Top 5 Podcasts You Should Be Listening To

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Every couple of weeks, someone on Facebook inevitably poses the question, "Which podcasts should I be listening to? Not This American Life." It's the second most frequent post after "I lost all my numbers. Text me ur cell." If you are one of these curious people, or have a friend who is, then this is your answer.

Honorable mentions include Stuff You Should Know, where adorable duo Chuck and Josh drop knowledge bombs on everything from "How do dreadlocks work?" to "What's the deal with carbon trading?," NPR: Tiny Desk Concerts, The Moth and The Thrilling Adventure Hour starring Paul F. Tompkins and Craig Cackowski.

5. Mike & Tom Eat Snacks The State's Michael Ian Black and Tom Cavanagh, who you might recognize from Ed, do a very simple thing: They review snack foods. In addition to their thoughts on the banana, Bugles and Jelly Belly Very Cherry Pudding Snacks, Cavanagh and Black bicker a lot and are often profane. Sometimes it takes a solid 15 minutes before food is even mentioned. The podcast is a lot like sitting around a living room at 3 a.m. with some of your friends with the munchies -- goofy at its weakest and hilarious at its strongest. The best moments are when the snack food is awful ("This by itself will not give me a disease. But it might lower my immune system and cause me to catch a disease. It is the HIV of snacks.")

4. Radiolab There are some strong similarities between Radiolab and This American Life. They both weave together different stories based on a theme and host Jad Abumrad has a definite vocal resemblance to Ira Glass, but Radiolab uses more science and more clips from professors with foreign accents. Seemingly simple premises like Cities and Words end up being immersive hour-long experiences full of awe-inspiring stories. In Cities, listeners heard about Centralia, the small Pennsylvania town that was largely abandoned after the underground mine caught on fire and continues to burn today. In Animal Minds, Abumrad and co-host Robert Krulwich relay a story of a daring whale rescue and how the animal may have found a way to say thanks -- but probably not.

3. Bullseye with Jesse Thorn Fans of Fresh Air, or people who would like Fresh Air if it had a younger spirit, will likely appreciate these celebrity interviews from host and producer Jesse Thorn. Thorn partnered with the A.V. Club for the new year and changed the name of the show, formerly known as The Sound of Young America. Old episodes of TSOYA are still available on iTunes, with interviews of celebrities as varied as Judd Apatow, John Darnielle and Mary Roach. The first episode of Bullseye features cast members from Downton Abbey and Dan Deacon.

2. Nerdist If you thought the host of Singled Out would never amount to anything, you aren't alone but you are also incorrect. Chris Hardwick, along with Jonah Ray and Matt Mira, is now the voice of Nerdist (and a contributor at Wired). Celebrity guests from all types of genres always have fun (look for the Nathan Fillion episode, in which the Firefly and Castle star shares a cookie recipe) and the hosts seem to have a genuine love for the subject matter.

1. WTF with Marc Maron

In January 2011,

The New York Times

printed a lengthy

profile of Marc Maron

detailing his battles with addiction and struggle to find fame in the comedy world. It's his anger and his openness that make


singular, and the comedians who appear on his show, including Sarah Silverman, Louis C.K. and Mike Birbiglia, are honest without precedent. Louis C.K., in fact, had a friendship with Maron that had become strained over the former's success and the podcast's two-hour interview with him ended in a reconciliation. Other episodes to keep an ear out for starred Chris Rock and Conan O'Brien.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.