another podcast suggestion question
June 9, 2014 9:38 AM   Subscribe

My job lets me listen to stuff while I work, and I'm finding that podcasts are the right level of mental stimulation. I don't know much about podcasts. I like media and funny people shooting the shit. What should I listen to?

So far I've been listening to these:

My Brother, My Brother, and Me: Hilarious. I enjoy the raunchiness and the brothers are usually pretty good about checking each others' more offensive jokes, which I'm not into.

WTF with Marc Maron: Marc Maron is an interesting dude and he has a lot of cool talks with cool people, which I enjoy. Often really funny. The first ten minutes with Marc oversharing and rambling about his life can get a little grating, but overall, I'm a fan.

NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour: I like this a lot. Just getting into this one so far, but I find them very charming and I love what they talk about. I like that I finish these episodes better informed, but I never feel like I'm listening to a lecture.

I like these things:

film/book/TV/video game reviews and analysis
witty banter
conversational delivery of cool info
comedy with a direction, like MBMBAM's advice thing or Marc Maron's interview format

posted by goosechasing to Media & Arts (37 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

The Nerdist network has a huge stable of podcasts, and the individual podcast names are pretty self-explanatory. I find their quality to be highly variable, but ymmv.

Studio 360 is an arts program/podcast from NPR. They interview everything from serious artists to Jack Black, so it may fit your bill. I think Kurt Andersen has a really good sense of quality and he's a very good interviewer.
posted by lownote at 9:45 AM on June 9, 2014

On the TV front, you might like "Firewall & Iceberg" - I find it hits some of the same pop cultural analysis itch that PCHH does for me.
posted by Stacey at 9:46 AM on June 9, 2014

Girl On Guy is an ongoing interview series where comedian/actress Aisha Tyler interviews both her friends and people she admires in any industry.
posted by muddgirl at 9:52 AM on June 9, 2014

Stop Podcasting Yourself - Two Canadian Comics and a guest engaging in funny conversation

On the Media - a great breakdown of media stories in that week's news (see also their sister podcast TLDR which covers the internet)

How Did This Get Made? - Bad movies broken down by comedians

Stuff You Should Know

Stuff You Missed in History Class

The Indoor Kids - Comedian Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V Gordon cover video games in a funny, conversational way
posted by inturnaround at 9:52 AM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Kevin Pollak Chat Show (loooong interviews about showbiz)

The Bugle (news, laughs)
posted by wenestvedt at 9:54 AM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

99% Invisible is short but should not be missed. Ditto The Memory Palace, which is terribly infrequent but frequently the best 4 minutes of my week when one comes out.

No Such Thing As A Fish is by the elves who research the trivia for the show QI. Their sound quality is crap but it's still a great listen.

The Bugle. John Oliver, enough said.

If you are into food, Spilled Milk.

Sawbones, which is Justin McElroy from MBMBAM and his wife Sydnee, who's a physician, discussing some bit of medical history (like Trepanation or Mercury). One of my favorites.

Oh No Ross and Carrie, in which Ross and Carrie investigate questionable science and religion stuff.


The Alton Browncast, which is food-adjacent though not always specifically about cooking.

You Made It Weird is kind of WTF-ish, but Pete Holmes is sort of squishy and gauzy where Maron is hard and prickly. A lot of deep dives into spirituality, sex, self-image.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:57 AM on June 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

I keep getting impressed by a lot of the main Nerdist podcasts; Chris Hardwick gets some great interviews out of people, and I find myself saving a lot of them. (The most recent one that blew me away was Anthony Bourdain's.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:57 AM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Seconding lownote on The Nerdist, both that they are good but also variable.

