The Best Podcasts of 2017
December 15, 2017 9:11 PM   Subscribe

Medium's picks for the year's top podcasts. Sarah Larson's shorter take on it over at the New Yorker. And here is Wired's list.
posted by storybored (71 comments total) 68 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 9:47 PM on December 15, 2017 [12 favorites]

But srsly, as My Favorite Murder is on none of these lists, how can I take them seriously? XD
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 9:48 PM on December 15, 2017 [7 favorites]

It's not really Medium's picks, is it? It's somebody posting them on Medium? I've never heard of Do Lectures, but it is at least a pretty long list. There are a few there I want to check out and I don't really blame the list compilers for this, but I am suddenly realizing just how many podcasts in general boil down to "conventionally attractive reasonably-young white people talk about physical and/or mental wellness", and how much that frustrates me.

Between the three lists, though, there were still more than enough things for me to add to my podcast app to ensure that I will make no further progress towards being caught up on my podcasts in the coming months, so this is not anything against the post, just a frustrating thing about podcast culture.
posted by Sequence at 9:55 PM on December 15, 2017 [4 favorites]

Man that Medium list is dour. >100 choices with maybe a handful that don't sound like "What if another NPR show, but..." No Such Thing as a Fish is great. I've enjoyed Song Exploder but not enough to really follow it. 99% Invisible is obviously a classic of the genre, but damn... not to be an obvious fanboi, but if you've got Joe Rogan and no room for any McElroys, your list is bad and you should feel bad.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:04 PM on December 15, 2017 [28 favorites]

At this point, with one 5 days a week podcast that runs over an hour every day and even a podcast ABOUT that podcast and several others... if I'm going to add new podcasts, I want them to be novels, not serials.

I'll look through the lists for those.
posted by hippybear at 10:05 PM on December 15, 2017

Where the fuck is Doughboys.
posted by kittensofthenight at 10:09 PM on December 15, 2017 [7 favorites]

I follow a lot of podcasts and I think I found all of my favorites on these lists with the exception of The Impact (healthcare policy for non health care people) and Judge John Hodgeman which is (let’s face it) the You Bet Your Life of our time.

But what I came here to say, and I know Metafilter is all “meh” about it, but

The Daily Show: The Bush years :: The Dollop: The Trump years

As in, this is the only piece of media that seems to be speaking the truth about America, it’s history, and it’s current political situation. And it’s LOL funny because the only alternative is to wail and sob in despair. A few episodes have nothing to do with the US but most of them (e.g. the recent one on the history of barbed wired, or the one about Chang and Eng the Siamese Twins) start with a weird but interesting niche in American history and end up illustrating the far-worse-than-you-thought-it-was story of the US of A. The 2 parter on the life story of Donald Trump is not where I’d start (because they’d kinda danced around The Donald for a while before going for the jugular) but it just floored me to hear the whole story told at once. Those three hours are required listening for every single US citizen with a voter registration card. (Spoiler: he is an even bigger monster and overtly explicit racist than you even think already).
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:22 PM on December 15, 2017 [16 favorites]

Also, no Truth, Politics & Power? Yeah, Neal Conan (of Talk Of The Nation) is back with a weekly show interviewing people on a single subject related to the title. It's a serial that I hope continues forever (I have tossed it money and will again), but it's not on any of these lists?

I fully acknowledge that TBTL is not to everyone's taste.
posted by hippybear at 10:22 PM on December 15, 2017 [3 favorites]

Sarah Laron's New Yorker list is significantly more to my taste than that self-help Medium list. I absolutely love a number of the podcasts she mentions there: More Perfect, In Our Time, and especially Heavyweight and Ear Hustle.

My personal list would also include Judge John Hodgman (which I spent much of 2017 relistening to from start to finish), The Uncertain Hour (this season on government regulation is surprisingly fascinating), and a couple politics podcasts (Talking Politics, Politics & Polls).
posted by crazy with stars at 10:38 PM on December 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

Where are Chapo and Cumtown?
posted by R.F.Simpson at 10:46 PM on December 15, 2017 [4 favorites]

Here's Indiewire's list of the top 50 podcast episodes from this year. Like the lists linked in the FPP, it's pretty dour. It misses out on the podcasts that are just plain fun.

But I'm pleased that the Nicole Parker episode of Off Book made the list. If I had to pick a single podcast to represent fun, it would be Off Book. That podcast has been the most delightful surprise for me this year. I would not have thought that I'd be into improvised musicals at all, but the charm and the talent and the good humor that are manifested by the hosts are just jawdropping.

Check out the episodes with Paul F Tompkins, Drew Tarver, and Nicole Parker (episode numbers 1, 3, and 13). They're a cut above the rest.
posted by painquale at 11:05 PM on December 15, 2017 [6 favorites]

Podcasts from the Maximum Fun network seem to be missing from the Medium list. Hmm
posted by nestor_makhno at 12:09 AM on December 16, 2017 [4 favorites]

Yeah, the Medium list is pretty leaden... I'll go read the others now so I have something to contribute other than grinchiness.
posted by ominous_paws at 1:00 AM on December 16, 2017

Jesus, I forget how many productivity guru work snakeoil podcasts there are.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:29 AM on December 16, 2017 [38 favorites]

But srsly, as My Favorite Murder is on none of these lists, how can I take them seriously? XD

Exactly this. MFM has changed the way I evaluate and enjoy podcasts. Before, I was pretty okay with a bunch of dudes in a room yelling over each other to get in the best [obscure 80s pop culture reference] joke in first. After, I can barely stomach them. The McElroys are still fine in small doses after MFM, whereas before I could binge and binge. I'm weirdly glad The Worst Idea of All Time finished this year. I won't name the worst offenders, you know them already.

I'm looking forward to a lot more limited run podcasts, like S-Town and Missing Richard Simmons: it's good for managing your time investment and has a distinct arc and payoff.

Can we ban ever referring to them as "pods" ever again though? Crooked Media guys, I'm looking at you.
posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs at 2:31 AM on December 16, 2017 [3 favorites]

I just stuck with reading the New Yorker list so I wouldn't be tempted by too many others, because the other day I realized my podcast backlog wasn't 44 hours, it's 44 days. I am feeling a bit helpless about it because I keep finding podcasts that I like whenever I listen to them, but I am up to 73 subscriptions now and there is not enough time in the world.
posted by Anonymous at 2:37 AM on December 16, 2017

One of the podcast's descriptions included the words "at the intersection of food and life".


