What podcasts do you listen to?
September 26, 2008 8:39 AM   Subscribe

What podcasts do you listen to? I'm on the hunt for some new podcasts to keep me entertained on the slowing-becoming-dreary-as-the-weather-turns walk to work.

Ideally, I'm looking for podcasts that have new content on a fairly regular basis, preferably daily or once a week (give or take). I'm primarily interested in comedy/random conversation, technology and possibly lifestyle/entertainment, but i'm open to recommendations for anything that's relatively light hearted; I'm not really looking to have to actively think too much. Funny is good.

Because I'm listening while walking, audio podcasts are what I'm after, or video podcasts where the primary content is actually what's being said, not what's being shown.

Currently, the only podcast I'm addicted to is Kevin Smith's Smodcast. I'm also listening to some of the CBC's lighter stuff.

So -- any ideas?
posted by cgg to Technology (33 answers total) 59 users marked this as a favorite
MeFi's own Jesse Thorn's The Sound of Young America and Jordan, Jesse Go! should be right up your alley. http://www.maximumfun.org/ or iTMS for archives.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 8:47 AM on September 26, 2008 [2 favorites]

I'm a big fan of Filmspotting - it and Coverville (which clearly fails your test) are my only two don't-miss podcasts, where as others sometimes go unlistened-to for weeks at a time.
posted by phearlez at 8:52 AM on September 26, 2008

Comedy/Random conversation : You can not get more random than You Look Nice Today.
Also, The Bugle. They don't think about the news, so you don't have to.
Also, Tank Riot . Though the last half dozen episodes have been lame, you can selectively download topics that interest you.
posted by Science! at 8:55 AM on September 26, 2008

Dr. Karl and the Naked Scientist.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:56 AM on September 26, 2008

There's a huge archive of Jean Shepherd broadcasts on iTMS. Most are about 45 minutes long. A few are topical and dated, but there are many, many that are storytelling gold.
posted by plastic_animals at 8:56 AM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

Lately I've been hooked on Too Beautiful To Live, a Seattle hipsterish talk show ... a nice balance to the more serious stuff.
posted by Camofrog at 9:00 AM on September 26, 2008

2nd the Sound of Young America and Jordan, Jesse Go! The archives of both would keep you busy for a long time.

The mp3 version of Diggnation meets some of your criteria. Most of the time 95% of the show can be appreciated with out the video.

It's only about 50 seconds a day, but The Onion Radio News usually hits the spot. Never Not Funny also meets your requirements for comedy.

As for lifestyle/entertainment, any of the big NPR/Public Radio talk shows would do the trick if you are willing to scan episode summaries and delete the ones that don't interest you. That's what I do. Example shows include: Fresh Air, The Leonard Lopate Show, The Brian Lehrer Show and Filmspotting. Most of these cover non-entertainment things so you just have to pick and choose your battles (except for Filmspotting which is all about movies but you might not be into some of their more esoteric coverage).
posted by mmascolino at 9:03 AM on September 26, 2008 [2 favorites]

If you like art the Bad at Sports podcast is excellent. www.badatsports.com

Also The Best Show on WFMU is the funniest thing out there! It is not to be missed!
posted by Ponderance at 9:09 AM on September 26, 2008

Wait wait…don't tell me
posted by Dick Paris at 9:10 AM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

Seconding "You Look Nice Today".

Also, you may want to check out the Podcasts from "The Moth", which consists of live storytelling from a diverse cast of characters.
posted by PsuDab93 at 9:11 AM on September 26, 2008 [2 favorites]

Lots of good answers under the podcasts tag
posted by chrisamiller at 9:19 AM on September 26, 2008

Obligatory This American Life mention.
posted by aheckler at 9:31 AM on September 26, 2008

Everything from Leo Laporte at Twit.tv. Everything!
Also: (sorry for the lack of links, I'm at work)
Stack Overflow
Dan Carlin's Hardcore History
Dan Carlin's Common Sense (non-partisan politics)
BBC History Magazine
Ask A Ninja
TVO Big Ideas
EconTalk (econtalk.org)
gdgt weekly (the guys that created Gizmodo and Engadget)
Harvard Business Review Ideas
John Cleese's Podcast
The Onion Podcast
SALT - Seminars on Long Term Thinking
TED Talks
The Skeptics Guide to the Universe
Scientific Amerian's 60 Second Science
posted by blue_beetle at 9:39 AM on September 26, 2008

My picks are all British, but:
- Definitely seconding The Bugle. Weekly.
- Adam and Joe, ex-student-humour-paragons of my younger years but still very funny. Weekly.
- The Collings and Herrin podcasts are funny, deliberately very rough around the edges but usually good and can be excellent. Weekly.
- Downloadable Content (The Penny Arcade Podcast) - you might need to know your video games for this one, but it fits pretty neatly into comedy/chat/technology. Very intermittently updated though - sometimes it's quite frequent, but it's been a month or two now.
- The Ricky Gervais Show - you have to pay for this one, but I think it's hilarious. It's £3.95 a season on iTunes, the 1st season being 12 half-hour episodes. It finished recently, and I miss it.
posted by Kirn at 9:46 AM on September 26, 2008

along the same lines as Diggnation (and whatya know with Alex Albrecht even) may I suggest The Totally Rad Show? Its a review show (mainly, they do do some video heavy stuff) of movies, video games, comics, and TV shows. Great chemistry between Alex, Dan, and Jeff. Funny Stuff. And they all bring a very specific view to the party as well.
posted by ShawnString at 9:47 AM on September 26, 2008

