35 Hidden Podcasts You Really Should Be Listening To
Because the second series of Serial still hasn't bloody arrived yet.
Comedy and Improv
The title sums it up. As teaganfe says: "'Grown ups' read short fiction, diary entries, letters, and more that they wrote as young children or teens to a live audience. It's hilarious and heartfelt. Bonus: It's very Canadian. :)"
This is described on iTunes as: "A podcast where Guy Montgomery and Tim Batt continue to watch and review Grown Ups 2 weekly, until we go insane and kill each other." Hear their minds melt. Oh, and for their second series they've moved on to Sex and the City 2, which they will watch every week for a year.
3. Jordan, Jesse, Go! (suggested by Kevin James on Facebook)
Presented by Jordan Morris and Jesse Thorn, this show tries to tackle the very big issues that you often encounter in your twenties, from mansplaining to fannypacks.
4. The Complete Guide to Everything (suggested by Jill Clark on Facebook)
Each week Tim Daniels and Tom Reynolds try to educate you about random topics such as "mattresses" or "Harrison Ford", but then they get distracted and talk about other things entirely. As Jill Clark says, it's "like sitting on the couch with your two funny friends from high school. Pure banter."
5. Keith and the Girl (suggested by Kristen Turner on Facebook)
There have been more than 2,000 episodes of this show (!) but you don't need to catch up to listen. "They get all the best guests, including comedians and The Onion contributors," Kristen Turner says. "The hosts, Chemda and Keith, are super-open and hilarious, putting an interesting spin on current events."
6. The Black Guy Who Tips (suggested by Hiorja Shibe on Facebook)
Rod and Karen, a married couple, have been doing this podcast for a while and have attracted a dedicated following. "Rob and Karen are two of the funniest podcast hosts out there," Hiorja Shibe says, "always keeping it real, covering current events and celebrity pratfalls."
7. Geoff Lloyd's Hometime Show (suggested by Ross Barber on Facebook)
This podcast is just edited clips of Geoff Lloyd's radio show on Absolute Radio, but it's still worth a listen. The features are quirky and the presenters are not pretentious in the slightest.
Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow have created quite the fanbase for this podcast, in which they talk about everything and slay all that needs to be slayed!
9. Post Show Recaps (suggested by Laura Holzwasser on Facebook)
Pretty much what it says on the tin, with big episodes of popular shows deconstructed and evaluated not long after you've finished watching them. Such shows include Game of Thrones, True Detective, and Orange Is the New Black.
19. AbsolutePunk Podcast (suggested by Ross Barber on Facebook)
Jason Tate, Thomas Nassiff, and Deew Beringer, the hosts of this podcast, have got recognition for their takes on the latest music releases and their knowledge of the music industry.
11. The X-Files Files (suggested by Samantha C. Sullivan on Facebook)
Excited about The X-Files coming back? Well, Kumail Nanjiani (from Silicon Valley) has a podcast that breaks down every single episode to date in order and in-depth in a discussion brimming with nostalgia.
12. Homoground (suggested by Luke McCann on Facebook)
Music and interviews by queer and allied musicians and bands, especially artists that aren't in the mainstream. As the website vows: "We are just a bunch of nerdy queers who like to make things."
13. Song Exploder (suggested by Ross Barber on Facebook)
Ever heard a song and wondered how it was made, or what the meaning is behind it? This podcast features musicians taking apart their own records. Recent episodes include Will Butler from Arcade Fire, and Ramin Djawadi, who made the theme song for Game of Thrones.
14. See You Next Wednesday (suggested by Flight School on Facebook)
This is a Toronto based pop-culture podcast covering films and television, presented by Dan Gorman, Greg LeGros and Casey Lyons. An interesting feature has contributors roll a dice to decide who sees and reviews the most talked-about film that week, and who has to see a stinking one.
Want something to hold on to between series of Drag Race? Well, there's now 33 episodes of this podcast to catch up on; it sees RuPaul and Visage tell listeners their views, provide witty anecdotes, and dish out sweet advice, just like the show itself.
16. Stuff You Should Know (suggested by Daniel Barfoot on Facebook)
This is very much an educational podcast, but one that actually contains knowledge that's quite cool to show and tell others, from how circus families work to how base jumping works and how therapeutic hyperthermia works.
