Top 5 Podcasts


Stop listening to those same five rush hour radio hits and try these podcasts.

1. Stuff You Should Know
If you love impressing your friends with trivia, this is the show for you. Co-hosts Chuck Bryant and Josh Clark explain a lot of stuff that’s probably already on your radar (like 3D printing and Ebola), but once you listen you’ll be rattling off facts left and right. In addition to well-researched information, Bryant and Clark provide resources for further reading on whatever they happen to be talking about that show. I recommend the recent episode that decodes the inner workings of the NSA—all two percent of it the public knows about, anyway.  

2. Mysterious Universe
This podcast is like Stuff You Should Know but with a tighter focus: science, technology, and unexplained phenomena. The nine-man Australian team led by Benjamin Grundy and Aaron Wright isn’t going to lecture you on Biology 101 though; they go out of their way to find obscure and fascinating topics that will interest anyone. And if you like conspiracies, hauntings, or mysteries, then you definitely won’t want to miss it.

3. The Bugle
If you can handle a little bit of fowl language, British comedians John Oliver of The Daily Show and Andy Zaltzman will keep you laughing with their quick wit and zany comedy sketches. Oliver and Zaltzman had previously worked together on two other podcasts, but The Bugle, which began in 2007, has been the most successful.

4. 99% Invisible
Marketed as “A tiny radio show about design,” this podcast would be easy to miss in the wake of other widely successful NPR shows. Take a closer look, though, and you’ll find that 99% Invisible is all about, well, taking a closer look. In a traditional journalistic style, host Roman Mars explores how subtleties in our environment influence our behavior, like the creation of fake sports sounds used in TV broadcasts. A huge bonus of the show is Mars’s soothing voice. I’d give it four out of five Morgan Freemans.

5. Call Your Girlfriend
Besties Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow team up in this hilarious new podcast to discuss all things pop culture, from the potato salad Kickstarter to the recent Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case. This podcast has actually made me laugh out loud while I was running, and if that’s not an endorsement for why you should listen, I don’t know what is.

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