My new job came with a long commute and so lately I’ve had an abundance of time to spend listening to podcasts. What follows are seven of my favorites along with the five episodes I’ve found most engaging. Enjoy:
The Joe Rogan Experience Comedian Joe Rogan is a master conversationalist. He interviews a wide swath of people, from famous entertainers and scientists to professional athletes and snake oil charlatans.
Here’s The Thing Alec Baldwin needs no introduction. His podcast shines because he’s a celebrity interviewing celebrities so to they open up to him in a way they are hesitant to around journalists.
WTF with Marc Maron Marc Maron is a nutjob, and his neurotic rants about his three cats can get irritating, but he isn’t scared to get into deep emotional issues with his guests.
The Nerdist I was a latecomer to this podcast but a coworker convinced me I’ve been missing out. Chris Hardwick and his crew pretend they’re nerds but I don’t really buy it. Their interviews are thoughtful and everyone involved is articulate and well-rounded.
Econtalk Econtalk is hosted by Russ Roberts, a noted economist and author. His guests are the most intellectual and wonky of the podcasts I’m recommending, but Russ always manages to get enlightening conversations out of them.
The James Altucher Show James Altucher interviews on independent-minded artists and businesspeople and does a good job at finding out how they operate. WARNING: the intro theme is atrocious and he does NOT have a radio-friendly voice.
The Dr. Drew Podcast Dr. Drew from Loveline has a podcast of his own dedicated to interviewing other medical professionals and notable people he finds interesting. He is a great interviewer and conversationalist with 30 years experience in traditional radio. The man is superhuman but the series of shows concerning his recent recovery from prostate cancer is humanizing (SEE: episodes 138-141).
- Ryan Holiday episodes #142 and 146
- Dr. Joseph Ventura episode #156
- Paul Mecurio episode #152
- Cary Presant episode #60
- Mike Dawson episode #118
The Tim Ferris Show Tim Ferris is an amateur at podcasting and his personality can be a bit grating because he talks too much and he reuses a lot of questions from guest to guest, but the people he talks to are so interesting that his shortcomings as a host are easy to overlook.
Long form interviews are the anecdote to a tedious commute. Just be sure to fast forward past the scammy start-up advertising that makes these shows financially viable. Also check out Hardcore History and The Adam and Dr. Drew Show, both of which are consistently entertaining.