What is your favorite episode of a podcast?
November 22, 2010 10:58 AM   Subscribe

Looking for a 'best of' podcast list...sort of like this but for podcasts.

I listen to a lot of podcasts now but I haven't always and it's hard to sift through the archives of them all. Plus, some podcasts just aren't all that great but maybe there is a diamond in the rough somewhere out there that I don't want to miss.

For example, I enjoyed episode 61 of TAL but I only found it because I was picking random episodes from the archives.
posted by morganannie to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 49 users marked this as a favorite
Here (with links to more previously) is AskMeFi's list of bests...
posted by Beardman at 11:07 AM on November 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Great list but I'm looking for specific episodes of all those great podcasts.
posted by morganannie at 11:09 AM on November 22, 2010

In the Shadow of the City is a fantastic episode of TAL. Act One Brooklyn Archipelago is perhaps my favorite story of all time.
posted by Arbac at 11:20 AM on November 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

Episode 172 of TAL, 24 Hours at the Golden Apple.

There's also a Mike Birbiglia piece that has become legendary among several of my friends, the original story of his sleepwalking, found on Episode 370 of TAL and also a Moth. The other Moth one I love is Brian Finkelstein's Jewish Blood, Irish Heart.
posted by knile at 11:22 AM on November 22, 2010

The Ring And I is the best thing I ever heard on the Radiolab podcast. (I think it actually predates Radiolab but is by the same team.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:31 AM on November 22, 2010 [2 favorites]

The story of Lucy, a chimp raised by a psychologist, was the most amazing piece of radio I've ever experienced.
posted by HotPatatta at 11:46 AM on November 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

* The "Return of He-Man" episode of the Slate Magazine podcast (it's really just a reading of that article)
* The Stuff You Missed in History Class episodes about the Pazzi conspiracy, Catherine de'Medici, and Queen Elizabeth
* The Hardcore History episodes about Hannibal and the Punic Wars
posted by neushoorn at 11:47 AM on November 22, 2010

House on Loon Lake is one of my favorite TAL episodes.
posted by HotPatatta at 11:54 AM on November 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

Episode 51 (Agricola) of Board Games With Scott.

Required viewing for anyone I'm going to teach to play Agricola.
posted by backwards guitar at 1:53 PM on November 22, 2010

Lars Brownworth's 12 Byzantine Rulers is a pleasant lesson and all, but be aware his lack of professional historian chops realyl come through - the series is riddled with historical errors, ellipsis, and an at times very distorted perspective. I would not turn to that series for a clear-eyed look at the Byzantine empire.
posted by smoke at 2:06 PM on November 22, 2010

The latest Bugle, episode #134 (Royal Wedding Souvenir Edition), is hilarious.
posted by Beardman at 2:27 PM on November 22, 2010

The Giant Pool of Money from This American Life is fantastic.
They also did a Return to The Giant Pool of Money a year later.

I also love the Price Gouging from Econtalk. You can look through some of their favorites for more.

How Four Drinking Buddies Saved Brazil from Planet Money is also great. I really like the recent episode describing why gold beat out other metal to become monetary standard.
posted by Carius at 7:02 PM on November 22, 2010

Being deaf (from thirdcoastfestival.org - but does anyone else have trouble playing audio on their site, as opposed to through itunes? or maybe it's just my older operating system, don't know)

Scott Carrier's Pen to Paper (featuring Charles Bowden) and The West Desert

From Ronan Kelly, The Flux Show, featuring two biographies of / interviews with... people with stories to tell

Other TAL episodes: Didn't ask to be born (particularly Act One), Switched at Birth, It's Never Over and The Middle of Nowhere (Act One, on the island of Nauru...)

Fresh Air interviews with a neuroscientist who has a stroke and studies herself, with Shalom Auslander, and the "Quants."

After the Forgetting from transom.org

The Rabbit Hutch (from bigshed.org and placeandmemory.org) (scroll down for audio options, right above videos) (this one's short)

If you're in the mood for a grab-bag, O'Dark 30 is a THREE-HOUR-LONG show whose hosts describe it as "an exploration of the world of independent radio production." Give episode 45 a try.

AudioDocumentary.org calls itself an "ongoing curated collection of free online audio documentary" that hopes to "be a portal to as much quality audio as possible." It helpfully posts the length of each segment (don't know if you always want an hour's worth). You asked for specific podcasts, but each link is just a page with an mp3 that immediately starts playing... so you may want to skip it till you have time... sorry.

I could go on, but now it's o'dark 30 and the machine must be turned off!
posted by Sarah Jane at 11:18 PM on November 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

The episode of The Best Show on WFMU from July 21, 2009 is one of my all-time favorite audio comedy gems. It (like every episode of The Best Show) takes awhile to get going, but around 1 hour and 10 minutes, it goes from pretty good to unbelievable (provided you're okay with light mockery of the Insane Clown Posse).
posted by Turkey Glue at 11:12 AM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

Heretics on TAL is the best piece of radio I've ever experienced. So moving, so heartbreaking (even to an atheist like me.) I also loved Running After Antelope (also TAL) so, so much. Scott Carrier's work has been a huge influence on my own writing.

Seconding the Mike Birbiglia sleepwalking episode of The Moth. The Moth in general is great.

The Darwinvaganza episode of RadioLab is amazinngggg. Check it - Francis Crick's grandfather and Darwin were in effect co-authors...the world is so small. Also, the Love Song of Charles and Emma.
posted by tatiana wishbone at 1:43 PM on November 23, 2010

Not strictly a podcast, but the Jon Ronson On The Worst internet date episode of Jon Ronson On.
posted by tapeguy at 4:43 AM on November 28, 2010

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