We recap the finest podcasts, bringing you the best highlights from great humor to insightful commentary.
Why do we do the things we do? Mike Williams searches for the extraordinary and hidden histories behind everyday objects and actions to inform us about the way we live in the 21st Century. All manner of topics are considered, from the slightly unnerving, like fear, horror folklore, and bullets, to the seemingly mundane, like cigarettes, neck ties, and the drum. Creative, punchy, and thought-provoking, The Why Factor goads you into scrutinizing every aspect of modern life. (Description adapted from the show's official website.)
March's most popular episodes
This is a podcast where two American Americans save America from herself. Seth Romatelli and Jonathan Larroquette round up the week's news, providing a forum for society to engage the most critical and divisive issues. What would women do if they had a penis for a day? Presidential candidate John McCain says "cunt" on live television. Doc Ellis recounts throwing a no-hitter while tripping on LSD. Andy Rooney complains about coffee being $1.50. A pervert watches a woman in her apartment building and then leaves a letter penned to her on her stoop. DMX doesn't know who presidential candidate Barack Obama is. Bling stickers. Uhh Yeah Dude is social commentary at its finest—an unadulterated, unashamed look at real America.
While maintaining the civility and fairness that are the hallmarks of public radio, On the Media tackles sticky issues with a frankness and transparency that has built trust with listeners and led to more than a tripling of its audience in five years. The magazine-style show examines all aspects of the media, from production to reportage, always with a critical and insightful eye. On the Media rates not only as one of the most interesting public radio shows but also as one of the most important shows currently on air. (Description adapted from the show's official website.)
Good Grief emerged from the remains of 1UP.com in early 2009 after much of the staff there had left of their own volition or had been cut loose. But it was not at all a substandard affair: led by Tina Sanchez and starring Sam Kennedy, Scott Sharkey, and newcomer Chris Plante, the show dished up a fresh-feeling irreverent (sometimes irrelevant), zany, highly random look at the world of video games culture. By the end of 2009, the podcast dropped the Good Grief name and was rebranded the Oddcast. Often overlooked, and quite wrongly so, Good Grief/the Oddcast was a gem—a show with plenty of heart (and plenty of snide).
Other popular episodes#21: Giant Bombcast (2011)
Repeatedly rated amongst the most popular gaming podcasts, the Giant Bombcast continued its fervent run in 2011 with the canny humor and free banter typical of the show. The addition of Patrick Klepek as the site’s news editor bolstered the show’s ranks in what was the Bombcast’s fourth year. The show’s steadfast quality led it to become the longest running mainstream gaming podcast, and it continues to go from strength to strength.
Ryan Davis will go down as one of the greatest podcasters in history. He was a consummate host, an exceptional humorist, and a more than upstanding individual. He chalked up eight years behind a microphone (2005-2013), three spent as a supporting member on The HotSpot, and five spent as host of the Giant Bombcast, the longest running and most popular mainstream gaming podcast. With his passing we have lost one of the most charming and talented performers in the gaming media. We take a look back at his greatest moments, from his early days on The HotSpot to his last days on the Giant Bombcast.
Here’s what This American Life is not: it’s not a news show or a talk show or a call-in show. It’s not formatted like other radio shows. Each episode has a theme, and there are a variety of productions on that theme. There are people in dramatic situations. Things happen to them. There are funny moments and emotional moments and—hopefully—moments where the people in the story say interesting, surprising things about it all. It has to be surprising. It has to be fun. (Adapted from the official This American Life about page.)