What (non-gaming/movie) podcasts are you listening to?

I listen to quite a few podcasts, mostly while working out or driving, but also sometimes while playing games. A quick forum search didn’t find any threads about podcasts in general, though there is one about gaming podcasts specifically and of course we all know where to find the QT3 movie podcast (though I don’t listen much myself).

So I figured I’d start a non-gaming/movie podcast thread, and this seemed like the appropriate forum since they’re a form of media. Looking forward to seeing what everyone is listening to! Here’s my current list. It’s mostly NPR, but there’s a couple of others in there.


NPR’s Up First - daily news digest

APM’s Marketplace - financial news

The Indicator - Short discussion of one economic indicator and what’s behind it.


This American Life - Lots of general interest stuff, stories, politics, just about everything at one time or another. Been doing it a long time, lots of good stuff in the archives too.

Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me - “News quiz” show, lots of poking fun at most everything and some entertaining short interviews with famous folks

It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders - Twice a week, technically. One show is an interview, usually with an author or actor or other culture figure. The other is a weekly news recap, both serious and humorous.

Hidden Brain - Stories about human thinking and motivations, often at the unconscious level.

Escape Pod - Weekly science fiction stories. They have fantasy, horror, and young adult shows as well. None of those were to my taste, but others might like them.

Stuff You Should Know - Couple of guys from HowStuffWorks.com talking about all kinds of subjects.

Planet Money - Various economic stories, generally simple explanations of complex ideas.

Only a Game - Sports show from NPR. Sometimes they talk about the big sports news, but usually they find things well off the beaten path.

No Such Thing as a Fish - People from QI.com talking about obscure and/or interesting facts. As an American, I find that all the British accents make it even funnier.

Less Frequent

Radiolab - Lots of general interest stuff, stories, politics, just about everything at one time or another. Been doing it a long time, lots of good stuff in the archives too. If that sounds the same as This American Life, it pretty much is, though with more sound effects.

More Perfect - By the Radiolab folks, focusing specifically on the Supreme Court. Some of it focuses on cases in the recent past, other bits goes way back to the early days of the court.

Freakonomics - By Stephen Dubner, one of the authors of the book of the same name. Mostly economics, but always with a twist.

Tell Me Something I Don’t Know - Also from Dubner, a “game show” where people come on to tell weird or unexpected facts.

Gilbert Goittfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast: Only members of a certain age will appreciate the interviews with showbiz “legends” like Larry Storch, Chuck McCann, and Billy West. He’s had on bigger names from time (Dick Van Dyke) but it’s definitely geared to people with a fondness for old Hollywood.

Of course, a lot depends on how you feel about Gottfried himself.

How I Built This with Guy Raz.

My Dad Wrote a Porno - A poor guy finds out one day that his father has written a trashy romance novel. He reads it on the podcast with his two friends providing commentary. It’s hilarious.

Thin Air - Each episode details an unsolved missing persons case. It’s in a similar style to Serial. Well-produced and researched, but the lack of resolution to any of them can be frustrating (they are cold cases, after all). Disclosure - I’m friends with one of the creators.

Unhappy Hour - A podcast about complaining about things. The host can be a little grating, but he’s funny. They get some pretty cool guests on.

The Dollop - One comedian reads a story from American history to his friend, who has no idea what’s coming. Freaking hilarious. Highlights for me include The Rube, Philadelphia sports fans, Jet Pack Madness and the 1904 olympic games.

The Greatest Generation - Two guys who began recapping Star Trek: The Next Generation, who are now into the second season of Deep Space Nine. Not only are they funny, but they work in the industry, so they’re able to pick up technical stuff other folks might’ve missed.

Judge John Hodgman - The former “PC” from the Mac/PC commercials has disputes brought to him, and he tries to rule on the case in a fair manner. Really fun and funny.

99% Invisible 99% Invisible is about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about — the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world.

Some example episodes:
The history and design of cemeteries (which is far more interesting than you’d think!)

If you are interested in things like self driving cars, then the automation paradox is one of my favorite episodes…

The story they told was was about what happened when the automated system flying the plane suddenly shut off, and the pilots were left surprised, confused, and ultimately unable to fly their own plane.

One ore that has stuck with me for a long time:

Cities, like living things, evolve slowly over time. Buildings and structures get added and renovated and removed, and in this process, bits and pieces that get left behind. Vestiges. Just as humans have tailbones and whales have pelvic bones, cities have doors that open into a limb-breaking drop, segments of fences that anyone can walk around, and pipes that carry nothing at all.
Most of the time, these architectural leftovers rust or crumble or get taken down. But other times, these vestiges aren’t removed. They remain in the urban organism. And sometimes — even though they no longer serve any discernible purpose — they’re actually maintained. They get cleaned and polished and re-painted just because they’re there.

I really can’t do this thread justice on my phone, but I would recommend the weekly podcast The Bugle, a funny podcast that at one time was hosted by John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman. It’s a satirical look at the weeks news with more bullshit
These days it’s hosted by Andy Zaltzman and a cadre of other comedians that change week to week.

