You love podcasts, I love podcasts … but dang, there are just so many podcasts.
Each week, I’m going to sift through hours of chatter to uncover the most interesting tidbits and revelations. If you’re intrigued, listen to the full episodes—or you can just repeat this trivia at your next dinner party so it only sounds like you did.
In no particular order:
Paul McCartney’s family once lived in Nashville.
Ian Gavan / Getty
Host and singer-songwriter Otis Gibbs has a knack for uncovering little-known tales about Music City and classic country artists. In this episode, we learn all about the time Sir Paul brought wife Linda and the kids to a Tennessee farmhouse for six weeks, ate Kentucky Fried Chicken, met Dolly Parton at the Grand Ole Opry, and made a frantic trip to the emergency room.
Alan Thicke wrote the Diff'rent Strokes theme song.
Andrew H. Walker / Getty
Gottfried has been on a roll with his podcast, and this ep includes a good-natured conversation with the former Growing Pains star. The two discuss Thicke’s early days as a jingle and TV theme writer whose credits include The Facts of Life, Diff’rent Strokes, and the original Wheel of Fortune tune.
Pee-wee Herman knew Minnie Pearl.
Interviews don’t get much better than this chat with Paul Reubens, best known as the man behind man-child Pee-wee Herman. Reubens shares delightful stories about Pee-wee’s creation, collaborators Phil Hartman and Tim Burton, being inspired by Pollyanna, and befriending other artists with alter-egos, like Cassandra Peterson (Elvira) and Minnie Pearl. I like this episode so much I just might marry it.
U2’s bonus tracks aren’t too shabby.
U2’s Songs of Innocence has received a wave of press in recent weeks, but most of it has focused on the album’s distribution method rather than the actual music. And while U Talkin’ hosts Scott Aukerman and Adam Scott tend to spend 80 percent of their podcasts joshin’ around, one could argue they’ve covered the record more objectively and interestingly than many major publications. In this ep, they discuss each bonus track on Innocence’s deluxe edition along with a new (and apparently terrible) biography of the band.
Al Madrigal has fired 1,000 people.
Bryan Bedder / Getty
The Daily Show correspondent pops up on the Comedy Central podcast this week alongside writer Hallie Haglund to talk about working on the show. However, the most fascinating part of their discussion occurs when Madrigal reveals how his first job involved firing people – lots of people. The comedian says he has easily given 1,000 poor folks the ax.
Jenny Slate is the voice of the Jolly Green Giant.
She also thinks men aren’t funny and enjoys a strong “butt acting” performance, according to Lies, the new podcast hosted by comedian Sara Schaefer. Schaefer interviews her guests with Maron-esque seriousness and curiosity. The twist: Everything they tell her has to be a lie.
Kevin Smith kept a hilarious Clerks production diary.
Stephen Lovekin / Getty
In honor of the 20th anniversary of Clerks’ theatrical release, Smith reads from a journal he kept while making the film. He admits he’s now embarrassed by his purple prose as a 22-year-old, but I found it rather inspiring to hear the determined, do-or-die attitude he had back then (and hasn’t really lost).