Smartless sweeps podcast awards at this year’s Webbys

Celebrity-fronted show awarded special achievement title for Podcast of The Year

The winners of the 27th-annual Webby Awards have been announced with Wondery podcast Smartless snatching four awards across the podcast categories. 

The ceremony honours excellence across eight media types - Websites and Mobile Sites, Video, Advertising, Media & PR, Social, Apps, Apps & Software, Games, Podcasts, and Metaverse, Immersive & Virtual - and took place on Monday evening in New York City. 

Comedy podcast Smartless with co-hosts Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett took home the awards for Best Co-hosts, Best Branded podcast or segment, and Best Interview/Talk-show.

The podcast was also honoured with the special achievement award for Podcast of The Year. This is the first year that The Webbys included Podcast of The Year in its special achievement categories. There was also a new special achievement recognition award for Podcast Company of The Year, which went to Audible. 

“The podcast has cemented itself as a pop culture phenomenon, as hosts Hayes, Bateman and Arnett blend witty banter and genuine friendship with thoughtful interviews,” the judges stated. “By leaning on the hosts’ incredible dynamic, SmartLess creates a space on the Internet for listeners to learn more about their favorite celebrities and public figures—from Bono and Charlize Theron to Jordan Peele and even President Joe Biden—in a laid back format that allows for seamless vulnerability and wow moments.” 

Since launching in June 2020, the podcast has expanded into its own company which produces original shows such as Bad Dates with Jameela Jamil, which launched in March 2023 as the company’s first venture. SmartLess is one of several original shows under the company created in partnership with Amazon Music and its podcast division Wondery, which continue to own exclusive distribution and ad-sales rights. 

Other notable podcast winners at yesterday’s Webbys include Crooked Media’s Pod Save America for Best Featured Guests with its episode featuring Barack Obama talking about democracy. Crooked Media won a number of other awards including Best Live Podcast Recording for Lovett or Leave It and Best Partnership and Collaboration for World Corrupt with Men in Blazers Media Network.

Apple TV+’s official chat show podcast The Problem with Jon Stewart, which launched in 2021, also won two podcast awards including the People’s Voice award for Best Interview/Talk Show, and Best Host. The Webbys is one of several awards shows which feature categories for podcasts, along with the British Podcast Awards, which are fully focused on supporting podcasting as a medium.