This week I pause my podcast crash courses—hope you saw my rundown of excellent history podcasts—to share some new shows on my radar. Got a suggestion? Leave it via the comments or @whitneymatheson, and don’t forget to visit the archive for more recs.
FOR THIS AMERICAN LIFE FANS: MYSTERY SHOW
Hosted by public radio producer Starlee Kine, Gimlet Media’s new offering addresses life’s biggest mysteries – you know, the kind the Internet can’t solve. The show is more of a storytelling podcast than something aimed at Law & Order fans; Kine excels in unearthing people’s inner lives, not doing hardcore investigations. To start, dip into the second episode, which involves Britney Spears’ reading habits.
FOR SPORTS FANS: SI MEDIA PODCAST WITH RICHARD DEITSCH
Some of the funniest, most interesting journalists I know cover sports, which is why I think Sports Illustrated’s new podcast is an excellent idea. In each episode, Deitsch gives sports reporters a platform to share their stories. So far guests have included CBS Sports broadcaster Verne Lundquist, ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt, and NBC Sports’ Rebecca Lowe. My only complaint is the sound isn’t as pristine as it should be, but I’m guessing they’ll work out the kinks soon.
FOR FILM BUFFS: THE BLACK LIST TABLE READS
What a perfect idea for a podcast: Each week an all-star cast performs a cool screenplay Hollywood hasn’t made. Performers have included Darren Criss, Tammy Blanchard, Jason Mantzoukas, and Paul Scheer, and screenplays are presented in several installments. The whole thing is hosted by Franklin Leonard, the founder of blcklst.com.
FOR WANNABE CHEFS: HILAH COOKING
This video podcast shares quick, easy-to-digest cooking tips in 10 minutes or less. Hilah, an Austin-based foodie, is comfortable on camera and doesn’t take herself too seriously, to the point where she even devotes an ep to reviewing all the “breastaurants” (like Hooters) where she lives.
FOR BUTTER LOVERS: WHAT’S COOKING WITH PAULA DEEN
Lately it seems Deen has been trying to restore her reputation, and her return includes this new podcast from Compass Media Networks. So far it has included interviews, listeners’ questions and advice on things like how to properly pronounce “pecan.”
FOR TWISTED SISTERS: SNIDER COMMENTS
Yep, Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider hosts a podcast, and he’s actually pretty good at it. (Snider has done radio for years, and he still hosts the syndicated show The House of Hair.) This hourlong offering from PodcastOne includes chats with old-school and new-school metal musicians; Sebastian Bach popped up on the first episode.
FOR FOLKS WHO KNOW WHAT “FARK” MEANS: THE FARKCAST
This new podcast from Fark.com is aimed at the site’s regular users and features a mishmash of interviews, commentary, and weird/sharable stories (or, as the hosts call it, “the most Farked-up news of the week”). While David Alan Grier was a fun first guest, those who don’t visit the website may become distracted by the number of times the word “Fark” is uttered every few minutes.
FOR MOVIEGOERS WHO IMBIBE: FILMMAKERS DRINKING BOURBON
While the title initially attracted me to this show, when I realized the hosts really do know movies and liquor, I dug it even more. Each episode features about 45 minutes of conversation from Alex Elkins and Brandon Faris, two filmmakers based in Cincinnati. They talk about film equipment and the art of moviemaking, but they also sip a different brand of bourbon each week and share their thoughts on that, too.
FOR YOUNG AND CONFUSED GROWNUPS: ADULTHOOD MADE EASY
How do you make a budget? How do you interview for a job? How do you keep your apartment clean? This show about becoming an adult is hosted by Sam Zabell, “a 22-year-old who has lots of questions but few answers.” Each week she consults experts to help her navigate the real world, and older listeners may find some of their tips useful, too.
FOR NOSTALGIC RADIO FANS: THE WGN RADIO THEATRE PODCAST
Who needs new stuff when you have the old? Carl Amari goes gaga for the golden age of radio. His new show includes replays of classic programs from the ‘40s and early ‘50s, like The Adventures of Philip Marlowe, The Jack Benny Program, and The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show.
AND A FINAL THOUGHT: THE JERRY SPRINGER PODCAST
Recorded live at a coffeehouse in Ludlow, Ky., there’s nothing sensationalistic about Jerry Springer’s new podcast. Episodes include discussions of current events and various political issues, like the Freddie Gray tragedy and Indiana’s anti-LGBT legislation. (Springer, a Democrat, is the former mayor of Cincinnati.) Occasional guests also have something to say here, like David Fankhauser’s account of music during the civil rights movement.