I’ve wanted to write this for a while. I don’t want to say I liked podcasts before they were cool buuuuut when I was about 12 (for reference I’m nearly 21) and I was given my first i-Pod, one of the first things my dad downloaded for me was the BBC Friday Night Comedy Podcast. I didn’t realise it was a podcast really. I just knew that every week an episode of The Now Show from BBC Radio 4 would magically appear on my iPod and I could listen to it over, and over, and over, and over. Then at times a thing called The News Quiz hosted by some woman called Sandi Toksvig would appear but 12 year old me just wanted The Now Show back. 13 year old me despaired of 12 year old me. There was one episode which featured Sandi as host, Susan Calman and Sue Perkins as guests, and I howled with laughter for so long. The point? I listened to comedy podcasts a lot. And then I stopped. I don’t know why but I think I replaced it with YouTube. But then a few months ago, I started listening to a load of podcasts and I am excited about them and want to share!
This also comes at an opportune time as PodCon has just been released (non spon, although if Hank Green wants to fly me to Seattle from England then Hit Me Up!). So without further ado, in no particular order, here we go:
- Welcome to Night Vale- a stalwart of the podcast community, Welcome to Night Vale is gorgeous, fascinating and, creepy. The show is presented as a local radio show, hosted by Cecil Palmer (Cecil Baldwin), from the sleepy, terrifying world of Night Vale. The cliffhangers are more gripping than most TV shows, and the way to story surrounds you without you even realising it, small details you didn’t even know you were picking up on suddenly, slowly making sense, is a testament to its creators, Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. Honestly it’s one of the best and well-worth your time. I have also read the book and cannot wait for the second one and went to a live show which was also pretty amazing. They tour a lot and so might be in your area soon so go and check them out! Also, anyone know of more shows like this? I’d love to hear any recommendations!
- Dear Hank and John- Created by John and Hank Green of Vlogbrothers fame, this is a podcast full of dubious advice, quick evolving inside-references, and all the week’s new from Mars and AFC Wimbeldon, two things I never knew I would ever care about. If you like these two on YouTube then you’re obviously going to love to podcast, and occasionally they have really cool guest hosts who are pretty awesome as well. Most of the time it’s silly (I’m looking at you Boy who wanted to sneak his pet snake to college and This Week in Ryans) but occasionally can get serious with some thought-provoking answer. A show for the questions you didn’t even realise you wanted answering.
- The Guilty Feminist- A relatively new pick-up from me, the Guilty Feminist aims to provide a space for talking about Feminism while also revealing the bits people tend to hide. Mainly hosted by Deborah Frances-White and Sofia Hagen, although guest hosts are a thing, the format moves from ‘I’m a Feminist But’ (possibly my favourite segment), Stand-Up sets, guests who know more about that week’s topic, and weekly challenges. The podcast is really good if you want to hear more from different voices, while also having a bit of a giggle at the same time.
- What am politics?- A new(ish) podcast, what am politics? follows the mis-adventures of two Irish men, with Richie (who lives in San Francisco) being a self-confessed toddler when it comes to politics, and Steve (who lives in Dublin) trying his upmost to teach him something (literally anything at all). The main focus has been on American politics, although other topics such as Brexit, Eurovision, and Social Media have also been discussed. They recently added guests onto some of the episodes and those are always super fun and it’s basically politics but for people like me who don’t really understand what’s going on half the time.
- No Such Thing as a Fish- From the QI Elves comes a podcast which features one of my favourite things- random pieces of information. I can’t say if I’ve retained much of it but if you’d like to be that one person at the office going ‘Oh I learnt something really interesting this week’ then you need this podcast. Also they’re going on tour this year which promises to be really cool, so get listening!
- My Dad Wrote a Porno- This. Podcast. What can I say? The title pretty much tells you the premise. Jamie Morton’s dad wrote a porno. And now he and his friends, Alice and James, have decided to read it out. And record it. And upload it. This podcast has taken the world by storm, with them selling out shows all over, including the bloody Sydney Opera House. The “story” follows Belinda Blumenthal as she essentially shags her way through the Pots and Pans industry and to be honest that’s as normal as it gets. Duchess’s, Chillian Chardonnay, Elijah Wood wanting to be the Youngish Man, Amsterdaaaamn and pomegranates, this podcast has everything you didn’t want. At the end of May they are realising Book 3 (oh yes, he’s written more than 1. He wrote 4 before they’d even finished recording the first one so lord knows how many there are now) and you know you want to be part of this. If you would like to cackle loudly on a bus while also being grossed out and unable to tell anyone else why you’re laughing, listen to this podcast.
- Not Too Deep with Grace Helbig- if you like YouTube at all, you’re favourite person has probably been on this podcast, or is lined up to be on in the future. Grace Helbig (a huge star herself) interviews some of her favourite people but instead of asking deep question about life or whatever, she asks them things like “Who would you most want to throw cold spaghetti at?” It’s fun, it’s stupid, and is perfect to listen to if only to listen to Grace’s amazing laugh and hear Jack Ferry ‘Jack-Checking’ every fact.
- Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review- This one is mainly because my dad loves this one and I will always end up listening if he’s listening. Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo have a BBC radio film review show and this is the condensed podcast version. It’s lovely because you can tell both of these guys are very good friends and the banter always flows really nicely, and just listening to someone be so passionate about a topic is really great. Basically if you have any interest in film whatsoever, want to listen to some interviews with actors and film-makers, and want to know what films should be on your radar, this is the one for you.
One’s I’m going to try soon: “Stuff You Should Know”:a podcast about things you should know to sound clever at parties, “The Complete Guide to Everything”: in a similar vain to the first but with different people , “My Brother My Brother and Me”: the internet’s favourite podcast apparently which completely flew by me, a podcast about three brothers just talking as far as I can tell, and “After the Ending”: a podcast continuing the story of some of the world’s favourite films.
Any thoughts or recommendations? Leave them in a comment below!