Recommend some 'chatty friends' style podcasts for me
February 12, 2018 9:20 AM   Subscribe

For a long time I thought that I hated podcasts, but it turns out I just hate "NPR voice" and overly serious, professionally-produced podcasts like Serial or Radio Lab. Then I started listening to Another Round and Dear Prudence because I'm a fan of the people involved. I love these podcasts! They are silly, casual, unscripted, and it feels like I'm hanging out with cool friends while they talk about smart stuff. What else should I be listening to?

Other podcasts that I like
- Baby Genius: This is great! Funny, feminist, hilarious friends chatting. (But I don't really think Expert Hour is funny, I usually skip that part.)
- Science For The People: It's not as funny as the others, so I tend not to listen as often, but I like the topics and the low-tech, non-scripted feel. They just call regular scientists and ask them questions.

Podcasts I tried that I don't like
- Happiness Project: the hosts are just chatting but they feel too uptight, too NPR-voice. And I can't relate to their lives or topics very often.
- Hilarious World of Depression: too scripted/produced. The host spends most of the show narrating the guest's life, interspersed with some comments from the guest, instead of having a conversation between equals.
- Anna Faris's podcast: I can't exactly say why she bothers me. But she managed to say a enough things in one episode that made me uncomfortable that I couldn't keep listening.

Bonus for feminist, queer, anti-racist, progressive voices, but the podcast doesn't have to be about political stuff. Topics I enjoy include science, science fiction, mental health, pop culture, queer stuff, history, literature. Anything EXCEPT current events. This is escapism for me, so I don't want a podcast that's just rehashing the terrible headlines of the day.

(And just in case this needs to be said: please nothing that relies on homophobic, misogynist, transphobic, racist, ableist kinds of humour. Again, this is escapism for me so I want to avoid stuff that's going to traumatize me or bum me out.)
posted by 100kb to Media & Arts (70 answers total) 80 users marked this as a favorite
My Favorite Murder - two very different and very funny women talking about True Crime. Took me a few episodes to warm up. I would start with a couple eps in the first 20 they produced and then maybe check out ep 61 (it's live) where Karen talks about Ted Bundy.

Roderick on the Line - Two gentleman talk about a broad range of things. If you like either of these guys it is an automatic yes, but listen to a coupe episodes to get oriented. If you like it I would listen through Merlin's fave eps, which heavily emphasize the beginning of the program. Ep 25 (Supertrain) is a bit of a must.
posted by n9 at 9:25 AM on February 12, 2018 [9 favorites]

Pop Culture Happy Hour is from NPR but it is very much not NPR voice.
posted by fedward at 9:28 AM on February 12, 2018 [4 favorites]

I've been listening to My Dad Wrote a Porno on my walks and have laughed like a maniac completely on my own. It's hosted by the guy whose dad wrote the porno and two of his friends who ah, critique the work chapter by chapter.
posted by like_neon at 9:29 AM on February 12, 2018 [8 favorites]

it's a two straight white (Canadian) guys show but the hosts of Stop Podcasting Yourself are just so damned pleasant and funny that it's the only podcast that has never once become grating or tedious to me over the years.
posted by mullacc at 9:29 AM on February 12, 2018 [8 favorites]


BFFs Kathy Tu and Tobin Low are super queer, super fun and ready to take over your podcast feed. Join them for provocative stories and frank conversations about the LGBTQ experience today. Because everyone's a little bit gay.
posted by maya at 9:31 AM on February 12, 2018

I've always liked Chris Hardwick's "Nerdist" podcast, which is now titled ID10T. Sometimes the humor is a little crude, and you may have a moment or two in the early ones where you blink a bit at an occasional joke, but Chris Hardwick is really good at making his podcasts very much conversations instead of interviews, and there are some amazing conversations he's gotten out of people. There's very much a freewheeling, anything-goes feel to his podcasts (there was one he did with Jeff Bridges where they end with Jeff leading Chris and another person in the room in a couple minutes of meditation, complete with them all chanting "Om" for a solid two and a half minutes or so).

