Not Martha

I heart podcasts!

It’s long past due for a listing of the podcasts that fill my dish washing/laundry folding/email answering middle spaces. Here is my current list:

  • Bullseye with Jesse Thorn This was up until this week called The Sound of Young America and it’s expanded to a include more segments and I love it. And I hope my Sound of Young America membership card is not completely worthless. Also, hugs to Ask Metafilter for being a sponsor.
  • APM’s The Dinner Party (nee The Dinner Party Download, which I cannot stop calling it) It’s snappy, it’s witty, it’s done by Marketplace alums, and it always includes a cocktail recipe linked to a history lesson. Awesome.
  • Slate’s Culture Gabfest A group of culture journalists discuss what went on in the past week. I deeply appreciate the Endorsements segment that they end the show with. It reminds me of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour.
  • NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour A group of culture journalists discuss what went on in the past week. I deeply appreciate the What’s Making Me Happy segment that they end the show with. It reminds me of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour, I mean, Slate’s Culture Gabfest.
  • The Moth Podcast True stories told both by people who are performers and those that aren’t. Always compelling.
  • TED Talks These are short and very informative and though it’s really difficult to make it sound not terribly dry if you haven’t already listened (and I know you have, dear reader), it’s not.
  • WTF with Marc Maron Interviews with comedians who are willing to open up and talk about the business and life and it’s fascinating.
  • The Tobolowsky Files That character actor that you know from that thing has quite the way with storytelling.
  • This American Life True story, the first time I hear This American Life on my car’s radio I sat in a parking lot for a very long time listening until the end just so I could find out what I was listening to. That was in 1998. I was crushed when Ira Glass got married.
  • Nerdist I am smooth-baby-skin-new to this and the first one I chose to listen to (David Tenant, obviously) completely charmed me with Chris’ utter delight to be where he was talking to who he was talking to.

What podcasts do you love?

· comments [71] · 01-4-2012 · categories:technology ·

71 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Richard // Jan 4, 2012 at 4:39 am

    All the Slate podcasts are great.

    My nominees for Best of 2011 are:

    Best Production Values

    99% Invisible
    The Memory Palace

    Best Human Interest

    To the Best of Our Knowledge
    The Story

    Best History

    The History of Rome
    BackStory with the American History Guys

    Best Science

    Big Picture Science
    Quirks & Quarks

  • 2 Nicole // Jan 4, 2012 at 5:00 am

    You might want to clarify the title on The Dinner Party — that it’s by APM or something — because if you search the dinner party under podcasts on iTunes, the first podcast that comes up is Friday Night Fun Erotic Stories!
    Otherwise, thanks for the tips. I’m always looking for new podcasts.

  • 3 Christy // Jan 4, 2012 at 6:04 am

    I heart PCHH. It is by far my fav. I have digging Freakonomics and Grammar Girl as well.

  • 4 Adrienne // Jan 4, 2012 at 6:12 am

    Lately I’ve been really enjoying the Stuff You Should Know podcast from The guys that do it are obviously having such a good time, and it’s a fun way to learn about topics I never would have researched on my own.

  • 5 Tara // Jan 4, 2012 at 6:20 am

    Oooh! Thanks for the recommendations! I also listen to TED talks-love them!
    I’m a bit of a science/history nerd so I love:

    The History of Rome
    The History of England
    BBC Wildlife
    National Geographic Weekend (or something like that)
    There are also a lot of fun ones by the Naked Scientist et al!

  • 6 jennifer // Jan 4, 2012 at 6:21 am

    I like Stuff You Missed in History Class and Grammar Girl. I love TAML. I, too, have a secret crush on Ira Glass :)

    Looking forward to checking these out. Thanks, Megan!

  • 7 Jessie // Jan 4, 2012 at 6:47 am

    I listen to many of those you listed, and also love RadioLab (kind of a sciency-twist on This American Life), and Stuff You Missed in History Class. I also listen to Jim Harold’s Campfire (“true” ghost stories), for some campy (no pun intended) fun.

  • 8 Laura // Jan 4, 2012 at 6:57 am

    This is perfect timing! I’m starting a new job which involves a two hour commute. Needless to say I’ll be needing to add some new podcasts to my playlist. Thanks!

