Hi everyone! I know I normally put up posts on books on Fridays but I figured I’d broadened out the topic of the day to Entertainment in general. Today’s post will be about the podcasts that I normally listen to.
I didn’t intend to do so but they are in order from least favorite to most favorite. All pictures are from Google Images and I’ll link the podcasts main website where I can.
1. Stuff You Should Know (SYSK) by How Stuff Works
Hosted by Josh Clark and Charles “Chuck” Bryant, this podcast is by far my favorite. I’ve been listening to this podcast since my early college days and while I’ve taken breaks from this podcast I always go back. At this point they have 800+ podcasts and are always adding more. I likely won’t be able to listen to all of them but I’ll certainly try. These two have covered topics such as how to start your own country, to how space stations work, to make up (which I reviewed here).
Josh and Chuck are hilarious and are always going off on tangents but remain entertaining and engaging. They do research in addition to already heavily researched How Stuff Works articles that they cover and remain respectful and mindful when covering more polarizing topics. This podcast is a “must listen to” in my mind.
2. Hello from the Magic Tavern
This is one of the newest podcasts I’ve added but it’s quickly become one of my favorites. Host Arnie (Arnie Niekamp) has fallen into the magical land of Foon through a dimensional rift behind a Burger King in Chicago. Although he’d very much like to go home to his wife Sara and their newborn daughter, Arnie can’t find a way home. Luckily, he had his podcasting equipment and has been able to get a slight wifi signal to be able to upload the podcast. He records in the tavern the Vermillion Minotaur with his magical co-hosts the wizard Usidore (Matt Young) and shapeshifter, usually in the form of a badger, Chunt (Adal Rifai).
This podcasts never fails to make me laugh and I’m very much impressed with how structured the land of Food is within the podcast. The podcast hosts new guests almost every week but they all work hard to make sure the world is cohesive and entertaining. Arnie, although he doesn’t intend to, usually manages to insult the guest in some form or another and his banter with Usidore and Chunt is hilarious. I recommend this one when you need a laugh and defintely start at the beginning. I feel like I just found this podcast (through recommendation of youtuber/actress/great person Felicia Day) and I’m already half way through the 67 episodes.
3. Explain Things to Me by Anna Akana and Brad Gage
When I stumbled across Anna Akana’s youtube channel I immediately became obsessed with her work. Anna’s work ethic and talent truly shine in her podcast as well. Explain Things to Me, hosted by Anna and her co-host Brad Gage, brings in an expert in various occupations for an interview. Anna and Brad have interviewed a mortician, human trafficking lawyer, stuntman, paleontologist, quantum physicist, and many more people to ask them how they found their careers, typical days in their jobs, and advice they would give to people looking to do what they do.
I’m still going through the episodes but I love hearing about all these professions. A lot of times they’re jobs that you don’t really think about or jobs you wouldn’t really go out of your way to know more about, such as professional Santa Clauses or card counters. It’s very nice to get the opportunity to learn about so many careers and people through these interviews.
4. Not Too Deep with Grace Helbig
Grace Helbig is one of my favorite youtubers and when she announced her new podcast I immediately checked it out. I still listen to it regularly. On her podcast she interviews other youtubers without, as the title suggests, going “too deep” into their lives. Mostly the youtubers will engage in light conversation and tell funny stories about their lives.
I enjoy this podcast as Grace’s interviews are always highly entertaining. Sometimes I have heard the stories the guests tell as I do follow a lot of them already but on the occasion that I don’t follow them I get the chance to learn more and find them on social media. It’s silly, it’s fun, and every guest gets the opportunity to tell their best pants “pooping” story (Grace uses a different word) on the podcast. It’s a great extension from Grace’s channel that I always enjoy.
5. Stuff You Missed in History Class by How Stuff Works
If you haven’t realized by now, I enjoy educational podcasts. Stuff You Missed in History Class, like Stuff You Should Know, aims to fill in the educational gaps in your brain. Hosts Tracy V. Wilson and Holly Frey discuss topics from the mysterious disappearance of the Sodder children, to Catherine the Great’s life, to Hercules Mulligan, to the history of pizza, sometimes taking two episodes to teach these stories.
Tracy and Holly have taken over the podcast from various other podcasters for this show, so I’m not as attached to them as I am with Josh and Chuck. They aren’t quite as comedic as the SYSK duo and focus a lot more at the topics on hand. I love history so I still find it very entertaining and I’ll continue listening to the podcast for quite some time.
6. The History Chicks
The History Chicks is a podcast that I don’t listen to as frequently as I’d like. Hosts Beckett Gram and Susan Vollenweider are two women who want to talk about women in history. They don’t just stick with real women either, they also talk about fictional women as well. They’ve covered Marie Antoinette, Abigail Adams, Helen Keller, and Amelia Earhart but also done episodes on Red Riding Hood, Mrs. Claus, and the Women of Oz.
I haven’t listened to many of these and like Stuff You Missed in History Class, they don’t go off on tangents often. I find that the podcasts are the product of hours of research and it really shows. The hosts also do a great job at describing and debating how the woman of the podcast must have been feeling during certain points in their lives.
7. TED Radio Hour
I don’t listen to the TED Radio Hour too often, only when a topic catches my interest at the time that I’m searching for something to listen to. Hosted by Guy Raz these podcasts analyze ideas and feature portions of well-known TED Talks to support the points they are making. Topics have included how we perceive athletic achievements, whether ideas can be original or if all original ideas are actually copies of another’s ideas, and how to find moments of peace in quiet in an increasingly busy and rowdy world.
Now, these topics are all very fascinating but they can feel long if you’re not interested in the idea they are exploring. However, once you get through the podcast you do feel that you’ve spent your time well and have become more mindful towards the issue explored.
8. Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates
This podcast is actually a series of recordings from live debates held in New York City. Past debates include topics such as free speech on campuses, US-China relations, and assisted suicide, among many, many more.
Much like the TED Radio Hour, I prefer to listen to the topics when I feel in the mood for them. This one is not as often as I don’t find debates to be particularly riveting but it’s important information nonetheless.
9. Women of Marvel Podcast
And the last podcast I’ll feature is the Women of Marvel podcast. I have listened to this podcast mostly for the Agent Carter TV show stars or the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. stars. They have talked to Marvel women authors and show runners as well though, as well as some men who work on female centered projects.
I don’t listen to it often because although I love the concept, they either talk about show spoilers (I don’t watch shows as they air) or the guests aren’t as interesting to me. Also, this podcast does a lot of live recordings at conventions which means the sound quality suffers.
Podcasts I’ve recently added
I have recently added two more podcasts. They are Ladies Who Lunch and the memory palace. Ladies Who Lunch is hosted by youtubers Ingrid Nilsen and Cat Valdes. I haven’t listened to the episode but the concept is that they will talk about topics that are not considered polite enough for conversation. The memory palace is a storytelling podcast that I found through The History Chicks which was created by Nate DiMeo (and hosted by) where he picks a story in history and creates a work of fiction around it.
I’m excited to check these both out!
So those are my podcasts! At this moment as I finish editing this post I’m listening to SYSK‘s “How Color Works”. Up next is Hello From the Magic Tavern and so on. I purposefully try to listen to a different podcast all the time so I’m not listening to two of the same back to back. The only exception is sometimes I’ll listen to two part-ers together. I’m also trying to catch up with Arnie’s adventures in Foon so Magic Tavern gets a lot more attention than the others right now.
Let me know what podcasts you enjoy in the comments! I love finding new podcasts, particularly educational podcasts or podcasts that focus on current events.
Thanks for reading!