17. Freakonomics (suggested by Andrew Warnes on Facebook)
Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner explore what they call "the hidden side of everything" in this WNYC show based on their book of the same name. Andrew Warnes says the show "gives some brilliant thought progressions such as the upside of quitting and why failure can be good, using experts and those in the field as sources".
You know the TV panel show QI? Well, this podcast is presented by the people behind it and similarly bursts with facts and information. And just like the TV show, it's recorded in front of a studio audience.
These podcasts can be nearly two hours long, but don't let that put you off. As natedriver says, it's the "best history show I've ever listened to. You do not need to be a history buff or nerd – it is compelling and comprehensive. You will love it."
News and Society
20. On the Media (suggested by Thomas H. on Facebook)
Presented by Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield, this podcast interviews journalists from different titles for their takes on some of the most important talking points of the week, as well as investigate big media issues.
21. Radio Diaries (suggested by Harry Duran on Facebook)
A simple concept: This show gives tape recorders to many different people to document their own lives for the radio, but the results are extraordinary and engrossing. You can start with any episode.
22. This Week in Blackness Prime (suggested by Ashley Gillard on Facebook)
Elon James White, Imani Gandy, and Aaron Rand Freeman discuss race, news, pop culture, and anything that's on the top of their head. A light and entertaining listen.
23. Criminal (suggested by Dominique B. Tillman on Facebook)
Don't see this podcast as a copycat of Serial – it's quite different and actually started first. Listen to complex, unpredictable, and intriguing stories on different forms of crime each month, all presented by Phoebe Judge.
24. Death, Sex and Money (suggested by Chelsey Keesy on Facebook)
This show from radio station WNYC (home of This American Life) focuses on stories in society we aren't talking about enough. An engaging podcast that doesn't shy away from difficult topics.
25. Mugglecast (suggested by Vicky Slyia on Facebook)
This podcast has been talking and reporting on all things Harry Potter for nearly 10 years! With the books and movies behind us, this the place to hear discussions and predictions for Fantastic Beasts.
The presenters are wonderfully engaging in this podcast about Pixar, Disney, and Dreamworks. They discuss their love of animation and talk in-depth about character development, plots, and animation techniques.
27. Sawbones (suggested by Hannah Creque on Facebook)
Dr Sydnee McElroy and her husband, Justin McElroy, deep-dive into the world of medicine, providing facts alongside humour and wit. These are the science lessons you wanted to have at school.
28. The Adventure Zone (Steven Pellinen on Facebook).
This is a Dungeons and Dragons comedy podcast (yes, really), presented by Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy. As Steven Pellinen says: "It's quite nerdy, but awesome."
29. View from the Gutters (suggested by Hiorja Shibe on Facebook)
This is a place for those who are comic book obsessives, and focuses on a different graphic novel each week. If there's a comic you love, check out the reading list to see if there's a podcast discussion about it already.
Kevin T. Porter and Demi Adejuyigbe are such fans of Gilmore Girls they've created a podcast about every single episode. They perform their own jingles, and better still, cast and crew from the show make regular appearances.
Nope, this podcast is not one minute long. Instead, it examines just a single minute of a Star Wars film each day, in depth. That's right. Deep analysis and criticism of each individual minute.
Business and Technology
Alex Blumberg and Lisa Chow from NPR present a series about what it is really like to start and launch your own business. You'll gain appreciation of and insight into the passion and knowledge needed for a new business to flourish.
33. On the Grid (suggested by Maurice Cherry on Facebook)
If you're passionate about design and enjoy intelligent designers discussing design, this might be worth a listen. Hosted by Andy Mangold, Matt McInerney, and Dan Auer.
34. Slate's Working (suggested by Chelsey Keesey on Facebook)
Ever wanted to hear what it is like to be a midwife, or a UN official, or a lexicographer? This podcast by Slate features interviews that ask the simplest questions so you end up learning about professions you never knew about or didn't have the confidence to ask about.
This show by YouTubers Rhett and Link consists of interviews with other popular YouTubers and content creators about their work and how they've managed to make their channels work and be successful.