Without food there would be no life, so just go away with your meaningless buzzphrases.

This list is strictly at the intersection of meh and feh.
posted by gsh at 3:12 AM on December 16, 2017

None of these lists has my current favourite: Tell Me It's Going To Be Okay. An Aussie-based podcast about everything horrible Trump has done this week. Reminds me that I haven't gone crazy, the rest of the world has.

That Medium list could have done with an editor though.

30 For 30
ESPN Radio
From the makers of the acclaimed 30 for 30 series.

posted by WhackyparseThis at 3:59 AM on December 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

Luthier On Luthier with Michael Bashkin's April 20 interview with John Bogdanovich is moving and inspiring. I think you don't need to be interested in building guitars to enjoy it, but I wouldn't know for sure.

If you like it, the others are great too. Burton LeGeyt and Laurent Brondel are also good interviews.

The Men in Blazers podcast's September 7 interview with David Simon is just great. The regular Men in Blazers podcast might require an interest in association football, but this one certainly does not.

Maybe I just like interviews.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 4:15 AM on December 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

Yeah, that Medium list isn't a bunch of recommendations, it's a homework assignment. Podcasts have replaced television for me - I try to walk five miles a day and have a hobby/sidehustle that doesn't let me watch things. We went to the Now Hear This podcast fest this year, which is perhaps the nerdiest thing I've ever done (and I've done GenCon and ComiCon).

My new-to-me standouts this year are Spooked, Heaven's Gate, You Must Remember This, Young Charlie, Shittown, and The Butterfly Effect.

My Old Reliable Appointment Listens are Mysterious Universe, Last Podcast on the Left, Wait What?, MBMBaM, Flophouse, Oh No Ross and Carrie, and Lore.

My guilty pleasures are Yogscast Triforce and Hello Creeps. Shows I keep track of but don't listen to as much as I used to are Comedy Bang Bang, Hello From the Magic Tavern, and How Did This Get Made (oof, sorry Earwolf).

I've been trying to break out of my White Dudes rut to mixed results. I'll follow Glynn Washington (Snap Judgement, Heaven's Gate, Spooked) anywhere at this point. I keep trying at My Favorite Murder but it just isn't clicking for me. The hosts have amazing chemistry and that's usually enough, but dang do I get frustrated at the "here is a ID Discovery show I saw half of" level of research. I'm also slowly working my way through Mabel, but that one requires diligent listening so is tricky to do while I have other activities before me.

I feel like this year I've been seriously let down by Weird Narrative Podcasts. Night Vale was ditched for disappearing up its own butt years ago, but I dipped in with Alice Isn't Dead, Within the Wires, and other associated podcasts and couldn't extract them from said butt. The Black Tapes shat the bed, TANIS zombies on, and Rabbits showed promise but is falling down the same hole. The less said of Archive 81's second season the better.

Finally, if I can only recommend one podcast for you to listen to RIGHT NOW, it would The Beef and Dairy Network. Truly, a work of art not seen since A Twilight World of Ultimate Smoothness.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:55 AM on December 16, 2017 [10 favorites]

I was a bit surprised at the New Yorker list, because I, too, am currently using In Our Time as a coping mechanism.

The other day I finished an episode and thought, "you know, maybe I should read Wittgenstein."

I am not at all sure that constitutes a recommendation.
posted by Diablevert at 5:05 AM on December 16, 2017 [7 favorites]

The Bugle still exists.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 5:15 AM on December 16, 2017 [4 favorites]

I was sad at the lack of audio dramas.

Some things I generally hate (although I have fovorites that defy that hate):

A) Interview shows
B) A couple of people talk in an unscripted way about something
C) Comedians talk about anything (x10 if they are white men), except, maybe, comedy
D) Shows above a certain production value

That last one is, I think, if the show starts off as a job, especially a job for several people, it loses a bunch of its charm. Give me enthusiasm over polish.

What I do like:
A) One person talks about something that interests them in depth
B) Audio dramas
C) Real Plays of RPGs where the players aren’t horrible people
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:25 AM on December 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

That Medium list seemed way too new-agey self-help oriented for my taste but the author was from something called the The Encouragement Network so I guess that makes sense.

I mostly listen to political/news analysis pods and film criticism ones. My main beef with most podcasts is that they talk too slow and joke around too much without getting to the point. I'd love a "Reader's Digest" of the Crooked Media podcasts that didn't run ninety minutes each.
posted by octothorpe at 6:39 AM on December 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

It's just starting up, but a dude named Tyler Mahan Coe* just began putting out a podcast about the history of 20th century country music called Cocaine and Rhinestones and the handful of episodes I've heard have been stellar. He very much follows the Karina Longworth / You Must Remember This model, and does a shit-ton of research, tightens his focus, and lays things out for you while engaging with his sources and being up-front about when he doesn't buy what, say, Charlie Louvin's autobiography says. And he's funny as hell- HIGHLY recommended even if you're not into the olde-tymy country music; it's pretty high-level cultural history and just straight-up storytelling (the episode "The Murder Ballad of Spade Cooley" is a tough listen though, because of the murder. But even that one's fascinating).

*If you know country music, he's David Allen Coe's son, but there seems to have been some kind of falling out between them. Coe the Younger says that part of his motivation to do this show is that he grew up in the world of country music, and has been hearing crazy stories his whole life, and wanted to see if they're true.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 7:18 AM on December 16, 2017 [5 favorites]

+eleventymillion for Off Book, which I can't listen to at work anymore because laughing like a hyena while wearing headphones makes me look like a lunatic. Like any improv act it depends on the performers, but there have only been a few duds - nearly every episode is amazing.

Terrible, Thanks for Asking is less dour than it seems, or at least, dour in a hopeful way. It's a series of audio exhibits on "everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about". The host wears on me but I like the variety of people she brings in to talk about their worst experiences and how they are getting by.

I reluctantly unsubscribed from Oh No, Ross and Carrie! this week because the endless multi-part minute-by-minute conference recaps are too much, but their older shows are still delightful. My favorite is the homeopathy episode, in which they spend the entire hour swallowing homeopathic remedies washed down with alcohol to demonstrate than none of them have any active ingredient.
posted by Flannery Culp at 7:42 AM on December 16, 2017 [5 favorites]

*ctrl-f, types "tres horny boys", no hits*

Sorry, I don't think you understand podcasts.
posted by snwod at 7:49 AM on December 16, 2017 [6 favorites]

It’s definitely an acquired taste, but among my favorites are Roderick on the Line and Road Work. These are definitely in the “two white guys talking” genre, which I also don’t usually like, but these feel different; Roderick has a way of ruminating about the world and his own life that I find comforting.