I find Adam Savage's own Still Untitled to be a bit hit-or-miss - some of the episodes deal more so with the maker community, and I'm not a member of that community as such. But he also does a lot with moviewatching, and I love listening to when he does a review of movies - there are details I learn about and perspectives I consider which I wouldn't have done otherwise. Also, something Adam said in an episode is directly responsible for my movie-watching blog project (he said something about "the best way to learn about movies is to watch more of them and talk about them with people", and I thought "wait...yeah, that's true" and that gave me the push for my blog).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:35 AM on February 12, 2018

No Such Thing As A Fish

Four of the QI 'Elves' (the researchers who find the facts for the QI television programme) discuss their four favourite facts discovered in that week.
posted by myotahapea at 9:38 AM on February 12, 2018 [11 favorites]

If you like Star Trek TNG, check out Treks and the City
posted by mustardayonnaise at 9:43 AM on February 12, 2018

Judge John Hodgman
Two Dope Queens
Politially Re-Active
posted by matildaben at 9:44 AM on February 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Try Another Round's sister podcast Thirst Aid Kit, especially if you're attracted to men.

You'd probably like a lot of the stuff on the Max Fun network. I listen to Sawbones, Still Buffering, and One Bad Mother. Sawbones feels a little more scripted than the other two, but it's still loose, and the subject matter (medical history) might be closer to your interests than teens and parenthood.

And seconding Pop Culture Happy Hour.
posted by natabat at 9:45 AM on February 12, 2018


It's two good friends having a lighthearted chat every weekday about fun stuff in the news or what's going on in their lives or what have you. You really get to know them the way you would a friend. Their vibe is very metafilter in a way that I don't know how to describe.

Seconding No Such Thing As A Fish.
posted by heart's ease at 9:47 AM on February 12, 2018

The Omnibus - Ken Jennings (of Jeopardy fame) and John Roderick. Weird trivia with a scifi theme.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 9:50 AM on February 12, 2018

In addition to Sawbones, you might like other shows from the extended McElroy family. MBMBAM might be too random/silly (I like it for this, but YMMV), but I also enjoy Wonderful!, Sawbones, and Shmanners, and have liked what I've heard of Still Buffering.
posted by Kpele at 9:55 AM on February 12, 2018 [4 favorites]

Misandry with Marcia and Rae - very feminist, very conversational! Possibly more political than you want, but how can they not?

If you like TV a lot - TV Campfire and Appointment Television.
posted by Squeak Attack at 9:59 AM on February 12, 2018

Can I Pet Your Dog? seems to be popular in that way without being a Two White Guys Talking podcast.

I very very very much looooove Ologies right now. (Any discussion of science is going to touch briefly on the current state of sciences, but it's not flipping my "politics" switch much.)

Thirst Aid Kit mostly avoids politics except in the unavoidable "this is where we have to live now" ways.

No Such Thing As A Fish is one of my favorites, but current events are prevalent.

I've been enjoying Mark and Sarah Talk About Songs.

The JV Club, in which Janet Varney talks to a woman (except in summer, when she talks to men) mostly about their young lives - childhood, tween/teendom - and sometimes has some really really interesting guests.

How Did This Get Made is fun for me now and then, though sometimes it's just really loud and I can't take it for very long.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:03 AM on February 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Stuff you Missed in History Class and Stuff You Should Know are two of my favorites.
posted by bessiemae at 10:05 AM on February 12, 2018 [3 favorites]

Lingthusiasm with Gretchen McCulloch and Lauren Gawne is a great show about Linguistics with two female presenters having a good time and talking to each other, with occasional guests.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 10:08 AM on February 12, 2018

I love Retail Nightmares. It's two Canadian ladies who I think do stand up or are in bands or something and who have guests on from those sorts of artsy-creative communities. I've been going through their back catalog of female guests (although they are very progressive! And I'm sure their male guests are fine! I'm just sick of listening to men). There is not a tremendous amount of substance, but they are sweet and hilarious and are cool friends who talk about funny stuff, if not too much smart stuff. They talk a LOT about dogs, and other assorted favorite puppos of all species, and the centerpiece of the show is sharing tales of woe or goodness from retail jobs they and the guests have had.
posted by acanthous at 10:11 AM on February 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

Call Your Girlfriend seems like it would fit the bill, although it's sometimes current-eventsy.

