Podcasts are the new talk radio and, like talk radio, it can often feel like a small selection of shows receive all the attention. As much as I love “This American Life,” “Fresh Air,” and the 200 other NPR shows that top the iTunes charts, the world of podcasts is filled with lesser-known gems waiting to fill your ears with aural nuggets of entertainment. Here are some of my favorites:
How Did This Get Made? – Subscribe on iTunes
Andre from The League, his real-life wife and star of Yahoo’s hilarious web series Burning Love, and Rafi from The League (also known as Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, and Jason Mantzoukas) rip apart terrible movies in an endearingly loving way. Much of the hilarity comes from the hosts, which often include a guest star, genuinely trying to figure out the gaping plot holes and deleterious acting choices. What’s nice is that the hosts never hate on a movie just to be funny; these brave warriors muddle through piles of celluloid shit to bring us an answer–how the hell did these movies ever get made?
If I Were You – Subscribe on iTunes
This podcast, featuring two CollegeHumor stars (that might be an oxymoron), is so funny, it will undoubtedly become much more popular. But get in touch with your hipster and get on this shiz from the beginning. Hosts Jake and Amir, most known for their ongoing, unbelievably epic prank war, answer reader’s quandaries with gut-busting anecdotes and mostly horrible advice. The first episode is one of the funniest half-hours I’ve heard in a long time. Get on it before your younger brother is telling you about it.
By The Way, In Conversation with Jeff Garlin - Subscribe on iTunes
I’ll just leave these names here: Larry David, Lena Dunham, Jeff Tweedy, J.J. Abrams, Mitch Hurwitz, Will Ferrell, Zach Galifanakis, Michael Moore, Matthew Weiner. Those are the first ten guests that took the stage at L.A.’s Largo for a live conversation with that guy from Curb Your Enthusiasm. It’s funny, enlightening, and candid, usually all at the same time. Just go ahead and subscribe to this one.
Comic Dorks! – Subscribe on iTunes
In my quest to be as uncool as possible in high school, I started reading comic books– first the mainstream heroes (Marvel, yo), then the more indie stuff. Real life got in the way of my habit, but I’ve drifted back to a medium that really does contains some wonderful, exciting stories. “Comic Dorks!” manages what few nerdy podcasts do–not make you feel like an idiot. Because it features a mix of old-school comic nerds and first-time readers (one dude is a professional woodworker), there’s something for everyone. They talk about the industry, recommend books, and discuss pop culture comic happenings. Despite being about comic books, it never feels esoteric. If you want an entry point into the world of comics, this is a good place to start.
Mascot Wedding – Subscribe on iTunes
My friend made me download this podcast, a recording of a local Austin radio show, despite my reluctance stemming from the nonsensical name (It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Mr. Met!). “Mascot Wedding” feels like having a beer with your funniest friends. They play some music, talk to some guests, but mostly just chat about movies, comedy, hobos, and whatever else is on their mind. Sadly, “Mascot Wedding” is going away, but there are nearly 300 episodes for you to sink your teeth into. Do it; it’s delicious.