  • 9 Joanie // Jan 4, 2012 at 6:58 am

    I second RadioLab. Also Extra Hot Great is my favorite – from the creators of They do in-depth discussions of movies & television. Very entertaining.

  • 10 stacia // Jan 4, 2012 at 6:59 am

    LOVE Radiolab. my hands down favorite. it’s a quirky dissection of science and culture overlap. Also love Studio 360, a quirky dissection of arts and culture overlap. Hmmmm….apparently I like quirky podcasts.

  • 11 Anya // Jan 4, 2012 at 7:09 am

    I am very new to podcasts… love TED Talks and will give some of those you’ve mentioned a try.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • 12 Christina C // Jan 4, 2012 at 7:25 am

    I Love Dinner Party (Download) and I also listen to Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me (NPR) and Splendid Table (NPR) My Fiance listens to Bill Simmons he is mostly sports but also pop culture so it’s something I don’t mind listening to. I might have a podcast crush on Peter Sagal and Bill Simmons. .

  • 13 Jupiter // Jan 4, 2012 at 7:26 am

    ooh,thanks for this! I’m always looking for new-to-me podcasts.
    The first time I listened to This American Life, I was walking home after dropping kids off at school. I went and sat on a bench on the way home so I could finish listening to it.

    One of my fave podcasts that I never miss is CraftLit. I also listen to all the NPR music podcasts every week…and Coverville. Oh..and Good Enough Gardening is one I never miss.

  • 14 Steph // Jan 4, 2012 at 8:14 am

    I also heart Ira Glass… This American Life is Amazing. I’d also recommend checking out the Freakonomics podcast, or Planet Money from NPR.

  • 15 Matilda // Jan 4, 2012 at 8:28 am

    I second RadioLab: one of the hosts, Jad Abumrad, recently won a MacArthur “Genius” grant for his work. (Many times it’s great, occasionally it’s lame, but it’s always a good listen.)

  • 16 Becca // Jan 4, 2012 at 8:32 am

    I adore Nerdist! Actually going to their live show this Friday and SO EXCITED. If you like The Moth you’ll probably also enjoy Story Collider (same concept but with science-based stories) and maybe Risk! (though just an fyi to people the content can be edgy at times). I’m adding Bullseye to my list – I remember the Ask Mefi question when he was trying to figure out what to rename the podcast :D

  • 17 Julie @Savvy Eats // Jan 4, 2012 at 8:56 am

    I’m going to second (third) the recommendation for the How Stuff Works podcasts…particularly Stuff You Missed in History Class and Stuff for a Stylish Home. I also love the Joy the Baker podcast and “Smartest Man in the World” by Greg Proops

  • 18 Randi // Jan 4, 2012 at 8:58 am

    I LOVE Pop Culture Happy Hour! It’s the happiest hour of my week :-)

  • 19 Manders // Jan 4, 2012 at 9:00 am

    I adore Nerdist as well. Also love WTF (got to see a live taping at SXSW last year)–Marc Maron is some kind of crazy genius and I want to interview *him*. Also fun is Spilled Milk, brought to you by Molly Wizenberg of Orangette fame and her pal Matthew Amster-Burton (who wrote the book Hungry Monkey).

    But I would be remiss in not talking about the NPR Tiny Desk Concerts podcast. Bob Boilen, who hosts another great podcast called All Songs Considered, had the great idea to bring in artists and bands and have them do a small acoustic set literally at his desk. Over 120 later, and they’re still going. Folks who’ve played Tiny Desks include Iron & Wine, Adele, Wilco, Yo-Yo Ma, The Civil Wars, The Decemberists, Nick Lowe, Nellie McKay, and Tom Jones (yes, THAT Tom Jones), but also some lovely lesser-known folks. Check it out.

