I have been a huge fan of podcasts since I discovered them back in 2005. They are a great thing to have if you have a long commute and, if you are super lucky, you have job that let’s you put in earbuds and forget things around you. Here are some that I love to listen to.
Limetown (Two-Up Productions, Host: Annie Sage Whitehurst as Lia Haddock) – http://www.limetownstories.com/
In the vein of Serial and The Black Tapes, comes this intriguing audio drama. Lia Haddock is an American Public Radio journalist who has a personal connection to an incident that occurred decades ago at neuroscience research facility in Tennessee. Three hundred people vanished without a trace and the government has worked to cover up the truth. As Lia digs deeper, she uncovers a vast horrific conspiracy. A beautiful artifact that immerses the listener in this dark parallel world. Only six episodes with a companion prequel novel in the works.
Paul F. Tompkins (Mr. Show, Best Week Ever) hosts this series that is half-interview show, half-improv show. Each episode begins with Tompkins interviewing a celebrity guest. In the second half, the guest offers up a location and Tompkins and his improvisers create a longform improv based on both the suggestion and tidbits from the guest’s interview. These are some amazing improvisers and they produce hilarious comedy.
Episode #3 (http://www.earwolf.com/episode/a-secret-society/) – Jason Ritter talks about his Nirvana obsession and insecurity with Choose Your Own Adventure Books
Episode #10 (http://www.earwolf.com/episode/the-student-lounge-at-a-performing-arts-high-school/) – Weeds’ Justin Kirk talks about acting school and the improvisers play out the cutthroat shenaningans behind the scenes of a student play.
Episode #52 (http://www.earwolf.com/episode/the-last-blockbuster-video-store/) – Ghostbusters screenwriter Katie Dippold talks about the reaction to the film’s trailer and we meet a sister-wife cult out to return tapes to the Last Blockbuster Video before their daddy-master gets upset.
Hayes Davenport and Sean Clements aren’t industry douchebags, they just play them on a podcast. Each episode of Hollywood Handbook begins with the duo in media res humblebragging through a story that involves a mid-tier celebrity (think Elliot Gould or Anne Heche). What’s most cringey/captivating about Handbook is how real these characters feel. I’ve never worked in the entertainment industry, but even I can feel the genuine nature of the smarm coming off these characters. The target of their passive aggressive sneers is poor Engineer Cody. A classic duo of episodes are the dueling interviews with comedian Chris Gethard (whose podcast is featured below). Hayes, Sean, and a few friends also made an amazing appearance on Earwolf’s flagship Comedy Bang Bang podcast.
Episode #118 – Chris Gethard, Our Close Friend – http://www.earwolf.com/episode/chris-gethard-our-close-friend/
Episode #138 – Chris Gethard, Sean’s Close Friend – http://www.earwolf.com/episode/chris-gethard-seans-close-friend/
Comedy Bang Bang, Episode #351 (http://www.earwolf.com/episode/cbb-the-movie/) – The Hollywood Handbook crew does a readthrough of their Comedy Bang Bang movie script.
Chris Gethard sits in a recording studio and receives an anonymous phone call. He cannot hang up, the caller can at any time. After one hour the call will automatically end. From this simple premise comes some of the most beautiful and funny human interactions you’ll be witness to. Callers often feel awkward at first, but there is inevitably some moment where they make a revelation about themselves. From there you can’t help but be pulled into the story.
Episode #10 (http://www.earwolf.com/episode/4-kids-0-sex/) – 4 Kids, 0 Sex – A male caller got married young and four kids later he and his wife are on the verge of a separation.
Episode #13 (http://www.earwolf.com/episode/married-to-a-monster/) – Married to a Monster – A female caller talks about learning she was married to a child molester, now imprisoned, and how she deals with letting their son know what is happening.
Episode #15 (http://www.earwolf.com/episode/the-hardest-part-is-that-you-love-me/) – The Hardest Part is That You Love Me – a young woman in the midst of a quarter life crisis talks about her vagabond boyfriend and the tug and pull of being young and dumb with growing up and being responsible.