39 Best Podcasts (2022): True Crime, Culture, Science, Fiction


Podcasts are to radio as streaming providers are to tv, and we’re fortunate sufficient to be dwelling by way of the golden age of both. You can discover a podcast about virtually something lately, however with nice alternative comes nice mediocrity—you would possibly want a serving to hand to search out one of the best podcasts worthy of your ear. Our expertly curated record will entertain and educate you, whether or not you’re doing the dishes, figuring out, commuting, or lazing within the bathtub.

For extra recommendation, take a look at our information on how to listen to more podcasts, the best podcasts for kids, and if you happen to’re feeling entrepreneurial, learn our suggestions on the gear you need to start a podcast.

Table of Contents

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Courtesy of ABC News

The Dropout

Sneak a peek backstage, as this podcast follows the trials and tribulations of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos, the tech startup that promised to disrupt blood testing however disintegrated within the face of whistleblowers, inaccurate outcomes, and fraudulent claims. John Carreyrou’s reporting broke the scandal, and his e-book Bad Blood additionally spawned one other interesting podcast. But The Dropout is a refreshingly clear recounting of the sordid story, with season two tackling the trial.

Courtesy of Gimlet Media

Reply All

Beautifully paced and at all times convivial, Reply All drags you down web rabbit holes to analyze long-forgotten songs, cellphone scammers, hacked Snapchat accounts, and Team Fortress 2 bots. The present suffered something of a scandal and accusations of hypocrisy for reporting on a poisonous and racist office, which led to long-term host PJ Vogt and producer Sruthi Pinnamaneni leaving. Luckily, Emmanuel Dzotsi stepped in and Alex Goldman remained—it is nonetheless an expertly crafted and endlessly ingenious podcast with one thing to say.

Courtesy of Dallas Taylor

Twenty Thousand Hertz

Painstakingly researched, this podcast dives deep into the world of sound to clarify every part from these sounds you at all times hear in film trailers to automotive engines, choral music to the Netflix intro, and means past. Learn how iconic sounds have been created, why sure sounds make us really feel the way in which they do, and the way sound enriches our lives in myriad methods.

Other Great Tech Podcasts: 

  • WIRED’s Gadget Lab: Want to atone for the week’s prime tech information? Listen to our very personal podcast hosted by senior author Lauren Goode and senior editor Michael Calore.
  • The Lazarus Heist: This charming investigation begins with the Sony hacks, digging into the involvement of North Korean hackers, and strikes on to a billion-dollar cyber theft.
Courtesy of Audible

The Last Days of August

Jon Ronson is a grasp storyteller who brings an inquisitive, empathetic, and barely neurotic intelligence to bear on fascinating tales nobody has advised. Following on from The Butterfly Effect (only on Audible), which delves into the collision of tech with the pornography business, The Last Days of August investigates the premature demise of porn performer August Ames. All of Ronson’s different podcasts are equally wonderful (we suggest Things Fell Apart and So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed), however this can be a excellent place to begin.

Courtesy of The New York Times

Day X

It’s a testomony to the tumultuous instances we reside in that the prospect of a wide-reaching far-right plot intent on bringing down the democratic authorities is an outline that might match many countries proper now. But Day X is a sobering have a look at the neo-Nazi specter in modern-day Germany, its doable infiltration of police and authorities, and a plan involving a navy officer and a faked refugee id.

Courtesy of Pushkin Industries

Revisionist History

This eclectic mixture of quirky tales sees Malcolm Gladwell sort out misunderstood occasions and barely mentioned concepts, veering from topics like Toyota’s automotive recall to underhand throwing basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain, and even the firebombing of Tokyo on the finish of World War II. Gladwell freely mixes analysis and opinion and enjoys difficult typical views, however each episode incorporates fascinating details and charming tales you probably have by no means heard earlier than.

Other Great Society Podcasts: 

  • Missing Richard Simmons: Ebullient health guru Richard Simmons was in every single place, and this podcast charts an investigative reporter’s makes an attempt to search out out why he disappeared.
  • The Moth: This podcast presents random of us the possibility to inform deeply private tales to a crowd of strangers and reinforces simply how strange people are.
  • The Trojan Horse Affair: This story unpacks the British scandal over an alleged try by Islamist extremists to take over a Birmingham college and radicalize the scholars.
Courtesy of All Things Comedy

Sounds Like a Cult

Fanatical fringe teams have by no means been so prevalent, and there’s one thing greater than a bit cultish about superstar stans, multilevel advertising and marketing, and marathon runners—simply three of the topics this lighthearted podcast unpacks. The hosts—author and linguist Amanda Montell and documentary filmmaker and comic Isabela Medina-Maté—are witty and irreverent, so that is at all times a enjoyable hear.

