Podcasts – 2019

For the first time in quite a while, I finally emptied my podcast queue. I listen to so many that there's always another one to listen to, but I guess I've been listening a lot, recently. Since it has been a few years since I last talked about podcasts, I thought I'd do another post and just list a few of my favourites. Here are 20 or so (out of about 80), roughly categorized, in no specific order.

Comedy

The Bugle

  • Frequency: Weekly
  • Length: 45 minutes (too short!)
  • Content: Occasional strong language (bleeped, for comedic effect)

Andy Zaltzman and a guests riff on the news of the day. It's always over too soon.

Film Sack

  • Frequency: Weekly
  • Length: ~1 hour

Part of the Frogpants Network, Randy, Scott, Brian, and Brian dive into an old (and often bad) movie. I just love spending time with these guys. Always hilarious.

The Flop House

  • Frequency: Weekly
  • Length: 90 minutes
  • Content: Occasional strong language

Dan, Stuart, and Eliott watch terrible movies and share them with us. Not only are these guys consistently hilarious, they're also knowledgeable film buffs and writers. I always look forward to Elliott's letter songs!

The Morning Stream

  • Frequency: Weekdays
  • Length: 90 minutes

The perfect morning show. Scott and Brian banter about their lives and current events and then bring on different guests on different days of the week, covering topics like comics, movies, tech, and cosplay. They even have Therapy Thursdays. It's a great way to start your day!

My Brother, My Brother, and Me

  • Frequency: Weekly
  • Length: ~1 hour
  • Content: Strong language and adult themes

The McElroy brothers basically do improv comedy before your very ears. They take questions submitted from the audience and give...well..."advice." Throw in occasional bits like haunted doll watch and munch squad, and you have something truly special. Even the ad reads make me laugh out loud.

Stop Podcasting Yourself

  • Frequency: Weekly
  • Length: 90 minutes
  • Content: Very occasional strong language

Dave and Graham and comedian guest talk about their weeks and end with an always hilarious "overheards" segment. I love this show so much! Just hearing the theme song makes me happy. No podcast has made me laugh explosively on a silent bus more than this one has. It's quiet, unpretentious, yet perfect. It's Canadian!

Games

The Dice Tower

  • Frequency: Weekly
  • Length: ~1 hour

The boardgaming podcast. This is the flagship podcast of the Dice Tower Network: a group of almost three dozen boardgame-related podcasts. Do you play boardgames? Then you probably already know these guys.

DLC

  • Frequency: Weekly
  • Length: ~90 minutes

Jeff, Christian, and guest talk about the week in video gaming. I like the show's structure, and I really value their insight and approach to life in general. The show's sign-off line is "Think of what you put out in the world and make it a better place." Indeed!

Culture

Slate Culture Gabfest

  • Frequency: Weekly
  • Length: 30-45 minutes

Slate has a lot of podcasts you can listen to. This is one of the few I listen to regularly. Stephen, Dana, and Julia cover three topics each week drawn from the breadth of culture and entertainment. Discussions of new books, TV shows, and musicians are of course common, but you'll also hear discussions about important personalities and events.

/Filmcast (Slash Filmcast)

  • Frequency: Weekly
  • Length: 1-2 hours
  • Content: Very occasional strong language

David, Jeff, and Devindra dive deep into a new movie every week and talk about what they've been watching. I love the different views and the banter between them. This is the only current-movie podcast I care about.

Tech & Science

Daily Tech News Show (DTNS)

  • Frequency: Weekdays
  • Length: 30 minutes

Tom, Sarah, Dave, and a rotating cadre of guests cover the essential tech news of the day. You could spend your whole day listening to dozens of different tech podcasts. This lets me get all the important headlines in one place. Essential listening.

More or Less

  • Frequency: Roughly weekly
  • Length: ~15 minutes

This is a BBC radio 4 show. Tim Harford and guests dive into and often debunk the numbers and statistics you hear in the news. Why I love this show so much is it really drives home the importance of critical thinking. Very illuminating.

Quirks and Quarks

  • Frequency: Weekly
  • Length: 1 hour

There are actually lots of science podcasts out there, and I've listened to many of them, but the one that has stayed consistently in my rotation is CBC's Quirks and Quarks. It covers a good cross-section of topics, Bob does a good job of keeping the information understandable by a broad audience, and the scientists he interviews always seem relaxed and happy to be there.

Politics and Current Events

No Agenda

  • Frequency: Thursdays and Sundays
  • Length: 3 hours

And now for something completely different. Adam and John deconstruct the media. It's not so much about the news itself but how it's covered. These guys couldn't be more different, but somehow they work well together. The show won't appeal to everyone, but they cover some interesting stuff, and they do so with good humour. Adam is the master of the sound board.

Slate's Political Gabfest

  • Frequency: Weekly
  • Length: 60–75 minutes

There are so many political podcasts out there. Holy heck. This is one of the few I can stomach. David, Emily, and John cover three topics each week, and (thankfully) it's not always about Trump. They are very knowledgeable and insightful hosts with great chemistry.

Honourable mention: If you want an irreverent but surprisingly objective look at the circus of American politics, check out Politics, Politics, Politics.

Interesting Stories

99% Invisible

  • Frequency: Weekly
  • Length: ~30 minutes

Roman Mars and his team cover a huge array of interesting design-related stories. Always interesting, usually surprising.

Honourable mentions: Invisibila and Rough Translation. Excellent, but sporadic.

Interviews and Deep Topics

I think it's good to be challenged. It's good to be confronted with views you don't understand or agree with. It's like a workout for your mind. These podcasts do that for me.

Ezra Klein Show

  • Frequency: Weekly
  • Length: A couple hours

Ezra interviews interesting people on a huge variety of topics. Every interview ends with the "three books that changed your life that you'd recommend to the audience" segment. Good luck keeping up. (I wish they had a more authoritative master list.)

Making Sense with Sam Harris

  • Frequency: Weekly
  • Length: A couple hours

Interesting interviews on topics ranging from politics to ethics to religion. Obviously Sam and I diverge on many points (he's a loud atheist, for example), but I have learned a lot on many other topics.

Very Bad Wizards

  • Frequency: Every two weeks
  • Length: 1–2 hours
  • Content: Occasional strong language and adult themes

Philosopher Tamler Sommers and psychologist David Pizarro talk about ethics, neuroscience, and moral psychology. That can take the form of diving into an academic paper, interviewing people in the field, or exploring a pop culture treatment of a given topic. Always interesting.

Religion

Maxwell Institute Podcast

  • Frequency: Every two weeks
  • Length: 1+ hours

I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The church runs Brigham Young University. Attached to the university is the Maxwell Institute. The podcast describes itself as follows: "The Maxwell Institute Podcast is where faith and scholarship have a nice conversation over lunch, where scholars from the Latter-day Saint tradition and beyond talk about faith, history, scripture, philosophy, theology, and more." Why I enjoy this podcast is that it's academic. It has interviews with religious scholars of many different faiths about interesting topics. If you're interested in religion, check it out.

Profile Photo Aaron Dalton aaron@daltons.ca Aaron Dalton Perlkönig Perlkonig Canada Alberta --05-09 Gamer, programmer, editor, baker