Summertime officially graced our presence last week so that means road trip season is here! I don’t know about the rest of America, but even I get sick of my own music after listening to it for hours on end, so I know my copilot will too. I have upwards of 12,000 songs in my iTunes, and sometimes nary a one hits the spot after hours on the interstate. The surest way to mix up the monotony, keep you awake and make the hours fly by is by adding some pop culture podcasts into your rotation. Here are some of my picks for you pop culture nerds out there! There’s something in there for every different interest. [All podcasts are downloadable through iTunes or you can access them by clicking on their titles below. You’re welcome for your new obsessions!]
This one holds a soft parcel of my heart because it was my gateway drug into podcasts. On every episode Doug Loves Movies, lovable professional stoner, Doug Benson, assembles a gaggle of comedians and actors with different levels of film expertise to compete in trivia games. [Some of his reoccurring alumni are Sam Levine, John Hamm, Graham Elwood, Kyle Kinane and Sarah Silverman.] This is all done in front of a live audience who participates in the ridiculous fun like his patented Leonard Maltin Game, wherein the panel wagers who can guess a movie’s title based on three things: the year, sparse vague clues culled from Maltin reviews, and actors read from the bottom of the cast list to the top. I havehad and written about the honor of catching his live podcast taping twice when they made a stop in Nashville and I implore you all to do the same.
Who among us hasn’t picked apart the awful in movies like Gigli or Stop or My Mom will Shoot? I know I am completely guilty…and HDTGM gives me an outlet for my guilty pleasure. This bimonthly podcast is for the lovers of terrible cinema out there and is hosted by the trifecta of Paul Scheer, Scheer’s wife June Diane Raphael and the wildcard Jason Manzoukis, who are joined by a rotating celebrity guest. If you are a die-hard fan, you watch the movie beforehand so you can be prepared to ridicule along with them. In my humble opinion, the best episodes are the live ones: Roadhouse and Howard The Duck especially because the panel seems to feed off the audience questions.
To say I was just a casual fan of all things Saved By the Bell would be like saying Hitler was just kind of a jerk…a gross misrepresentation. I am obsessed with the early 90’s teen comedy, and when I hear that someone else is seemingly normal, in my age bracket and shares my devotion- I am immediately onboard. Since learning about it last summer, I have become an avid listener to comedienne April Richardson’s podcast which is basically her and a famous or real-life friend sitting around her LA apartment, watching a 22 minute episode of SBTB and then dissecting that episode for usually about an hour to the delight of her listeners. It has forever changed the way I view the series…like now I am infinitely bothered by the fact that they don’t put ice in the drinks at The Maxx .
To me, this podcast is like a Cliff’s notes for the week’s pop culture events. The drastically different hosts, the ever-giggly Kulap Vilaysack and the lovably “summah” obsessed Howard Kremer, [You may know him from his alter ego….white comedic rapper, Dragon Boy Suede. ] break down the top five lists in music and movies in a given category with a celebrity guest. Listening to three adults fight over the intricacies of Call Me Maybe or the state of today’s country radio is incredibly entertaining. Kremer’s unpredictability makes it obvious that the show is not rehearsed and flows organically.
Calling all record nerds, my boyfriend who is the king of obscure music, has basically devoted innumerable hours to listening to this podcast. Although this podcast is not specifically a music podcast, the conversation usually drifts in that direction because his guest chair often times has a musician or a music fan comedian in it. Ray also quarterbacks no-name bands by playing listener submissions and playing songs off their band camp pages. This audience participation can also be seen when he takes conversation topics from listeners via twitter. After all, Ray is the orginator of the Hashtag Wars feature, which is now a nightly staple on @midnight.
Speaking of the wildly popular Comedy Central show @midnight, the show’s host and King of nerds everywhere Chris Hardwick first proved his geeky chops as part of this podcast. Along with co-hosts Matt Mira and Jonah Ray, they discuss all aspects of pop culture…and has gotten the attention of recent big names like Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman. It is the flagship podcast of the Nerdist podcast network, which has come to be the home for quirky niche shows likeCompetitive Erotic Fan Fiction andJames Bonding, a show dedicate to all things 007.
To be honest, I have only listened to this one a time or two, but one of my friends SWEARS by this podcast which is a must download for bibliophiles with a twisted sense of humor. The concept is a bit strange, but it oddly comes together: Paul F. Tomkins emcees each live in front of a studio audience episode as a time-travelling HG Wells who then interviews other famous comedians portraying dead authors…hence the name. [Examples include Kristin Schaal as Tennessee Williams and John Hodgeman as Ayn Raynd.] I know…I know…this all sounds very high school English , but in reality it comes off more like an episode of Drunk History because the guests generally have done very little research before showing up.
So what do you think Nerdship? Which ones have I left off? Which should I add into rotation?
[Editor Note: You should also check out Pop Cultured Podcast, because they’re awesome and one of our writers – aka Ben – is one of the podcast’s ringleaders. It’s full of pop culturey goodness!]