Courtesy of The LoudSpeakers Network

The Read

Brutally trustworthy comedians with chemistry, Kid Fury and Crissle West recap and assessment all the newest popular culture information and provides their harsh opinions on every part. Insightful, humorous, difficult, and refreshingly totally different from the podcast pack, these sprawling conversations run for a few hours, masking latest occasions and often relating social justice, psychological well being, race, and sexual id.

Courtesy of Forever35

Forever35

Like eavesdropping on conversations between relatable besties, Forever35 began as a bodily self-care podcast however expanded to debate psychological well being, relationships, and another subject that appeals to LA-based writers Doree Shafrir and Kate Spencer. They go from chatting about serums and lotions to seasonal affective dysfunction and the right way to take care of a brand new stepmother as an grownup—however at all times in a enjoyable, inclusive, and down-to-earth means.

Other Great Culture Podcasts:

  • Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard: Now a Spotify unique, this typically humorous and at all times insightful podcast seeks out human truths and generally finds them.
  • Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy: Ably hosted by creator David Barr Kirtley, this sci-fi fantasy extravaganza digs into fascinating subjects with the assistance of completed friends like Neil Gaiman, Brent Spiner, and Steven Pinker.
  • Welcome to Our Show: A warming dose of nostalgia and luxury for New Girl followers as Zooey Deschanel, Hannah Simone, and Lamorne Morris rewatch the present collectively.
  • The Allusionist: If you have an interest in phrases, this witty however accessible present will delight you because it unpacks the evolution of slang, explains euphemisms, and usually celebrates language.
Courtesy of Vox Media

Criminal

Soothing and soporific host Phoebe Judge unravels charming tales with reverence on this polished manufacturing in regards to the spectrum of crime. Criminals, victims, attorneys, police, historians, and others whose lives have been altered by crime voice their tales as Judge fastidiously avoids the sensational and exploitative by respectfully teasing out the guts of every topic.

Courtesy of WBEZ

S-Town

Give this compelling thriller 5 minutes and you will be hooked. The gifted host, Brian Reed, investigates a small city in Alabama on the behest of eccentric horologist John B. McLemore, who claims the son of a rich household has gotten away with homicide. The script, pacing, modifying, music—principally every part about this manufacturing is ideal.

Courtesy of Campside

Chameleon: Hollywood Con Queen

Murder might dominate this style, however there are different fascinating tales value telling on the earth of crime, like this one, which is a few scammer posing as a Hollywood mogul. This bizarre, compelling, investigative podcast unwinds a deeply satisfying twisty story that’s mercifully freed from blood and violence. The second season, Wild Boys, tells a very new story.

Other Great True Crime Podcasts:

  • The Clearing: The households of serial killers typically search obscurity (understandably), however which means we by no means hear their tales. That’s one thing this podcast about April Balascio, daughter of American serial killer Edward Wayne Edwards, rectifies.
  • The Trials of Frank Carson: Police and prosecutors go after the protection lawyer who has been beating them in court docket for years, sparking accusations of conspiracy and one of many longest trials in US historical past.
  • Sweet Bobby: This British catfishing story charts profitable radio presenter Kirat’s relationship with good-looking heart specialist Bobby, and issues get impossibly bizarre.
  • Dr. Death: This gripping podcast focuses on incompetent or psychopathic (perhaps each) ex-surgeon Christopher Duntsch and exposes terrifying institutional failures.
  • Crimetown: A forensic examination of organized crime in American cities, this slick podcast comes from the supremely gifted makers of The Jinx.
  • Hunting Warhead: A journalist, a hacker, and a few detectives go after a chilling little one abuse ring led by a felony often called Warhead on this tactfully advised and thorough podcast.
Courtesy of Aubrey Gordon & Michael Hobbes

Maintenance Phase

The worlds of wellness and weight reduction are awash with questionable merchandise and recommendation, so a podcast to debunk fads and junk science with reasoned argument and analysis is welcome. It’s extra enjoyable than it sounds, because of the entertaining hosts, and there’s even an enchanting episode on the favored idiom “snake oil” that recounts the historical past of well being scams.