  • 20 Anita // Jan 4, 2012 at 9:06 am

    I love “this american life”! It has gotten me through many housecleaning sessions and closet/dresser reorganization projects!! I also love Terry Gross on “Fresh Air”, and Alec Baldwin’s velvety voice in his new show “Here’s the thing” although, truly, he could read the phonebook and I’d tune in. :)

  • 21 Megan // Jan 4, 2012 at 9:11 am

    I primarily watch knitting podcasts: Dramatic Knits, The Knit Girllls, Knitabulls, and I have my own knitting video podcast Stockinette Zombies. I don’t know if I dare check out the non-knitting ones, as I might become an addict!

  • 22 deb // Jan 4, 2012 at 9:13 am

    nthing radiolab. Ira Glass is a huge fan of radiolab, also. If you love This American Life, you’ll love radiolab!

  • 23 April // Jan 4, 2012 at 9:26 am

    I love How Was Your Week with Julie Klausner. She is so funny, and a great interviewer.

    I also love Ronna & Beverly, which is two comedians interviewing people in their characters as middle aged Jewish ladies. They are hilarious! Start from the beginning.

    Too Beautiful to Live is my other must-listen. It takes a few episodes to get into, but once you do you’ll be hooked.

  • 24 jess // Jan 4, 2012 at 9:26 am

    weren’t we all so heartbroken when Ira Glass got married?! When I was a truly broke grad student, I used to sit on the floor of my studio apartment’s “kitchen,” listening to TAL and doing puzzles I’d bought at the Goodwill down the street for 50 cents a pop. I spent a whole summer doing that.

    …Ira Glass, please marry me?

  • 25 Marie // Jan 4, 2012 at 9:39 am

    I am a podcast junkie and I LOVE all of the ones you have mentioned. I second Radiolab, it’s AMAZING, RISK, Stuff you Missed In History Class, I could keep going….

  • 26 Adj (Tattoos & Champagne) // Jan 4, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Radiolab is a great one – I always feel smarter afterwards. How to Do Everything is another one that makes me feel smarter but really more of a smartass. :)

    I also recommend the Stuff You Should Know series and their sister-casts Stuff Mom Never Told You and Stuff You Missed in History Class.

  • 27 christy // Jan 4, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Manders, thanks for mentioning All Songs and Tiny Desktop. Both are great. I listen to All Songs every week at work and have discovered new music and developed a crush on Stephen Thompson that follows through every Friday on Pop Culture Happy Hour.

  • 28 brianne @ the ravenna girls // Jan 4, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Wonderful. So far I only listen to NPR Fresh Air so this will give me so many more options!

  • 29 sally // Jan 4, 2012 at 10:35 am

    the joy the baker podcast is my favorite; check it out! joy and tracy have fun conversations and make me feel like i’m part of them.

  • 30 Darci // Jan 4, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Thanks oh so much for the list. I have commute that needs to be filled.

  • 31 shawn // Jan 4, 2012 at 11:39 am

    i’d never heard of nerdist or bullseye – thanks for introducing them to me!

    the one thing i cannot live without is THE ECONOMIST PODCAST. they read the entire magazine from cover to cover every single week. english accents makes me more productive.

  • 32 sprizee // Jan 4, 2012 at 11:54 am

    I love a lot of the same ones plus Doug Loves Movies hosted by Doug Benson that often features other stand up comedians such as Marc Maron and Sarah Silverman.

  • 33 megan // Jan 4, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Thanks for all the suggestions! And Nicole, I have updated the wording for The Dinner Party, I apologize for the peek at the podcast that definitely wasn’t what you were looking for.

    One note, while Radiolab has great content the way they edit the audio doesn’t work for me and I cannot listen to it.

  • 34 Robin // Jan 4, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    I love most of those. Plus: Too Beautiful To Live (aka TBTL), You Had To Be There, Freakonomics Radio, Savage Love, Snap Judgment (from NPR), and Radiolab. Thanks to often-delayed Metro bus commuting for so much podcast-listening time.

  • 35 Helen Jane // Jan 4, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    I love all of the podcasts. Thanks for all these great ones too!

  • 36 Melanie // Jan 4, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    I love the Design Matters series with Debbie Millman. Some of my favorite episodes are her interviews with Andrew Gibbs, Tina Roth Eisenberg, Grace Bonney, and Heather Armstrong.

