Have you ever asked for podcast recommendations from friends and family, and find yourself with a mile long list of true crime podcasts? These days it’s the hit genre; everyone is downloading a daily murder story to listen to on their way into work. But sometimes you want more from life than a grisly recounting of beheadings and creepy cults.
If you’re looking for something a bit funnier, a bit more relaxing, or a podcast that teaches you about something other than homicide, check out some of our favorite podcasts below.
King Falls AM:
King Falls AM is a fictionalized late night talk show that’s focused on the town of King Falls. It’s been compared to Welcome To Nightvale due to its format, and the fact that strange hijinx are always going on in King Falls, but this podcast has far more humor and is very character driven. It focuses on the lives of the two hosts, Sammy “Shotgun” Stevens who has come to King Falls from the big city, and small town boy Ben Arnold, as they observe alien abductions, werewolf sightings, the second coming of Christ in the gas station parking lot, and even their own caped crusader. Give it a shot — I promise you’ll be howling with laughter.
This delightful British podcast follows the misadventures of a small town mortuary that suddenly finds it has competition. Follow Rudyard Funn and his miserable sister Antigone as they bury the residents of the island of Piffling and try to keep the family business afloat as they compete with the perfect Eric Chapman. Also, there is a talking mouse named Madeleine. It is improbably British and endlessly endearing, in a maudlin sort of way.
My Brother, My Brother, And Me
Billed as “an advice show for the modern era”, My Brother, My Brother, and Me (MBMBaM) is three brothers who answer Yahoo Answers questions that they find online, as well as queries that listeners send in. It’s pretty much an hour of them riffing off each other, sometimes joined by guests like Lin Manuel Miranda and Jimmy Buffett. The McElroy brothers have, between them, approximately 10,000 podcasts so it’s possible you’ve run into them before.
Guys We F****d (AKA Guys We Fucked)
This hilarious podcast is a combination of funny sex stories and educational topics. It’s been about five years since Corinne and Krystyna started this podcast and it’s moved from talking to actual guys they fucked to guests (sometimes famous ones) talking about everything from STDs to the sex talk they got as kids to the kinkiest sex they’ve ever had. The tagline for the podcast is not wrong, they’re definitely the “Anti-slut shaming podcast.”
Pod Save America
Hosted by four former Obama staffers, this popular podcast breaks down the political news of the moment while trying to find humor in our crazy world. Released on Mondays and Thursdays, Jon Favreau, Dan Pfeiffer, Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor break down the ridiculous news of the past few days and then devote the second half of the episode to an interview with Congressmen, journalists, and experts in the political field.
Pod Save The People
A spinoff of Pod Save America, Pod Save The People is a weekly podcast devoted to looking at the news of the week with a racial equity and organizing lens. The podcast, hosted by Deray McKesson and featuring Brittany Packnett, Clint Smith III, and Sam Sinyangwe, talks about culture, social justice, and politics by exploring the history, language, and people who are shaping the struggle for progress — and talking about the steps that each of us can take to make a difference. Some guests Deray has interviewed for the podcast include Edward Snowden, Senator Cory Booker, John Legend, and Katy Perry.
Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!
This isn’t just a podcast, it’s also an NPR show but it’s worth mentioning because it’s laugh hysterically funny. Not only are there great puns and comedians making fun of the current administration, it’s also a game show. They give you the week’s headlines in several different game formats that’ll keep you laughing despite how not funny the current news is.
Produced by The Washington Post, this podcast is 45 episodes long, one episode per president, plus an initial introduction episode. Each rendition explores the leadership style and personality of each president, along with some of the more widely known accomplishments and defeats. Overall, it manages to put our presidents—and our national narrative as a whole—in context, and sheds light on who they were, as people and as leaders, in a way you may not have gleaned from textbooks growing up.
It seems Richard Nixon’s resignation and the Watergate scandal have been coming up a lot in the last year that Trump has been president, but we often forget all of the events that lead up to Nixon’s eventual resignation. Slow Burn takes on a different forgotten part of Watergate’s history, reminding us that sometimes the path to final justice is slow and full of people standing in the way.
Stuff You Missed In History Class
There are a lot of history podcasts out there, but Stuff You Missed In History Class alone has that warm, constricting feeling of relentless academia. Two times a week, Stuff You Missed delivers bite-sized segments about historical figures and events, and they are always searched impeccably. No apocryphal stories find their way in, because the hosts pull from journals and primary sources to prepare their subjects. If you love learning, and love the process of discovering history, this one is for you.
Swish and Flick
If you’re a big Harry Potter fan, this podcast is a great choice. Hosted by four women sorted into different Hogwarts houses, the ladies of Swish and Flick go chapter-by-chapter of each book and dissect every word and color reference that you may have forgotten. Even if you are a huge Potterhead, this podcast is a fun listen and reminds you of the pure magic of JK Rowling’s writing.
How Did This Get Made?
Hosted by Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, and Jason Mantzoukas, this podcast spends about an hour and a half hilariously deconstructing and poking fun at some of the worst, most absurd movies ever made. Episodes usually include at least one guest host (past guests have included Nick Kroll, Kumail Nanjiani, Tig Notaro, and Natasha Lyonne, to name a few), and are often performed in front of a live audience.
Harry Potter And The Sacred Text
Hosted by two graduates of Harvard divinity school, Harry Potter and the Sacred Text is a calming, enlightening podcast for fans of Harry Potter. Each week the hosts read one chapter of the Harry Potter books using a theme—joy, trauma, family, etc.—and treat it as they would a sacred text like the Bible or the Quran. You don’t need to be religious to enjoy this, because while it borrows practices from different religions, the heart of this podcast is about exploring a beloved text and finding deeper meaning in your own life. The hosts are delightful to listen to each week, and it’s a great resource for challenging yourself to think critically and compassionately about the world around you.
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