As a way of putting off doing any of the productive things I should be doing – writing a message for a church service in two days, political work, educational reading, exercising – I decided instead I’d take a few minutes to talk about my favorite podcasts. It’s all my friend Whitney’s fault. She suggested I check out the This Week in Blackness podcast (which I definitely will) and I suggested a podcast to her and that made me want to suggest more podcasts… I think you see where this is going.
There are so many podcasts that I passionately love, so I’ll start with the podcasts I listen to religiously…
The Holy Trinity
- Smartest Man in the World Podcast
- Look…I know it’s weird that the name of my blog is “Unavoidably Feminist” and the first podcast I’m recommending is call The Smartest Man in the World. The irony is not lost on me. Still, if you’re familiar with the man in question, comedian Greg Proops, then you will know that it’s all okay. The SMitW comes out on Mondays. I download it Monday mornings and it goes immediately to the top of my playlist. Listen to Greg drink copious amounts of vodka, berate the audience, and give The Man a righteously deserved what-for. Hilarious, amazing. You will learn about movies, music, baseball (yes baseball…just give it a shot), current events, mourn the loss of cultural icons you may not even have known you should have been worshiping all along.
- Slate’s Political Gabfest
- This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but as a politics nerd, I can’t get enough of the Gabfest. Don’t take my word for it, ask Stephen Colbert. Stephen Colbert loves the Gabfest and you should too. The three gabbers – David Plotz, Emily Bazelon, and (now of Face the Nation fame) John Dickerson – are a perfect blend of topical political issues. Make sure to stick around for cocktail chatter at the end. This podcast comes out on Fridays and I rarely miss listening to it.
- Call Your Girlfriend
- This would absolutely have been number one except it only comes out once every two weeks and that makes me sad. Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman are two long distance besties and bad ass professional boss ladies who are probably extremely busy, so I tentatively forgive them for not regaling me with tales more than bimonthly. Their frank and open discussion of menstruation has seriously changed the way that I talk and think about periods. Baby feminists and long distance besties everywhere must listen to Call Your Girlfriend.
In no particular order, these are the podcasts that I listen to on a pretty regular basis, but not necessarily the day they come out and – if I get busy – not necessarily every episode. Nevertheless, they are excellent podcasts.
- The Nerdist
- This is the podcast that got me into podcasts. Chris Hardwick, Jonah Ray, and Matt Mira are the hosts of the podcast. The show comes out Monday, Wednesday, and Friday so I think you can see why I don’t necessarily catch every one. Usually there is a guest, but sometimes it’s a “hostful” podcast. When I’m behind – barring an amazing guest that I love – I will almost always skip to the most recent hostful podcast to hear the guys catch up on the latest. The topics are mostly nerdy and always hilarious.
- Our National Conversation About Conversations About Race (or the About Race podcast)
- With regular hosts Baratunde Thurston, Raquel Cepeda, and Tanner Colby, this podcast does not beat around the bush. It gets right to the heart of discussions about race in the United States. I promise you will learn things. If you are white (as indeed I am), you may hear things that are uncomfortable and that is good. In addition to being hard-hitting and informative, the podcast is also really fun and totally fascinating. Plus, the hosts encourage serious listener engagement. The main podcast is bimonthly, but on the off weeks they do a B-side in which they discuss viewer feedback about the previous week’s show. Very cool. Not quite sure whether it’s got definitive days of the week yet.
- So That Happened
- I like politics. If you also like politics and lean somewhere to the left of left, you will probably enjoy So That Happened from the Huffington Post. Jason Linkins and friends are fantastically funny and always have great insights on everything from the the financial crisis in Greece to what the hell is going on with the Republican presidential primaries. Comes out every Friday.
- Slate’s Whistlestop
- Straight up nerd-style, this short, roughly bimonthly podcast is devoted to tales from the historical political campaign trail. John Dickerson, of the Slate Political Gabfest and Face the Nation, dedicates each episode to a particular facet of a particular presidential race. John’s tales include such hilarious old newspaper lines as when one newspaper called James Garfield “a man of forty lusty summers.” Can you even?
- WTF with Marc Maron
- Marc Maron just interviewed the President a couple weeks ago, but I’ve been listening to his podcast for a couple years now. It’s great. He has an interesting interview style and always manages to have some truly authentic conversations with interesting people. I highly recommend the presidential interview. Also, go back and check out the time he interviewed RuPaul. But really most every episode is good stuff.
Again, in no particular order, these are podcasts that I enjoy but that I don’t have time to listen to very often and so I either listen to the most recent episode or I go back through what I missed and listen to whatever looks most interesting/funny/informative. This is in no way an exhaustive list of the podcasts that I listen to non-regularly, but they are my favorite and the most regular of my sporadic enjoyments.
- Stuff You Missed in History Class
- This is a great, educational, and fun podcast about…well, things that likely weren’t covered in your history classes unless maybe you majored in history. Even then, you’ll probably have missed many of these gems. It is, as I mentioned, fun and informative and has the added bonus of being a show which – in most cases – you can listen to with your kids.
- I used to listen to this quite regularly, but the episodes are a little long and I’ve picked up a lot more podcasts (can you tell?) so this has moved to a more sporadic listen, though never less enjoyable. Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier (I categorically refuse to explain who Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier are) get together, get high, and talk movies or weird news stories or Canada. Yeah. Canada. Scott’s from Canada orginally. Kevin is obsessed with Canada. Favorite part of any episode? “ScanBC, Scott…” @ScanBC is a Twitter account that relates police events from British Columbia. Kevin picks the most ridiculous tweets and the riffs will make you pee your pants.
- Doug Loves Movies
- Comedian Doug Benson loves movies almost as much as he loves marijuana. On Doug Loves Movies he pits his guests against each other in a contest to see who can identify movies based on Leonard Maltin reviews. Always listen to the episodes with “Mark Walberg”. You will thank me.
- Thrilling Adventure Hour
- A new time podcast in the style of old time radio, this podcast has a rotating cast of hilarious comedians playing roles in all the old radio cliches. There’s a western set in space, a show about a couple of married mediums, time travelers, and more. Some of the regular cast members are Paul F. Thompkins, Paget Brewster (yeah, from Criminal Minds), Marc Evan Jackson, Mark Gagliardi, and Busy Philipps (yes I spelled her name right and yes she was on Cougar Town). If you’re trying it out for the first time, I recommend a ‘Beyond Belief’ or ‘Sparks Nevada: Marshal on Mars’ episode.
Who’s to say where these will ultimately end up, but they’re podcasts that I’ve picked up within the last few months that I’ve been enjoying thus far.
- Baby Geniuses
- I picked up on this because Emily Heller is hilarious and I wanted more of her. She and her co-host Lisa Hanawalt are awesome and funny. They have pretty cool guests and their wikipedia segment is hysterical.
- The Late Show Podcast
- I miss Stephen Colbert, don’t you? Well, now you don’t have to miss him as much because you can listen to some short episodes to catch up on how his new Late Show is coming together, among other things. Obviously hilarious.
So there you have it. I’ve spent entirely too much time procrastinating. Hopefully I’ve given you some fun suggestions for how you might procrastinate or for what you can listen to while you’re doing boring things like washing dishes or folding clothes, etc. Oh, and if you know of a podcast that I simply must check out, please comment and tell me because – I don’t know if you can tell – but I really enjoy podcasts.