Work or play, podcasts can provide you entertainment and insight any time of day, whether you’re doing mundane chores or if you’ve made a nest out of blankets and snacks on your couch. Listening to a fun podcast can feel like listening to a hilarious group of friends have a conversation around you. If you’re new and looking to cut down on screen time – look no further. I’ve got a list for you.
My Favorite Murder
In a nutshell: True Crime meets comedy in a way you have never experienced before. Hosts Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark’s bold-faced retelling of famous murders, disappearances, and stunning survival stories will have you hooked from thrilling start to finish. What sets this podcast apart from most True Crime shows is the interjection of humor that walks the line between comforting and potentially alienating, and their determination to hold space for the victims and survivors through empathy. At a live show, Kilgariff makes the case for this ironic combination by saying, “Georgia and I have always been interested in true crime since we were very young, but we also have coped with the heavy, terrible shit in life with humor.” Binge it or bin it, but if you’re a fan of true crime, you may fall in love with it.
My Dad Wrote A Porno
This NSFW podcast is secretly a therapy session in disguise. Hosted by Jamie Morton and his two friends and comedians James Cooper and BBC DJ Alice Levine, Morton combines discomfort and comedy to stage this perfectly wrong podcast about an erotica novel written by his father (pen name: Rocky Flintstone). Upon discovery of his father’s novella, Morton decides to share it with his friends instead of burying it in a landfill and moving to Dubai like most of us normally would. A normal episode involves Morton struggling to read more than two sentences of the book “Belinda Blinked”, about a sales director who sells more than just pots and pans to her clients, before someone interrupts by laughing, wincing, or asking how big exactly is a “medium-sized garden maze”. Fun fact: Elijah Wood is in season two.
An investigation into oddball points of culture, host Willa Paskin dedicates this podcast not to history or news, but more like pop culture conspiracies like “Johnlock” or alternate-reality gaming. She takes a deep dive into an era’s most noteworthy events, the confusing intricacies of our culture and how fiction can become reality. It is educational escapism in its most accessible form. You don’t have to be a history buff, pundit or bookworm for Paskin to hook you with her quirky, riveting and hilarious episodes. The best part is you can start at any episode – no commitment required.
Food 4 Thot
Iconic, hilarious, and very gay. This group of multiracial queer writers loves to feature highbrow topics like identity politics, canonical literature, Mariah Carey’s Vine account, queer theory, nail polish, and peen sizes, all over a sparkling glass of rosé. This ain’t your momma’s gay podcast. Hosts Dennis Norris II, Joseph Osmundson, Fran Tirado, and critically acclaimed poet Tommy Pico talk about issues that really matter plus hot topics you won’t find NPR. Blend that with clever humor and instrumental insights into our society, and you have your new favorite podcast.
Alie Ward pioneers a new way to approach science: with humor, enthusiasm, and endless curiosity. Ologies delves into sciences of all kinds with “ologists” of all kinds, from trees, death, drunk butterflies, Mars missions, to slug sex. You will be on your fourth or fifth episode of this and wonder where your day went. Hours of quarantine – GONE. Ward turns you on to science topics you never knew you cared about with passionate zeal and colorful asides to make you laugh in the middle of your jog. It is a rabbit hole you will gladly jump right into.
How Did This Get Made?
If you are the type to pay twelve dollars to catch The Room in theatres, then you will love this podcast. Hosts Paul Scheer, Jason Mantzoukis, and June Diane Raphael set the standard for loving to hate bad movies with raucous criticism and sharp-shooting humor. This is the kind of podcast that will give a strange desire to rewatch hits like Lake Placid, Fateful Findings, and The Twilight Saga. The trio’s hilarious dissection of Hollywood’s most intriguing failures is a fun celebration of cinema that will keep you sane while stuck at home.
Anna Faris is Unqualified
Anna Faris (Mom, The House Bunny) takes on a self-deprecating role of Dear Abby in this totally unscripted write-in podcast that discusses relationship issues, hosts interviews with celebrity guests with questions only Anna Faris would ask, and fields questions from listeners seeking advice that she is totally unqualified to give. With hilarious asides and a casually foul-mouth, Anna creates such an intimate and fun environment that you get to see a more personal side to celebrities that you wouldn’t normally find in a carefully poised interview. Besides, it is Anna Faris. Need I say more?
Everything Is Alive
Host Ian Chillag brings everyday objects to life in this podcast – literally. Unlike most podcasts, Everything Is Alive thrives on the dialogue between Chillag and commonplace objects like say, a can of generic cola, a lamppost, or a pillow, which might seem twee at first – but there is an unexpected body of meaning and personhood hidden under the veil of humor. What does it mean to be inanimate? What kind of meaning does a purpose to be consumed or used carry? It is ridiculous, strange, enlightening, and touching. You may laugh. You may cringe. You may cry. You may smile.
Terrible, Thanks For Asking
Nora McInerny eschews all forms of small talk here by deep diving into story-telling that focuses on topics that cause the most social apprehension, like grief, trauma, death, and loss. But don’t expect to find pity parties here. This podcast is brimming with love, humor, and acceptance of the varying reactions one can experience in the face of trauma. Nora says, “Anyone who’s been through something really traumatic has probably also laughed at it.” This sets the framework for the entire show. Nora, who herself lost her father, husband, and pregnancy all in the same month, aims to bridge the connection between survivors by saying, we are all doing our best.
If you have never thought you needed two white men talking to you about fast food in your life, think again. True Americans can attest that our culture thrives on the blood, sweat, and tears of corporate chains, and comedian hosts Mike Mitchell and Nick Wiger are doing their civic duty by reviewing fast-food chains with a hilarious perspective. Whether you depend on the fast-food industry or have beef with it, Mitchell and Wiger prefer to bestow funny insights about the role chain restaurants play in the life of the average American rather than scoff at it. As Mitchell once said in reference to Morgan Spurlock, filmmaker of Super Size Me, “Get bent, Spurlock.” This show gets five out of five forks.
A Very Fatal Murder
This podcast is The Onion doing what it does best: satire. Comedian David Sidorov voices David Pascall, a podcaster searching for “the perfect murder” – one that perfectly reflects our nation’s social and economic conditions, exposes the dark side of the American dream, and comments on the gig economy, deforestation, saturated fats, and whatever else on his long list of sincerely insincere demands. This True Crime spoof remains so in character the episodes even feature hilarious fake ads. It is both a tribute to the True Crime and parody genre.
What podcasts are you listening to right now? What’s your favorite genre? Leave thoughts and suggestions below!
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