I started listening to podcasts a few years ago. Working at a desk job, I was allowed to listen to headphones while I completed the menial tasks I was assigned for the day (welcome to life working in a cubicle). Working in a cube has its ups and downs, and being allowed to drown out the sounds of multiple keyboards clicking and talks of “Synergy” and “sales” is certainly the biggest benefit.
I love music more than just about anything, but after many days of listening to music on the way to work, then for 8 hours during the work day, then again on the way home, I found myself appreciating it less. And that was something I did NOT want to happen. Music has been such a huge part of my life, and here I was over saturating it. But I couldn’t just stop and become one of those people who just slowly rot away as they stare blankly into a computer screen (he said as he types away on his laptop). I still needed something to listen to in order to keep my sanity. And that’s when I discovered podcasts.
If you don’t know what a podcast is, get with the fucking times you weirdo. In a nutshell it’s basically a pre-recorded radio show that can be about anything: reviews, interviews, movies, comedy, music, the list goes on. Chances are you can find a podcast about anything you are interested in. I got so into podcasts, I was inspired to start my first one a couple of months ago (my friends and I review super hero movies, which eventually led to the creation of this blog).
Right now you are probably thinking “Alright Q, we get it! You love podcasts! Now what are some podcasts that you listen to?” And to that I say “I am glad you asked friendly blog reader”. Here is a list of my top ten favorite podcasts:
- WTF w/ Marc Maron
Chances are if you have heard of podcasts, you have heard of this one. Marc Maron interviews various comedians, actors, musicians etc. and asks them very good questions. Each interview, to me, doesn’t feel like an interview, which is my favorite aspect of the show. It feels like one person, just trying to learn about the other in a very natural way. None of the questions feel written out or planned, and the guests reveal very personal information that you won’t hear them reveal in other interviews. Listen to it here
Favorite Episode: Robin Williams
I am a huge Robin Williams fan and when he sadly took his own life, Marc Maron re-posted his interview with him. The episode is amazing. You see Robin Williams in a different light. He loves to laugh, talks about his rise to fame, and actually talks about suicidal thoughts he had years prior to his actual suicide. It’s an incredibly emotional and real episode.
- Mohr Stories w/ Jay Mohr
As Jay Mohr says: “Put your name on it!” This podcast is hosted by the very hilarious Jay Mohr and isn’t so much an interview podcast as it is a conversation between Jay and his friends. He has everyone from fellow comedians to wrestlers and musicians. He has some of the best impressions (you find me someone else that can do a Colin Quinn or Harvey Keitel) and no one segues into an ad better than he does. Listen to it here
Favorite Episode: Brooks Wheelan
This episode is great for a number of reasons. They talk about what goes on behind the scenes of one of my favorite shows (Saturday Night Live) and they also go into detail about how they almost got into a physical fight prior to the recording. I won’t spoil any of the details, but it’s definitely a great listen.
Yes, like many people, I got sucked into the craze. If there is one thing I love, it’s an unsolved mystery. I have no idea why, but they just fascinate me. This podcast came out of nowhere and quickly rose to be the most listened to podcast on iTunes. It follows journalist Sarah Koenig as she searches for answers in a murder case that doesn’t seem as cut and dry as the jury thought. The production is amazing and I couldn’t stop listening until I listened to every episode of season 1. Talk to anyone who has listened to this, and no doubt they will have their own opinion on whether or not Adnan Syed is guilty or not. Listen to it here
Favorite Episode: no single episode can be singled out, as each one is important to the plot
- Fatman on Batman w/ Kevin Smith
Let me start by saying this: I am a HUGE Kevin Smith fan. I think he is hilarious and I love all of his movies. He is definitely a big inspiration to me. I am also a HUGE Batman fan. So when Kevin Smith came out with a podcast that was entirely dedicated to everything Batman, I was definitely on board. The greatest super hero ever combined with one of the funniest people ever? It doesn’t get much better than that. Listen to it here
Favorite episode: Any of the episodes with Mark Bernardin
Every now and then, between interviews with writers of the comics or voices on the shows, Kevin will commentate one of the Batman movies with his friend Mark Bernardin. These episodes are comedy gold.
