Podcasts are more than just something to say you listen to when you want to impress your coworkers. Plenty of these recordings are actually interesting, educational and – dare we say it – entertaining. Here are 10 podcasts worth downloading for your commute this year.
1. Anna Faris Is Unqualified
Anna Faris is a hilarious human being. She’s the star of her own hit show (Mom) and the host of one of the most popular and laugh-out-loud funny podcasts out there, Anna Faris Is Unqualified. On the show, Anna interviews fellow celebrities and fields calls from listeners, offering advice on topics she is, well, unqualified to answer.
2. 2 Dope Queens
2 Dope Queens is a podcast hosted by comedians Phoebe Robinson (catch her in Ibiza on Netflix) and Jessica Williams (of The Daily Show fame). Each episode features three guest comedians (with an emphasis on women, people of colour and LGBT comedians), and discussions on race, gender and other social issues. Sure, it sounds serious, but it will have you cracking up.
If you need a true crime fix and can’t wait for the next season of Serial, check out Criminal. Unlike Serial and its ilk that focus on one case over the course of a season, Criminal features a different story every episode. Hosted by Phoebe Judge, the podcast describes itself as telling ‘stories of people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle.’
4.This American Life
If you’re not already listening to This American Life, do yourself a favour and subscribe now. Each episode tells an entirely different story, so it’s easy to listen to the ones that interest you and delete the ones that don’t. Plus, if you want ‘look how smart I am’ bragging rights at parties, it doesn’t get more
cliché classic than TAL.
5. Reply All
Gimlet Media’s Reply All is a weekly breath of fresh air. The podcast is about all things internet-y, but covers so much territory that you never know what you’re going to get when you tune in. Hosts PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman share a mix of stories, ranging from hilarious to thought-provoking (and, often, a combination of the two). Also, PJ’s laugh is a national treasure, so there’s that.
6. Las Culturistas
Las Culturistas is, as the name would suggest, a pop culture podcast. Hosted by Matt Rogers and Bowen Yang, along with a rotating crew of celebrity guests, the comedy show is best known for its ‘I Don’t Think So, Honey!’ segment during which the hosts and guests hilariously rip apart something from pop culture.
7. The Butterfly Effect
Hosted by journalist Jon Ronson, The Butterfly Effect is a podcast miniseries about pornography, specifically the unexpected consequences of one European teen’s quest to make it free and easier to stream online. The frank reporting on the industry’s history and future will have you captivated.
8. Binge Mode
On Binge Mode, The Ringer’s Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion recap pop culture juggernauts like Game of Thrones, Star Wars and Harry Potter. It’s like binging your favourite show with your best friend and then picking it apart together even though you both still love it.
9. Dirty John
John constantly played the victim card, and made an appointment with an attorney to fight the blizzard of lawsuits against him as part of a way to win Debra’s trust back. Debra wanted a way to put her family at ease with John. The attorney suggested a post-nup. The more they talked about it, the more sulking and angry John got. The attorney got the feeling that this guy was consumed by rage. This was a man whose forehead was bursting with anger. This was a man consumed by rage. This was a man with homicide in his head. E5: Escape. Are you listening?
When Dirty John premiered last year, it sucked in listeners all over the world. The investigative piece from Wondery and the Los Angeles Times chronicled the unbelievable true story of a career con artist and the last family he pulled one over on. If you haven’t binged this one yet, get to it. It’s like a soap opera, but it’s all real.
10. Can I Pet Your Dog?
If you’re not into gritty true crime tales and social commentary that reminds you just how much the real world sucks sometimes, download Can I Pet Your Dog?, the cutest podcast on the internet. Hosted by Renee Colvert and Allegra Ringo, the show has everything dog-lovers might want and then some, including interviews with famous dog-lovers.