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Sorry, but we can’t all be “Call Her Daddy” stans. Listening to two guys talk for an hour through the car radio on the way to work can truly be a challenge for some of us. This is the kind of stuff that makes some people fall asleep behind the wheel. While true crime podcasts have spawned a dedicated audience, and “Serial” is truly a cultural phenomenon, some people just can’t get into the hype of what seems like glorified talk radio.
But, it’s not time to give up on podcasts just yet. So, before you throw in the towel, we have a few recommendations for interesting podcasts that just might restore your faith in the podcast genre. These interesting podcasts are unique with conceits worth a second glance – or a second listen, rather.
Just for a laugh
Some of the most popular podcasts currently available are comedy podcasts. Everyone needs a good laugh, and comedy albums themselves have been available for, like, forever. People love listening to other people tell jokes. So, lighten up your commute by hitting play on an episode of one of these worthwhile comedy podcasts.
“The Worst Idea of All Time”
Definitely a dark horse hit, “The Worst Idea of All Time” may just have been the best idea of all time. Hosted by New Zealand comedians Guy Montgomery and Tim Batt, this show is simply ridiculous. Montgomery and Batt watch a singular film repeatedly every season, recording an episode after every viewing and re-reviewing it. Each season focuses on another bad movie, the first one being “Grown Ups 2.”
As you can probably imagine, each season becomes hilariously more unhinged, with Montgomery and Batt grasping at strange details and idiosyncrasies from the critically underwhelming films they view. It’s a trip and a half – one that you should definitely take.
“The Guilty Feminist”
We can all relate to wanting to be better people while not willing to change our behavior completely. Deborah Frances-White’s show, “The Guilty Feminist,” is a comedic look at how we all come up short sometimes while trying to support causes that are important to us.
Her podcast is able to look at contemporary feminism with a critical eye while still maintaining a playful tone. Almost every episode features a new and interesting co-host, and most of them also feature conversations with both well-known and unconventional guests.
Some of you might recognize the name Connor Ratcliff, but you’re certainly forgiven if you don’t. “Dead Eyes” is based on a bizarre concept: why was Ratcliff, the show’s host, fired from his minimal role on HBO’s “Band of Brothers” by director Tom Hanks in 2001?
Run as an investigative journalism podcast, Ratcliff attempts to piece together this bizarre and seemingly inconsequential event from his past when Hanks told him he had “dead eyes.”
So you can feel cultured
Ooh-la-la! Feel like you’re part of a modern-day salon listening to these interesting podcasts with an intellectual angle. From books to anecdotal fun to a brush with light social behavioral theory, these podcasts will surely have you thinking.
Always wanted to join a book club but never wanted to actually participate in a book club? Now is your chance. “Overdue” is a podcast hosted by Andrew Cunningham and Craig Getting in which they use every episode to riff on “books you’ve been meaning to read.” This show is great for readers everywhere, and it might just inspire others to read a little bit more.
Listen to episodes about books you’ve already read (in high school, college or your spare time), or listen about something that you’re considering borrowing from your local library. This book podcast is irreverent, with both hosts revealing their honest opinions as well as what they’ve taken away from each story. They will straight up tell you if a book is bad, which is refreshing.
“365 Stories I Want to Tell You Before We Both Die”
This show is a project undertaken by Caveh Zahedi, an eccentric filmmaker who seems to do whatever he wants. At the beginning of 2021, Zahedi set out to record one story from his life every day for a year and to share those stories with his listeners. This is a shorter podcast – most episodes total less than 10 minutes, many less than five. Check out this unique podcast for a fun, short peek into one man’s simultaneously ordinary and exceptional life.
“Sounds Like a Cult”
A podcast about “the modern-day ‘cults’ we all follow,” “Sounds Like a Cult” takes a deep dive into different contemporary social groups and questions the validity of their goals, seeking to uncover the cult status of each one.
Hosted by writer Amanda Montell and filmmaker/comedy writer Isabella Medina-Maté, this show examines how we engage with one another in larger groups and how social interaction has become what it is now in 2021. Their latest episode is on multilevel marketing (MLM) and is a must-listen.
For sounding smart around your boss
Aside from being wildly entertaining, these picks will give you something to chat about around the water cooler while making you look super cool and smart at the same time. Just don’t get a big head with all this extra information – save it for trivia night.
“Let’s Talk about Myths, Baby”
Admit it; you had a Greek mythology phase. We all did. This podcast is dedicated to Greek and Roman mythology, but these stories aren’t told to you the way you remember them.
In “Let’s Talk About Myths,” host Liv Albert explores ancient myths “through a modern intersectional feminist lens” with particular attention paid to “the voices of women, trans and nonbinary people.” Albert earned a degree in English Literature and Classics (Classical Civilizations) and researches the hell (Hades?) out of every story she passes on to her audience.
“Where Are All the Baby Pigeons”
Another podcast on the short side, “Where Are All the Baby Pigeons” seeks to answer the questions that pop into your head randomly. Hosted by Australian comedian Froomes, each episode hovers around 15 minutes, making it great to listen to while on public transportation or walking your dog.
This show awakens the natural curiosities we all have about our world. You’ll feel satisfied learning at least a little bit more about this place that we call home.
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