  • 37 betz // Jan 4, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    I like Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me and Chaos Chronicles with Lian Dolan. Thanks for this post!

  • 38 Nicole // Jan 4, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    I love the podcasts. I also listen to a lot of personal journal and history podcasts. I love Greetings From Nowhere, The History Chicks and the Colonial Williamsburg podcast.

  • 39 Britt // Jan 4, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Speaking of Jesse Thorn, I absolutely adore Judge John Hodgman (Jesse’s the bailiff).

  • 40 Barbara // Jan 4, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    I’m so glad to hear that you have trouble with the audio on RadioLab too! I thought I was the only one who couldn’t handle all of that aural clutter! I love the content, but can’t handle the way they present it!

  • 41 Jason Parker // Jan 4, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    If I may be so bold, I’d like to add a podcast I host to this list: Jazz Now! Seattle –

    We’re a weekly broadcast spotlighted all the great live and recorded jazz that Seattle has to offer. It’s hosted by myself and Dave Marriott, both jazz musicians active on the Seattle scene.

    Give it a listen!

  • 42 Alli // Jan 4, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    I second Helen Jane, the podcasts are my favorite!!

  • 43 pam // Jan 4, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    i love PCHH, so much that i went back and listened to every single episode (i started listening last spring.) glad to have another pop culture podcast to listen to, so thanks!

  • 44 just barrie // Jan 4, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Funny, I listen to half of those mentioned and have only not listened to the other half because I was falling behind on the ones I truly like. Although, now I’m tempted to see what this homefries podcast is all about…

  • 45 Kathy H // Jan 4, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    I’m a big fan of The Nerdist podcast, as well as a host of NPR shows like Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me. I also never miss an episode of A Way With Words. Fascinating and light-hearted show about words and phrases and their origins as requested by people calling in. Lots of fun.

  • 46 casey // Jan 4, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Too bad about how you cannot listen to Radiolab.

    In addition to all the other recommendations I would add Roderick on the Line with John Roderick & Merlin Mann – they are hilarious!

    Also the I have been listening to The Bugle for years. Its also really funny and educational – a news/comedy/satire podcast with John Oliver and Andy Salzman

  • 47 achowlife // Jan 4, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    radiolab. love.

  • 48 Laura B // Jan 4, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    I love This American Life ! The story-telling is amazing. The kids & have also sat in parking lots long after we arrived at a destination, just so we could listen ’til the end. I’m so than it’s available now via podcast !

    Others I like – How Stuff Works, Stuff Mom Never Told You, Brain Stuff, Stuff You Missed in History Class … Actually there’s a whole bunch of “Stuff” podcasts that fascinate no end.

  • 49 Ann-Marie // Jan 4, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    TBTL is one of my favorites. Plus, they are Seattle based.

  • 50 ansleybleu // Jan 4, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Radiolab and most KCRW shows such as :
    Unfictional and

    Design & Architecture

    I love Savage Love Podcast:

    I sometimes like:
    Studio 360

  • 51 Jacqueline // Jan 4, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    I’ve been listening to Uhh Yeah Dude for forever. Seth and Jonathan are hilarious and their silly commentary on wacky news stories or the latest gossip never fails to make me laugh. Definitely for those looking for something lighter to listen to!

  • 52 Heather // Jan 4, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    My husband introduced me to The Indoor Kids. It’s a husband and wife who talk about video games. It’s actually really funny.

  • 53 Heather // Jan 4, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Oh, I totally forgot How Did this Get Made!

  • 54 Jenny // Jan 4, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    All I listen to are book podcasts!

    KCRW Bookworm
    NY Times
    Science Fiction Book Review Podcast (SFBRP)
    Writing Excuses
    SFF Audio
    The Incomparable Podcast
    Sword and Laser

  • 55 Angela // Jan 4, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    I second Spilled Milk! I listen to a lot of these others too but I always find myself laughing out loud to Molly and Matthew.

  • 56 Heather // Jan 5, 2012 at 7:03 am

    Uhh Yeah Dude! Seth and Jah are hilarious. Two american americans talking about current events.

