Podcasts of the moment

Answer Me This

Let me preface this post with a little rant…  I hate the term Podcast.  Why? Well, really, the programmes don’t have to be on an iPod and could be called mp3casts, which is more accurate.  Just me being pedantic…  It’s the whole vacuum/Hoover thing really…  As for iTunes, don’t get me started on how horrible that is…  😉


I thought I’d do a little post about the Podcasts that I find most interesting at the moment.  The reason for doing this is that I always find it difficult to find good Podcasts to listen to that aren’t irritating or really amateurish, so this could be useful to someone.

So, to the list! (all of which are available on iTunes..)

1.  Hollywood Babble-on – Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman

Currently my favourite of all the Smodcasts, this one is a recorded live show and features Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman in a relatively structured format.   Ralph Garman is a KROQ radio host based in LA and got together with Kevin Smith for this podcast after numerous guest spots by Smith on Garman’s section of The Kevin and Bean show on KROQ.  Primarily centred around current Hollywood and general entertainment news, the pair chat and improvise on topical themes, but the podcast has evolved over the last year to have it’s own in jokes, so is worth listening to from the beginning; new episodes aren’t confusing though even if you haven’t listened to the old ones!


2.  Answer Me This! – Helen Zaltzman and Olly Mann (not forgetting Martin the soundman)

This is sort of like ‘The Last Word’ in New Scientist, but about any subject, if that helps…  A simple premise, whereby listeners send in questions and the presenters discuss what the answers either are or could be.  Generally, the questions are either silly or odd, although some are quite sensible, but it is mainly the good rapport and conversation between the hosts that makes this a winner.  As an aside, Helen Zaltzman is the sister of comedian Andy Zaltzman…


3.  Hardcore History – Dan Carlin

Dan Carlin is an American Political commentator and not a professional historian.  That said, he brings a remarkable passion and knowledge to these podcasts, which are highly engrossing.  The delivery is well executed and even some of what could the most boring subjects become engaging.


4.  A Bit of a Chat with Ken Plume

Quite an intimate podcast in feel, this features phone or skype calls between the eponymous Ken Plume and a guest, who either chat about random things, the guests career or some topical event/item.  Mr Plume, a nerdy, lovable fellow with a love of Dr Who, chats to whoever he finds interesting, so there is a good mix of well known people and other equally interesting, but less known writers, comedians, musicians and actors.  Guests have included: Molly Lewis, Graham Linehan, David Mitchell, Paul F. Tompkins, Ricky Gervais, Jane Goldman, Dan Harmon, Jeri Ryan, Tim Minchin and Jonathan Coulton to name but a few!


5.  Nerdist – Chris Hardwick, with Jonah Ray and Matt Mira

Chris Hardwick (of Singled out!) hosts this podcast, with contributors Jonah and Matt, which is a lighthearted look at all things nerd, as part of his Nerdist empire.  Quite often there will be a guest who will shape what direction the conversation will go in, but sometimes the show is more freeform or about some topical item.  Guests have included Wil Wheaton, Felicia Day, Alison Brie, Bryan Cranston, Alison Scagliotti, Neil Gaiman, Eliza Dushku, and many more, so you can see what audience this is targeted at!


6.  Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews

The best film reviews you’ve ever heard!  I hope that isn’t overselling it.  🙂  Basically, Mark Kermode is a great film reviewer and also a highly interesting chap, and Simon Mayo is the perfect foil for him, letting their banter naturally flow.  Often highly insightful, and also passionate about film, Kermode is good in every show, but his rants are things of beauty.


7.  Tell ’em Steve-Dave – Bryan Johnson, Walt Flanagan, and Brian Quinn

Another Smodcast show, Tell ’em Steve-Dave is the east coast group of Kevin Smith friends, who do a relatively free form weekly podcast.  Occasionally structured around a theme, more often than not it will be vaguely centred around a topical event in their lives.  Each cast member has a distinctive personality and the more you learn about them the more you get out of it, finding yourself more engrossed in their lives and foibles.


Hopefully, there will be something in the above list that you find interesting and if anyone has any suggestions, then feel free to share! 🙂

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