Podcasting has been around for some time but I just started paying attention, perhaps because it's so easy to search, download, and play on my iPhone (god I love my iPhone) or because Howard Stern only works at most 3 days a week now (on weeks he actually works) so there's a big gaping hole in my listenership requirements during the long slog of the work day that I've found has been filled by this thing called "Podcasting" which, for the uniformed, is simply people talking like they'd be talking on the radio but without commercials, without cost, and 8000x funnier than anything you would find on the radio outside of Howard Stern. There are really funny people (mostly comedians) doing really funny stuff, with really funny guests, and the whole thing is free! And so freaking easy to use. You download to your iPhone and play just like you would any music, either on the speaker on the phone or in your car connection or in your earbuds at the gym so you can laugh as you suffer through the daily exercises. And if you don't have an iPhone, I'm sure you could do it on a Droid, although I never did when I had a Droid (and god that phone was garbage compared to the functionality and beauty of an iPhone -- and I used to love that Droid!). And if you don't have a smart phone, then please stop reading this blog. But I digress. Check out podcasting if you want to laugh, if you have any kind of sense of humor at all, or if you are just cheap and want something free (hi Legfu!). And if you don't know what to listen to, I've prepared this handy list of my personal favorites:
- The Bugle. John Oliver of The Daily Show, who happens to be both my favorite British correspondent on the Daily Show and my favorite correspondent on The Daily Show, has a weekly podcast with a fellow Briton in which they talk about current events, typically news reports of some import, and make hilarious unbelievable fun of them. They've done 200+ podcasts in the life of the program and it was originally sponsored by a British newspaper I believe, but that has stopped and they are now doing it gratis (but please contribute if you listen because if they stop doing this show I will not be happy). Anyway, it's typically just around a 45 minute podcast and the other British guy is only mildly funny but every single thing that comes out of John Oliver's mouth I find funny so I highly recommend.
3. Mike and Tom Eat Snacks. This is for fans of Michael Ian Black, pretty much exclusively. Well, he and co-host Tom Cavanagh of course. But I became a huge fan of Black through his tweeter feed this year (he's been on The State and Ed and other shows I never saw), laughed like crazy through two of his books, and now am loving his podcast. He is definitely an acquired taste as it's difficult to keep up with his neverending sarcasm but if you like that kind of humor you will love it as he and Tom discuss, well, snacks. Literally. They pick a random snack that a "viewer" sends in and discuss it. But it's really just a format for an endless string of humor. Pretty perfect. It's actually one of the Nerdist programs also.
4. The / Filmcast. (slash filmcast) Film nerds talking about movies. Sort of like Ebert & Roeper on steroids. They go really in-depth about one newly released film a week (after a sometimes rambling intro in which they discuss other things they thought were cool that week). I wouldn't recommend unless you've seen the film first -- they do save spoilers for the second half of their typically hour-long podcast, but really this is for an analysis of a film that you saw and want to know if someone else liked or hated it as much as you did. And typically you will find both opinions among the multiple panelists on every week. A really entertaining show. This one is not funny like the others on this list but still recommended.
5. Doug Loves Movies. Doug Benson + guests (typically fellow comedians like Sarah Silverman or Jeff Garlin) discuss pop culture and movies and stuff and then play movie-related games in front of a live audience. But it's way funny. And fun. Like The Nerdist, the live audience thing makes it a little difficult to follow the action at times but it's really good. Maybe too distracting if you start playing along with the well-choreographed games and can't get any work done.
6. Smodcast. Kevin Smith has about a billion podcasts up, some with Jason Mewes, some with Scott Mosier, some with other people. Most are funny, a lot are in front of live audiences, some are not so good. Much like Kevin Smith's directorial career. Podcasting is the way he makes a living now and he makes a decent living at it so there are a lot of fans. If you are one, check it out.
7. Penn's Sunday School. Penn Jillette on a bunch of topics. Once a week. He's a pretty famous atheist and a pretty smart guy about politics and pretty funny as well. Sometimes longwinded but generally good.
8. The BS Report. Bill Simmons is a really horrible interviewer but when he's talking to someone interesting it's pretty good and obviously he has the same interests in sports and movies and bad 80's/90's TV shows and MTV reality TV so there's a lot to mine in his podcasts. He also probably has 1000 podcasts up so there are plenty to listen to.
9. Here's the Thing. Alec Baldwin interviews A-listers on an NPR-style show. Baldwin isn't yet a good interviewer (I think this show is pretty new) and the shows appear sporadically but when the guest is good (David Letterman was excellent, Kristen Wiig hilarious) this is a good listen. Kind of devoid of humor otherwise.
10. WTF with Marc Maron. Funny dude interviews B- and C-list celebrities (and fellow comedians). Pretty decent. Most of podcasting in general appears to be comedians talking to other comedians but they are all pretty fucking funny.
The Adam Carolla Show is actually the most popular podcast but I've never been able to make it through for some reason, even though I like Adam. He's got a ton of podcasts and obviously a lot of people like it so you should check that out too. Carolla, Kevin Smith, and The Nerdist are sort of the reigning Big 3 so far of podcasting, or funny podcasting, which is really the only podcasting that I have listened to so far (other than some pop culture / movie stuff as above). There are also music podcasts and political ones and news ones and sports ones I think but I haven't really explored those yet.