The Slate Political Gabfest is another favorite I don’t see listed here or in the lists above. Yes, it’s another “three people talking” show, which I will still say I don’t usually like, but these particular three people (David Plotz, John Dickerson, Emily Bazelon) are super smart, non-hyperbolic, get right to the point, and have great chemistry.

Also in the realm of politics, Slow Burn, which is a well-produced narrative of the Watergate scandal and its parallels to our current situation, is only two episodes in but it’s pretty gripping so far.

Other podcasts I like, so you can know if your tastes align with mine: Reply All, Radiolab, This American Life, S-Town, MBMBAM, The Adventure Zone, various audio dramas that I hesitate to recommend (I have a thing for audio dramas so my standards are low).
posted by The Loch Ness Monster at 9:18 AM on December 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

Finally, if I can only recommend one podcast for you to listen to RIGHT NOW, it would The Beef and Dairy Network. Truly, a work of art not seen since A Twilight World of Ultimate Smoothness.

robocop is bleeding gets me. The sax wolves!

Also as much as I try not to make my recommendations ALL MCELROYS ALL THE TIME, give Wonderful! a try. Griffin and Rachel have amazing chemistry and it's just a big shot of positivity dropped in the middle of your week. It used to be the Rose Buddies podcast but The Bachelor became such hot garbage that they changed it all up for the better.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:25 AM on December 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

A bit sad to see Arms Control Wonk didn’t make any of the lists, though I suppose it’s pretty niche. Really good analysis of all the various nuke- and missile-related news we’ve had lately.
posted by fencerjimmy at 9:32 AM on December 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

100+ Must-Listen-To Podcasts Of 2017

100+? I have things I have to do other than listen to podcasts, you know
posted by thelonius at 9:41 AM on December 16, 2017

a handful that don't sound like "What if another NPR show, but..."

I feel this way about a lot of podcasts, especially the ones that get recommended all the time. I once asked AskMe for suggests with the context that I was fed up with This American Life and wanted something different. I got a ton of suggestions, none of which actually made it into rotation. (To be fair, many people suggested things that were decidedly unlike TAL, but not really of interest to me.)

I do clearly like the "people talking about a thing" genre, as this is something like year 11 of me listening to Football Weekly (anyone remember when they had jingles people sent in?) and I'm really enjoying The West Wing Weekly.
posted by hoyland at 9:56 AM on December 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

Finally, if I can only recommend one podcast for you to listen to RIGHT NOW, it would The Beef and Dairy Network. Truly, a work of art not seen since A Twilight World of Ultimate Smoothness.

Okay I'll finally check this out geez dad...
posted by Navelgazer at 10:19 AM on December 16, 2017

Rich beef sausages.
posted by snwod at 10:22 AM on December 16, 2017 [4 favorites]

You cannot recommend 100 of something. That's just a directory. 20 is the limit for "picks".
posted by Nothing at 10:35 AM on December 16, 2017 [16 favorites]

Today is the day I learned that hoyland is Navelgazer's father. That's fascinating.
posted by hippybear at 11:15 AM on December 16, 2017

I can't believe nobody's brought up David Rees' list of Top 10 podcasts of 2017.
posted by LeDiva at 11:18 AM on December 16, 2017 [3 favorites]

What a milquetoast list - 75% of it can be found perusing the top subscriber lists for various categories.

My personal favs this year:
- Black Opinions Matter Monday (#bomm)
- Dunc'd on NBA (seriously deep geekery on basketball)
- Casefile (deep dives into lesser-known but fascinating murder cases)
- The Allusionist (Helen Zaltzman on language)
- Two Dope Queens (Phoebe Robinson is my podcast crush forever)
posted by notorious medium at 12:05 PM on December 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

does anyone have Blogspot's top ten podcast picks yet?
posted by indubitable at 1:03 PM on December 16, 2017

Where are Chapo and Cumtown?

It is actually kinda weird how seldom Chapo makes these lists since they are such a huge success story for listener-supported podcasts.

It's, uh, not weird that Cum Town doesn't make it for the name alone (and because they are basically the full-on sniggering irony bros people seem to expect Chapo to be) but I suspect that mention was itself an irony.
posted by atoxyl at 1:17 PM on December 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

I hate to be That Guy, but...this list is kind of bad. S-Town was a standout this year and there's no reason it shouldn't have been mentioned. Likewise with Pod Save America. Other ones I've discovered (both on The Ringer network) are: House of Carbs ( I would listen to Juliet Litman read the phone book) and The Rewatchables, which is Bill Simmons and a bunch of other guys, so it gets a little bro-ey sometimes, but listening to them discuss classic movies they've rewatched (A Few Good Men was a standout episode) always hits my funny bone. Bonus: Juliet Litman does some of her own episodes (imo, every podcast should be all Juliet, all the time).
posted by triggerfinger at 1:33 PM on December 16, 2017

Ice Cream Imperialist: Michael Bashkin's April 20 interview with John Bogdanovich ...

Wait, can it be? It is!

John (“Jack” at the time) Bogdanovich and I rented adjacent apartments from the same elderly couple in the summer of ‘98 while we both attended woodworking school in northern CA. The landlords lived on the first floor of a house at the edge of town, with a big garden full of hummingbirds, scavenging chickens and untended fruit trees swamped in blackberries. I had the second floor, and Jack had an outbuilding that I think was a converted garage, wisteria climbing all over it. He was just getting started as a guitar builder then, but was already a wonderful guitarist. Sometimes he’d sit out in the yard and play, and I’d open the window and... oh, I could stand to live that way again.

I subscribed to a few new podcasts because of these lists, but now I’m a little distracted.
posted by jon1270 at 2:06 PM on December 16, 2017 [3 favorites]

And where is Someone Knows Something?
posted by essexjan at 2:39 PM on December 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

Yeah, that Medium list isn't a bunch of recommendations, it's a homework assignment.