If you are a fan of puns or Fuck you versaries, this might be the podcast for you.


In Our Time

Fresh Air

Pod Save America


The Civil War Podcast

You and I seem to have very similar tastes. Thank you, have some new stuff to listen to.

Milk Street Radio - After Christopher Kimball was fired from America’s Test Kitchen, he started Milk Street with an emphasis on finding the best foods outside of America. NPR-style stories about food and the people that make it, and a Q&A section with callers and fellow public television cook, Sara Moulton.

The Purple Stuff Podcast - “Jay and Matt talk about toys, junk food, the holidays, movies and retro geek stuff. Sometimes a weird robot joins in.” Matt from Dinosaurdracula.com has been writing the funniest stuff about 1980s Macy’s Day Parades, Chocodile Twinkies, Telco Motionettes, and Green Bamboo Mystery Peanuts since before the Internet was funny. Also, pro wrestling; it’s weird, but if you love Holidays, especially, and their associated paraphernalia, if “pumpkin spice” gets you excited and not sick, give it a try.

I tried these two over the weekend. I listened to The Rube, and I didn’t really get it. That podcast might not be for me.

I listened to the first two episodes of The Greatest Generation, and I like it so far. Can I get an assurance though that they won’t always just make fun of the show? When there’s good episodes, will they actually have praise as well? Or are they just going to make fun of the shows throughout?

That’s fair, my wife isn’t into it either. Their humor hits me square in the face, but it’s not for everyone.

You have to understand that those early episode of Next Gen are, let’s be honest, terrible, so that’s gonna happen a lot in the first two seasons of the show while they’re covering it. It’s from a place of love though, as they do love the show and its characters, but when they do get to a great episode, like “Measure of a Man” or “The Defector” they certainly spend time singing its praises.

Maybe pick some of your favorite Next Gen episodes and see how they treat 'em. That’s what I did, I started with “Yesterday’s Enterprise” and “The Defector,” and got hooked.

That’s not a podcast list. This is a podcast list

Main additions since that post:

Ray Moss (in the Kench feed) - comedy miniseries from the guy behind Beef And Dairy Network
The Josh Marshall Podcast - politics news discussion that is a little bit less snarky than Chapo
The Butterfly Effect - documentary miniseries by Jon Ronson on the impact of Pornhub
Waypoint Radio - you probably know this one
Athletico Mince - somewhat football related podcast with Bob Mortimer and friend
The McElroy Brothers Will Be In Trolls 2 - self explanatory.
Kevin McDonald’s Kevin McDonald Show - highly strung KITH dude does a sketch or two and an interview
Andy Daly’s Podcast Pilot Project Season 2 - Best comedy podcast miniseries ever returns (Stitcher Premium only for now)
Off Book - Comedy improv musicals
More Perfect - Supreme Court history from the Radiolab people

There will be no treaty, no voxxine, and NO LIEUTENANT YAR

Now why doesn’t that show up in the first few dozen results when I searched for “podcasts” or “podcast list”? Oh well, just another case of thread proliferation.

I listened to all 7 episodes this weekend. The scariest part for me was just the matter of fact way they say kids will have access to this stuff at a young age now, and it is causing higher rates of dysfunction and other consequences. Makes me leary as a new dad, and makes me realize that I need to spend some serious time looking up how to make my computer kid-safe somehow.

I’ll add to this thread before diving in that other one in Ginger_Yellow’s reply.

Part Time Genius - Similar to but better than Stuff You Should Know, hosted by two guys (Will and Mango) that founded Mental Floss.

The Daily Zeitgeist - A daily 1-hour news commentary podcast, hosted by someone that did a Cracked podcast before, with daily comedian guests. They produce a weekend podcast that splices the best bits from the prior 5 days, which is what I listen to.

I kept doing this over the last 10 days. I’d take the next episode I liked, and then the next, and then the next. One interesting conclusion I came to is that these two genuinely don’t like the show. Most of the jokes didn’t come at the expense of silly things outside the show, but making fun of the characters and the make up artists, the prop guys, the actors, the writers, etc. Even when I got to Q Who? where they introduce the Borg, they were still making fun of various parts of the show. Yesterday’s Enterprise was sort of a turning point, in that one of them really liked the episode, even though the other one was very nitpicky about the time travel. But I’m glad I kept listening because yesterday I got to Best of Both Worlds Part 1, and they finally are laughing with the show instead of laughing at the show. They genuinely love this episode, so they are finally making jokes about Star Trek and Picard and Riker, but it comes from a place of affection for the first time. (From the 10 or so episodes that I’ve heard).

So it turns out, they are fans of the show after all. That’s kind of cool, and an interesting twist. I was ready to give up on them, but maybe I’ll keep listening after all.

I listened to their episode on Best of Both Worlds Part 2 this morning, and they keep the love going.

Yay, I’m so glad you’re starting to enjoy it. They always loved the show from the beginning, but those early episodes are HARD to show affection for. ;)