On that: I won't bore you with the ones you'll hear about without my help. I do follow The Nerdist, Serial, This American Life, and Freakonomics Radio and all have my endorsement (not that they'd want or need it), but I feel a little stronger about these few below. They're still growing their audiences and are really unlike anything else out there.
- The Gist
- Mike Pesca, the show's host, is a fast-talking, alliterative, incisive, incredibly talented machine of language put to good use. The show is semi-topical and veers in and out of politics, pop culture, science and whatever else he can edit himself down to for roughly 25-30 minutes every weekday. This is the only podcast I regularly check my phone for around its regular release time. I highly recommend listening to an entire week's worth of episodes at a stretch to get the idea. You know, binge. It's The Holidays.*
- A podcast documenting the starting-up of a podcast company. If you've ever dealt with startups, or new small businesses, or maybe just foundering small businesses in general, you're going to hear things in here you've always wanted to: recruiting and negotiating with partners, pitching to venture capitalists, advertisers... it goes on and on. Alex Blumberg is an old pro from public radio so the show is put together masterfully, and he goes out on limb after limb in the name of transparency both for the show and his new company.
- Writers' Bloc
- This is a little niche-y, but I'm a sucker both for comedians and comedy writers. They do something I've always wanted (and failed miserably) to do, so whenever I happen upon a window into one of these brains, I look. That's mostly what this show is. J.R. Havlan, who won Emmys as Head Writer on The Daily Show, interviews TV writers and showrunners. It's big-time inside baseball, but if that's your bag (and it is mine), this is a huge, glistening hidden gem.
I have more of these. A lot more. It's a sickness, but in a good way. I think. When I decide I'll highlight a few more.
Anyway, Happy Holidays! May your indulgences be many and hangovers be light.
*I may have mentioned: I hate the fucking Holidays.