Exactly. At this point, the podcast "market" or whatever is so huge and varied, I don't want a top 100 or even a top 10, just like: "What's the best new podcast you've heard this year?" would suffice. I'm behind on every single podcast I'm subscribed to and I do a decent amount of driving and wash a lot of dishes.

Here's Indiewire's list of the top 50 podcast episodes from this year.

Ahh, see that's more like it, I'd love to listen to the best episode of various podcasts, let me just take a peak and-- wait, it's a freaking slideshow listicle that doesn't even link directly to the episodes? ffs...
posted by gwint at 2:59 PM on December 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

Wow, all these lists and 40-something thread comments in, and no list or comment has mentioned

Stay Tuned with Preet Bharara

Mr. Bharara was the US Attorney for New York before the Cheezit Ceaușescu fired him for not taking his phone call (where he presumably would have been asked for "loyalty"). His podcast, while topical to our dumpster fire reality, is oddly reassuring. He has a fantastically soothing speaking voice and huge volumes of legal knowledge that he shares. Strong recommend.
posted by mcstayinskool at 3:26 PM on December 16, 2017 [4 favorites]

That's amazing, jon1270. Were you learning from Jim Krenov, too? What a great opportunity!

It amazes me how just a few teachers like Krenov and Tage Frid for woodworking or Ervin Somogyi for guitars can have such a vast influence. But I guess the same goes for many disciplines.

Now I'm gonna go all furniture fanboy and ask if you met Sam Maloof, because of hero worship and all.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 4:04 PM on December 16, 2017

I am always discouraged to see The Dollop on lists like these. Dave Anthony built that show's success through egregious and unapologetic plagiarism. A couple of years ago, when I called him out for stealing my podcast's content word-for-word on multiple occasions, without permission, without attribution, or (apparently) without remorse, he made the untrue and unscrupulous claim that non-fiction writing is not copyrightable. He's a professional writer, and the Dollop is a commercial enterprise. He knows better.

I've never quite emerged from the depressive episode that began when I discovered that my hours of painstaking work was earning me dozens of dollars while earning him thousands of dollars. My joy for researching and writing took a serious blow. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go drink too much rather than working on that article draft collecting dust.
posted by Hot Pastrami! at 6:10 PM on December 16, 2017 [12 favorites]

I'm totally sucked in to the time travel audio drama ars paradoxica, and the impressionistic side project by some of the same folks called the far meridian.
posted by umbú at 6:20 PM on December 16, 2017 [3 favorites]

ICS: Yes, I was attending the same school. This was just a few years before JK retired, and most of the teaching day-to-day had fallen to three other instructors. JK had a little room in back where he worked, and he’d comment meaningfully on student projects as he came and went.

I never met Maloof, but another Redwoods student had, and spoke very highly of him.
posted by jon1270 at 7:29 PM on December 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

That's so cool.

Thank you, jon1270. This really made my day.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 8:07 PM on December 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

Hot Pastrami!, thanks for the link to that Dollop plagiarism FPP. I know I've posted recommendations for The Dollop in Mefi comments, but I missed that FPP and had no idea about the whole incident - very good to know.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:42 PM on December 16, 2017 [5 favorites]

I have composed and subsequently deleted multiple replies to this thread. I fail to articulate my frustration. Fuck.
posted by Hot Pastrami! at 11:21 PM on December 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

[Apologies, please feel free to delete my unproductive emotional flailing. Things are stressful today.]
posted by Hot Pastrami! at 11:28 PM on December 16, 2017

I knew about the Dollop plagiarism controversy but for some reason I thought things ended on better terms. They do add value to the stories - by making jokes - but the case for fair use there seems real dubious alright. Given how often Dave would act put upon over the work of writing for a while (after he had to actually write them, before they scaled back to once a week) he certainly owes you better than you got.
posted by atoxyl at 11:36 PM on December 16, 2017

(Also I thought it was weak that they only cite the sources online instead of reading them on the podcast.)
posted by atoxyl at 11:38 PM on December 16, 2017

These lists lack audio drama! And America lacks a strong audio drama tradition in general, grumble grumble etc., it's all paranormal shows and improv, seems like.

Audio dramas I've stumbled upon and loved:
- The Truth by Radiotopia
- The Radio Adventures of Doctor Floyd
- Alba Salix, Royal Physician
- Jules & James

And for anyone who wants RPG live plays sans horrible people: may I recommend Join the Party and Party of One?

Very glad I combed through this entire thread, just for the rec of The Beef and Dairy Network. It's exactly what I never knew I wanted. Thanks, robocop is bleeding.
posted by fire, water, earth, air at 12:20 AM on December 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm in the market for fun podcasts lately. My anxious brain needs a solid break, so I'm trying to stick to light, fluffy things.

One of my favourites of late is Movie Maintenance. It's a group of Australian friends who choose a movie each week and Fix It. It's light, breezy and their proposal for Mortal Kombat turned it from Movie I Love into Actual Great Movie.
posted by pseudonymph at 3:15 AM on December 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm looking forward to a lot more limited run podcasts, like S-Town and Missing Richard Simmons: it's good for managing your time investment and has a distinct arc and payoff.

Agreed. However, I find podcast apps really don't work well for these podcasts. They get lost in the stream of weekly or daily podcasts and then it takes a lot of scrolling to find them. There's always the list of all subscribed podcasts (to escape the date-sorted list) to find them, but with so many limited-run podcasts, I find my list of subscribed podcasts has grown too big that current ones get lost and I forget which ones need unsubscribing. Even the term "subscribing" doesn't make sense when all episodes arrive on the same day and that's it.

Radiotopia's "Showcase" is an interesting solution to this issue, and the two short-run podcasts they've had so far, "Ways of Hearing" and "The Polybius Conspiracy," have been good.
posted by msbrauer at 5:17 AM on December 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

"Jesus, I forget how many productivity guru work snakeoil podcasts there are."

I felt like an asshole for wanting to actually be entertained about 30 recommendations in. I can vouch for Reply All, though. The call center scammer episode alone is a saga.
posted by Selena777 at 7:23 AM on December 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

Flash Forward by Rose Eveleth* is worth everybody's time. Each episode she chooses a different possible future - what if all plastics were banned? or the bees vanished? or California seceded? or pet ownership was outlawed? or no one could lie? - imagines it in an audio-drama segment, then interviews relevant experts to see how things would actually go down and what the repercussions would be.