Courtesy of NPR

Hidden Brain

An absorbing deep dive into human habits with the assistance of psychologists, sociologists, and different specialists, Hidden Brain is densely full of informative nuggets. The host, NPR’s completed science correspondent Shankar Vedantam, skillfully renders complicated concepts accessible and presents us all extra perception into the inside workings of our minds.

Courtesy of BBC

The Infinite Monkey Cage

This whimsical present, hosted by physicist Brian Cox and comic Robin Ince, poses questions like “Does time exist?”—that are then debated by a various panel of three friends, normally a mixture of specialists and entertainers. Definitive solutions are briefly provide, but it surely’s at all times articulate, enthusiastic, and thought-provoking.

Other Great Science Podcasts:

  • Science Rules!: Bill Nye, the science man, groups up with science author Corey Powell to query specialists on all types of attention-grabbing science-related subjects.
  • Stuff You Should Know: Prizing data for its personal sake and frightening wholesome curiosity, this podcast is comical, charming, and stuffed with attention-grabbing conversational nuggets.
Courtesy of NPR

The Indicator

This Planet Money spin-off delivers digestible, fast-paced, well-told tales on enterprise and the financial system that sort out disparate subjects like TikTook advertising and marketing, opioid nasal sprays, and ticket scalpers. Each enlightening episode is available in below 10 minutes and serves as a fast primer that may go away you feeling properly knowledgeable.

Courtesy of Freakonomics Radio Network

Freakonomics Radio

Promising to delve into the “hidden side of everything,” this long-running, data-driven present is hosted by Stephen J. Dubner, coauthor of the Freakonomics books, and it frequently options economist Steven Levitt. It’s a intelligent mixture of economics and popular culture that flows simply and balances leisure with training, presenting each side of debates whereas consulting related friends.

Courtesy of Macro Musings

Macro Musings

If you lengthy to grasp the financial system higher, this topical present, hosted by David Beckworth of the Mercatus Center, interrogates a various discipline of economists, professionals, and teachers to carry you invaluable insights. It is severe stuff on macroeconomics and financial coverage, however the conversations do a stable job unpacking complicated subjects.

Other Great Economics Podcasts: 

  • Planet Money: This top-notch podcast has entertaining, digestible, and relatable tales in regards to the financial system, unraveling every part from well being care to revenue taxes.
  • EconTalk: This no-frills present sees economist Russ Roberts interact in sprawling conversations with writers and teachers on a spread of economics subjects.

Best Celebrity Interview Podcasts

Courtesy of Adam Buxton

The Adam Buxton Podcast

Consummate conversationalist Adam Buxton is at all times witty and properly ready, and he has interviewed so many attention-grabbing individuals in his long-running present, from Charlie Brooker to Jeff Goldblum. Ostensibly rambling, Buxton skillfully pulls fascinating insights from his interview topics, bouncing between private lives, work, and in style tradition with seeming ease.

Courtesy of Wondery

Life Is Short With Justin Long

Likable actor Justin Long and his brother Christian host this enthusiastic, sprawling, mild interview present the place they chat with friends like Zack Snyder, Kristen Bell, and Billy Crudup. The siblings get sidetracked by nostalgic reminiscences and occasional bickering, which form of makes the present, however they’re at all times beneficiant and sort to their friends.

Courtesy of Wondery

SmartLess

Charming and goofy, this conversational present stars Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Sean Hayes, and so they at all times have a shock superstar visitor, like Ryan Reynolds or Reese Witherspoon. It is heat, mild, straightforward listening, and infrequently laugh-out-loud humorous, however don’t anticipate difficult questions or bared souls.

Other Great Celebrity Interview Podcasts:

  • WTF With Marc Maron: Self-deprecating, sardonic, supremely expert interviewer Marc Maron interviews a few of the world’s most well-known individuals, from Barack Obama to Paul McCartney.
  • Grounded With Louis Theroux: A soothingly mild facade belies Louis Theroux’s capability to attract fascinating insights from his topics with tact and humor.
Courtesy of Wondery

Sports Wars

Epic rivalries and long-anticipated showdowns are a large a part of the enduring enchantment of sports activities, so this slick manufacturing focuses on them. Rivalries like Federer vs. Nadal in tennis and Tyson vs. Holyfield in boxing are defined in just a few episodes apiece by host Dan Rubenstein, who digs into their backgrounds to grasp why some face-offs get so extremely charged.