Pop Rocket is similar in format to Pop Culture Happy Hour.

I don't know if Still Processing is going to sound too NPR-voice for you. I know that NPR voice is a thing, but I don't know that I recognize it. Anyway, I enjoy this one.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:16 AM on February 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

Nancy is a delightful queer show from WNYC. (Kathy is a pal of mine, but this in no way influences my recommendation.)

I also really dig The Stoop from KALW: The Stoop podcast digs into stories that are not always shared out in the open. Hosts Leila Day and Hana Baba start conversations and provide sound-rich stories about what it means to be black, and how we talk about blackness.
posted by mykescipark at 10:16 AM on February 12, 2018

For my 'chatty smart funny friends' needs I turn to the flagship podcast about TV, "Extra Hot Great". Also, the subset of just Tara & Sarah are doing a complete watchthrough of the original Beverly Hill 90210 show, via the podcast "Again With This".
posted by theatro at 10:16 AM on February 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

The Nod

"Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings gleefully explore all the beautiful, complicated dimensions of Black life."

It. Is. Great!
posted by orangesky4 at 10:30 AM on February 12, 2018

I like Loveline with Amber Rose, and Coffee Convos by Kail Lowry.
posted by Sara_NOT_Sarah at 10:35 AM on February 12, 2018

If you're down for some light true crime and creepy pasta, And That's Why We Drink is two really good friends telling each other stories, with massive digressions into every topic. It is the podcast that most accurately reproduces what living in my college apartment with a bunch of other nerds was like and it's so fun and comforting.
posted by WidgetAlley at 10:38 AM on February 12, 2018

The level of "smart" varies (but I wouldn't really call it stupid), but Tara Lipinski & Johnny Weir's podcast is 100% friends chatting. (Early on, there was more of an attempt by the producers to get them to talk more about figure skating or sports, but that was quickly abandoned.)

They're both pretty charming and silly (in a good way) but they also have a surprising level of self-awareness. They know their quirks and their flaws and they don't mind sharing them.

(As much as I think they'd be utterly exhausting to hang out with, they are so much fun to listen to. I haven't listened in a while but I really enjoyed it when I was.)
posted by darksong at 10:38 AM on February 12, 2018

Pod Save American and the other Crooked Media productions are basically friends chatting, but it's hosted by former Obama White House staffers and these friends have inside knowledge about current politics and current events. Very entertaining.
posted by parkerposey at 10:58 AM on February 12, 2018

Oh sorry, I see you DON'T want current events--pod save america wouldn't fit the bill after all.
posted by parkerposey at 11:00 AM on February 12, 2018

Have you heard of We're No Doctors?

It's a new podcast with Busy Philips and Steve Agee where they spend a lot of time talking about their various health problems (mental and physical) or suspected health problems, and those of their friends, and also family. Occasionally there is a guest on who has had an interesting malady-diabetes, depression, stroke, etc. It could all be very depressing, but it's not, it is pretty hilarious and at times touching. I have alternately rolled my eyes and been made teary in the span of about two minutes. It's worth giving a try if you have a tendency towards hypochondria or armchair diagnosing.

Here's the official description:
Meet Steve and Busy, two neurotic, hypochondriac actors who’ve decided to host a podcast about health and medicine. Join them on a weekly journey to unload their health issues, obsessions and opinions.
posted by Bibliogeek at 11:29 AM on February 12, 2018

Partially Examined Life is four former philosophy grad students talking about philosophy. It's a little too unstructured for me, but there's some pretty good, deep stuff on there.

Archispeak is about architecture.

