show what it is. Kilgariff is an actress, writer, comedian, and producer who is known for working on shows like ‘Mr. Show’ and ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’, among others. Hardstark has worked as a television host, writer, and the creator of multiple podcasts. She’s been on Unique Sweets on the Cooking Channel and created the podcast ‘Slumber Party with Alie & Georgia’ with Alie Ward.

Together they are unapologetically clever and crass while discussing their love for true crime. Listeners feel like they are sitting next to Kilgariff and Hardstark with a glass of wine while putting in their two cents on their favorite true crime story. The hosts complain about their family, talk about the latest popular show, and drop a number of F-bombs like they are talking to thousands of best friends, not thousands of strangers.

They discuss therapy, their mental health, addictions, and vulnerabilities. They are unfazed by their popularity and maintain their hilarity through their endearing modesty. These two women make the show everything that it is, and every person who listens wants to be their best friend.

Murder and Humor

Whether this podcast should be classified as a true crime podcast or a comedy podcast is up for debate, but the real truth is that this podcast is definitely a true crime comedy podcast. Those things may seem like they don’t belong together — maybe even cold hearted — but the tone and conversational nature of ‘My Favorite Murder’ leads down a humorous road because the two women hosting are hilarious without an intent to be so. They definitely aren’t the only ones to pair laughter with murder as both Oxygen and The Onion have true crime comedy podcasts as well, to name a couple.

In reality, women are not only common victims of murder but are also a big demographic in the consumption of true crime media. Humor is a common coping mechanism in a variety of different ways, and for women, maybe seeing their demographic depicted as victims in true crime is best dealt with through true crime comedy to cope. Both Kilgariff and Hardstark have spoken about their anxiety about murder and humorous yet logical tactics on avoiding murder like, “stay out of the forest,” or to “carry that pepper spray until you see the sunrise.” Their tagline for the show is, “Stay sexy. Don’t get murdered.” Though their delivery and conversational tone is humorous, their message about victims of true crime is still honest and vulnerable.

A Feminist Theme

Throughout this podcast about murder is a theme that exists because the show is about the opinions, interests, and relationships of the two women behind the podcast. That theme is feminism. The show isn’t about victim blaming or shaming the women who are victims of crime, but about the social expectations of women that can lead them down a road that makes them more desirable as victims.

They talk a lot about how women being taught to be polite, not to make others uncomfortable, or to have others like them is not only damaging but dangerous. They talk about how important it is to throw away society’s expectations of you and, instead, to trust your instincts and keep yourself safe. Never leave a friend alone at a bar; always lock your doors; and don’t get into that trunk. They might hold a tone of humor, but it’s got a serious undertone.

‘My Favorite Murder’ is never about jokes at the expense of the women being victimized in these stories, but about making these women people. Even if the victim is a sex worker — no matter what she was wearing, no matter the gender of the victim was, or what kind of relationship they had with the murderer — it’s about the tragic loss of someone murdered and how long the perpetrator can burn. They discuss toxic masculinity and its role in crime, sexist undertones, classism, racism, and are always slamming the patriarchy.

Caring About Murder Issues  

There may be jokes about hitchhiking or why you shouldn’t be in an alley, but this podcast and it’s hosts are so much more than that. On top of being proud feminists, they are also passionate about a number of murder-related issues. The backlog of untested rape kits in the United States is staggering. Mariska Hargitay has a foundation called End the Backlog which works to process the unopened rape kits, which will add the DNA of offenders into the system. Kilgariff and Hardstark donate a portion of their merchandise sales to that foundation.

They spend time talking about mental health and the system’s role in causing some crimes to happen by failing those with mental health needs. They talk about the psychological, sociological, and biological analyses of criminals and why that information is important. They discuss why the media tends to show us the demographic of rich, pretty, white women as victims and not any of the other victims of violent crime. They may be issues discussed casually throughout the podcast, but they are issues seeping into the conversations of their listeners, and that is what is important.

The women behind the ‘My Favorite Murder’ podcast are intelligent, cynically hysterical, and passionate about a number of topics that are sprinkled throughout their true crime podcast. They make their listeners feel like their love for weird, true crime stories is OK and that they should never do anything that makes them feel uncomfortable — just in case it gets them murdered. If you are a fan of true crime and looking for a laugh, just turn on an episode and stay sexy, don’t get murdered.

 

 

 

 

Chelsy is a writer from Montana who is now living in Boise, Idaho. She graduated with her journalism degree from the University of Montana in 2012. She is passionate about feminism, is a shark enthusiast, and can be found playing Frisbee with her dog, Titan. Follow her on Twitter.

 

 

Leave a Reply