My Current Favorite Podcasts
About two years ago, I became a podcast person. I don’t remember what started it, but I believe it was Modern Love from The New York Times, swiftly followed by a friend introducing me to My Favorite Murder.
I used to have a long commute on public transit with lots of podcast time, but sadly I don’t anymore. Well, I’m not sad that my new commute is a short drive, but I’m sad I have less podcast time. I still do my best to stay caught up on my podcasts and I’m always adding new ones to my list, because there are so many good ones! Seriously, what was life like before podcasts??
Here are some of my favorites, broken down by category:
I’m a big ‘Friend of the Pod’ and I love me some Crooked Media, so two of my absolute favorite podcasts that I stay caught up on are Pod Save America and Lovett or Leave It. I am a liberal person and aware that these podcasts are biased to that side, but I still find it fascinating to listen to people who have actually worked in the White House and understand policy talk about the government and what’s currently happening in politics. Are they saying things I already agree with? Yes. But that doesn’t mean I’m not getting educated on the issues.
For a more neutral approach to politics, I love The Daily by The New York Times. I like that it’s short, concise and explores the issues without any bias. I feel like I learn a lot from it every morning and it helps me stay on top of everything that’s going on. The New York Times has its flaws, definitely, but I think this podcast is really well done.
Of course, my favorite podcast of all time is My Favorite Murder. Karen and Georgia never fail to make me laugh and I love the murderino community. I’ve always be interested in true crime but felt like it was a topic I couldn’t discuss with many people, and this podcast has opened me up to a whole new world of people just like me. What I also love about this podcast is that while the ladies share wild, terrible stories of true crime, they also talk about personal topics like anxiety, addiction and the standards society imposes on women. There’s a lot of wisdom and true kindness in this podcast, not just comedy and grisly stories about murderers.
A few other true crime podcasts I’m enjoying but not caught up on are Hollywood & Crime, which tells stories of famous Hollywood murders over a block of episodes each, and Atlanta Monster, in which an investigative journalist digs deep into the Atlanta Child Murders.
Another all-time favorite podcast of mine is not about murder, but can sort of be described as true crime. S-Town is an amazing story of twists, turns and tragedy. Without spoiling it for anyone who hasn’t listened, it’s an incredible piece of journalism about an eccentric man in a small town. I had the privilege of seeing the creator and producer discuss how they created the podcast at a live event, and I was in awe of the work they put in.
Conversations and Stories
I struggle with which category to put this podcast in - it’s a conversation, but also touches on news and a lot of pop culture. One of my current favorites is another Crooked Media podcast, Keep It. Named after a catchphrase one of the hosts coined on Twitter, this podcast is three hilarious people discussing pop culture, trending news and who deserves to be dragged on Twitter.
Another pop culture and news tinged podcast is Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness. I’ve only listened to a handful of episodes so far, but I’m impressed with just how intelligent JVN is. Obviously, he comes off a little shallow and silly on “Queer Eye,” but he’s actually really smart and, well, curious. He has guests from all sorts of professions and backgrounds and I have a lot of episodes queued up.
Coffee With Chrachel is a podcast I’ve been listening to since day one. I used to follow one of the hosts, Rachel, on Youtube, so I almost feel like we’re friends. Listening to the podcast, which is her and her boyfriend Chris discussing life, news, internet culture and Buzzfeed quizzes, is like hanging out with a couple friends. These two are funny, authentic and smart. It’s a great listen and they’re always discussing something new.
Another podcast that feels like hanging out with friends is She’s All Fat. It’s a podcast in which two friends discuss body positivity, self love, current events and how “fatness and feminism intersect.” I follow both of the hosts on Twitter and they’re amazing women who I really admire.
The conversations that go deep are the most revealing, and a lot gets revealed and reflected on with Queery. The host, Cameron Esposito, talks to members of the LGBTQ+ community about their lives and anything else. It’s awesome to hear from these pillars of the LGBTQ+ community and I think this is a valuable listen for everyone, queer or not.
Modern Love is pretty well-known - even people who don’t really listen to podcasts have listened to Modern Love. There is something so beautiful and moving about people reading these New York Times essays about “love, loss and redemption.” I love how a famous person reads the essay, and then we hear from the author and the editor. These essays are really raw and vulnerable, and I feel like I learn a lot from them.
I just started listening to this one after a friend suggested it, but I already think everyone should listen to it. My Dad Wrote a Porno is literally a British guy reading a porno his dad wrote to two of his friends, who are the peanut gallery for this hilarious, uncomfortable attempt at sexy writing. It’s so bad, it’s good.
If you haven’t heard of 2 Dope Queens, you’re most likely living under a rock. The amount of times I have launched so hard I started to cry in public while listening to this podcast is wild. Not only are the queens, Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson, hilarious, but they invite some of the funniest comics I’ve ever heard onto their show. They especially showcase the talent of women, LGBTQ+ comics and people of color, which is dope as hell. Phoebe also has another funny podcast, Sooo Many White Guys, where she mostly talks with people who are not white dudes.
If you haven’t watched The West Wing, this podcast will mean nothing to you, so it’s not a general recommendation. But if you love the Aaron Sorkin masterpiece as I do, The West Wing Weekly is essential listening. Joshua Malina, who played Will Bailey on TWW, and his friend Hrishikesh Hirway, discuss the show episode by episode, touching on the true artistry and depth of the show. I’m on season 2, and I believe they’re up to season 4, but I’m glad I have so much ahead of me.
What are some of your favorite podcasts?