It seems like everyone has a podcast these days, from renowned news organisations to D-list celebrities, which makes choosing something to listen to pretty overwhelming. If you’ve ever had a conversation with someone about podcasts – which in Melbourne is almost impossible to avoid – then you’ve likely been recommended at least seven shows that will somehow make you an expert on contemporary politics/investment banking/the criminal justice system.
But if you’re just too tired, too stressed, or just can’t be bothered to try and understand the latest political crisis, don’t lose hope. Contrary to popular belief, there are still podcasts out there that won’t try and improve your mind at all.
I’m not trying to say that podcasts like Serial, Invisabilia and Planet Money aren’t worthwhile or enjoyable. But it’s okay to listen to something a bit more lighthearted once in a while.
So, if you just want something that will just make you laugh, check out these great podcasts:
My Dad Wrote A Porno
I’m not going to delude myself by pretending that no-one else has heard of this podcast, but this list wouldn’t be complete without it. It might sound like the premise for the most awkward night ever, but it turns out three friends reading self-published erotica together is the basis for an international comedy sensation.
You should probably only listen to this one on the tram if you’ve got a very good poker face, but check it out for a hilarious but disturbing look into the sexual fantasies of a British baby boomer.
Pop Culture Happy Hour
From NPR (The US National Public Radio, also known as the spiritual-home of soft-talking podcast sensation Ira Glass) this podcast is slightly more highbrow but, as its name suggests, totally lighthearted. Pop Culture Happy Hour is a fun and easily consumable way to hear recent news in entertainment and pop culture. With panel discussions about everything from the latest superhero movie to the Grammy awards and American football, all tastes are covered.
The hosts are eloquent and socially conscious, but they also just really love gushing about the latest Disney Pixar movie. Trust me, this is NPR at its most digestible.
If you’re a fan of Gilmore Girls, there’s a strong possibility you’ve already heard of this one. The premise is simple: two dudes watch every episode of Gilmore Girls and then dissect the TV show’s terrible 2000s fashion and totally bizarre pop culture references.
This is another podcast that turned from a strange idea to a huge sensation, with sold-out live shows all around America, and two spin-off podcasts (Bunhead Bros and Maisel Goys). The hosts have interviewed cast and crew from the original series, and even enjoyed cameos in the recent Netflix revival, but don’t worry, they don’t take themselves at all seriously.
Welcome to Nightvale
This one’s a bit different and not quite as lighthearted as the others, but it is an imaginative rollercoaster that I highly recommend checking out. If you like creative storytelling, dry humour and/or have any interest in sci-fi, check out this combination of Lovecraftian horror and American gothic.
Telling the story of a small, desert-bound town called Nightvale, the show takes the form of a public radio segment, complete with traffic updates, community announcements and ‘the weather’. It can’t be properly described, so trust me – just listen.
Image from Fox, used with permission.