Where Can I Listen to Other People's Conversations?
May 6, 2009 4:58 PM   Subscribe

Can you recommend podcasts in which people are having a conversation? I would like to avoid interviews or structured ones with segments.

Some of my favorite podcasts are the Slate Gabfests because they're just people talking to each other, and while there's an outline, there's no super structure (i.e. like an NPR show would have interstitial music and be very formal). I also like WFMU's Seven Second Delay, which while wildly different from the Slate ones, is also a kind of conversation between Ken and Andy, and the people who call in (but it's not all about the people calling in), and is definitely freeform.

I just like listening to people talking or discussing a topic (but not being interviewed about it -- a discussion between equals as it were). The occasional guest is fine or ones in which the guest joins in the discussion without the interview part. All topics, even silly ones, are welcome, but I'm not that into computers, technology, video games, or science fiction. (I seem to find a lot of conversation podcasts about those topics). Thanks.
posted by bluefly to Media & Arts (27 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
Okay, they aren't technically podcasts, but Bloggingheads is otherwise exactly what you're looking for.
posted by valkyryn at 5:01 PM on May 6, 2009

Best answer: Bill Simmons' podcasts (sports) usually have this sort of feel.
posted by shadow vector at 5:03 PM on May 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

Paul and Storm Talk About Some Stuff for Five to Ten Minutes (On Average).

Silly, pop culture, geeky (but not computer geeky), funny. It helps if you know a bit about their music but it's not necessary to enjoy the podcast.
posted by bondcliff at 5:09 PM on May 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

metafilter podcast?
posted by QuakerMel at 5:32 PM on May 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

Jordan, Jesse Go! from Metafilter's own Young American definitely fits the description. It's great.
posted by veggieboy at 5:41 PM on May 6, 2009 [7 favorites]

Best answer: Ouch! is like that (and hilarious). They do interviews, but they're very informal and chatty.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:54 PM on May 6, 2009 [2 favorites]

SModcast. Scott Moiser and Kevin Smith. That is all.
posted by Epsilon-minus semi moron at 6:20 PM on May 6, 2009

Widely Ranging Interests has a rough outline of topics but otherwise follows a very conversational format. Lots of interesting history, pop culture and trivia.
posted by Adam_S at 6:29 PM on May 6, 2009

This is my husband's favorite podcast, he's convinced that they are his friends and doesn't understand why they all can't hang out.
You Look Nice Today
posted by I could but I won't at 6:53 PM on May 6, 2009 [3 favorites]

Adam and Joe! They make me laugh and laugh.
posted by hot soup girl at 7:00 PM on May 6, 2009

Best answer: I'm also a huge Slate Gabfest fan, and lately have been hooked on podcasts from howstuffworks.com, specifically:

1. Stuff You Should Know, wherein two dudes discuss such topics as hypoallergenic cats, comas, junk mail, whether there are dead bodies on Mt. Everest, etc.

2. Stuff You Missed in History Class, wherein two ladies discuss topics such as the Pied Piper of Hamlin, the Jefferson Bible, medieval torture devices, Easter Island, etc.

The site also produces podcasts on music, women's issues and tech stuff, but these two are my favorites -- basically just 15-25 minute fun and informative conversations on a wide range of subjects (with each episode devoted to a single subject). (And no, I do not work for howstuffworks.com... unless they're hiring.)
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 7:15 PM on May 6, 2009

Best answer: The God Whisperers is a couple of Lutheran clergy working their way through Luther's Small Catechism. They have a relaxed approach to their discussions and a good sense of humour.

I subscribe via iTunes.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 7:49 PM on May 6, 2009

Best answer: The Bugle at Times Online. Andy Zaltzman and John Oliver (from the Daily Show) going back and forth.

Mind you, if you don't appreciate British humour it may seem bizzare. I think it's the funniest thing on the web, but YMMV.
posted by MadMage at 8:06 PM on May 6, 2009

Seconding The Bugle. I just found it a few weeks ago, and now it's one of the highlights of my commute. Those two are just ridiculously funny when they get going.
posted by captainawesome at 10:15 PM on May 6, 2009

Penny-Arcade has a podcast created on random days.

