Shows similar to This American Life?
February 13, 2007 7:20 PM   Subscribe

Listening to This American Life (and motown) keeps me sane at my data entry job. Are there any other podcasts similar to TMI?
posted by Tlogmer to Society & Culture (23 answers total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Asked before. Twice.
posted by chickletworks at 7:33 PM on February 13, 2007

Response by poster: Oh, bloody hell. I did do a search for podcast, but I didn't think anyone would have asked something that specific.
posted by Tlogmer at 7:47 PM on February 13, 2007

Response by poster: (Though now that I actually read those, I should point out that neither of them ask exactly the same question.)
posted by Tlogmer at 8:02 PM on February 13, 2007

I think RadioLab is pretty similar, maybe a little more science-y and not near as frequent.
posted by mattbucher at 8:13 PM on February 13, 2007 [1 favorite]

Best answer: On The Media is pretty awesome.
posted by 31d1 at 8:13 PM on February 13, 2007

Not directly related, but Coast to Coast Uber Alles in the podcast department.
posted by clango at 8:27 PM on February 13, 2007

Response by poster: Yeah, I agree about On the Media. Won't have time to mark more until I actually listen to a bunch of them. (Sidenote: I think part of what makes TMI so great is its conversational tone. Ira Glass talks a little about it.)
posted by Tlogmer at 8:31 PM on February 13, 2007

What are you referring to as "TMI"?
posted by xiojason at 8:52 PM on February 13, 2007

"this motown life"

(no snark intended)
posted by mittenedsex at 8:57 PM on February 13, 2007

I'm a fan of Harry Shearer's Le Show. I think.
posted by smallerdemon at 9:29 PM on February 13, 2007

Most of the podcasts I listen to are scifi/fantasy but a few are based in the here and now. Never Not Funny is hysterical. It helps to be a comedy nerd as this is professional comedians chatting so it goes fast and loose. Penn Radio from FreeFM is also funny and interesting, if you like Penn Jillette. Since it's radio, there's a new one everyday. NPR's Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me is also available as a podcast.

And a special shout to Decoder Ring Theatre. They run two radio dramas- The Red Panda and Black Jack Justice. I like them both but Black Jack continues to rock my world. It's a good combination of light noir mystery and a bit of comedy.
posted by chairface at 9:52 PM on February 13, 2007

You might enjoy Studio 360. I've heard interviews that are really interesting there with contemporary authors such as David Eggers and David Foster Wallace.
posted by ontic at 12:23 AM on February 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

I really like Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me! too, and you should check out NPR's Fresh Air, which is usually a combination of long in-depth interviews, short features, and some occasional and arty media (movie, music) reviews.
posted by The Michael The at 5:18 AM on February 14, 2007

The Changing World is a podcast version of BBC's investigative journalism documentaries, usually in two 25-minute segments per show. Some of the best reportage going. (Also some clinkers, to be fair, but many more hits than misses.)
posted by ardgedee at 6:05 AM on February 14, 2007

I really like the Slate podcasts a lot, though they're not especially similar to This American Life. I'm an especially big of the Daily Podcast and the Political Gabfest. The Obtuse Angle is less newsy and more, you know, narrative and nuts. I like it that one a lot, too, though I don't listen to it as religiously as the others.
posted by buriedpaul at 6:05 AM on February 14, 2007

The Bat Segundo Show has interesting, in-depth interviews with authors.
posted by staggernation at 6:26 AM on February 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

As far as things that are actually like This American Life:

I will second "Theory of Everything" and "Radio Lab." I've become a big fan of the latter, especially, despite having no particular interest in science, which I guess is the show's topic.

Alt.NPR's "Love and Radio" owes a great debt to TAL. It's young people telling stories about their lives, with a lot of fancy editing.
A very "TAL-esque" show was WNYC/NPR's "The Next Big Thing," which no longer airs, and is not podcast, but can be heard online here. Very good show, quite funny.

Joe Frank's podcast is wonderful. Frank's work is/was in some ways the template for TAL, though it's more personal, a little more "arty," and a little darker. Probably the TAL-like show I would reccomend most highly if you're willing to tolerate a little strangeness.

The rest of the suggestions are generally good shows, but not very This American Lifelike.

I interviewed TAL's senior producer Julie Snyder on my (not especially TAL-like) show The Sound of Young America, and you might enjoy that.

There are also a few omnibus podcasts you'd like. I think a lot of TAL-like stuff comes in the PRX podcast, and certainly the Third Coast Audio Festival's stuff is very TAL-like (and wonderful).
posted by YoungAmerican at 9:14 AM on February 14, 2007 [2 favorites]

I'll 3rd Radiolab. Apparently, at the last Public Radio Conference (PRPD), someone asked Ira Glass what he was listening to, and he said something to the effect that Radiolab is the best thing on the radio right now. I tend to agree. I can also promise that if you listen to Radiolab at work, you're not going to get anything else done...

A close second, in my opinion, is Marketplace - you don't have to be interested in Economics or money to enjoy the show - it's smart, funny, and interesting in a lot of ways. Great music, too.

Fair Game with Faith Salie is a fairly new show from WNYC, the home of Radiolab. It's basically trying to be the Daily Show of radio. I'll leave whether or not it succeeds up to your opinion, but it might be worth checking out.
posted by god hates math at 12:04 PM on February 14, 2007

What are you referring to as "TMI"?

"this motown life"

Wouldn't that be, um, TML?

Seriously, what is TMI?
posted by deadfather at 12:34 PM on February 14, 2007

I am a huge fan of To the Best of Our Knowledge.

Archives in Real format are available through that previous link, podcast subscription is available here
posted by Andrew Brinton at 5:48 PM on February 14, 2007

Seriously, what was TMI here?
posted by theredpen at 8:05 AM on February 16, 2007

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