Today podcasts are mostly un-aggregated and discovery beyond top 20 lists is far too difficult. Here are some all-time greats you need if you haven’t heard them yet.
The ‘of course’ podcasts
Quickly, if you don’t know any of these, definitely try them first. These are all incredible.
A few standout episodes:
- Serial (Season 1 and 2)
- S-Town — short for Shit-Town (from the producers of Serial)
- This American Life
ALL TIME GREATS
Hopefully these can appeal to anybody, you may have heard of some of them before.
Revisionist History is Malcolm Gladwell’s journey through the overlooked and the misunderstood.
Here acclaimed author Malcolm Gladwell adeptly migrates mediums 😉 to create an incredible podcast which dives deeps into a varied list meaningful topics — beautifully reminiscent of John Oliver’s ‘deep dives’ in his HBO show Last Week Tonight.
- The Satire Paradox
- A Good Walk Spoiled
- Carlos Doesn’t Remember
A show about the internet and the crazy things in life and culture that it enables.
- #44 Shine On You Crazy Goldman
- #102–3 Long Distance 1 and 2
- #89 Worldstar
- #33 @ISIS
Every Little Thing
Every little thing is a podcast about random parts of life that truly warrant further exploration.
This is one of the original, all-time great podcasts. Started by the man behind Gimlet Media (the podcast production company behind several podcasts on this list) this show follows his emotional story behind starting a Gimlet. It’s an entrepreneurial story told from the trenches by a man with an amazing talent for spinning incredible stories. Totally go for it — it’ll only make you appreciate the whole Gimlet operation and what it has done for podcasting generally.
If you like Startup, you might also like The Pitch.
The Pitch is a show where early-stage startups pitch their idea, and themselves, to investors who give their candid reactions on the record.
For just one beautifully produced season follow Allison as she transitions to live in New York city as a media intern at a money-laden tech company after years of non-profit volunteering around the world. Through the season she attempts to reconcile her current work with her altruistic desires, and struggles to ask her boss for a raise.
Humans are slaves to their brains — that’s why it’s worth examining how our human brains can effect the way we live and interact. This great show examines our unconscious mind, through science and social-science we it uncovers how we can better be human.
A podcast between an educational YouTuber and a professional podcast host as explore technology and how it effects their work and life. Both have quirky interests with strong opinions about them which turn into discussions on Plane Crash Corner, flag design, the YouTube algorithm and how that effects what succeeds on YouTube.
- #85 Another Person I’ve Never Heard Of (but listen to #84 first, it’s also great)
- They’re all great. Start from the beginning and work forward.
Comedy Bang Bang
A wild comedy ride — you never know what you’re gonna get. Prone to ridiculous humor and impersonations — this ever-changing cast of characters knows good and proper banter.
TBD — everyone probably has their own.
The Daily — NY Times
A daily look at the news mon-fri published before your morning commute (like my walk to class at 10:25 am).
The New Washington — NY Times
A deeper look into the key figures shaping this administration. Though, I find these episodes can sometimes become frustrating when the characters are ass-hats and are given too lenient a view.
On The Media — News analysis podcast
Up First — Daily NPR News Podcast, but I prefer The Daily if you only want one.
Short for ‘Accidental’ Tech Podcast — for those who want deeper technical info, but in a way I still find entertaining and engaging.
Every other week educational YouTuber CGP Grey and podcast heavy-weight Myke Hurley discuss work and how to efficiently get things done by best using your brain and technology — in harmony.
Adventure and Nature
The Dirtbag Diaries
This is by far the best podcast I can find about modern adventure and exploring the outdoors.
The Squanch Rick and Morty
For the Rick and Morty lovers. 45 minutes of analysis and deeper examination of each episode of season 3. From the guys at Wisecrack (the YouTube production company), their seasoned experts, well worth your time.
I don’t love his content, but the podcast never fails to make me laugh, sometimes just at the absurdity of a social media lifestyle. Led by the vlogger David Dobrik with his co-host Jason Nash, quite the character, they bring in their friends to question David on his life as a 21 year old YouTube mega-celebrity.