10 Best Podcasts Of 2020
We’re well into the pandemic at this point, so now is as good a time as any to start in on a new podcast or five. Chances are, you’re up to date on whatever you already listen to and could probably use a fresh voice, topic, or a mix of both. Seeing as there are over 800,000 podcasts (with something like 30 million episodes) out there, it doesn’t matter what your interest is, we guarantee there are at least 50 podcasts about it, with new episodes coming out all the time.
Trying to figure out which of those podcasts are good would be a gargantuan task. You could listen to friends or hope that the “You Might Also Like” section of your podcast app is up to snuff, but those approaches might be hit or miss. Know what’s not going to be hit or miss? Reading the rest of this article and realizing we picked out the best podcasts for you.
1. The Daily Show With Trevor Noah- Ears Edition
If you don’t know what The Daily Show with Trevor Noah is, you’ve clearly been living under a rock for the last few years. The show made famous by Jon Stewart and now helmed by Noah now has a podcast arm. Ears Edition features both highlights and extended interviews from Daily Show episodes. If you’re one of the ones that just watch the show highlights that Comedy Central puts on YouTube the following day, this podcast is for you.
2. How Did This Get Made?
Comic actors Paul Sheer, June Diane Raphael, and Jason Manzoukas host this hilarious podcast about movies that are so bad they’re somehow good. Most episodes feature a special celebrity guest, who they force to watch some iconic bad movie (think: Underworld, Space Jam, Little Italy) before coming on. Then, they all discuss the wonderful ridiculousness of said movie and try to figure out how it possibly got made.
3. 10 Things That Scare Me.
This one’s pretty self-explanatory. During each episode, a new person will literally sit in a room alone and talk about his or her biggest fears. From cockroaches to death, flying, large crowds and even boredom, the discussions run from funny to deep and everything in-between.
4. Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People.
Comedian Chris Gethard spends one hour on the phone with an anonymous caller—on the air. No topic is off-limits, which leads to surprisingly interesting conversations, including one with a mass shooting survivor who called in back in 2018 to share his experience.
5. What To Watch On Netflix.
Having made it incredibly difficult to decide what to watch on an empty Thursday night, Netflix has taken the initiative in making the task slightly easier. This is a straightforward bit of promo puff for their own shows, yes, but it’s a high-class one. It points out what’s new and there’s a bit of chat about the themes and issues recent releases have thrown up. Don’t expect heavy-duty critique, but it’ll have access to some very decent behind-the-scenes interviews with the key players.
6. Home Cooking.
More people are cooking at home during quarantine, driven by some combination of boredom and necessity. But limited access to groceries can challenge even the most experienced chefs. Salt Fat Acid Heat cookbook author and chef Samin Nosrat (who also stars in a Netflix show that shares a name with her book) and veteran podcaster Hrishikesh Hirway (The West Wing Weekly and Song Exploder) have teamed up to answer any and all quarantine-cooking questions. Have no idea what to do with the bags upon bags of beans you grabbed in a hurried, panicky trip to the grocery store? Need to bake a cake, but you’re completely out of baking powder? Want to join the sourdough-starter trend? They’ve got you. The combination of Nosrat’s unwavering optimism and Hirway’s inquisitiveness makes for joyful listening.
7. Rabbit Hole.
New York Times columnist Kevin Roose traced one young man’s journey down the rabbit hole of the internet, from liberalism to the alt-right and back again, in his 2019 article “The Making of a YouTube Radical.” Roose set out to prove that YouTube’s algorithm, designed to keep people watching, led to the political radicalization of disillusioned or lost young people who got sucked into toxic virtual worlds on the platform. Roose is now spinning that story into a longer podcast about how the internet has transformed our culture and politics by recommending videos, social media posts and search results that pull us in different ideological directions and then feed us with content that makes us feel vindicated for forming those views in the first place.
Despite the dark holes that Roose reveals, he’s not a pessimist: After all, the internet has become a somewhat more welcoming place in recent months as friends and family connect on Zoom calls, through online games and over social media. Instead Roose sets out to prove that tech companies can make the Internet more productive and less hostile—and that they really ought to invest in that future.
8. Staying In With Emily And Kumail
Comedic couple Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani are well equipped to serve as social-distancing gurus: as fans of Gordon and Nanjiani’s semi-autobiographical film The Big Sick know, Gordon fell ill and was put into a medically induced coma early in their relationship. As an immunocompromised person, she’s no stranger to self-isolating when she feels unwell—and she has unusually good advice for dealing with the mental health ramifications of quarantine, given that she was a therapist before she became a Hollywood screenwriter. On the podcast, the couple shares the daily trials of isolation—like accidentally dropping a glass of water onto their beloved Nintendo Switch. When she’s not cracking jokes, Gordon offers ways to manage feelings of depression and anxiety. Their chemistry and care for one another, and their loving banter, buoys this podcast above other celebrity shows.
9. On Purpose
Jay Shetty’s purpose is to make wisdom go viral. On Purpose podcast brings fascinating conversations with some of the most insightful people in the world straight to viewers all over the world. It is based on real life situations and is very informative.
10. The Yes Theory
In order to achieve growth, discomfort is unavoidable. So why not seek it out? Yes Theory co-founders Matt, Ammar, and Thomas are turning off the cameras and turning on the mics to reflect upon how Discomfort actually might hold the keys to meaning and happiness. The Yes Theory Podcast shares behind-the-scenes stories and talks with expert guests to gather insights about the world at large, our place in it, and one another.
Podcasts have taken over any spare moment of silence. While we used to enjoy primarily listening on a commute or car ride, the world is looking for a sweet reprieve from screen life. Nothing better to end the day with than a voice gently relaying all kinds of higher knowledge to you. It’s a perfect way to pass the time whether you’re walking, cleaning, cooking, staring into nothingness.
Lucky for us in these trying times, podcasting can pretty much be done from anywhere. And since everyone has more time on their hands, new podcasts are continuously being released. So give these podcasts a shot and let us know which ones you enjoyed.
Find out more about making exercising fun with dancing.
Read more on the Top 10 Best Selling Novels of all time.
If you’re interested in finding out more, check out https://time.com/5907401/best-podcasts-2020/