As a thrice-weekly commuter, I find myself getting tired of the same old music again and again. Especially when stuck in traffic going 5 miles per hour, I find it hard to jam out to music knowing the equally as exhausted commuter to my left is staring me down.
So I’ve resorted to listening to podcasts. Until I started spending a considerable time of my life behind the wheel of a Toyota Corolla, I didn’t think I was a podcast person. Oh, how that’s changed. Now, I’d like to consider myself a podcast connoisseur of sorts. A pod-noisseur, if you will. (Please don’t.)
So given that I’m a self-proclaimed expert, I figured I would share my top podcasts to pass the time. This isn’t my definitive ranking of podcasts, because truly that depends on the mood I’m in. So this is really more my guide to podcasts depending on what you’re looking for.
Most Versatile: My Favorite Murder
Hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, My Favorite Murder is a true crime comedy podcast that chronicles the hostesses’ well, favorite murders, as the name implies. Each episode, Karen and Georgia tell each other a story of a murder (or attempted murder), while keeping an overall light-hearted, comedic tone.
I know “true crime comedy podcast” sounds like an oxymoron, but MFM is by far the most versatile of the podcasts on this list. Karen and Georgia do a great job of appealing to lots of listeners while continuing to be genuine and entertaining. They’re sarcastic, messy, hilarious, articulate, vulgar and unapologetically themselves.
While some of the episodes can be a little lengthy, they also have “minisodes,” which are 20 to 30 minute episodes of fan-submitted stories, so MFM can work for really any length of time you’re looking to fill.
Long-Term Investment: Last Podcast on the Left
Similar to My Favorite Murder, Last Podcast on the Left focuses on the less glamorous side of life, specializing in “all the horrors our world has to offer, both imagined and real.” Hosted by Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks and Henry Zebrowski, Last Podcast on the Left brings new life to old stories in a very choreographed way.
This pod is very structured and organized, with the majority of the storytelling being clearly scripted, but with the hosts’ occasional comedic input. However, most of the stories are divided into three to five parts, each of which can be upwards of 90 minutes to two hours, so this pod is definitely more suited for long trips or consistent listening. Each episode ends on the perfect cliffhanger for the next installment, so you won’t want to stop listening.
Most Informational: Pod Save America
This podcast focuses on the hot topics in politics and what listeners can do to have input. Given that many Democratic politicians are actively announcing their candidacies for the 2020 election, Pod Save America may be a more seasonal choice for many. However, I find that Pod Save America is a useful way to stay informed on politics year-round. Especially with today’s huge influx of information, specifically on social media, Pod Save America helps the listener sort through all of the junk and stay politically informed.
All four of the hosts worked in communications or speechwriting for President Obama, so the pod is naturally swayed toward the Democratic perspective. But, it does touch on the most pressing issues in our country today and updates its listeners on the latest 2020 news, while featuring different political guests each episode and incorporating a decent amount of comedy. This podcast is great for someone looking for a rudimentary understanding of political issues, specifically one who is okay with left-leaning ideals.
Mixed Bag: Snap Judgement
Snap Judgement is a recently developed interest of mine. I only started listening to Snap Judgement within the last couple months, but it’s definitely a good way to cool down after a long day at work. Most of the episodes are 30-50 minutes, and they range in topic from more serious nail-biters and interesting mysteries to more light-hearted stories.
Narrated by new storytellers each episode, Snap Judgement keeps each listener on their toes with what to expect out of the next installment. Since each episode mixes it up a little bit, Snap Judgement is the perfect choice for someone who can’t commit to just one type of podcast.