This may not be exactly what you're looking for, but I was surprised by how entertaining the Bill Simmons Podcast is. It's hit or miss, like everything Simmons does, but when he's good, he's really good. It's not as bro-y as you'd expect (depending on the guest, of course).
posted by kevinbelt at 11:31 AM on February 12, 2018

The podcasts from Stay Mean (Woodland Secrets and Dadfeelings) might be a good match for what you like! They're both hosted by merritt k, and depending on the guest can be hilarious or weird or both.
posted by Four String Riot at 11:32 AM on February 12, 2018

Historical Hotties: two sisters debate the hotness of important historical figures in the same field based on things like intellect and bravery.
posted by cholly at 11:34 AM on February 12, 2018

Wine and Crime: The Podcast where three friends chug wine, chat true crime, and unleash their worst Minnesotan accents.

These gals make my week.
posted by Seeba at 11:43 AM on February 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

You might like Crybabies (Sarah Thyre and Susan Orlean talking to guests about what makes them cry). I don’t find it depressing and often it makes me laugh!

I also love the What If? Podcast. The two hosts discuss weird stuff; paranormal, aliens, history, space, and so forth. It’s very chatty and laid back.
posted by sucre at 11:44 AM on February 12, 2018

Oh No, Ross and Carrie is really good. They explore fringe science and religion, among other things, and are really respectful while doing it.
posted by misseva at 12:03 PM on February 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Answer Me This! It's one of the few podcasts I've listened to faithfully for approaching 10 years now. It's Helen Zaltzman and Olly Mann, two smart, funny friends who answer AskMe (plus chatfilter) questions from the British (and sometimes international) general public, and chat about their personal lives. It's lighthearted and fairly timeless, ie most questions are not about current events.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:05 PM on February 12, 2018 [4 favorites]

Witch Please! It's about Harry Potter and it is great. (I also generally don't care for podcasts.)
posted by goodbyewaffles at 12:08 PM on February 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

For the SciFi entertainment part, you might check out I Hate it But I Love It where the hosts spend each episode talking about a movie or TV show (their tastes lean SciFi, eg Star Wars, super hero movies, Black Mirror, etc, but not exclusively). They are very funny and the shows are kind of a loving destruction of the topic in question. What they love, what doesn't make sense, trivia, etc. I usually only listen if it's about a show or movie I've seen/
posted by LKWorking at 12:15 PM on February 12, 2018

Worst Bestsellers which features two librarians and their friends talking about and poking fun at a horrible bestselling book which they've all read. They've done a wide variety of books from YA to self help.
posted by Constance Mirabella at 12:22 PM on February 12, 2018

The best episodes of the Ologies podcast do this for me -- make me feel like I'm listening in on a conversation. The format is that the host, Alie Ward, gives an interview with a different -ologist each week (ornithologist, cosmetologist, cosmologist, etc.) Although she doesn't typically know the interviewees personally, most of them have been really great at making the interview into a fun, casual conversation about what's cool about their respective -ology. My favorite one recently was the ichthyologist episode.
posted by esker at 12:38 PM on February 12, 2018

Call Your Girlfriend!
posted by le_salvo at 12:53 PM on February 12, 2018

If you have any interest in video games, there's the Polygon Show, a weekly podcast with four women who work for Polygon talking about what games they're playing (or other media they're consuming), answering silly questions from Twitter and e-mails, and talking about video game news. It's four nerdy friends talking about stuff they like.
posted by dismas at 12:54 PM on February 12, 2018

Hoodrat to Headwrap. It's so good and smart and conversational and thought provoking.
posted by rocketing at 1:00 PM on February 12, 2018

Ear Biscuits is a podcast about two "internetainers" named Rhett and Link who have been best friends for 30+ years talking to each other and telling stories. Earlier seasons focus more on very interesting, thoughtful, fun interviews with Internet personalities; now they spend more time describing what's going on in their lives or rambling about a loosely-themed topic like how to resolve interpersonal conflicts, or dinosaurs. Check out an episode of their Youtube show Good Mythical Morning. If you like their style of humor, you'll enjoy Ear Biscuits. For an interesting slice of their friendship and style of humor that you'll probably have a strong reaction to (either love or hate), I highly recommend the episode where Rhett and Link get vasectomies together, entitled: We Got Vasectomies Together.
posted by the thought-fox at 1:05 PM on February 12, 2018

I live TV-watching podcasts for this. Buffering the Vampire Slayer is really well done, but I don't think it feels overproduced, plus explicitly feminist bent and vibrant listener community. Sicker Sadder World is two friends chatting about Daria...kind of...but also I know an awful lot about their personal lives. Go Pirates is also two friends talking about Veronica Mars, and they have notes and prepped material, but it feels comfortably chatty.