  • 57 growler // Jan 5, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Megan: RadioLab’s editing can be jarring at first. But listen enough, and it might not bug you anymore. Still, if you can’t do it, don’t. With one exception. I _beg of you_, listen to this segment. It’s one of the best radio segments ever. It made me weep.

  • 58 josie // Jan 5, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    So excited to add The Dinner Party Download to my podcasts!

    Mike and Tom Eat Snacks is one of my new favorites – Michael Ian Black and Tom Cavanaugh pick a snack, eat a snack and rate a snack each episode (Cheetos, Slim Jim, cold pizza, etc), with many a tangent, lots of cursing, and occasional insight into the world of snacks. Awesome.

    Also, The Vinyl Cafe, from the CBC. If I said it was like a Canadian “Prairie Home Companion” that would be sort of it, but not really it at all…Information and a peek into places all around Canada, excellent music, and storytelling by the host, Stuart McLean.

  • 59 Heather // Jan 5, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    RadioLab! RadioLab! OH, you have to listen!

  • 60 April G. // Jan 5, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    I can’t listen to Radio Lab either! Something about the audio makes me feel like I’m having a stroke. I have never heard of anyone else having a problem with it.

  • 61 Kristina // Jan 6, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    I listen to lots of these already but I’m excited to load a couple new-to-me podcast on my also-new iPad.

    Also, literary types might enjoy CBC’s Writers & Company. It’s always a thoughtful discussion, thought some authors are more compelling than others. See also, BBC’s Desert Island Discs.

  • 62 radiohead // Jan 6, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me
    American Roots
    This American Life
    Car Talk
    How To Do Everything

    I’m a little obsessed with NPR and PRI

  • 63 Carol // Jan 7, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Answer Me This podcast is my favorite! Their blog (, possibly NSFW) will give you a good idea of their content. Profane yet endearing.

  • 64 amandam // Jan 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    i would be a sadder person if mike and tom eat snacks was not in my life.

  • 65 ellen // Jan 9, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    What is it about Ira Glass? Everyone has a crush on him. I love podcasts and listen to an ever changing assortment. I second the recommendation of Savage Love, although it may be a little raw for some tastes. Love the Satellite Sisters and Craft Sanity, Brenda Dayne’s Cast On is worth listening to just for her delightful voice.

  • 66 kickpleat // Jan 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    omg, I have the same issue with radiolab!!! the sound is soooo wonky. I like Quirks & Quarks which is about science – but fun & I feel smarter afterwards :)

  • 67 Heather Lou // Jan 13, 2012 at 11:37 am

    HOW WAS YOUR WEEK WITH JULIE KLAUSNER!!!! SO so SO funny. Also, Uhh Yeah Dude for a more bro take on current events.

  • 68 TallGirl // Jan 16, 2012 at 11:15 am

    >Girl on Guy w/Aisha Tyler
    >This Week In Blackness/Blacking It Up with Elon James White & Friends. Special guests include people like Melissa Harris Perry!
    Funny, informative. Dig it.
    >The Nerdist w/Chris Hardwick (I love his unabashed love for Doctor Who.)
    >The Hideout Sessions w/Part Time Heroes
    Ross & Toby from Wah Wah 45s Records.

  • 69 Norma // Jan 19, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    I love Glitter in the Garbage with Drew Droege, Double X by Slate-fantastic, smart women, NPR Most-Emailed stories is a great way to get just cultural/lifestyle pieces, The Pod F. Tompkast by Paul F. Thompkins, wonderful little stories, Slate’s Cultural Gabfest, Superego is amazing, This American Wife is a fabulous spoof on This American Life, Thrilling Adventure Hour, Useless Information, this awesome guy with a very mono tone voice talks history-he really grows on you because the stories are so good, and finally the 60-second series-60-second Science, 60-second Technology, etc. Thanks for sharing!

  • 70 Sharyn // Jan 26, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Mordant World’s “The Other Side of LIVE! Very uplifting and motivational stuff.

  • 71 jordan // Mar 2, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I really like the joy the baker podcast and my fiance is a comedian and is often on the Todd Glass Show, which is a Nerdist podcast…the two of them are absurd and hilarious. :)

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