The 6 Podcasts You Should Be Listening To

An often under-appreciated medium – yes, even in the days of Serial obsessions – podcasts are a great way to pass the time. The ability to pick and choose from the wide variety of shows available on the Podcast App makes them way more personalized than tuning into your local NPR radio station. It won’t be long before you’re a true podcast addict if you listen to some of these awesome series.

6. How Did This Get Made?

Instead of listening to your friends mock something that’s so-bad-it’s-good, why not listen to three comedians do so instead? Co-hosts Jason Mantzoukas (of HBO’s Enlightened), June Diane Raphael (of Netflix’s Grace and Frankie) and Paul Scheer (of ABC’s Fresh off the Boat) unpackage and dissect all that is awful and embarrassing about some of the worst movies of all time. Special guests like Paul F. Tompkins and other comedians add special insight into these awful movies. Even if you haven’t seen the movie in question, this podcast still manages to be entertaining every time.

5. You Made it Weird with Pete Holmes

Everyone knows Marc Maron’s “WTF” Podcast is the go-to series for hilarious and emotional interviews with celebrities of all sorts. But if you’re looking for something different, comedian Pete Holmes’ one-on-one interview podcast (which was modelled on Maron’s) is a sweet and emotionally-resonant podcast that features interviews with big time comedians like Zach Galifianakis and on-the-rise stars like YouTube’s Grace Helbig. Clocking in at an average 2 hours per episode, it may not be comparable to watching a stand up comedy set, but it is very much worth a listen.

4. The X-Files Files

Sure, podcasts about a tv show that ended over a decade ago may seem like a niche genre, but what with the upcoming X-Files Season 10, now is the perfect time to catch up on all things alien to you about The X-Files. Comedian Kumail Nanjiani – star of HBO’s Silicon Valley and a podcast all-star who also hosts “The Indoor Kids” with his wife Emily Gordon – brings along a guest for each episode to discuss some of their favorite X-Files moments and episodes.

3. Comedy Bang Bang

If you’ve ever been flipping through the expansive landscape that is your basic cable channels, you may have come across one of the weirdest “talk-shows” on television today, the Comedy Bang Bang tv show on IFC. You may not have known that the show traces its origins long ago as a radio show called Comedy Death Ray and later to popular podcast Comedy Bang Bang. This podcast is a strange combination of celebrity interview and comic improvisation, that leaves you scratching your head as you laugh yourself silly.

2. Freakonomics Radio

The Freakonomics podcast is based off the bestselling Freakonomics book, but don’t be turned off by the academic exterior – this podcast is a ton of fun, if you know what to listen to. Not every episode may strike your fancy, as the hosts discuss a range of topics from the food industry to the sex industry. You might need to be a bit selective with which podcast episodes you download to the app. The process will be worth your time, though, as you’ll soon sound like the smartest person at any party with all your random, economic knowledge.

1. Pop Culture Happy Hour

From NPR, yes that organization that brought you Serial, comes the most entertaining and helpful podcast around. We can’t be experts on every piece of media content that comes our way; there just isn’t enough time. But at 45-minutes an episode there’s plenty of time to listen to a cast of pop culture experts discuss the latest in movies, tv, music, books and more. Host Linda Holmes, editor of NPR’s pop culture blog Monkey See, always has a most topical topic and knowledge to share along with fellow NPR contributors Glen Wheldon and Steven Thompson.