Also nthing Sawbones. I can't get into most of the other stuff in the McElroy empire but I think they strike a good balance between McElroy brother ridiculousness and fun medical/historical facts.

I like What You Missed in History Class, and I used to like Stuff Mom Never Told You, but I'm having trouble adjusting to the new hosts. It can get a little current events-y, but the back catalog is chock full of interesting stuff.
posted by bowtiesarecool at 1:07 PM on February 12, 2018

Spilled Milk is great! Two lifelong friends who each work in different aspects of the food/restaurant industry, talking about one food topic per episode. They’re super fun and chatty. In the beginning, they made more of an effort to Dispense Knowledge. Now they lean into their comedy side and, while I wish they would cook more, they’re even better.
posted by Night_owl at 1:18 PM on February 12, 2018 [3 favorites]

Agree with Judge John Hodgman. One of my absolute faves, and it's cohosted by MeFi's own Jesse Thorn!

If you like dogs, agree with Can I Pet Your Dog? They remind me a lot of me and my friends.

The ladies from Stuff Mom Never Told You have a new show called Unladylike. Love those ladies.

I also like Nerdist/ID10T. I wish they had more female guests, but Chris Hardwick is a great host and it feels very chatty.

It doesn't seem to have updated in a while, but the Rookie podcast with Tavi Gevison is great. She is a great host.
posted by radioamy at 1:18 PM on February 12, 2018

Spirits Podcast is exactly this. Two friends, one a mythology expert and one a layperson, talk about world legends and folklore, while drinking spirits! Occasionally gets very silly, depending on how much they're drinking.
posted by backwards compatible at 1:20 PM on February 12, 2018

Oh! Also Reading Glasses! Their promo says, “A show about book culture and literary life designed to help you read better!” Don’t worry, they’re not snobs.
posted by Night_owl at 1:20 PM on February 12, 2018

I have a long commute and HATE structured talk radio, much prefer to feel like I'm sitting in the car listening to friends chat about something interesting, so hopefully some of these will work for you!

History: The Dollop is two comedians, one reading a story from American history to the other, who reacts. Hilarious but frequently NSFW and sometimes a touch gross.

Science: I just started listening to This Podcast Will Kill You this morning and am already hooked. 2 women who are graduate students in disease ecology and epidemiology talk about a different infectious disease in each episode.

Pop culture: True Crime Obsessed reviews crime/conspiracy/mystery documentaries and Mother May I Sleep With Podcast reviews Lifetime movies. These are both long, long episodes but there are some laugh out loud moments.

Mental health: I have been listening to Is This Adulting for a little while and I think it's not quite for me, but you might like it. Two friends talk about their own mental health, do mental health check-ins with members of their Facebook community, sometimes have guests on as well. I prefer Sex and Other Human Activities which, despite the name, is really about the "other human activities." The hosts talk about their own mental health and read letters/give advice to listeners. Like the Dollop, this one is frequently NSFW.

I also love Wine & Crime, referenced above, for this. There is good information but it's also 3 good friends with a very deep catalog of childhood references.
posted by assenav at 1:52 PM on February 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

Métis in Space has that "fun BFF" tone--two indigenous women sci-fi nerds roast the portrayal of tropes of indigeneity in sci-fi while drinking a bottle of wine.
posted by a sourceless light at 2:26 PM on February 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Whoops, missed the link for Mother May I Sleep with Podcast
posted by assenav at 3:02 PM on February 12, 2018

Call Your Girlfriend
Oh No Ross and Carrie
Sunday School Dropouts
Still Buffering
Fake the Nation

