Mission to Zyxx might be the best podcast. This science fiction comedy -- a mix of Star Trek, Star Wars, and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy -- that leans on original jokes instead of references, is definitely the best of the current wave of fictional podcasts, partly because of its unique process. The cast improvises each episode with just a loose premise to guide them.
Then a three-person team edits and sound designs the show, cutting it down by over half and adding sound effects, voice effects, music, transitions, and ambience. The end result is as fresh as any improv show, but as slick as anything scripted. In a detailed instalment of How I Work, all seven of the show's cast and crew broke down their creative and technical process for each episode. There's lots to learn in here for comedians, actors, writers, editors, and sound professionals.