Courtesy of The Ringer

The Bill Simmons Podcast

This massively in style sports activities podcast options fast-paced roundtable conversations with athletes and celebrities that normally deal with the NFL or NBA. Unfiltered opinions, witty remarks, and encyclopedic sports activities data collide, however that is enthusiastic and accessible sufficient for informal sports activities followers to get pleasure from.

Courtesy of The Athletic

The PosCast

Primarily targeted on baseball, this long-running podcast generally covers different sports activities and infrequently meanders off into comical conversations. Guests provide amusing anecdotes, however the chemistry between hosts Joe Posnanski and Michael Schur, who can debate endlessly about any outdated nonsense, is what makes this present so particular.

Other Great Sports Podcasts:

  • Undr the Cosh: Open and trustworthy banter from ex-professional soccer (soccer) gamers, as they speak to present professionals and recount hilarious on- and off-pitch anecdotes.
  • Around the NFL: This humorous, fast-paced have a look at the National Football League runs by way of all the newest soccer information, mixing anecdotes and evaluation.
  • 32 Thoughts: A slickly produced, insightful dive into all the newest hockey information and controversy from knowledgable hosts who bounce off one another.
Courtesy of Earwolf

How Did This Get Made?

We have all requested this of a film sooner or later, however hosts Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, and Jason Mantzoukas invite visitor creatives to have heated and hilarious chats about a few of the worst movies ever. Movies which might be so dangerous they’re entertaining, from Face/Off to Junior to The Room, are dissected and completely ridiculed.

Courtesy of BBC

Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review

Respected movie critic Mark Kermode has an infectious love of flicks and an unimaginable depth of information in regards to the world of movie, and Simon Mayo is a extremely expert, veteran radio presenter. Together they talk about the newest films, interview top-tier administrators and actors, and invite views from their listeners.

Courtesy of You Must Remember This

You Must Remember This

Diving into Hollywood myths to analyze and uncover the reality about notorious secrets and techniques, scandals, and legends from Tinseltown is a compelling premise for a present, and gifted creator and host Karina Longworth makes probably the most of it. The “Dead Blondes” sequence, which incorporates Marilyn Monroe, the run on Manson, and the “Frances Farmer” episode, are among the many finest.

Other Great Movie Podcasts:

  • The Rewatchables: Bill Simmons and a rotating solid of cohosts talk about and analyze beloved films and dig up attention-grabbing nuggets of trivia.
  • Lights Camera Barstool: Reviews, interviews, rankings, and accessible chats in regards to the films with popular culture debates on random questions thrown in.
  • Black Men Can’t Jump [in Hollywood]: This comedic film assessment podcast highlights movies that includes actors of shade and analyzes them in depth, with an eye fixed on race and variety.
Courtesy of The Paragon Collective

Darkest Night

Horror followers will get pleasure from reliving the final grotesque moments of varied corpses which have landed on the mysterious Roth-Lobdow Institute on this deliciously creepy and infrequently gross chiller. Wonderful narration from Lee Pace, performing from the likes of Denis O’Hare, Missi Pyle, and RuPaul, and intelligent sound design mix to make for a memorably thrilling experience that you just simply know goes to finish badly.

Courtesy of Hello from the Magic Tavern

Hello From the Magic Tavern

Thoroughly absurd, this fantasy improv-comedy present is the brainchild of Chicago comic Arnie Niekamp, who falls by way of a portal at a Burger King and leads to the magical world of Foon. The role-playing sport and fantasy references come thick and quick, friends play weird characters of their very own creation, and dependable listeners are rewarded with foolish long-running gags and wealthy lore.

Courtesy of Battle Bird Productions

We Fix Space Junk

Short and candy episodes of this sci-fi comedy-drama match neatly into gaps in your day and whisk you away to a nightmare company dystopia in a galaxy fraught with evil synthetic intelligence and monstrous aliens. Struggling restore technician Kilner will get caught with a wealthy homicide suspect and her polar reverse, Samantha Trapp, after unintentionally smuggling her throughout the galaxy on this polished present with a definite Nineteen Eighties really feel.

Other Great Fiction Podcasts:

  • The Bright Sessions: The remedy periods of mysterious psychologist Dr. Bright, bookended by voice notes, kind intriguing quick episodes, as all of her sufferers appear to have particular skills.
  • Welcome to Night Vale: This pioneering creepy present is introduced as a neighborhood radio broadcast from a desert city beset by paranormal and supernatural happenings.
Courtesy of Vox Media

Nice Try!