Also thanks for the suggestions everyone.
posted by songs_about_rainbows at 3:09 PM on February 12, 2018

Oh my GOD you sound like you SO need 'Friends at the Table' in your life. I mean everyone does to be honest, but I'm pretty sure that you'll enjoy listening to bunch of very good friends playing anticapitalist, super queer and super antiracist/anticolonialist RPG games together, GMed by the amazing Austin Walker.
posted by Acheman at 3:50 PM on February 12, 2018

I’m surprised nobody’s mentioned One Bad Mother yet.
posted by liet at 5:16 PM on February 12, 2018

I Don't Even Own A Television, a podcast about bad books. They are very anti-racist, feminist guys (with occasional ywomen as guests), and they are FUNNY.

Kevin and Ursula Eat Cheap, in which Kevin Sonney and Ursula Vernon eat food. And drink. And it is so so funny, because a lot of times they... do not like what they're eating.

Also I loved when cortex and griph were still doing We Have Such Films To Show You. I do not care about horror movies at all, but I loved that podcast a whole lot.
posted by bibliogrrl at 5:28 PM on February 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

Throwing Shade!
posted by aka burlap at 8:11 PM on February 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Also seconding Two Dope Queens (although it's slightly more of a comedy podcast, there's still plenty of friends-just-talking vibe) and Thirst Aid Kit.

If you check out Roderick on the Line and like it, you might also like Merlin Mann's earlier podcast, You Look Nice Today. Definitely a podcast by three white dudes, but it's pretty funny and very friends-being-silly-together.
posted by aka burlap at 8:21 PM on February 12, 2018

Thanks for asking this question. I get turned off really fast on any podcasts/conversations that are not welcoming of diversity, or are reliant on humor that's based on punching down.

They are silly, casual, unscripted, and it feels like I'm hanging out with cool friends while they talk about smart stuff.

This is pretty much why I love the MetaFilter Podcast with cortex and jessamyn. It's the only podcast that I still listen to regularly without fail. They've been doing the podcast for so long that they have an established rapport that's really evident, plus I get to hear about neat MetaFilter-related threads (which often cover the topics you listed) and music that I may have missed from my own browsing.

For more of a media/pop culture focus, you might like some of the podcasts from The Fandomentals, a site covering various geeky media (such as TV/film comedies and dramas, books -- including Jane Austen -- and comics).

They have a bunch of different series; while I've only listened to a few occasionally, most of the ones I've heard were hosted by women who are clearly friends. Very often they discuss the importance of diversity and representation in media. The podcast descriptions are usually pretty good so I just skip over the ones about topics that I want to avoid listening to.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 9:42 PM on February 12, 2018

Seconding, Kevin and Ursula Eat Cheap! It's lovely when Ursula will go into a rant about, say, potato monoculture. They have two sponsors, so you will not hear five straight minutes of how awesome some rando mattress is.
posted by JawnBigboote at 5:48 AM on February 13, 2018

The Read! "Join Kid Fury and Crissle for their weekly podcast covering hip-hop and pop culture's most trying stars. Throwing shade and spilling tea with a flippant and humorous attitude, no star is safe from Fury and Crissle unless their name is Beyoncé. (Or Blue Ivy.) As transplants to NYC, The Read also serves as an on-air therapy session for two friends trying to adjust to life and rats in the big city."
posted by mdonley at 7:28 AM on February 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

there's a podcast called By the Book that's really great - it's two women who live by self-help books for two weeks and then talk about how terrible/minimally useful they are (until they finally land on a couple that they actually like). they're intersectional and call out weird shit in the books all the time in a really funny way and they balance it out by having really earnest and sincere moments of connection and honesty

there's also now a Feminist Frequency podcast that is very talky and enjoyable. there are three hosts from very different backgrounds who talk about the things they love and like in the world of media with a focus on video games and movies and TV
posted by runt at 7:48 AM on February 13, 2018

