I love listening to podcasts and have found myself turning to them a lot more in the past few months for distraction and comfort. I usually listen to them when I’m out for a run or a walk and it has been helpful in keeping me from charging up to large groups of unmasked people, (who obviously do not live together who are standing a foot apart like it is 2019 or something) and screaming ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL US ALL? GO THE HELL HOME YOU SELFISH PSYCHOS! So, in a sense, podcasts can be useful. I used to listen to a bunch of political (Pod Save America, Rachel Maddow) shows and a bunch of murder (literally, most of them) shows, but I’ve lost my ability to process any of that horror right now, what with the constantly worrying about dying.
A few of my current favorites – ongoing:
- Pop Culture Happy Hour – this is an NPR podcast that comes out twice a week where the three hosts pick one topic that is hot on the pop culture scene. This is almost entirely how I figure out how to consume entertainment; they are the bosses of me. And you shouldn’t think that because it is NPR that it’s only highbrow entertainment, because they recently talked about Tiger King. Very often I drop things into conversation like “Oh, Linda said that is good but Glen didn’t like it,” and never explain that I do not have any friends named Linda or Glen. Stephen is always wrong.
- You’re Dead To Me – this is a British podcast where they choose a topic in history to discuss. It’s truly incredible how many things I do not know anything about. They have a historian and a comedian talk about important events in history and try to make you smarter without making you feel stupid.
- Newcomers: Star Wars – this is a podcast where comedians Nicole Byer and Lauren Lapkus are watching the entire Star Wars saga, in order, for the first time. I have been a complete nerd about Star Wars since 1977, and it is hard for me to believe that there are people who have never seen these movies, but there are. The best part of these, besides listening to cool people fall in love with this nerdy thing despite their best efforts not to, is that they have expert guests who come in and talk them through the mythology and meanings of everything. It is a very deep cut into dork-dom here, and I passionately appreciate all of it.
- You Made it Weird, with Pete Holmes – I love Pete Holmes for his overall hipster doofus vibe, but mostly because on his podcast he dives into the most vulnerable places (God, Sex, Love) without fear or guile. He has a guest every time – usually a comedian, but not always – and performs a hardball interview disguised as a casual funny conversation. Start anywhere with this, but the best conversations usually happen with his friends (John Mulaney, Chelsea Peretti, Moshe Kasher, Kumail Nanjiani)
There are so many to choose from, and lots of new things coming out right now. I like to go into the notes of the podcast when I enjoy it and see the suggestions of other podcasts I might also like. Discovering something there is like stumbling on an author you like and then finding out they have twelve other books you can read, which is the best thing on earth.
What podcasts are you enjoying right now?