Five podcasts to keep you company through your winter commutes
By Nathan Kunz, Contributor
Winter in Calgary is nearly synonymous with long commutes. Whether there’s been three accidents on Glenmore on a Monday morning or rage-inducing rush-hour traffic on Crowchild daily, tacking an extra 15 minutes onto your commute time has become a celebrated annual event for Calgarians. When you’re bumper to bumper on Deerfoot, watching your clock tick over 9 a.m. and coming to terms with the fact you’re going to miss your early morning Gen-Ed class, having a good podcast to rely on can be a godsend. Here’s five titles to make your mornings a little more bearable:
Last Podcast on the Left
Hosted by Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks and Henry Zebrowski, Last Podcast on the Left takes a light hearted approach to discussing true crime, conspiracy and supernatural topics. Subjects are researched in depth, regardless of their absurdity, as the hosts deliver highly accurate accounts of some of history’s most notorious killers while firing out outrageous jokes and impressions every other sentence. With nearly 300 episodes available on iTunes, Last Podcast on the Left offers listeners with guilt-free info on just about every topic related to the horror genre while remaining upbeat and fun.
Where to start: Episodes 288-291: Robert Pickton, for the Canadian flair.
Looking to keep up with the news while killing time in your car? The Daily offers bursts of the day’s top headlines through quality journalism from The New York Times. Hosted by reporter Michael Barbaro, The Daily is a fantastic tool for keeping up with the biggest stories emerging from the overwhelming tornado of headlines courtesy of the 45th President of the United States and pals. Using both first hand interviews as well as behind-the-scenes chats with journalists working on complex stories, The Daily creates engaging and informative content every weekday to help listeners try to keep up in what can be a dizzying 24 hour news cycle.
Where to start: Whatever episode came out today. Jump right in!
What about Canada? Check out Jesse Brown’s Canadaland for something a little closer to home.
Comedy Bang Bang
With their “new” catchphrase “The show where we talk to interesting people” still being pitched to nearly every guest who visits to Earwolf studio, Comedy Bang Bang continues to innovate and push the boundaries of comedy podcasting every week. With most episodes consisting of the same four segment formula —a real guest, followed by two characters portrayed by comedians and actors and the beloved concluding “plugs” section— Comedy Bang Bang finds ways to combine whacky characters with a surreal casual tone. Every episode presents a new, unpredictable dynamic between characters and host Scott Aukerman, creating an incredibly fun listen for their dedicated audience.
Where to start: Any episode with Paul F. Tompkins. Episode 510 with Andy Samberg, Tompkins and Drew Tarver is a personal favourite.
I Was There Too
Playing off the “No small parts” mindset, I Was There Too gives the listener a better understanding of the movie-making process from actors who played small roles in some of the greatest films of all time. Hosted by actor Matt Gourley, the podcast consists of interviews with actors from flicks across the genre-board, from Star Wars to Catwoman to Inglourious Basterds. With anecdotes from people who experienced great moments first hand, the podcast is a great way to better understand the film industry from the inside out.
Where to start: Django Unchained and Get Out with Marcus Henderson
Comedians Gareth Reynolds and Dave Anthony explore the most absurd stories of American history, a topic which has no shortage of available real estate. By leaving Reynolds in the dark, the podcast creates a relationship between the listener and host, as you experience the ridiculous storylines in unison with him. With stories ranging from terrifying early colonial tales to more recent but just as ridiculous events left out of the history books, The Dollop is a fantastic place to find the next great story to tell your friends.
Where to start: Episode 12 —The Rube, the story of an ace pitcher who was often distracted mid-game by puppies, firetrucks and wrestled alligators in the off-season.