Current obsession: Radiolab's More Perfect offshoot. All Supreme Court nerdiness, all the time! The first round of episodes was awesome, and I'm so stoked that this podcast is back!
Podcast most likely to teach me a thing that I later bring up awkwardly at a gathering: Freakonomics.
Forever love: CarTalk is incredibly comforting to me. Our local NPR station is a little on the weak side, and I never seem to be in my car on the weekend at the right time anyway, so now I get this nostalgia fix through podcasting.
Has saved me as a parent: But Why? A Podcast for Curious Kids is absolutely amazing, teaches me things I didn't know, and entrances my four and a half year old like nothing else.
There are soooo many more, but I'm hoping that if I keep it simple you guys will share yours, too!
I am a huge fan of the TV show Impractical Jokers and two of the members had their own Podcast awhile back (no longer ongoing) called "What Say You?". Super funny, at least to me haha.
Also, being a gamer in my 30's, I listen to a Podcast called "Just OK Gamers". They started out as a League of Legends Podcast but have shifted away from that and its mostly a comedy show with gamers.
Disclaimer: These podcasts are for mature audiences.
As a huge podcast fan, I'm stoked to be able to evangelize all the great stuff I listen to throughout the day. Podcasts are literally the soundtrack for almost everything I do. Dishes? Time for the Giant Beastcast. Walking the dog? We Have Concerns sounds good. Work? How about some of The Adventure Zone?
Sound like gibberish? Open your third eye (or ear, I guess?) and behold!
Gaming - gaming is my passion. It's about my favorite thing on the planet, and something I do far too much of.
- The Giant Bombcast - The Giant Bomb duders have been at it for over 10 years, and it shows. The bomb crew go off topic almost more than they stay on, which is part of the appeal.
- The Giant Beastcast - I did not make a typo here. The east coast bombardiers host their own weekly cast, with a mix of glee and confusion. They also read out listener corrections, which is pretty great.
- Idle Thumbs - The Thumbs have slowed down recently, but you can still listen to some insightful talk of grenades rolling down hills regularly.
- Gamers with Jobs - GWJ offers an interesting, adult look at gaming, and a weekly topic that is discussed at length.
- DLC - Two two hosts of DLC, along with their weekly guests, clash regularly and offer conflicting opinions on the latest and greatest in gaming.
- The Instance - What began as a purely World of Warcraft show has transformed into a love and discussion of all things Blizzard.
- 28 Plays Later - Two hilarious hosts regularly end up going down a rabbit hole of jokes that they have to dig out of to stay on track.
- Waypoint Radio - Vice's gaming site podcast offers a diverse and refreshing take on the world of gaming, and is never afraid to hit the hot, and often political machinations that many are afraid to delve into.
- My Brother, My Brother, and Me - The Brothers McElroy turn user questions, alchemy like, into wisdom. Probably the biggest reason I've laughed out loud in public and alarmed strangers.
- We Have Concerns - A (mostly) optimist and a (almost always) pessimist break down science stories multiple times a week and try to figure out what the hell octopus' are (spoilers: they's aliens).
- Oh no, Ross & Carrie - Ross and Carrie show up so you don't have to. They've become Mormons, Scientologists, cultists, and even taken on dieting and internet fads. A down-to-earth view on how crazy the world can be.
- Important if True - Another science show where three people try to talk about the impending robot apocalypse while hoisting themselves on their own petards.
- This American Life - I'm pretty sure it's illegal to listen to podcasts and not include This American Life. It's a staple of podcast culture and history at this point.
- The Adventure Zone The aforementioned McElroy brothers run a D&D campaign with their dad. What started out as an experiment turned into a phenomenon, and the first campaign just wrapped up, so it's a perfect time to jump in!
- Twin Peaks Rewatch - Watching Twin Peaks season 3? Confused?! This podcast can help, or at least make you feel less alone in your confusion. Sometimes they also read listener mail, and sometimes my arms bend back.
Oh, man. When I first saw this, I was stoked to post! I've waited too long. I'd be letting tmo_phillip down if I didn't jump on the soapbox he constructed for some of these. I'll crimp your style with the categories, Phill. If you just want the short list, jump to the bottom!
First, I recommend Pocket Casts to listen to podcasts. It is beautiful, and it has silence trimming, speed variance, and all sorts of time-saving things. Plus, stats! I can see how much time I've saved since using Pocket Casts. (26 days, 18 hours saved since July 2016, if you're curious...)
I'm gonna echo a lot of Phill's, as he has impeccable taste.
- The Giant Bombcast - Come for the video games. Stay for the personalities. Listening to the GB crew is like being a fly on the wall to extremely well-traveled gaming industry veterans mixed with 90s/00s, attitude era tangents. If you miss the overwhelmingly stylish gaming magazine covers of the 90s, Giant Bombcast may be for you. It would be my hands-down favorite podcast, if it weren't tied with...