99% Invisible is a fantastic short podcast that covers design/architecture/some weird pop culture. It's wonderful and if you like its style maybe check out the other podcasts at Radiotopia (which I believe is funded in part by PRX, if you want that public radio but a bit fresher and younger feel).
posted by Wretch729 at 9:59 AM on June 9, 2014

How Was Your Week? with Julie Klausner is really similar in format to WTF. She interviews great people--not just actors but writers, too--and she's hilarious. Great monologues, better interviews.
posted by magdalemon at 10:00 AM on June 9, 2014

Gregg Proop's "World's Smartest Man" Proopcast (liberal slant to news, plus LOTS of showbiz and mild intoxication and smart comedy)
posted by wenestvedt at 10:05 AM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

You will almost certainly like the aforementioned Stop Podcasting Yourself and Answer Me This, a British podcast where three hilarious people answer Ask Metafilter style questions from the listeners.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:12 AM on June 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

Quarter to Three- a movie podcast (usually pretty topical, though sometimes they do older movies).
posted by dilaudid at 10:14 AM on June 9, 2014

/Ctl-F "The Bugle." Okay, it's here. Good job everyone.

That said, here's a couple from the fine folks at NPR: Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, and Ask Me Another.

I also like the "Friday Night Comedy" podcast from BBC4, which switches between The Now Show and the News Quiz, if you don't mind your comedy having a strong British current events bent.
posted by General Malaise at 10:15 AM on June 9, 2014

nth'ing Stop Podcasting Yourself
Sneaky Dragon
A Way With Words
Answer Me This
Dead Authors Podcast
The Infinite Monkey Cage
Radcliffe & Maconie (? may be too UK)
posted by stuartmm at 10:22 AM on June 9, 2014

The Flophouse
posted by neushoorn at 10:30 AM on June 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

I listen to all the podcasts you mentioned, and some others that I like are:

-Nthing Sawbones and Stuff You Missed in History Class (although I'm not as crazy about the current hosts of the latter)
-I'm a big fan of a lot of the Maximum Fun stuff. In addition to the aforementioned MBMBaM and Sawbones, I also listen to Judge John Hodgman and occasionally Bullseye.
-NPR's Planet Money: More interesting that it sounds, and a good length.
-Several of the Grantland Pop Culture podcasts, depending on what they're discussing. (I pretty reliably listen to the Hollywood Prospectus and the Right Reasons, and I'll occasionally listen to the others.)
-I also love Thrilling Adventure Hour, even though it's scripted and not just conversation. It's super witty and fun. I can't not mention it.
posted by pitrified at 10:56 AM on June 9, 2014

A little bit along the lines of something like Pop Culture Happy Hour (though with plenty of differences and more clips and sound effects and a quiz game every week), I always suggest Extra Hot Great. It's the podcast from the folks, who were the original creators of Mighty Big TV which begat Television Without Pity.

They've had a couple weeks off, for site restructuring and whatnot, but there's a pretty big back catalog waiting for you. They typically do one full-length episode a week (about an hour and twenty minutes long), plus a roughly-5-minute "mini" four days a week.
posted by theatro at 11:01 AM on June 9, 2014 [3 favorites]

Jordan, Jesse, Go is the best banter podcast.
posted by NoEatingdogs at 11:06 AM on June 9, 2014

My favourite Podcasts are:

Answer Me This (I'm the anonymous cupcake lady by the way!!)
Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo's Film Reviews (Hello to Jason Isaacs)
The Moth Podcast (wonderful wonderful stories, told by some fascinating people)
Savage Lovecast (who doesn't enjoy hearing other people's relationship dramas?)
The Alton Browncast (lots of witty banter and informative interviews)
How did this get made? (a podcast about terrible films!)

These are all great (in my opinion of course!!)
posted by JenThePro at 11:15 AM on June 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

I used to listen to Wait Wait Don't Tell me a lot at work because it's really funny and well-paced but if you zone and and out you don't lose focus.

TLDR is an offshoot of the afore-mentioned On The Media (which is awesome!). Not only is it produced by two MeFites but two episodes are about MeFi. So you know, not to miss.

