Why the hell aren’t you listening to podcasts? Go download a podcast app. For android users, I recommend Podcast Republic. For iphone users, I recommend therapy to address your deep seated need to conform. Studies* show that people who listen to podcasts are, on average, both sexier and more successful than those that don’t. So, once you’re app-ed up and ready to roll then it’s time to figure out what you want to listen to. This can be a real challenge considering the dearth of options available. A high powered, jet-setting socialite like yourself is far too busy with brunch business meetings and Eyes Wide Shut cult orgies to sort through the audio riff-raff and determine what’s worth listening too. Fear not though baby birds; mama’s here to regurgitate some podcast yummies into your hungry little earholes. Here are four of my favorite podcasts that you should listen to.
Move over Laurel and Hardy, take a hike Abbott and Costello, and burn in hell Lucy and Desi because there’s a new comedy duo that will make you laugh and learn. Dave Anthony and Gary Reynolds host an American, and sometimes Australian, history podcast. Each week Dave reads Gary a story from history. Since Gary is always kept ignorant of the subject matter, his reactions to these often obscure tales are hilarious. Both hosts are professional actors and comedians. This background shines through in Dave’s writing and pares well with Gary’s natural comedic timing. The Dollop has been gaining a substantial following and if you listen to a couple of episodes, you’ll see why.
Like a tartan-clad phoenix wearing The Sorting Hat and waving a Union Jack, The Bugle has risen from the ashes to majestically soar over the once greatest of Britains. This “audio newspaper for a visual age” has led a tumultuous life since it was discarded like a used prophylactic by former host, now Hollywood big shot, John Oliver. He originally shared hosting duties with the pun-ishing, Andy Zaltzman. Like John, he is a British comedian known for his trademark style and witty takes on current events. Unlike John, you’ve probably never heard of him. While the hundreds of back episodes may not be particularly relevant, they offer enough humor to make up for it. The Bugle’s fate was uncertain when Oliver left for greener pastures back in 2016, but Andy has soldiered on with a bevy of often recurring guest hosts. I’m partial to the ones where co-host duty was handed off to either Wyatt Cynac, Nish Kumar, or Hari Kondabolu. The show’s refreshing UK perspective is different enough to let you reconsider your views, while still retaining the traditional levels of ethnocentrism needed to sleep soundly at night.
Notable episodes: None. They are all equally nonsensical.
Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History
Dan has been beating the podcast drum for a while now. His educational editorials are an extremely satisfying way to learn about great moments in history. Dan is not an academic in the traditional sense, self described as a student of history. His episodes are less lecture and more like the color commentary and play by play of the grandest conflicts in history. He’s been featured multiple times on the Joe Rogan Experience and as a panelist on CBS News. A lot of his work is behind pay walls but you can find his stunning ~25 hour breakdown of World War One, Blueprint for Armageddon for free on most apps. Carlin plays like an edgy Ken Burns lacking only the slow pans over monochrome photographs. Dan’s passion doesn’t lie in the facts we have about our past, instead he explores the gaps in our knowledge and forces us to confront the incredible amount of unanswered questions we still have about seemingly infamous parts of our history.
Notable episodes: Shows 50 – 55: Blueprint for Armageddon 1 – 5
The Last Podcast On The Left
If you still maintain any sense of innocence in your life then be warned that this podcast will rid you of it. LPoTL, (an abbreviation that looks like an ASCII gentleman,) examines such taboo topics as death cults, serial killers, aliens, religion, government conspiracies, and the paranormal. Hosts Ben “The Truth” Kissel, Henry “2Real” Zabrowski, and Marcus “Dog Meat” Parks deliver informative shows and a sincere willingness to rip on any belief structure with little to no sense of shame. Imagine Coast to Coast AM hosted by Howard Stern’s attitude and Bill Maher’s skepticism. That’s the best description I can give for this unique podcast. Be prepared as LPoTL has a few very dark episodes that aren’t for the faint of heart. After you’ve worked through some of their back catalog, you may start to feel a little paranoid. Are you being watched? Is someone after you? Are you the victim of a massive government conspiracy? Tune in to affirm all of your most detailed delusions and to pick up a few new ones.
Other podcasts I like but don’t want to donate money too so I feel guilty and made them Honorable Mentions: Stuff You Should Know, Cinema Gems, My Favorite Murder, Point vs Point
*Studies, in this context, refers to those covered under the principle of narrative causality.