It's ostensibly about videogames, but the intent is to document the process of creating a comic. For example, the latest one involves homosexuality in Star Wars and censorship. So it pretty much hits up everything you don't want.
posted by pwnguin at 10:57 PM on May 6, 2009

Response by poster: So I've added almost all of these to my podcast listing (except the one I've listened to in the past and not liked and the few whose non-itunes podcast feed address I couldn't find). I'm really excited to learn new things -- including sports and religion and history, all things I don't normally ruminate over.

Thanks so much! More recommendations are appreciated, of course. I will try and give all the ones I've never heard before a listen.
posted by bluefly at 11:14 PM on May 6, 2009

the CAG Cast features the lives of two new-york jews, one who has moved to tokyo. They discuss videogames, but I honestly find their banter more interesting than anything they talk about in games since their opinions on them are generally ill-informed.

Unsurprisingly, CheapyD is a big fan of Howard Stern, which explains much of the quality.
posted by TimeDoctor at 11:55 PM on May 6, 2009

The Collings & Herrin podcast by Richard Herring and Andrew Collins is a conversation/discussion/argument about the past week's news stories. It's also very obcene at times, so be warned. It's very funny though.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:34 AM on May 7, 2009

Best answer: I highly recommend the No Agenda podcast, with John C. Dvorak and Adam Curry. It's exactly the type of podcast you're looking for, and very addictive. The mere presence of Adam Curry made me skeptical at first, but it's now one of my favorite "podcasts about nothing" ever. Very entertaining stuff.

Oh, and go to hell.
posted by melorama at 4:49 AM on May 7, 2009

I love the Apologia podcast; I just finished catching up. It's a group of atheists and theists getting together to discuss different issues, ranging from arguments for and against god to sexual ethics to the ethics of artificial life. And it's actual reasoned discussion, not just shouting at each other. The first few episodes were kind of rough; I skipped to the Common Myths - Part 1 episode (from 7/1/2007) and moved forward from there.

Also nthing The Bugle, Adam and Joe, Jordan Jesse GO!, the Metafilter podcast, and You Look Nice Today. (That last one does have little musical breaks in between "segments," but it's more like conversational break points rather than anything formally structured.)
posted by JDHarper at 8:00 AM on May 7, 2009

I highly recommend Keith and the Girl (www.katg.com ) They have different guests that sit in on the entire show and there isn't too much "interviewing" in a traditional sense. It is more like a conversation among people that are meeting for the first time (if they are new guests). The show is daily and is about 2 hrs long. I can't recommend the show enough.
posted by cmar618 at 9:27 AM on May 7, 2009

Across the Nerdaverse. A couple of people sitting around and talking about films, books, video games, music...basically various nerd-friendly topics.
posted by Windigo at 9:31 AM on May 7, 2009

Never Not Funny (you need to pay for the whole show, but there is a free feed of the first 20 minutes).

Adam Corolla has his own podcast that is pretty great.

Also, seconding SModcast and Jordan, Jesse GO!
posted by Twicketface at 10:27 AM on May 7, 2009

Best answer: Too Beautiful to Live is in the same smart & delightful vein as YLNT & JJG!, with - among other good things - the added balance & perspective of a woman (producer Jen Andrews) as one of the voices in conversation. (Rawr!)
posted by judith at 5:30 PM on May 7, 2009

One self-link here, but you asked.

Now Playing is a movie review podcast. The basic shows are 2 people, 1 man 1 woman, reviewing a movie for about 10 minutes. But the more interesting shows are the "series" shows where there's 3 people conversing. They've done Star Trek and Friday the 13th and are about to start Terminator where the 3 have a conversation really dissecting these films for anywhere from 40-50 minutes.

Geeks On is a show where (usually) 4 guys, all friends, get together and discuss topics that are considered "geeky" like James Bond movies, Time Travel in sci-fi, etc. They have some interview shows but they are the exception, not the rule. I know you said you're not into sci-fi but what they consider "geeky" you may not, again I mention James Bond.
posted by arniec at 9:36 AM on May 8, 2009

Best answer: Dial a Stranger fits the bill exactly.
posted by bigmusic at 11:03 PM on June 8, 2009

It depends on if you're into gaming - but as someone who also listens to the Gabfest, I also like Gamers With Jobs.
posted by batgrlHG at 11:16 AM on June 22, 2009

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