For years, my the only podcast I listened to regularly was Adam & Joe (their forensic dissection of R Kelly still makes me chuckle). However, they are seemingly never returning, so I’ve had to turn my attention elsewhere. Here, then, is my current podcast listening list.
The UK is swamped with panel shows of any shape or form. American TV and radio networks have not embraced this phenomenon, perhaps because they fear the emergence of a US equivalent of Micky Flanagan. Probably the closest is this show, where two US comics are pitted against two British opponents in several rounds of trivia and pop culture questions. As is usual for these types of shows, the questions merely act as a catalyst for the humour, and sometimes the discussion can wander off on some delightful tangents.
One recent episode featured host Dave Holmes waxing lyrical with the UK’s Chris Neill over the joys of Coronation Street, bewildering all the other USians in the process.
Judge John Hodgman
A second entry for Maximum Fun, who also produce International Waters, mentioned above.
John Hodgman is perhaps best known for his appearances on The Daily Show as their “resident expert”. However he has also carved out a niche for himself online, as a dispenser of fake internet justice. Parties bring their petty disputes to Hodgman’s court for him to resolve.
So far, so All Rise For Julian Clary. But many of the disputes take decidedly offbeat turns. One brilliant example is Die Flederhaus, in which two brothers argue about how to deal with an infestation of bats in their run-down home. I won’t spoil the revelation of how one brother decided to deal with the bats in his bathroom.
Bonus points for the delightful pun-ridden titles each show has: “Father Knaws Beast”, “Lingua Fracas”, “Odor in the Court”, that sort of thing.
Dan Savage is the sex and relationship advice columnist for the 21st century. He’s the guy who managed to redefine a US Presidential candidate’s last name as something you can’t safely Google in a public place. For years, his Savage Love column has been the go-to source of information and advice for open-minded people everywhere.
He also does this weekly podcast taking questions from callers. As well as offering advice, tips and advice in his typically frank style, he will talk to other experts and occasionally go off on a rant about far right-wing politicians, usually whenever they are trying to advance their anti-abortion, anti-gay agenda. It’s fun, informative, and definitely NSFW (one of the sponsors is a sex toy shop).
This Way Out
The only “serious” one on this list. This Way Out is a half-hour round up of LGBT news and features which is distributed to 200 radio stations around the world, and is now also available as a weekly download. The show is produced in Los Angeles, so perhaps inevitably there is an American slant to much of the coverage.
The opening 10-minute “newswrap” is usually followed by an in-depth report on the pressing issue of the week, and maybe an interview with a newsmaker or performer. Clips of music by LGBT artists and reviews of gay-interest films and TV shows also appear.
Back in 1988 when production first started, it was probably a lifeline for many gay people, especially those not fortunate enough to live in big cities. These days, the Internet allows easy access to a wider community. But this show is still a useful digest of what’s happening in the world.
Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre Podcast
Richard Herring hosts this chat sh. Guests are drawn from the great and the good of the comedy world, which usually leads to an excellent hour or more of hilarious discussion and general faffing about.
It’s a very relaxed atmosphere, which is perhaps why the guests often open up about their lives to a surprising extent. The show even made headlines nationwide, when Stephen Fry revealed his recent suicide attempt.
At other times, however, the guests are just wonderfully indiscreet – Rufus Hound’s account of his run-in with Aggie (from Kim and Aggie) on Celebrity Juice is one of the all time best celebrity anecdotes. You won’t get that on Wossy.