I love podcasts.
They enhance dog walks and fuel long drives, all while allowing me to learn new things. It’s a more passive way to challenge your comfort zone, and these days, I am digging that.
Most people have heard of This American Life, Radiolab and Serial (if you haven’t, I will not judge you). Last week, I reached out to a handful of my most in-the-know friends about their favorite shows. This group of people are diverse in their interests: I got suggestions for entrepreneurs, music nerds, parents, conservatives and liberals, outdoorsy types and more.
In fact, I ended up with so many suggestions that I am splitting this up into at least two posts. If you’re looking for a new podcast or two, maybe one of these will strike your fancy.
*And a note on podcast etiquette*
Take the time to rate and review the podcasts that you really enjoy. That’s what boosts them in the rankings and helps interested people discover new shows.
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So, you think you’re an entrepreneur?
All about what it really takes to build a company from scratch.
The #askgaryvee Show
My friend Rebecca claims “as an entrepreneur, you’re dumb if you’re not listening to him.” I know Gary Vee can be a polarizing guy– listen for 10 minutes and you’ll know if you’re in the love him or hate him camp.
This one focuses on the hurdles (and best practices) of running your own biz, especially if you’re in the creative or online space. I am a regular listener and I feel some shows are more helpful than others, but regardless, if you’re doing your own thing, the topics will definitely resonate.
Alec Baldwin: Not Just Another Baldwin Brother
Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin
Just about everyone I spoke to said they’re listening to Here’s the Thing. The gist: Baldwin interviews celebs about how they “made it.” I listened to the Molly Ringwald and Mickey Rourke episodes and am hooked! Baldwin is a pretty good interviewer– he doesn’t talk too much about himself, which is a feat for any person, let alone a major star.
WTF with Marc Maron
In the same vein (but has nothing to do with the Baldwins), this super-de-duper popular show does great in-depth celebrity interviews.
A Behind the Scenes Look At…
Each 10-15 minute episode features a musician or composer breaking down their music to its bare bones. Finding out how a song starts out as a very simple idea and turns into a layered construction is very intriguing. My music nerd buddy Jordan says, “It makes me appreciate the song/musician more, also I can find out about artist I haven’t heard before.”
Meet the Filmmaker
Stories from the onscreen stars as well as filmmaking wisdom from a diverse selection of writers, directors, and producers. My brother, who works in the biz, is all about this one.
If you Like Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me
Ask Me Another
According to two of my very smarty pants, interesting friends, Ask Me Another is like WWDTM’s cooler, younger sibling.
Because I’ve Heard Parenting is Hard
The Longest Shortest Time
The parenting show for for everyone, hosted by This American Life contributor and author Hillary Frank. As my friend Rebecca says, “I don’t know a mom who doesn’t listen.”
One Bad Mother
Non-judgmental parenting? It exists! And it can be funny! One Bad Mother is a comedy podcast hosted by Biz Ellis and Theresa Thorn about motherhood and how unnatural it sometimes is. We aren’t all magical vessels! They talk about the thrills and embarrassments of motherhood and strive for less judging and more laughing.
The Pratfalls Podcast
Comedian & dad Levi Weinhagen interviews people who make cool stuff (and many are also parents).
Things from When We Were Kids
The Mortified Podcast
You know when you re-read anything you wrote as an angsty teen and it makes you cringe? Whelp, there is a whole show about that, and it’s hilarious. Adults read from their childhood diaries in front of an audience of strangers. The stories are hilarious, relatable, and painfully awkward. The topics can range from a first kiss (or sexual experience) to fighting with parents.
A team of four hilarious individuals try to recall what happens in a movie they’ve all seen. They then pause the recording, watch the movie, and the second half of the show, talk about where they were right, where they went wrong, and what they didn’t remember at all. As a listener, you find yourself getting really worked up when you know what happens and they don’t. I literally yelled at my iPhone 10 times during the Honey I Shrunk the Kids episode. Why is this fun? I dunno, it just is!
Who Doesn’t Like Funny Stuff?
You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes
A comedy podcast with a spiritual and sometimes deep and mystical side. Pete has convos with people – mostly comedians, but also spiritual leaders. They talk about the guest’s upbringing, personal/professional stuff, spiritual beliefs and general shenanigans.
Never Not Funny
Host Jimmy Pardo has a quick, bitting wit that keep listeners coming back. Each week, he invites another comedian on the show, but it’s not an interview show. They simply talk about whatever the hell they want and it works.
Comedy Bang! Bang!
This show is different every week, and the type of comedy really depends on the guests. Host Scott Aukerman does an excellent job of playing along. Guests typically include comedians and comedians playing characters, but every once in a while CBB will have musical guests. If you listen regularly, you also get to know the recurring bits and characters (like Bob Ducca… see below).
2 Dope Queens | WNYC
Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams are funny. They’re black. They’re BFFs. And they host a live comedy show in Brooklyn along with their favorite comedians, for stories about sex, romance, race, hair journeys, living in New York, and Billy Joel. Plus a whole bunch of other s**t.
Affirmation Nation with Bob Ducca
Whenever I’m having a bad day, I listen to one of Bob Ducca’s three-to-five minute episodes. Ducca (played my comedian Seth Morris) is allegedly the hypochondriac ex-stepfather of Comedy Bang! Bang! host Scott Aukerman. Listening to him read a list of ailments makes me turn my frown upside down. It’s one of those things that either strikes you as hilarious, or you really just don’t get it at all. Most of these shows were made in 2011– so what, who cares. I’ve listened to the Television Ailments Parts I, II & III, at least 1,000,000 times and it never gets old.
Gimlet Is the Shimlet
According to many a friend, the lineup on Gimlet Media does no wrong. Proof:
There are a lot of things out in the world that sound boring, but when you dig in deeper, you discover that actually, they are fascinating. Surprisingly Awesome is a show about things that sound totally boring, but turn out to be totally awesome.
Supposedly a show about the internet, but really all kinds of stories about people that involve the internet in some way. I just listened to the Email Forgiveness episode, and was inspired to finally email someone I’ve been avoiding for 10 years. Yup.
A podcast where Starlee Kine solves mysteries. If you have a mystery you’ve always wanted solved, send an email to the show and they may try to solve it for you. The only rule is that the answer to your mystery can’t be found by just Googling. My friend Alyssa calls this show “weird, funny, and poignant,” and recommends the “Belt Buckle” and “Kotter” episodes.
It’s an entire show that’s like this blog post… except well-produced and in podcast form. Basically, a podcast built of other podcast samples. I heard a sampler of Sampler and think I will definitely tune in. Can you tune in to a podcast?
How do they make an entire podcast about that?
The Quack Attack
File this one under super-niche… This is the premier Mighty Ducks podcast. No, not the Anaheim Ducks. We’re talking about the movie. My friend Blaine explains: “These guys don’t live in Minnesota, but are extremely well versed in the ins and outs of the Mighty Ducks movies. Each week, they dive in to a specific themes, characters, etc. Sometimes they even interview actors and directors from the movies.”
A few episode highlights:
Ep. 73: Who wins in a street fight between the Mighty Ducks, the Goonies and the Sandlot kids
Ep. 9: The many women in Gordon Bombay’s life
Ep. 56: Did the Mighty Ducks cross the line in their prank war with the Varsity?
At press time, they have 81 episodes. You can’t make this stuff up.
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What are you listening to and loving? Share in the comments! I’ll be putting together another podcast roundup in the next few weeks, so stay tuned for that.
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