* really, everything Eveleth does is worth your time. She co-hosted The Red Center, a Handmaid's Tale podcast with more to it than your standard recap that I hope will return with the new season, is a producer on ESPN's 30 for 30, and turns up on other programs. She also naturally speaks at 1.5x speed - not just faster than normal, but in a clipped way that sounds like a normal-tempo recording has been sped up. At first this was jarring, then I got used to it, and now it annoys me when I can tell other producers have made her slow down and speak at standard radio-announcer pace.
posted by Flannery Culp at 8:14 AM on December 17, 2017 [3 favorites]

That Medium article is bullshit. Nobody, not even a small group of people, is capable of listening to over 100 podcasts regularly enough to make honest recommendations of them. And it does not represent the opinions of Medium any more than a shirtless guy screaming in a parking lot represents the opinions of Taco Bell.

Meat and Dairy Network is an amazing alternate world building series. Pretty much anything on the Maximum Fun Network is worth a try whether or not you end up liking it; the hosts for the most part leave the impression of being genuinely good people. In addition, Jesse worked hard this year to diversify network offerings... among all the hosts of Minority Korner, Who Shot Ya, Heat Rocks, Tights and Fights, Reading Glasses, and Switchblade Sisters, there's only one white guy.
posted by ardgedee at 8:22 AM on December 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

I am THROWING SHADE at all these lists.
posted by waitangi at 11:53 AM on December 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

But what I came here to say, and I know Metafilter is all “meh” about it, but

The Daily Show: The Bush years :: The Dollop: The Trump years

As in, this is the only piece of media that seems to be speaking the truth about America, it’s history, and it’s current political situation. And it’s LOL funny because the only alternative is to wail and sob in despair. A few episodes have nothing to do with the US but most of them (e.g. the recent one on the history of barbed wired, or the one about Chang and Eng the Siamese Twins) start with a weird but interesting niche in American history and end up illustrating the far-worse-than-you-thought-it-was story of the US of A. The 2 parter on the life story of Donald Trump is not where I’d start (because they’d kinda danced around The Donald for a while before going for the jugular) but it just floored me to hear the whole story told at once. Those three hours are required listening for every single US citizen with a voter registration card. (Spoiler: he is an even bigger monster and overtly explicit racist than you even think already).

So this persuaded me to give The Dollop a listen, and I started with the barbed wire episode. It was one host reading off of Wikipeida, and the other interjecting and trying to riff off every few seconds before his companion can finish a thought or sentence with a very low signal:noise ratio. It was a little too frenetic, and I gave up after 20 minutes. Did I get the gist of it, or did I give up too early?
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 12:28 PM on December 17, 2017

Now that other people have started listing their other podcasts I am realizing how incredibly boring I am, because my stupid-long list has a handful of pop culture/comedy podcasts and everything else is politics and policy analysis. Doesn't anyone else like to listen to old Irish guys talk about famine analysis in Bangladesh?!
posted by Anonymous at 4:08 PM on December 17, 2017

Honestly those sound interesting but I can barely keep up with my backlog of podcasts about the history of philosophy, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and the Mahabharata.
posted by ardgedee at 4:22 PM on December 17, 2017

"Did I get the gist of it, or did I give up too early?"

I like The Dollop, but my boyfriend can't stand to hear it because... yeah, that's how it is.
posted by Selena777 at 5:26 PM on December 17, 2017

schroedinger: "Now that other people have started listing their other podcasts I am realizing how incredibly boring I am, because my stupid-long list has a handful of pop culture/comedy podcasts and everything else is politics and policy analysis. Doesn't anyone else like to listen to old Irish guys talk about famine analysis in Bangladesh?!"

I'm super interested! What's on your list?
posted by crazy with stars at 5:33 PM on December 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

my stupid-long list has a handful of pop culture/comedy podcasts and everything else is politics and policy analysis. Doesn't anyone else like to listen to old Irish guys talk about famine analysis in Bangladesh?!

That doesn't sound comedic at all
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:22 AM on December 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

A couple of enjoyable and funny entries from the fertile field of skeptic/atheist podcast:

Skeptics with a K (From the Mersyside Skeptics: humorous take downs of various scams and pseudo scientific bs).

God Awful Movices. Hilarious reviews of christian movies, with a few pics from other religions thrown in. Quite professionally done with enough improv and spontaneous outbursts to satisfy your imaginary soul.
posted by charlesminus at 3:40 PM on December 18, 2017

I basically copied my OPML file because I am lazy, so most of the descriptions are whatever they are in that. I am a bleeding-heart progressive but a number of these feature a host (or hosts) who I definitely disagree with, politics-wise, but I begrudgingly listen to other perspectives. Which generally means "likes Adam Smith", not Trumpers/conspiracy theorists/white supremacists/etc. I'm not a masochist. Some of these are multi-episode docs rather than ongoing. All of the links are to RSS feeds because that's what is in the OPML file and that's how I consume this.