I also like You Made it Weird and the Nerdist interviews, although both have the Maron problem where there is nobody to tell them to edit down the rambling and to please freakin equalize the levels.
posted by radioamy at 11:38 AM on June 9, 2014

The Flophouse - One of the older bad movie podcasts and still the best. 2/3rds of the hosts are Daily Show writers and the third is super cool, dude.

Mysterious Universe - Pananormal stories and discussions from Australia. Gold standard when it comes to sound quality. Whether or not the hosts actually believe what they're talking about is still up in the air, but they are enthusiastic enough to make even woo fun to listen to.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:40 AM on June 9, 2014

Radiotopia, "a collective of the best story-driven shows on the planet," is a good place to start.
posted by thursdaystoo at 11:57 AM on June 9, 2014

I like The Instance, which is a fun bantering podcast about Eorld of Warcraft and other Blizzard games.
posted by purenitrous at 12:27 PM on June 9, 2014

Professor Blastoff - a bunch of comedians plus a different expert guest learn about a new topic each episode, starring the wonderfully awesome Tig Notaro.
posted by Cosine at 12:29 PM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Comedy Bang-Bang - extremely silly, but it grows on you.
posted by Cosine at 12:29 PM on June 9, 2014

Two Charted - Actor/Comedian/Musicians Howard Kremer and Kulap Vilaysack use the weekly pop charts to get to know a different guest each week.
posted by Cosine at 12:31 PM on June 9, 2014

It's wrong how much Star Wars Minute has been delighting me.
posted by Katemonkey at 12:43 PM on June 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

I subscribe to a lot of podcasts, some of which I listen to on and off, others of which I'm devoted to. Here are some of them:
Extra Hot Great (good odds you'll like it since it's done by former Television Without Pity people, just like Linda Holmes from PCHH)
How Did This Get Made (comedians discuss bad movies)
The Nerdist
James Bonding (Matt Mira from The Nerdist and another Matt discuss James Bond movies)
Mike O'Meara Show (former radio guys talking about shit, doing impressions (good and bad), random tangents about long-dead entertainers)
Cake and Cookies (featuring Robb Spewak from The Mike O'Meara show and Katie, reports from Katie's dogs Judd and Prestley, long stories cutely told, lots of friendly banter)
Doug Loves Movies (Doug Benson)
Savage Lovecast (although I'm getting a little tired of it and may drop it soon)
Sawbones (We used to do what to cure what?)
Judge John Hodgeman
Smartest Man In The World (Greg Proops)
various Slate podcasts, including Culture Gabfest, Mom and Dad are Fighting (and I don't even have kids) and XX - sometimes a little insufferable but usually interesting
Firewall and Iceberg (I forward to the topics I'm interested in)
posted by PussKillian at 12:44 PM on June 9, 2014

The Incomparable is a variably-sized group of people to who talk about nerd pop-culture: movies, TV shows, books, video games, and random ephemera. Ticks all the boxes you have listed above.

I also never miss an opportunity to recommend Roderick on the Line. It is rambling, witty, and occasionally enlightening.

This is pretty inside baseball, but I have heard their website is pretty good.

Seconding Judge John Hodgman, Savage Lovecast, 99% Invisible, Radiolab, and Planet Money.
posted by jeoc at 4:18 PM on June 9, 2014

Uhh Yeah Dude is the most correct answer and unbelievably hasn't been mentioned yet.
posted by thirdletter at 5:31 PM on June 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

The Incomparable is very good on its own merits, but it also stands out because it is edited -- with a light touch -- so it keeps moving. (I have been listening to a lot of Disney-related podcasts lately, and many of them have truly shabby production values.)
posted by wenestvedt at 8:54 PM on June 9, 2014

I like these things:

film/book/TV/video game reviews and analysis
witty banter
conversational delivery of cool info
The X-Files Files just got underway and I've found the first episode surprisingly enjoyable. Hosts come from a comedy background, and the chat is peppered with some great insight into the show and the medium, but it's not technical or too self-serious and they have a great rapport. Just the ticket if you were into X-Files at all (superfandom not required), or if you want to watch it on Netflix along with them.

