Top 11 podcast recommendations

Looking for interesting podcasts?

My girlfriend was asking for podcast recommendations. Here’s my list of podcasts that I listen to regularly. They are sorted by which ones I listen to first.

ChicagoScope PodcastChicagoScope Podcast

My friend Leigh’s podcast.

iTunes description: Audio and video podcast serving up news about Chicago and the Midwest.

(5-60 minutes, random frequency)

My Brother, My Brother And MeMy Brother, My Brother And Me

Most hilarious podcast of all time. Three brothers answer questions posted to Yahoo Answers. Warning: it can get kinda dirty sometimes.

iTunes description: Free advice from three of the world’s most qualified, most related experts: Justin, Travis and Griffin McElroy. For one-half to three-quarters of an hour every Monday, we tell people how to live their lives, because we’re obviously doing such a great job of it so far.

(60 minutes, weekly)

Wiretap from CBC RadioWiretap from CBC Radio

Little skits usually over the phone. The best ones are with Howard. He’s hilarious.

iTunes description: CBC Radio presents the WireTap podcast! Enter the world of Jonathan Goldstein. You wouldn’t want to live there, but it’s a hell of a place to visit.

(25 minutes, weekly)

Freakonomics RadioFreakonomics Radio

Always interesting.

iTunes description: In their books “Freakonomics” and “SuperFreakonomics,” Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner explore “the hidden side of everything,” with stories about cheating schoolteachers, self-dealing real-estate agents, and crack-selling mama‚Äôs boys. The Freakonomics Radio podcast, hosted by Dubner, carries on that tradition with weekly episodes. Prepare to be enlightened, engaged, perhaps enraged, and definitely surprised.


Stuff You Should KnowStuff You Should Know

You can tell these guys have fun researching their topics. A couple smart guys talking about interesting things.

iTunes description: How do geysers work? What about lightning? Join Josh and Chuck as they explore the Stuff You Should Know about the natural world in this podcast from

(35-50 minutes, weekly)

Relevant PodcastRelevant Podcast

The beginning of the show is funny, especially the “slices” segment. I always skip over the interview in the middle and go to the “editorial question of the week.” It’s cool that they are all Christians.

iTunes description: The RELEVANT Podcast features the creators of RELEVANT magazine discussing the stuff that matters to your life, with in-studio music performances and interviews thrown in for kicks. The weekly show is an off-shoot of RELEVANT magazine, which covers faith, culture and intentional living.

(60 minutes, about 30 minutes if you skip the middle; weekly)

This I Believe: PodcastThis I Believe: Podcast

Five-minute thoughtful sound bites on what’s meaningful to people.

iTunes description: People from all walks of life describe their personal philosophies in a brief essay. This podcast is taken from the award-winning public radio series This I Believe. More essays can be found at

(5 minutes, weekly)

The Dinner PartyThe Dinner Party

Ever since they went to an hour-long format, it seems a bit stretched. It’s still an ok podcast. More of a time-filler.

iTunes description: The Dinner Party is a smart and funny public radio show about everything excellent in culture, from the company that brings you A Prairie Home Companion and Marketplace. Think NPR meets Vanity Fair. In each episode, hosts Rico Gagliano and Brendan Francis Newnam talk with some of the world’s most interesting celebrities, and along the way equip you with bad jokes, fresh drink recipes, hot food finds, odd news stories… and etiquette tips from the likes of Henry Rollins and Dick Cavett. It’s all you need to get an edge in your weekend conversations.

(51 minutes, weekly)

This American LifeThis American Life

This is such a standard in podcasts. I almost don’t include it, because it’s on EVERYBODY’S list. It’s really well put together. However, the only thing is that it’s an hour long. It’s hard for me to listen to an hour-long podcast, unless if it’s really REALLY entertaining like My Brother, My Brother, and Me. I personally could have this be cut down to half an hour. The podcast world would call me a blasphemer.

iTunes description: Official free, weekly podcast of the award-winning radio show “This American Life.” First-person stories and short fiction pieces that are touching, funny, and surprising. Hosted by Ira Glass, from WBEZ Chicago Public Media, and distributed by Public Radio International. In mp3 and updated Mondays.

(60 minutes, weekly)


These guys are always upbeat and love Star Wars. There are some Star Wars podcasts where the people complain and are negative. Not here. This podcast is a couple hours long, so I only listen to it at home when I’m doing other things. But this podcast makes me a better Star Wars fan.

iTunes description: podcasts are the official podcasts of popular Star Wars websites and Fast-paced, fun, and informative, the ForceCast’s lineup of shows offer the best in Star Wars news, commentary, interviews and more. Subscribe to this feed and you will receive all of our programming. Subscribe to individual shows at

(roughly two hours, weekly)


Because this is so highly edited, I often find it difficult to listen to. They edit out any sort of gaps between speaking to make it sound faster, but it feels so artificial. It’s a shame, because what they say can be interesting. I might have even unsubscribed from them for this reason.

iTunes description: On Radiolab, science meets culture and information sounds like music. Each episode of Radiolab¬Æ is an investigation — a patchwork of people, sounds, stories and experiences centered around One Big Idea. Hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, Radiolab is produced by WNYC public radio.

(about every other week)

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Peter Kreten
11 years ago

Love this post! I have been thinking about listening to Freakonomics Radioradio for awhile now. You put me over the top. This American Life is always great, and I love that WireTap made your list. Love that show.

Abhay Shah
Abhay Shah
11 years ago

NPR Planet Money is really good – explains “complex” financial issues in very easy to understand language.

Thomas Mitchell
11 years ago

The Vinyl Cafe. Stuart MacLean is Canada’s Garrison Keillor.

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