  • EconTalk: EconTalk is an award-winning weekly talk show about economics in daily life. Featured guests include renowned economics professors, Nobel Prize winners, and exciting speakers on all kinds of topical matters related to economic thought. Host Russ Roberts, of the Library of Economics and Liberty and the Hoover Institution, draws you in with lively guests and creative repartee. Topics include health care, business cycles, economic growth, free trade, education, finance, politics, sports, book reviews, and the curiosities of everyday decision-making. Look for related readings and the complete archive of previous shows at, where you can also comment on the podcasts and ask questions.
  • Peterson Perspectives: Audio recordings of Peterson Perspectives interviews with Peterson Institute for International Economics research staff, analyzing current economic and political events.
  • The Uncertain Hour: In The Uncertain Hour, host Krissy Clark dives into one controversial topic each season to reveal the surprising origin stories of our economy. From the Marketplace Wealth & Poverty Desk, each season goes beyond buzzwords to bust longstanding myths and uncover surprising backstories. Because the things we fight the most about are the things we know the least about. Listen and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. Twitter: @UncertainHour
  • Planet Money: The economy, explained, with stories and surprises. Imagine you could call up a friend and say, "Meet me at the bar and tell me what's going on with the economy." Now imagine that's actually a fun evening. That's what we're going for at Planet Money. People seem to like it.
  • Marketplace: Marketplace® is the leading business news program in the nation. Host Kai Ryssdal and our team of reporters bring you clear explorations of how economic news affects you, through stories, conversations, newsworthy numbers and more. Airing each weekday evening on your local public radio station or on-demand anytime, Marketplace is your liaison between economics and life. Marketplace with Kai Ryssdal is part of the Marketplace portfolio of public radio programs broadcasting nationwide, which additionally includes Marketplace Morning Report®, Marketplace Weekend®, and Marketplace Tech®. Visit for more. From American Public Media. Twitter: @Marketplace
  • Rational Security: A weekly discussion of national security and foreign policy matters hosted by Shane Harris of the Wall Street Journal and featuring Brookings senior fellows Tamara Cofman Wittes and Benjamin Wittes, and managing editor of the Lawfare blog Susan Hennessey.
  • Steptoe Cyberlaw: A weekly podcast offering an opinionated roundup of the latest events in technology, security, privacy, and government and an in-depth interview of technology and policy newsmakers. Host Stewart Baker and regulars Michael Vatis, Alan Cohn, and Maury Shenk share their views - and not those of the firm.
  • The National Security Law Podcast: Unpacking the Legal Issues Behind the Headlines
  • The Kremlin Playbook: In 2016, a rival foreign power, Vladimir Putin’s Russia, launched an attack on the United States of America. What we now know is that American intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia planned and executed a campaign to undermine our democracy and to affect our Presidential election. For President Trump, Russia is a complicated subject. But this podcast isn't about Donald Trump's complications with Russia, nor is it about Republicans and Democrats. One of the dangers in the hyper partisan American debate over Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election is that it is blurring the larger picture. This three part podcast mini-series is about the larger picture. Episode one will look at why Russia meddled in our election; episode two will examine case studies of past Russian behavior; and episode three will discuss what the US can do to counter Russia's actions. Hosted by CSIS's H. Andrew Schwartz, co-host of "Bob Schieffer's About the News"
  • Lawfare Podcast
  • First Mondays: First Mondays is an entertaining podcast about the Supreme Court, co-hosted by Ian Samuel and Dan Epps.
  • More Perfect: How does an elite group of nine people shape everything from marriage and money, to safety and sex for an entire nation? Radiolab's first ever spin-off series, More Perfect, dives into the rarefied world of the Supreme Court to explain how cases deliberated inside hallowed halls affect lives far away from the bench.
  • The Diplomat: A weekly discussion of the geopolitical implications of current events in the Asia-Pacific, hosted by Ankit Panda from The Diplomat, with regular guests.
  • 35 West: The CSIS Americas Program podcast, “35 West”, discusses various political, economic, security, and social challenges in the Western Hemisphere through interviews and discussions with other CSIS experts and leaders throughout the region and the world. To subscribe to the podcast, please click the Apple Podcasts button above.
  • CSIS Podcast: Hosted by Colm Quinn, The CSIS Podcast dissects the big (and soon-to-be big) stories of the week in U.S. foreign policy and international affairs.
  • CFR On the Record: A chance to go inside Council on Foreign Relations events. Listen to world leaders and foreign policy experts discuss and debate the most pressing issues in international affairs.
  • "Smart Women, Smart Power": CSIS Smart Women, Smart Power is a speaker series on women in international business and global affairs. The weekly podcast features leading women from the corporate, government, and national security worlds discussing top international issues. This podcast series is made possible with support from Citigroup.
  • The Global Politico: Each week, POLITICO’s Susan Glasser will go backstage in a world disrupted, interviewing leaders in Washington — and around the globe — who can help us understand an international scene that can seem like it’s spinning out of control. The podcast will skip the punditry to feature candid, revealing, news-making conversations about global politics with those who are helping shape it.

  • Policy 360: Time Magazine has listed Kelly Brownell among "The World's 100 Most Influential People." Brownell, dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, hosts conversations about topics of the utmost importance in the world.
  • No Jargon: No Jargon, the Scholars Strategy Network’s weekly podcast, presents interviews with top university scholars on the politics, policy problems, and social issues facing the nation. Powerful research, intriguing perspectives -- and no jargon. Find show notes and plain-language research briefs on hundreds of topics at
  • The Race and Wealth Podcast: The Race and Wealth Podcast is an effort by the Racial Wealth Divide Initiative of CFED to broaden the discussion about the challenges and solutions of bridging racial economic inequality. If interested to learn more about racial economic inequality and how the Racial Wealth Divide Initiative of CFED engages this issue, please visit our newsletter
  • Take as Directed: Take as Directed is the podcast series of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center. It highlights important news, events, issues, and perspectives in global health policy, particularly in infectious disease, health security, and maternal, newborn, and child health. The podcast brings you commentary and perspectives from some of the leading voices in global health and CSIS Global Health Policy Center in-house experts
  • Think Indigenous: Think Indigenous is a podcast that highlights its yearly conference keynotes. "Red Talk" presentations sharing best practices, innovation and delivery models of Indigenous education.