Also in the "Underappreciated McElroy Family Department" is Wonderful. Married couple Rachel and Griffin transitioned their old show about the The Batchelor series into this new format in which they each share a couple of things they find "wonderful". Recent topics include french fries, kids' toys that play actually good songs, Rainer Maria Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet, and three specific notes in the Donny Hathaway song "This Christmas".
posted by Rock Steady at 7:53 AM on February 13, 2018

AHHHHH I came down here to add The Read, and mdonley beat me to it! I love The Read! It's a little longer than most podcasts I go for, and sometimes I'll skip through some of the pop culture bits after they do the black excellence segment so I can get to the advice segment more quickly, but it is wonderful and very candid and chatty and fun. I'm also going to nth Sawbones--it is a great mix of unstructured fun and obvious preparation/research. It helps keep everything on track without feeling too news-y.

Werewolf Ambulance is one of my FAVORITE podcasts--it is a comedy podcast about horror movies. But even if you have not seen the movie they're talking about, it is always a delight. Allen and Katie are magic! (Full disclosure: I also know them in real life. But I would like their podcast anyway, it is extraordinarily well done, and is definitely in the two-friends-talking-about-fun-stuff vein.)
posted by helloimjennsco at 7:56 AM on February 13, 2018

Speaking of Kevin and Ursula, their productivity podcast Productivity Alchemy is very chatty and also pretty interesting.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:44 AM on February 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

Car Talk. It feels like the granddaddy of them all.

It's tangentially about cars, but is far more the interaction between the brothers and callers.
posted by talldean at 11:20 AM on February 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

Nthing The Read, 2 Dope Queens, Politically Reactive and Another Round.

I recommend The Dork Forest, in which comedian Jackie Kashian interviews a guest, usually another standup comic, about their "dorkdom," that is, their fandom or area of expertise. Quite often, the guest is someone she's been friends with, and the show is recorded in her living room, which sets the chatty friends tone. They'll often end up talking about comedy, or mutual acquaintances, and occasionally politics, but it's chatty and often informative, about bad movies or quilting or outsider music, or anything really. I haven't counted, but I'm sure the guests are definitely more than 50% women.
posted by zorseshoes at 5:08 PM on February 13, 2018

I like the Brain Candy podcast, by two former participants in MTV's The Challenge. They occasionally talk about Challenge-specific topics, but it is much more general interest. Their topics range from the books they're reading to feminism to life events to news-of-the-weird. One has a PhD in religious studies and the other is in a master's program for counseling, so there is a strong theme of "I read this interesting article and let's talk about it"; they are also both reality TV alumni, so there's a good bit of pop culture/guilty pleasure in there too.
posted by lilac girl at 8:43 PM on February 13, 2018

Forever35 is a "podcast with 2 friends that like to talk about serums"
posted by WeekendJen at 12:06 PM on February 14, 2018

Response by poster: This is great! I've filled up my phone and I'm not even halfway through everything that's here. I don't want to mark a best answer because I'm sure there are many gems I haven't tried yet (and keep them coming!).

But I do want to give a special shout out to the person who mentioned Treks And The City. Thank you, it is SO perfect for my taste: nerdy, hilarious, feminist/anti-racist, and an excuse for a nostalgia rewatch of TNG. Amazing.
posted by 100kb at 2:57 PM on February 14, 2018

A little late to this, but Dear Hank and John is exactly what you describe - two brothers who genuinely like each other and are smart in different ways, talking about anything and answering questions from listeners with dubious advice. Plus weekly news from Mars (the planet) and AFC Wimbledon (a third tier English football team). You may know Hank and John as the vlogbrothers on YouTube or because John Green is a massively famous writer of YA fiction. But Hank is about to publish his own book so John isn’t the only massively talented writer in that family.

If you have even a little interest in gymnastics, I’d be remiss not suggesting Gymcastic as well. They’ve done amazing work during the whole Nassar scandal but they also are fundamentally friends hanging out and talking about gymnastics.

I also love Gilmore Guys — if you have seen Gilmore Girls. Hearing Demi and Kevin become friends over the years they made the show is beautiful.
posted by guster4lovers at 7:24 PM on February 14, 2018

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