Podcasts are a great way to learn new subjects and keep up to date on politics or learn about something new while on the go. We at the Express sometimes release our UCC 98.3FM Radio Show Express on Air as a Podcast, so why not check that out first before looking at the rest of this list of podcasts we are listening to. (editor’s note: you really don’t have to do that)
1. 99% Invisible – 99percentinvisible.org
99pi was one of the first Podcasts I ever started listening to and it always amazes me. It covers everything, from Design to Society. The recent episodes on ‘Remembering Stonewall’, ‘H-Day’ and ‘Vexillology Revisited: Fixing the Worst Civic Flag Designs in America‘ are great stories as well as learning opportunities; though my favourite is, and always will be, the episode on ‘Cow Tunnel’s,’ that’s the one that hooked me, and it may do the same for you!
2. BBC Friday Night Comedy – BBC Radio 4
This is a podcast I look forward to every Saturday morning, whether it’s the News Quiz, the Now Show or Dead Ringers, I can normally be found giggling away to myself as I listen to the latest satire that the BBC do so well.
3. West Wing Weekly – WestWingWeekly.com
Co-Hosted by the West Wing’s Joshua Malina (who played Will Bailey), along with Hrishikesh Hirway of Song Exploder, the West Wing Weekly is a great fan podcast for fans of the West Wing who are doing (yet another) re-watch of this great series. Featuring interviews with the stars, guest stars, writers and current politicans on the issues brought up in the episodes. This is a great companion for anyone watching the West Wing, either for the first time or the 10th. Also worth checking out is the episode from the ATX festival featuring a panel of most of the stars and writer Aaron Sorkin!
4. The Allusionist – TheAllusionist.org
The Allusionist is a great podcast on the English language, looking at words and how we use them. Hosted by Helen Zaltzman, The Allusionist is an etymologists’ treasure trove on English that is both topical and interesting. Some great recent episodes are those about Small Talk and Branding
5. Politico’s Nerdcast – Politico.com
Nerdcast (from Politico) is one of the best ways to ‘nerd out’ on the 2016 US Presidential Election. If you love to nerd out on the facts and figures of the Campaign, this the podcast for you!
6. FiveThirtyEight Elections – FiveThirtyEight.com
So everyone knows about Nate Silver and the site’s attempt to predict US elections, as well as covering sports. This podcast, hosted by Jody Avirgan, features Nate Silver, Clare Malone and Harry Enten discussing polling and the events of the week. Another podcast for the Election Nerds!
7. Whats The Point – FiveThirtyEight.com
Yes this is another podcast from FiveThirtyEight, but this one, while touching on politics, mainly focuses on data and its uses. Also hosted by Jody Avirgan, it looks some of the amazing uses of data. Some of the great episodes I have listened to include the Schmidt Pain Index and how music recommendation works.
8. The Weeds – Vox.com
The Weeds is a political policy podcast from Vox. Hosted by Matt Yglesias, and featuring Ezra Klein and Sarah Kliff, the Weeds dive into the depths of policies, and brings-to-light all things mentioned by US politicians which those of us of on this side of the Atlantic are vaguely aware of. My favourite part of this podcast is ‘Research Paper of the Week,’ which really just points at how much of a nerd I am.
9. Slate’s Political Gabfest – Slate.com
Hosted by David Plotz of Atlas Obscura, featuring John Dickerson of CBS’ Face The Nation and New York Times Magazine Staff Writer Emily Bazelon, this podcast is a weekly discussion on all things political. This podcast is a great way to start to delve into the world of US Politics.
10. Left, Right and Center – KCRW
Hosted by Josh Barro, this podcast is a great debate on the issues in American Politics featuring voices on the right and left of US Politics. Rich Lowry of National Review is on the right while Robert Scheer of The Nation is on the Left. The podcast also features guest contributors. If you are fed up with echo chambers on politics, then this is the podcast for you.