VOX MEDIA (all of this is politics/policy but I am a Vox fangirl so it gets its own category)
  • The Ezra Klein Show: Ezra Klein gives you a chance to get inside the heads of the newsmakers and power players in politics and media. These are extended conversations with policymakers, writers, technologists, and business leaders about what they believe in and why. Look elsewhere for posturing confrontation and quick reactions to the day's news. Subscribe for the anti-soundbite.
  • Vox's The Weeds: Everyone is always warning you not to get lost in the weeds. But not Vox's Ezra Klein, Sarah Kliff, and Matthew Yglesias. They love the weeds. That's where all the policy is. This is the podcast for people who follow politics because they love thinking about health care, economics, and zoning. It is not a podcast for people who like hearing talk about gaffes.
  • The Impact: In Washington, the story often ends when Congress passes a law. For The Impact, that’s where our story begins. We focus on the human consequences of policy-making, what happens in the real world after the government, non-profits, even academic institutions start doing something differently. The Impact looks at policies that work — and policies that need some work — as they make their way out into the real world, with many surprises along the way.
  • Worldly: We’re living in a confusing and scary time, bombarded everyday with stories from around the world and here at home that are hard to even follow, let alone fully understand. Worldly will be your guide to the story behind the stories and to the one thing you need to understand each week to make sense of the world around you.
CROOKED MEDIA (Mostly news-of-the-week plus interviews, politics/policy focus aimed towards a general audience. Also gets its own category because I am a fangirl for Crooked Media, too) lso all politics/policy, though with
  • Pod Save the People: Organizer and activist DeRay Mckesson takes you inside conversations about culture, social justice, and politics by exploring the history, language, and people who are shaping the struggle for progress — and talking about the steps that each of us can take to make a difference.
  • Pod Save the World: “Pod Save America” cohost Tommy Vietor thought foreign policy was boring and complicated until he got the education of a lifetime working for President Obama’s National Security Council. His new show “Pod Save the World” will bring you behind the scenes into White House Situation Room meetings and secret negotiations through a series of conversations with people who were there.
  • Pod Save America: Four former aides to President Obama — Jon Favreau, Dan Pfeiffer, Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor — are joined by journalists, politicians, comedians, and activists for a freewheeling conversation about politics, the press and the challenges posed by the Trump presidency.
  • Lovett or Leave It: Jon Lovett, former Obama speechwriter and co-host of Pod Save America, is joined by comedians, actors, journalists, and many, many renowned Friends of the Pod for a roundup of the week's top news. Rants! Games! Bad impressions! Nuanced discussion! Recorded in front of a live audience.
  • Crooked Conversations: One side effect of our national addiction to Trump’s tweets and other news cycle garbage is that fascinating issues, brilliant books and important debates aren't getting the attention they deserve. With a rotating crew of your favorite Crooked Media hosts, contributors, and special guests, Crooked Conversations brings Pod Save America's no-b.s., conversational style to topics in politics, media, culture, sports, and technology that aren’t making headlines but still have a major impact on our world.
  • Majority 54: Jason Kander is an army veteran from Kansas City, Missouri and the first millenniaL elected to statewide office in the United States. He's traveling the country to help the 54% of us who didn't vote for Donald Trump talk to those of us who did about the most divisive issues in our country
  • With Friends Like These: Ana Marie Cox, political columnist and culture critic, sits down with liberals and conservatives, pastors, writers, activists, and other people you should know for an open, funny, in-depth conversation about what divides us - a show about listening instead of arguing. *this is actually my least-favorite one and I'm thinking of dropping it
HISTORY (most of these were acquired when I went looking for information on a specific event and then ended up getting interested in all the other episodes)
  • Irish History: Tellin' it like it was
  • Russian Rulers History podcast: Not so much narrow biographies as Russian history chronicled through its leaders. Just finished, thank God, because I have so much to catch up on.
  • Black History Podcast: The African diaspora is a rich tapestry weaving through the course of time, with not only a strong impact on the American society, but throughout the world. The “Black History” podcast ventures to each week introduce an innovative topic, influential person or present interesting aspects of history related to the African diaspora to those seeking knowledge and enlightenment.
  • Dan Snow's History Hit: Mostly British or British-history adjacent. Has good stuff on WWI, WWII, and the British relationship with India.
  • Slow Burn: You think you know the story, or maybe you don’t. But Watergate was stranger, wilder, and more exciting than you can imagine. What did it feel like to live through the scandal that brought down President Nixon? Find out on this eight-episode podcast miniseries hosted by Leon Neyfakh. This podcast is made possible by Slate Plus members, who get a full-length bonus episode every week. Find out more at
  • Migration Nation: The United States has been shaped time and again by large migrations of its population. These are the stories of America in motion.
  • Uncivil: America is divided, and it always has been. We're going back to the moment when that split turned into war. This is Uncivil: Gimlet Media's new history podcast, hosted by journalists Jack Hitt and Chenjerai Kumanyika. We ransack the official version of the Civil War, and take on the history you grew up with. We bring you untold stories about covert operations, corruption, resistance, mutiny, counterfeiting, antebellum drones, and so much more. And we connect these forgotten struggles to the political battlefield we’re living on right now.
  • Stay Tuned with Preet: Join former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara for a podcast about justice and fairness.
  • The Good Fight: "The Good Fight," the podcast that searches for the ideas, policies and strategies that can beat authoritarian populism.
  • Atlantic Interview: Building on a 160-year-history of interviews with the world’s most consequential figures, the podcast brings the power of the Atlantic interview to the audio platform—and continues the publisher’s push to bring its journalism to more people in more ways. Jeffrey Goldberg, Editor in Chief will talk to some of the most pivotal voices shaping politics, technology, art, media, business, and culture.
  • Red Man Laughing: Hosted by Anishinaabe comedian Ryan McMahon, the Red Man Laughing Podcast is a space for independent, forward thinking, conversations, investigations, pontifications, disruptions about the good, bad, & the ugly between Indian Country & the mainstream.
  • The Long Game with John Ward: An investigation into the reasons why Americans can't solve big problems anymore.
  • In The Thick: Journalists of color tell you what you’re missing from the mainstream news. Co-hosted by award-winning journalists Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela, IN THE THICK has the conversations about race, identity and politics few people are discussing or want to discuss.
  • Unreserved: Unreserved host Rosanna Deerchild, and reporter Connie Walker, take you behind the headlines of the top trending stories from Indigenous Canada.
  • Slate's Political Gabfest: Voted “Favorite Political Podcast” by iTunes listeners. Stephen Colbert says "Everybody should listen to the Slate Political Gabfest." The Gabfest, featuring Slate's Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz, is the kind of informal and irreverent discussion Washington journalists have after hours over drinks.
  • "Left, Right, and Center": Provocative, up-to-the-minute, alive and witty, KCRW's weekly confrontation over politics, policy and popular culture proves those with impeccable credentials needn't lack personality. This weekly "love-hate relationship of the air" features three of the most insightful news analysts anywhere. Click on the "comments" link below to post your thoughts and comments.
  • POLITICO's Nerdcast: POLITICO's top reporters dive into the political landscape, the latest numbers that matter, and detail what's really happening behind closed doors. They're people who spend Friday nights poring over poll numbers or the latest Federal Election Commission reports — so if you want to understand how the modern politics game is played, this is the podcast for you. New episodes every Friday, hosted by Scott Bland.
  • The 45th: The 24-hour news cycle can barely keep up with the Trump Administration. For a deeper dive and a closer look at the latest developments out of the White House tune in to "The 45th". Hosted by Rabia Chaudry and Susan Simpson, "The 45th" is a weekly dissection of policy and spectacle with guests and perspectives from across the political spectrum.
  • FiveThirtyEight Politics: Nate Silver and the FiveThirtyEight team cover the latest in politics, tracking the issues and "game-changers" every week.
  • Native Opinion: A unique podcast from an American Indian perspective on current American affairs. Join Hosts Michael Kickingbear and David GreyOwl as they present an Indigenous view on American history, politics, and culture, and how it may impact Native American lives.
  • Ku'ku'kwes: - The Podcast highlights news stories that are published on is a news website dedicated to covering Indigenous news in Atlantic Canada. Support by making a monthly pledge at
  • Latino Rebels Radio: Humor, commentary and analysis of the US Latino world. Engaging traviesos.
  • Media Indigena: Weekly current affairs roundtable focusing on Indigenous issues and events. Hosted by Rick Harp.
  • Deep State Radio: Twice a week, this podcast will take you on a smart, direct, sometimes scary, sometimes profane, sometimes hilarious tour of the inner workings of American power and of the impact of our leaders and their policies on our standing in the world. Hosted by noted author and commentator David Rothkopf and featuring regulars Rosa Brooks of Georgetown Law School, Kori Schake of Stanford University and David Sanger of the New York Times, the program will be the lively, smart dinner table conversation on the big issues of the day that you wish you were having...without the calories. Sometimes special guests will join the conversation and always the emphasis will be on providing the unvarnished perspectives others shy away from. Deep State Radio is the insider perspective on American national security and foreign policy that you can't find anywhere else.
  • TALKING POLITICS: Corbyn! Trump! Brexit! Politics has never been more unpredictable, more alarming or more interesting. TALKING POLITICS is the podcast that tries to make sense of it all. Each Thursday, in Cambridge, David Runciman will talk to his regular panel along with novelists, comedians, historians, philosophers - and even a few politicians - and ask them what they think is going on... Democracy is feeling the strain everywhere. What might happen next? How bad could it get? As it unfolds, TALKING POLITICS will be on it. It’s the political conversation everyone is having: please join us. Talking Politics is brought to you in partnership with the London Review of Books, Europe's leading magazine of books and ideas