Idle Thumbs is a video game podcast that in my opinion totally sets the bar for their style of show. Semi-rotating group of guys in the video game scene, hilarious, and they're super good at give-and-take which is tricky with more than 2 hosts. Top notch production, too.

The Incomparable has been mentioned already but I'd be remiss not to call out my favorite episodes are when they tackle Star Wars, starting with the episodes I Like My Coffee Like My Evil Sith Lords and Death Star University.

Shameful self-link: I host "a podcast about overthinking movies" called In the Cut – if you're interested, you might start with our episodes on Drive, Brainscan or Robocop 2. Also, Mefi's own cortex and griphus have their own horror-movie-themed show called We Have Such Films to Show You that's a real fun listen.
posted by churl at 9:46 PM on June 9, 2014

nthing some of the recommendations below, in particular 99% invisible and the incomparable.

Here's a list of the podcasts I enjoy, that match some of your themes:
  • How to do everything: A funny interview podcast - short and entertaining.
  • The book was better: A particularly stupid podcast about reading novelization of bad movies. Immature Australian humor, but can be laugh out loud funny. Exhibit A: the garfield episode. The same level of stupidity for movies commentary is The FlopHouse - see this for example.
  • Good Job Brain: A fun weekly trivia quiz show. The hosts are fun, and the themes diverse.
  • The Bugle: A stupid current events show from John Oliver (Community, the Daily Show) and Andy Zaltzman. Warning: many puns.
  • Risk: Risk is a storytelling showfor all stories that won't make it on the moth - stories that you'd normally be afraid to tell. It can make for an awkward listen (like when you see a character in a movie about to do something particularly stupid, and you cringe at what you're about to see), but it's often entertaining, in a weird way. (there are many other story telling shows: the moth, story collider, snap judgement, etc.. but they don't seem to fit your criteria as well)
  • Definitely Not The Opera: This is a fun, often light hearted pop culture show from the Canadian public radio (I'm not canadian)
  • Star Talk Radio: A great Astrophysics & Comedy talk show.
  • Philosophy Bites:Short - focused philosophy episodes.
  • You’re the expert: A fun concept: a scientist in a very specific field, and a bunch of comedians trying to understand what their job actually is. It's fun, and you might learn a thing or two. But it's mostly fun.
  • The incomparable: A panel of critics discussing books, movies, games (and sometimes other stuff) - I'm grateful for the incomparable for discovering the vorkosigan saga. Their [brackets] type of episodes are really enjoyable, but the ones you should pay attention to are the book club one - many of the recent scifi authors would have escaped be if not for the incomparable - and probably half of my kindle comes straight from incomparable episodes (I tend to skip the DrWho episodes though). They now have a stable of other podcasts launching, the one you want is the main "the incomparable" one first.
  • SF Squeecast: A group of SF and Fantasy writer, who focus on talking about other authors work they enjoy
  • Football Weekly: The funniest soccer podcast around.
Finally, no-one mentioned it yet, but metafilter has a podcast where the mods talk a little bit about the site, but it's mostly fun & banter and can be quite cute, so you should listen to that too.
posted by motdiem2 at 3:42 AM on June 10, 2014

2nding You're the Expert. There's even an episode out featuring Metafilter's Own Horace Rumpole. It ran October 29 2013.
posted by Aizkolari at 11:37 AM on June 10, 2014

I very much enjoy Back to Work. It's conversational and meandering, but eventually gets to a point about working & productivity in a simple or amusing way. Listen to episode 7 if nothing else.
posted by Turkey Glue at 3:25 PM on June 10, 2014

We are podcast twins! Pop Culture Happy Hour & MBMBaM are my favorites. Maybe try The Read?
posted by moons in june at 7:26 PM on June 10, 2014

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