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The Best Podcasts According To My Brain

Before coming to Game Informer, I was a content manager for the websites of five different local newspaper in South Carolina. My job was to take online content, and manage it. It was a lot of copy/pasting without a whole lot of thought. One thing it did allow me to do though, was listen to lots and lots of podcasts. I became a connoisseur of the medium.

Working at Game Informer means less time for podcast listening (a non-complaint I am more than happy to make), but these are the special ones. These are the ones I make time to listen to as much as possible. And then there are a few that are still great, but I simply don’t have time for any more.

10. The Indoor Kids – Host/comedian Kumail Nanjiani and his wife Emily V. Gordon get together with other comedians and talk about video games. In a weird way, I like to hear people whose lives do not revolve around video games talk about the medium so passionately. They also make funny jokes, which is always great. It also seems like Kumail and his wife Emily have a similar relationship to my wife and me. We should all go out to dinner and talk about video games sometime.

Suggested episode: Dan Harmon is the man behind the show Community, he loves video games, and he’s super smart. Hearing him talk about Skyrim is a treat.

9. The Nerdist – Host/comedian Chris Hardwick and his co-hosts Jonah Ray and Matt Mira bring on guests from television, movies, and the world of comedy and they talk about nerdy stuff. Or in lieu of that, they talk about things that guests are nerds about.

Suggested episode: Robert Kirkman writes The Walking Dead comic book, is involved with the show, and is a funny dude. There is also a special guest appearance from Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof, and it's all very entertaining.

8. How Did This Get Made? – Paul Scheer (of Human Giant fame), June Diane Raphael, Jason Mantzoukas and a guest watch bad movies and talk about how terrible they are while wondering, "how did this get made?" Mantzoukas in particular shines as he gets audibly angry about movies like Battlefield Earth and Mac & Me.

Suggested episode: Pick a movie you have seen and think is terrible and listen to that.

7. The Pod F. Tompkast – I have a confession, actually. I think Paul F. Tompkins one of the funniest men alive. He is also a frequent guest on all of the other comedy podcasts on this list. His podcast is a little bit different than others, being a much more structured, less conversational affair. He does, however, start every episode with bizarre stream of conscious ramblings that are consistently hilarious.

Suggested episode: There is a narrative that stretches between the episodes, so starting from the beginning is a good idea. Tim meadows reading a Google Voice translated version of Martin Luther King Jr.’s I have a Dream speech is hilarious.

6. The Moth Podcast
– The Moth Podcast is interesting stories by interesting people. There will be the stray celebrity or comedian that shows up to tell a story, but many of the best ones are just from regular people. The stories are always well-honed, interesting, and never too long.

Suggested episode: The Moth only keeps a few episodes up at a time, so the best I can suggest is to just start listening.

5. Doug Loves Movies
– Doug Benson is known as a comedian who makes jokes about his love for smoking pot, but his other obsession is film. His show is recorded live every week and he always has three guests, usually from the world of comedy, but often from the world of film. Edgar Wright, director of Scott Pilgrim and Shaun of the Dead is a frequent guest. Every week they play the Leonard Maltin game (a game Doug created) and it’s always hilarious and exciting.

Suggested episode: Whenever Paul F. Tompkins or T.J. Miller comes on, you’re in for a treat.

4. WTF with Marc Maron – Marc Maron has been a comedian for decades, and despite rubbing shoulders and even being good friends with folks like Louis C.K. and Zach Galifianakis, he never really hit the mainstream. He shines brilliantly in his podcast, however, with genuine conversations with comedians and actors about their lives and often their hardships. There are always jokes to be had, but the podcast often hits touching notes, too.

Suggested episode: Look up one of your favorite comedian or actors and listen to their episode. I can almost guarantee that you will be surprised by what you hear.

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