  • Reveal: This is a long-running, very interesting podcast focused on investigating dumb laws, policies, injustices, etc. It is better than my description makes it sound.
  • Scene on Radio: Scene on Radio is a documentary show that asks, "How’s it going in our society and culture?" And leaves the studio to find out. Our current series, Seeing White, explores the history and meaning of Whiteness in American life. Produced and hosted by public radio veteran John Biewen at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. [SEEING WHITE IS EXTREMELY GOOD]
  • This American Life: This American Life is a weekly public radio show, heard by 2.2 million people on more than 500 stations. Another 2.5 million people download the weekly podcast. It is hosted by Ira Glass, produced in collaboration with Chicago Public Media, delivered to stations by PRX The Public Radio Exchange, and has won all of the major broadcasting awards.
  • The United States of Anxiety: The United States of Anxiety: Culture Wars introduces you to people who have been battling to shape America’s political culture for decades. We profile culture warriors, past and present, who have influenced debates over race, religion, science, sexuality, gender and more. We connect those debates to real people, with real stakes in the outcome. We’re filling in the blanks – aiming to answer questions you didn’t even know you had – and we’re asking, what are you willing to fight for? WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Radiolab, Death, Sex & Money, Freakonomics Radio, Note to Self and many more.
  • Code Switch: Ever find yourself in a conversation about race and identity where you just get...stuck? Code Switch can help. We're all journalists of color, and this isn't just the work we do. It's the lives we lead. Sometimes, we'll make you laugh. Other times, you'll get uncomfortable. But we'll always be unflinchingly honest and empathetic. Come mix it up with us.
  • Decrypted: The global technology industry is a powerful engine of innovation that drives the economy. It's also a collection of insular communities full of hidden projects, quiet rivalries, and uncomfortable truths. Join Bloomberg Technology's Brad Stone each week as he and the team's reporters uncover what actually happens behind closed doors.
  • Another Round: Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton cover everything from race, gender and pop culture to squirrels, mangoes, and bad jokes, all in one boozy show.
  • Ear Hustle: Ear Hustle brings you stories of life inside prison, shared and produced by those living it. The podcast is a partnership between Earlonne Woods and Antwan Williams, currently incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison, and Nigel Poor, a Bay Area artist. The team works in San Quentin’s media lab to produce stories that are sometimes difficult, often funny and always honest, offering a nuanced view of people living within the American prison system.
  • The Nod: Luther Vandross ballads. Oil sheen spray. ‘Twice as good.’ What do these things have in common? They are each, in their own way, essential to some facet of the Black experience. In The Nod, a new podcast from Gimlet Media, co-hosts Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings gleefully explore all the beautiful, complicated dimensions of Black life. It is a fun, yet poignant examination of both the biggest moments and most underexplored corners of Black art, media, and culture.
  • Crimetown: Welcome to Crimetown, a new series from Gimlet Media and the creators of HBO's The Jinx. Every season, we'll investigate the culture of crime in a different American city. First up: Providence, Rhode Island, where organized crime and corruption infected every aspect of public life. This is a story of alliances and betrayals, of heists and stings, of crooked cops and honest mobsters—a story where it's hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys. Hosted by Marc Smerling and Zac Stuart-Pontier.
  • The Adventure Zone: Justin, Travis and Griffin McElroy from My Brother, My Brother and Me have recruited their dad for a campaign of high adventure. Join The McElroys every other Thursday as they kill a nauseating number of gerblins in ... The Adventure Zone!
  • MBMBAM: Free advice, from three of the world's most qualified experts.
  • Pop Rocket: Pop culture discussion with Guy Branum, Wynter Mitchell, Margaret Wappler and Karen Tongson (ok this has politics sometimes)
  • Dragon Friends: Strap on your jerkin! Grab your favourite longsword! Roll some 20-sided dice! The time for pizza is over! The time for adventure is now! Dragon Friends is a monthly comedy show and podcast where three comedians muddle through their first Dungeons & Dragons adventure campaign.
  • Beef and Dairy Network: The number one podcast for those involved or just interested in the production of beef animals and dairy herds. A comedy podcast by Benjamin Partridge.
(you asked for this)
(or at least some of it)
posted by Anonymous at 9:25 PM on December 18, 2017

Also when I discovered CFR and CSIS had podcasts I had to stop, because that was when I realized all my favorite think-tanks had podcasts and this list is unmanageable enough.

Also also The Nod and Ear Hustle are additions courtesy of the OP.
posted by Anonymous at 9:27 PM on December 18, 2017

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