11. Song Exploder – SongExploder.net
This podcast hosted by Hrishikesh Hirway is a look at Music and how songs are made as the Artists take apart the artistic methods they used to create the songs. Some great recent episodes include Old Crow Medicine Show and KT Tunstall. Hrishikesh also made the music for the What’s The Point podcast so knows his stuff.
12. Super Best Friends Play – SuperBestFriendssPlay.com
Super Best Friends Play is a podcast on “games, movies, anime and other shit” according to Jonathan Soltan, UCC Express Gaming Editor. Hosted by The Best Friends (Woolie, Matt, Pat and Liam), who discuss what they did that week, and talk about the news from video games and pop culture. They also answer fan letters in the Letter Time Segment on each podcast.
13. 2000 AD Thrillcast – 2000ADonline.com
2000AD Thillcast is an award-winning podcast about comics. A fortnightly podcast which interviews comic creators and details the latest news from 2000AD comics. A must-listen for comicbook fans.
14. Stuff Mom Never Told You – StuffMomNeverToldYou.com
From the people behind How Stuff Works, Stuff Mom Never Told You is hosted by Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin, and is about the business of being women from every imaginable angle. This podcast is based on curiosity and rigorous research on Gender. It looks at biology, psychology and sociology of the sexes.
15. Not Too Deep with Grace Helbig – NotTooDeep.com
This podcast is hosted by Grace Helbig and is not about the ‘feels’ but about the ‘laffs’. It’s a ridiculous, silly, irreverent interview podcast. Not Too Deep is not one for famous people to tell their stories, but more of a look at the more superficial aspects of life.
16. Guys We Fucked – SorryAboutLastNight
Guys We Fucked is a sex positive, feminist and anti slut-shaming podcast hosted by Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson, also know as the comedy duo Sorry About Last Night. This podcast aims to make the world a more sex-positive place by interviewing the men they slept with, as well as having discussions around sex and all that it entails.
17. Off the Ball – Newstalk
Off the Ball is a podcasted version of Newstalk’s Sports Show. This is one of Ireland’s best sports shows and comes highly rated by sports fans & journalists alike. Off The Ball airs on Newstalk 106-108fm Monday to Thursday from 7-10pm, Fridays from 7-9pm, Saturdays from 1-6pm and Sundays from 12-6pm.
This fortnightly podcast from John Prideaux of The Economist, and Celeste Katz of Mic.com, looks at the politics of the US Elections from the viewpoint of both the UK & the US. It has looked at gun policy, political advertising and Bernie’s role after the Democratic Primaries.
19. No Such Thing as a Fish – QI.com
No Such Thing As A Fish is a podcast from the QI Elves. The show features James Harkin, Andrew Murray, Anna Ptaszynski and Dan Schreiber giving their facts of the week, followed by a great and often hilarious discussion on the issues around these facts. There is now a spin-off TV Show, No Such Thing As the News.
20. This American Life – ThisAmericanLife.org
This is one of the best podcasts out there. This podcast looks at various facets of American life and produces themed episodes. This is a great story telling podcast that is on over 500 radio stations in America. The Serial Podcast is from the same creator as This American Life.
BONUS: 21. The Art Of Wrestling – Colt Cabana
If you’ve noticed, this list has skewed somewhat more towards an interest in politics. That *may* be because this list was compiled by Mr.Spillane, it may not be. Regardless, I thought I (Rob, Editor) would add something a little different.
For this slot I was split between two podcasts: The Art of Wrestling and Steve Austin’s podcast. The latter is a podcast from the iconic S.O.B himself, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and gives a wonderful insight into a man we all think of as being this bad-ass, no-nonsense mo’fo, but the Art of Wrestling is something special. Hosted by Chicago-native indie icon Colt Cabana, the Art of Wrestling isn’t all starlight & spandex, it shows that sometimes wrestling is more about the hustle, about selling enough 8×10 photos to afford food and about how people make a living in the insane world of Pro-Wrestling without the help of the WWE. There are more popular/infamous episodes (looking at you, CM Punk), but it’s best to just jump in whenever. My favourite episode is now behind a pay-wall (episode 59), but you can check all the episodes out now on iTunes (or wherever you get your podcasts from).