It’s been a while since I’ve heard anyone mention podcasts out loud. However they are still many great programs of all kinds. There’s even new shows coming out all the time. I personally love listening on my way to work or sometimes before bed when I want something interesting to dream about. This list is to attempt to point out some great podcasts people might want to check out. All of the mentioned podcasts can be found on iTunes.
The Bugle is hosted by John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman. Oliver and Zaltzman’s jokes mostly center on politics. If you’re a fan of puns, satire and you’re up on current events in both the U.S. and U.K., then this is the show for you. They had past success running radio shows in England (The Department & Political Animal).
Politics isn’t your thing? It’s okay. For those more pop culturally inclined, there’s Who Charted? Howard Kremer and Kulap Vilaysack host a film and music podcast. They analyze trends with added commentary. Every week they go through their top five lists. Sometimes there’s a special guest.
Speaking of comedy and movies, Kevin Smith hosts a podcast called Hollywood Babble-On. It’s profanity ridden and tangent heavy. However, Smith knows his stuff! To help keep him on point is his cohost Ralph Garman. It’s fun to hear the conversation, the quipping and the recounting of the week’s news regarding film. Smith adds in his nerd knowledge and Hollywood inside information. Personally, I can only take Smith in doses.
Judge Judyfans will be glad to find this next gem: Judge John Hodgman. It’s a comedic kangaroo courtroom podcast for insignificant domestic issues. In an hour’s time the Judge goes into hard hitting cases (like illegal jaywalking). This is the show for people who like exposed hypocrisies and despise political correctness.
This American Life comes out weekly with an hour-long program. It is hosted by Ira Glass. To give you an idea if it’s any good, just know that TAL has received Peabody and Emmy Awards. Typically the program is composed of short stories, memoirs and essays.
Reality can be boring. Fiction is where it’s at in the imagined community of Night Vale. Welcome to Night Vale is a podcast about the town. New shows come out on the first and fifteenth of every month. During the 30-minute runtime you can hear advertisements or news about what’s happening in the faux-town. The creator of the podcast said in an interview he wanted to talk about a town “where all conspiracy theories were real.” According to NPR the science fiction program is a mix of “David Lynch, Orson Welles and H.P. Lovecraft.”
The Moth is another story-focused podcast. In weekly programs they feature excellent storytelling. Some of the episodes have celebrity guests with their own tales (Moby, Al Sharpton, Rachel, Dratch to name a few).
There are a hodgepodge of podcasts that are thematically based. Book Riot has a podcast about “what’s new, cool and worth talking about in the world of books.” History in Five is put on by Simon & Schuster. They bring you five facts about a topic in five minutes. Past episodes have included information on the first woman in space, the Manhattan Project’s secret city and Tolstoy. The best part is, if you’re a history fiend, the information comes straight to you from top historians. How Stuff Works puts on about 14 different podcasts. They include a wide variety of topics. To demonstrate, I’ll name four of their podcasts: Stuff Mom Never Told You, Stuff From the Future, Stuff For a Stylish Home and Stuff You Missed in History Class. My personal favorite is the Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know podcast (great brain fodder).
There’s food podcasts, religious podcasts, business podcasts and more. Starting on iTunes can help you find your personal flavor if you’re still looking.