So, after a request today regarding a podcast I had previously recommended to a friend, I decided to do a quick writeup of all the podcasts I currently subscribe to. Most are for entertainment purposes, but I do try to keep up on current events and even learn some things on occasion. Currently, I have about 20 podcasts that sit in my queue but that number will likely grow as some go end of life and others fall out of favor.
The Adventure Zone – The McElroy brothers + Father play role play games. Their first “season” was played using D&D 5e. I say “season” because the story runs for 69 episodes over the course of a few years. Currently, they are deciding on what game system they’ll be using for season two so they are taking turns leading the rest of the group in different settings and using different game systems. Would highly recommend for anyone 16+ for the banter between the family alone. The family has multiple podcasts they produce which are all highly recommend as well.
Alice Isn’t Dead – Fictional story podcast by the makers of Welcome to Night Vale. A bit on the creepy side, with some more disturbing parts of episodes. Has an intriguing plot but will wrap up with a 3rd and final season, a total of about 30 episodes.
Critical Role – The weekly hit, live-action, D&D Twitch.tv show from Geek and Sundry has started releasing their episodes in Podcast form. Each week, a group of professional voice actors get together to play in an around the table game of D&D 5e. You can find them on Twitch.tv Thursday nights or on YouTube as well. Each episode is somewhere between 3-4+ hours long so the entire collection is quite an investment. The production quality is fantastic and since everyone is a voice actor, the characters sound great. This group has really done a lot to bring D&D back to the forefront of table top gaming.
The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast – For those who enjoy H.P. Lovecraft and all things Cthulhu mythology. The podcast starts out by going through H.P. Lovecraft stories, breaking them down and discussing their meaning. As you get further into the podcast, they move on to stories by other authors that fit the genre created by Lovecraft.
Hello From the Magic Tavern – Improv comic, Arnie Niekamp falls into a portal to magical, fantastical world of Foon. There, he meets a wizard and a shapeshifter who sit with him each week as Arnie learns more and more about this magical land. I find this podcast to be at its best when the comics are trying to others to trip up. Similar to sketch comedies like SNL or MAD TV. I find that some episodes definitely drag but the pop culture references are pretty funny. Definitely 16-18+ due to the general topics covered by the show.
King Falls AM – Similar to Welcome to Night Vale, this podcast is the voice of two, late night AM radio hosts who take calls and discuss the the latest news from around town. The podcast favors a Lovecraftian horror theme; the super natural, the super weird and ambiguous monsters that go bump in the night. The production quality noticeably increases as the podcast goes on and I look forward to listening in every other week.
Welcome to Night Vale – By far my favorite Podcast. The voice of the podcast, Cecil Baldwin, has a voice made for radio and he plays the part perfectly. Definitely the most Lovecraftian non-fiction podcast on the list. The amount of crazy stuff that happens in the show is just fantastic. I’ve listened through the story three times now, I think? And I’ve caught new stuff every time. The podcast is has been running for over 4 years now, the producers have released 2 books, they are constantly touring the world and have 5 live shows out.
Within the Wires – Another serial fiction podcast from the creators of Welcome to Night Vale. The format of the podcast is a cassette tape being being pushed into a player and you’re listening to that cassette. On it’s second season now, it is an interesting, 4th wall breaking type of experience that definitely had its twists and turns. It is a bit abstract in the way the story is told, but I have yet to be disappointed by a podcast written by Joseph Fink or Jeffrey Cranor.
Lore – A well written, rehearsed and presented podcast written and produced by Aaron Mahnke. By trade, Aaron is a horror/supernatural fiction writer, but decided to turn his attention to telling ghost stories that are based on true events. Among other things, he has a series coming to Amazon Prime video that takes some of his stories and brings them to life. Overall, I find that when I first started listening, he had interesting stories about a specific person or myth/legend but as time has gone on, his stories have gotten more broad and he doesn’t always tie up his stories in a nice bow like his early work.
Unexplained – I really enjoy this podcast. Richard MacLain Smith has a fantastic voice, though it might be a little too smoothing. Richard takes stories from across the world that have no real explanation and provides great detail about the events as they occurred. I find it rather fascinating and a bit unnerving to know that there really is no ending to the stories he tells.
Spirits – This is a podcast where 2, mid-twenty’s college grads discuss different lores and mythologies while drinking cocktails matched to the topic they’re discussing. One host has a degree in history/religious studies so they handle most of the myths while the other provides Harry Potter references and banter. Overall I really enjoy this podcast though I take some of their myths/legends with a grain of salt as they are drinking during the show but they seem much more legit than Drunk History so they have that going for them, which is nice.
Myth and Legends – A tongue and cheek myth podcast that covers just about everything under the sun. The host does a great job researching the topic of the week. He adds a lot of sarcasm to the myths, which I find pretty funny since a lot of old myths are really hard to follow by todays standards. Each week there is a main topic and a “creature of the week”. The creature of the week is a quick < 5 minute segment about a random creature but is always a pretty good laugh.
The Daily – Michael Barbaro takes 20-30 minutes a day to discuss a current topic, typically through interviews. I tend to skip this podcast as I don’t always find the topics Michael is covering to be interesting to me. That being said, he has had some on point interviews that really touch on to hot topics. The last minute of the podcast touches on other topics that are important to follow that he doesn’t deem as important to spend a full show on.
NPR Poltics Podcast – A twice a week podcast that NPR produces that spends 30-45 minutes discussing the high level topics of the week. Typically released on Monday/Thursday, it really helps provide a good roundup of the weekly events that occur.
NPR Up First – A daily podcast produced by NPR that is typically < 15 minutes in length. They spend around 5 minutes touching on the big topic of the day but tend to cover a more broad range of topics as compared to The Daily. I find that I'm usually more interest in keeping up with this podcast as it touches on a variety of topics and they will follow a storyline day to day if that topic stays relevant.
BBC Global News Podcast – Gives a good look at news around the world. Gives a little bit of a break from the US news and gives some prospective that the rest of the world has issues too.
Cortex – CGP Grey and Myke Hurly discuss their lives as independent content creators. They discuss Apple releases, productivity apps, time keeping, and home screens. I also highly recommend anything produced by Myke at Relay FM.
Hello Internet – CGP Grey and Brady Haran discuss things. Usually pretty thought provoking as both are content creators on YouTube.
Reasonable Sound – Mike Rugnetta takes a topic and discusses how it relates to sound. Like PBS Idea Channel, a lot of the topics are very high level and intellectual so it can be hard to follow. A LOT of research is done on everything Rugnetta does so each episode is very well done.
Sleep with Me – Having trouble sleeping at night? Scooter rambles on for about an hour and a half per podcast. He usually has a topic but he wonders off into the weeds and starts talking about nothing so it’s very easy to get stop paying attention and let his voice blending the background creating great white noise.