If you aren't fearful of being offended, crass conversation or the like..Keith and the Girl. It had me literally LOL'ing at my desk at work to tears on occasion.
posted by wocka wocka wocka at 10:02 AM on September 26, 2008

This is a great AskMe question!
The Bugle is great and a couple more are...
Steven Fry's podgrams and
Spline Cast (informal in-house interviews with Pixar directors and animators like Brad Bird, Andrew Stanton, Ed Catmull plus boisterous round-table discussions)
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:08 AM on September 26, 2008

The Bugle (Time Online) is eagerly anticipated every week.
Fighting Talk (BBC R5) - weekly sports punditry, does cover a lot of football, but frequently hilarious even if you're not a sports fan.
Wait Wait Don't Tell Me is weekly and excellent. They had Spock on this week, what's not to like?
posted by arcticseal at 10:36 AM on September 26, 2008

The Bugle
Slate Gabfest
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:39 AM on September 26, 2008

RadioLab. It's about SCIENCE!!!!!!!
posted by spec80 at 11:13 AM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

Voices of Tomorrow is the audio version of 365 tomorrows, and highlights a new sci-fi short story every few days as read by their authors.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:50 AM on September 26, 2008

I drive to work, so I tend to favor longer-format, non-video stuff:

The Savage Lovecast is an audio version of Dan Savage's sex- (and relationship-) advice column -- NSFW, but really really fun.

Aside from the Slate Gabfest, mentioned above, Slate has a couple more podcasts worth checking out -- I like The Big Money, the Spoiler Specials, and the Explainer.

The New Yorker has some good stuff too.
posted by snoe at 12:46 PM on September 26, 2008

Are you a gamer? The Gamers With Jobs Conference Call podcast is freaking awesome. It's basically three or four of the regulars chatting about games, addressing a single topic (like 'do games being more cinematic make them better or worse' for example) and then doing listener emails. They also regularly have amazing interviews (they interviewed Felicia Day after Dr Horrible for example) and special guests (Ken Levine of Bioshock has been on three or four times). It's every Wednesday, usually an hour to an hour and a half. Mucho recommended.

Also seconding You Look Nice Today - took me a while to get with the style they have (which is surreal and a bit disconcerting) but it's very, very funny.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:46 PM on September 26, 2008

The Ask Mr Biggs podcast takes real calls to call in lines and reworks them into a funny new call in show. It's slickly produced and very funny.
posted by tomble at 3:01 PM on September 26, 2008

Ooh, also, if you like downtempo or chillout music, Dave's Lounge is freaking great. Not least for the little zen-like thought that Dave offers at the beginning of each one. Highly recommended.
posted by Happy Dave at 3:01 PM on September 26, 2008

NPR's CarTalk (cartalk.com) is ostensibly a call in show about car repair, but it features plenty of random conversation and comedy.
posted by mrgoldenbrown at 4:47 PM on September 26, 2008

The New Yorker Fiction Podcast. Short stories from the magazine's archives chosen and read by authors, followed by a short discussion.
posted by schrodycat at 6:13 PM on September 26, 2008

60 Second Science. Quick, thought provoking and entertaining. Plus, you get a new one every week day. Scientific American puts them out there.
posted by bkeene12 at 8:48 PM on September 26, 2008

Ricky Gervais and Stephen Fry, of course. They're both national treasures.

There's also The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd, a 'family friendly new twist on Old Time Radio'! I found out about this podcast because Joel Hodgson and Frank Conniff of MST3K guest starred (as did Dr. Demento and Jeffrey Tambor!).
posted by Mael Oui at 10:39 PM on September 26, 2008

iTunes store links to a couple short podcasts that I like:

NPR's "This I Believe" can be a nice affirmation for your day, and "Hmmm.... Krulwich on Science" features Radio Lab's Robert Krulwich in a light 'n easy 5-minute science topic.

Also, "Real Time with Bill Maher" features the entire audio from the week's episode, and extra segments.
posted by sambosambo at 8:05 AM on September 27, 2008

If you like the light comedy chat/riffing type of show, like Never Not Funny or Jordan, Jesse, Go! I would recommend you try Stop Podcasting Yourself. It has a Canadian flavor that you'll want to savor!
posted by Widepath at 9:23 AM on September 27, 2008

i've been listening to Keith and the Girl for years now. almost 800 episodes, all at least an hour.
posted by phritosan at 8:45 AM on September 29, 2008

The Best Show on WFMU, with Tom Scharpling, (as Jessie Thorn would agree) is one of the funniest podcasts/radio shows in existence today.

Scharpling and Jon Wurster (drummer for Superchunk) are brilliant torch-bearers for the unheralded genre of "long-form radio comedy"

Conan OBrien, Patton Oswalt, Paul F Tompkins, Fred Armisen, Amy Poehler, Horatio Sanz, Matt Walsh, Ben Gibbard, Ted Leo, Zach Galifianakis, and many other monsters of comedy/indie music are all avowed fans of TBSOWFMU.

Stereolaffs has a great full length sample mp3 from Scharpling & Wurster's classic "Music Scholar" bit, in which you will learn the logical connection between Matchbox 20 and The Velvet Underground.
posted by melorama at 7:24 PM on September 30, 2008

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