- The Giant Beastcast - "THE NUMBER ONE GREATEST PODCAST IN THE UNIVERSE" according to totally non-bias show hosts reviewers. Like Phill said, Giant Beastcast is produced by the NYC office of Giant Bomb. Two of the hosts are Giant Bomb founding era, another is one half of the first couple to ever be married at the Taco Bell in Las Vegas, one new (to Giant Bomb) video producer that could not possibly fit in better or faster, and a practically permanent loanee from CNET that I hope never leaves.
- Idle Thumbs - I swear our lists will deviate eventually. Phill introduced me to the thumbs. They're a shorter format, which I can totally appreciate with the otherwise loaded list.
- Waypoint Radio - VICE's gaming podcast, including two former Giant Bomb staffers and two former Idle Thumbs. The gaming journalist community shares a lot. Like Phill said, this one can get a bit topical/political from time to time, but you will be hard pressed to find more thoughtful and thorough, well-constructed thoughts in gaming.
- Super Best Friendcast! - Ha! We've finally split. SBFC is a format of 3 friends from Montreal, Quebec, CA going deep on a weekly, longer format chat-around. Their backgrounds are heavy in Japanese gaming, fighting games, horror genre, and MMOs. They cover everything, but they are best for folks with an interest in FGC or Japanese hot takes. They're also completely ridiculous and make a TON of Youtube content.
- The 1099 - This one's relatively new to my list, but it's golden. The format is a medium length (usually sub 1 hour) 1-on-1 interview with gaming industry folks, from developers to journalists to publishers, etc. This one is easiest to get into if you find an episode on someone you want to hear interviewed, but really every episode is pretty great. The most recent episode on Peter Brown form GameSpot is no exception.
- Nintendo Voice Chat - An IGN property that's 100% for Nintendo fanboys. So, if you are one, you'll probably like it.
- Into the Nexus - A podcast dedicated to Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard's arena brawler (MOBA.) This is mostly an informational show geared toward all skill levels. They review patches, talk about news, give gameplay advice. Plus, the hosts are just the nicest folks.
Not my largest category, but I enjoy it.
- Men in Blazers - A soccer podcast hosted by two English ex-pats that cover Premier League and MLS primarily. They're funny, informative, and great hosts. You may recognize the name from an NBC Sports show by the same name that they host. If you're an Everton or Chelsea fan, bonus for you as you share that with the hosts.
- Fantasy Football Focus - This is an ESPN, fantasy football podcast. I'll be honest, there are way too many episodes for me to follow them all. I pretty much catch the week preview every week while I'm mowing the lawn. Sometimes more but not regularly.
- ...a secret podcast about Tottenham Hotspur - One of my favorite sports podcasts is a fan podcast about English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur. If it had a rating system, it would certainly fall on the "Mature" or "Explicit" side. It's not actually a secret, but its name would probably set off the profanity filter. The Fighting (Rooster).
General & Literature
The theme here is probably "highly produced works of tiny art." My second biggest podcast sink.
- Stuff You Should Know - Kind of like the show "How It's Made," but with history and current state of random topics. Things like the uncanny valley, or the history of crayons, or personality tests. The topics range wildly, and it's always a good listen.
- 99% Invisible - A very short (usually <30 minutes) podcast focusing on the subtle or lesser known design of things all around us. For example, there's an episode on ingress and egress from buildings in times of evacuation and what goes into designing that. Another is about the Taipei 101, a supertall skyscraper built in a hurricane and earthquake zone.
- Ear Hustle - Same people that bring us 99PI, this podcast is produced in partnership with inmates of San Quentin Penitentiary. It focuses on smaller stories of life in prison, and it's a very well made production.
- The Allusionist - Same people again! This one is about language. Things like idioms, desired slang, allusions, etc. It's a craft piece on the history and use of the parlance of our times.
- Radio Westeros - When I need a Game of Thrones deep dive, I enjoy Radio Westeros. Its focus is the A Song of Ice and Fire book series more than the show, but if you're into that it's great. The episodes are long and far between, but the back catalog is great to go through if you want a lot of ASOIAF content.
A few podcasts I like aren't strictly true.
- The Black Tapes - A show about supernatural and skeptics. The premise is that a podcast host (meta, you know?) goes to interview a guy that has a standing bounty for a scientifically proven supernatural occurrence that has been uncollected for decades (likely inspired by James Randi.) As the show goes on, things get weirder and weirder.
- Welcome to Night Vale - A very popular, very weird fiction tale about a strange Lovecraftian town in the southwestern US desert.
- Limetown - This one has been great, but it also hasn't updated in forever and ever and may be DOA. It is a fictional story about a secret, government experiment project that ended in a sudden, mysterious way where everyone just left and will not talk about the happenings.
The Short List
- The Giant Bombcast (gaming)
- The Giant Beastcast (gaming)
- Men in Blazers (sports, soccer)
- 99& Invisible (general, design)
- Ear Hustle (general, documentary)
- The Black Tapes (fiction, supernatural, skeptic)