- The Cracked Podcast
Cracked.com is my favorite comedy website. Most of the articles have information that you have never heard before; everything from what went wrong behind the scenes to some of your favorite movies, to “Creepy Urban Legends (that happen to be true)”. The writers took those topics and turned them into a podcast. I learn something new in every episode. Listen to it here
Favorite Episode: Insane Deleted Scenes from History
This episode was extremely fascinating. The moments in history that they talk about are some of the more entertaining historical events I have heard, and they aren’t in the history books. For example: Laura Ingles Wilder had murderous neighbors… funny how she doesn’t mention that in the “Little House on the Prairie” books…
- You Made It Weird w/ Pete Holmes
I discovered Pete Holmes through his guest appearances on other podcasts. I found him so uniquely hilarious that I wanted to see more of his material. That’s when I found out that he actually hosted his own podcast. I quickly discovered that this podcast was very different from the podcasts I had been listening to. For example, while most podcasts usually average about an hour in length, episodes of this podcasts are usually a minimum of 2 hours (usually longer). The title speaks for itself, as Pete asks his guests deep questions like “What is the meaning of life?” and “When did you lose your virginity?” all the while keeping things light and funny. Listen to it here
Favorite Episode: Kumail Nanjiani
There are a few episodes where Pete interviews his best friend and fellow comedian Kumail Nanjiani. These episodes represent what the podcast really is about. They are the perfect combination of deep and hilarious.
- How Did This Get Made?
This was one of the first podcasts I ever started listening to. Hosted by Paul Sheer, June Diane Raphael, and Jason Manzoukas, each episode discusses what the hosts deem a “terrible movie”. Warning: Listening to this podcast will make you want to watch the bad movies they talk about. And you will immediately regret your decision to do so. Listen to it here
Favorite Episode: Birdemic: Shock and Terror
This might be the only movie HDTGM discussed that sounded so bad that I had to see it for myself. Take my word for it: this movie is the worst thing ever created. Under no circumstances should it be seen by anyone. Period.
- Bill Burr’s Monday Morning Podcast
If you don’t know who Bill Burr is, look up his specials on Netflix. He is one of the funniest standup comedians I have ever seen. In addition to his hilarious standup he decided to start a podcast as well. This is the only podcast on this list that consists of just one person. Can one person be entertaining enough just by sitting in a room and ranting into the microphone for an hour? I don’t know, but Bill Burr can. Bill talks about things that are bothering him that week, botches the advertisements, reads listener’s emails then bestows his sage advice. I have constantly embarrassed myself trying to stifle laughter in my cubicle. Listen to it here
Favorite Episode: All of them
I cannot single out one single episode as my favorite, because every episode is exactly the same in the best possible way.
- The Nerdist Podcast
Chris Hardwick is a huge inspiration for me. He had a vision and that vision was nerdist.com. Since its inception, nerdist.com has become a massive brand covering all thing fan boy: movies, video games, comics, T.V. shows, etc. The website hosts many podcasts, and my favorite is their flagship podcast. Chris interviews celebrities, comedians, musicians, and many other interesting people, while mixing in a few episodes where he catches up with his co-hosts (known as “Hostful” episodes). I am constantly amazed by the caliber of guests these guys get (and so is Chris). Listen to it here
Favorite Episode: Tom Hanks
First of all, if you DON’T like Tom Hanks, please leave my blog. You are someone I do not want to be associated with. The man is a national treasure. Having said that, I love his first episode. I constantly forget how funny Tom Hanks is and this episode is one of the many reminders. My favorite aspect of this episode, however, is though Tom Hanks was promoting Cloud Atlas at the time; they spent a majority of the episode talking about one of my favorite Tom Hanks movies: “That Thing You Do!”
1. Doug Loves Movies
I don’t quite remember why I started listening to Doug Loves Movies. Probably because I also like movies. What I do know is I listen to the shit out of this podcast. I never miss an episode. It stands out as being the only all-live podcast. Host Doug Benson has a number of guests discuss what movies they have seen recently, and then the guests play movie-themed games for audience members to win prizes. It’s extremely hilarious and if anyone wants to take me on in any of Doug’s games, bring it on. There is a fee for listening to the on Doug’s website, but you can listen to the newest ones for free on iTunes.
Favorite Episode: Any episode with Pete Holmes, TJ Miller, or Geoff Tate
Like Bill Burr’s podcast, every episode is amazing and extremely similar. So it is difficult to single out one specific episode. However, any episodes that have any of the guests I have listed above are great episodes. Pete Holmes (yes, the same Pete Holmes from “You Made It weird”) and TJ Miller have a uniquely funny way of derailing any episode they are on, and Geoff Tate has a lot of great one liners. If you love movies as much as I do, you will love this podcast.
So there you have it. If you are looking to get into listening to podcasts, I recommend any of the ones I have mentioned above. As you can see, these are geared mainly towards comedy. If you aren’t into comedy there are still plenty of podcasts out there that will suite your needs, whatever they may be. I am always looking for new podcasts to check out, so if you have any recommendations you can leave them in the comments section or email me. And of course (shameless plug alert) be sure to check out my podcast, Beyond the Cape!