Resident excellent person EMILY MELLER recommends some top-notch podcasts that’ll make you all the more worldly. If you listen to podcasts and you haven’t heard of – or subscribed to – these ones already, what universe are you even in?

 

WTF With Marc Maron

Marc Maron is like that uncle who always dishes out depressing ‘life advice’ at family events, if that uncle were friends with Louis C.K. It’s a depressing kind of funny – though to be honest, his whole belligerent, self-deprecating, nice-guys-finish-last schtick gets a little tiresome at times. Luckily, he mostly makes up for it by having great back and forths with his ridiculously high-calibre comedic guests. At least once an episode, he’ll come out with something so on-point (and brutally honest) that you’ll laugh until you cry. His interview with RuPaul is particularly brilliant, mainly because Marc Maron is about as different from a self-made drag queen megastar as you can get, so he is willing to ask anything and everything.

Check out: Episode 498 with RuPaul Charles is a fantastic and hilarious chat that goes into everything from whether it’s okay to use the word “tranny”, to comparing experiences on hallucinogenics. It has humour, genuine rapport and enough on issues surrounding gender norms to make you think. Marc Maron gets to be funny without veering into the self-indulgent territory he inhabits in some of the other episodes.

 

Nardwuar The Human Serviette

Music nerds have probably already heard of Nardwuar and his legendary interview style. He usually starts out by asking, “who are you?” before giving the interviewee a very personal ‘present’ and spiralling into a bizarre line of questioning. There is something hilarious and satisfying about hearing musicians and celebrities caught completely off guard. Sometimes it goes well – Drake called it the best interview of his life, as did Ed Sheeran, while David Cross… actually just go listen to it, right now – and sometimes it goes very, very badly (see: Nas). In his recent talk with Mac DeMarco, it almost seemed like the “Human Serviette” met his match for weirdness (“Mac DeMarco, you have only put drum sticks up your arse once.”) You were warned.

Check out:Nardwuar vs. Mikhail Gorbachev’ – this interview takes place in a press conference and is well outside both his normal subject and setting. Still hilarious – he attempts to ask questions in Russian, including of the leaders in the free world, “who has the largest pants?” For something more musical, check out ‘Nardwuar vs. Jay-Z’. The dude is so awkward.

 

Planet Money

I almost didn’t include this one because it sounds shamefully nerdy, even for me. I first heard it on the TAL[1] episode ‘The Social Contract’, and I’m a little hooked. For someone whose understanding of the financial world could be a lot (a lot)better, this podcast really is both interesting and informative. With titles like ‘The Eddie Murphy Rule’ and ‘The M&M Anomaly’, it makes learning about money, finance and commerce kind of (gasp) fun. Looks like I’m off to buy a suit.

Check out: Episode 288 ‘Manufacturing The Song Of The Summer’, which peeks into RiRi’s fairly epic “music factory”. You will never hear hit songs the same way again. Or, at least now you have some concrete economic evidence that they all sound oddly similar/manufactured.

 

1. For you non-podcast-listening folk: This American Life