Striving for utopia has led to the event of some fascinating communities through the years, and season considered one of Nice Try! delves into their historical past, tries to grasp the idealism that drove them, and why these communities in the end failed. Season two strikes on to way of life expertise, from doorbells to vacuums, all designed to assist us understand a private utopia within the very best residence.

Courtesy of Revolutions

Revolutions

The fashionable world was formed by a few of the concepts that drove revolutions, and this deeply researched sequence runs by way of the English Civil War, American, French, Haitian, and Russian revolutions, Simon Bolivar’s liberation of South America, and extra. The writing is concise, the narration is partaking, and host Mike Duncan does a improbable job contextualizing revolutionary occasions and characters.

Courtesy of Radiotopia

The Memory Palace

An ephemeral, dreamy, emotional high quality elevates these tales of seemingly random moments from the previous, expertly advised by the eloquent Nate DiMeo and backed by fantastic sound design. These distilled tales function historic snapshots of not often mentioned occasions, and it’s arduous to consider one other podcast as clever and poignant as this one.

Other Great History Podcasts:

  • Something True: Enjoy totally weird true tales, as each episode of this podcast explores a novel however seemingly forgotten historic footnote.
  • Lore: Spooky and witty, this traditional podcast plumbs historical past to uncover horrifying folklore, mythology, and pseudoscience.
  • Medieval Death Trip: An enthusiastic and well-researched have a look at medieval instances, this podcast presents a witty evaluation of the first texts left behind.
Courtesy of Ramble

A Hotdog Is a Sandwich

Whatever aspect of the titular, age-old debate you stand on (I’m with the British Sandwich Association), this fast-paced, typically humorous present will suck you in because it poses powerful food-related questions after which debates them. Chefs Josh Scherer and Nicole Enayati resolve whether or not American cheese is basically cheese, if Popeye’s and In-N-Out are overrated, and what one of the best pasta form is.

Courtesy of Gastropod

Gastropod

If your love of meals extends to an curiosity within the historical past and science of every part from the common-or-garden potato to a soothing cup of tea to the ever polarizing licorice, then this podcast is for you. Knowledgeable cohosts Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley speak to specialists and serve up a feast of scrumptious bite-sized details that shock and delight.

Courtesy of The Ringer

The Dave Chang Show

Celebrity chef Dave Chang, whom it’s possible you’ll know from his Netflix present Ugly Delicious, talks largely about meals, responsible pleasures, and the inventive course of with different cooks and restaurateurs. There is a lot right here to fulfill foodies, however a few of the funniest moments come when the present covers different random subjects, like the proper e-mail sign-off or carrying footwear indoors.

Other Great Food Podcasts: 

  • Out To Lunch With Jay Rayner: This podcast seats you at a prime restaurant to snoop on consummate meals critic Jay Rayner with a celeb visitor on the subsequent desk.
  • The Sporkful: You can be taught lots about individuals and tradition by way of meals, and this podcast proves it by serving up delectable bite-sized insights.
Courtesy of Shiny Ranga

Wolf and Owl

Comedians and mates Tom Davis (the Wolf) and Romesh Ranganathan (the Owl) chat aimlessly and expertly poke enjoyable at one another for round an hour. It’s typically nostalgic, generally presents respectable recommendation for listeners, and is at all times warmhearted and laugh-out-loud humorous.

Courtesy of Team Coco

Why Won’t You Date Me? With Nicole Byer

Perennially single slapstick comedian Nicole Byer is each bit as charming and humorous right here as in Netflix’s Nailed It baking present, however this podcast delves into some grownup topics. Byer is disarmingly open about her insecurities and struggles and seamlessly stirs in vulgar humor. She may be very charismatic and hosts hilarious conversations with visitor comedians.

Courtesy of Athletico Mince

Athletico Mince

Ostensibly a soccer (soccer) podcast, this surreal present is delivered to life by lovable British comedy legend Bob Mortimer, with help from sidekick Andy Dawson. Tall tales about actual footballers, full with unusual voices and fictional personalities, are blended with songs, daft inside jokes, and rambling conversations. You don’t actually need to know something about soccer to get pleasure from it.

Other Great Comedy Podcasts:

  • Locked Together: Only on Audible, this present options lockdown chats between comic friends like Simon Pegg and Nick Frost or Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan.
  • Fake Doctors, Real Friends: Rewatching Scrubs with Zach Braff and Donald Faison is a joyous expertise that is each bit as entertaining, poignant, and foolish because the TV present.

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