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The Most Awesome Podcasts

The Most Awesome Podcasts

By Eric Garneau

Podcasts, podcasts, podcasts. It seems everyone has a podcast about everything. But which are the best?! That's why we're here, folks. We've picked out some of the most entertaining casts from around the 'net, all free for your listening enjoyment. So if you've got: A) an hour to kill, B) an urge to laugh and C) a desire to learn some cool trivia, check out these sources of endless happiness (bee the dubs, in addition to the direct links we're providing below, you can get all of these on iTunes).

MOVIES:
Who doesn't love movies?! There are so many podcasts about movies, actually, that we couldn't pick just one to spotlight, so here are THREE of our favorites.

-Battleship Pretension: BP hosts Tyler Smith and David Bax are major film nerds, and we mean that in the best way. Once a week they share their encyclopedic knowledge of Hollywood with listeners in a variety of topics, from award winners to great directors to overlooked screen gems.
Recommended episode: "Episode 250," featuring comedians Mike Schmidt and Bill Dwyer (from Battlebots!!) and a hilarious discussion about Thor.

-Doug Loves Movies: Each week comedian Doug Benson brings three or more of his best comedy/film friends to the Upright Citizens Brigade theater in Los Angeles to talk movies and play the addictively fun Leonard Maltin Game.
Recommended episode: Doug really brings out the star power in this episode with David Cross (Arrested Development), Wayne Federman (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon) and Patton Oswalt (Ratatouille).

-How Did This Get Made?: Paul Scheer and Jason Mantzoukas (The League) plus June Diane Raphael (NTSF:SD:SUV::) look at some of the mostly awesomely bad movies Hollywood's ever produced in this bi-weekly show, which features a nice combination of filmmaking insight and straight-up hilarity.
Recommended episode: Paul F Tompkins (Best Week Ever) joins the crew for a look at last summer's monstrosity known as The Smurfs. Best part: "Second Opinions," where the crew reads 5-star reviews off Amazon.com. (You'll never guess what people who LOVED The Smurfs had to say about it.)

COMIC BOOKS:
-War Rocket Ajax: Longtime comic blog ComicsAlliance puts out this excellent weekly show co-hosted by writers Chris Sims and Matt Wilson. Every episode brings listeners a new comic book (or other pop culture) insider guest as well as a hilarious discussion of the things nerds really care about.
Recommended episode: On last year's Christmas episode, Chris, Matt, musician Eugene WarRock and comic writer Matt Fraction (Invincible Iron Man) dissect the Insane Clown Posse's Christmas record song-by-song (obviously that is an album meant to stand up to critical scrutiny).

MUSIC:
-NPR Live Concerts from All Songs Considered: You guys. Free live concerts. This archive of music is simply the best. If you're into indie rock at all, browse back through something like five years of full-show recordings featuring artists like the Decemberists, Tegan & Sara, the New Pornographers, the Civil Wars and even Weird Al. Awesome!
Recommend episode: Recent "Best New Artist" Grammy winner
Bon Iver rocks an incredible full-band set that includes material from both albums last November.

THE FUNNIEST:
-Comedy Bang Bang: When it comes to funny podcasts, CBB is king. That shouldn't be surprising: it's hosted by longtime comedy writer Scott Aukerman (whose credits include Mr. Show and the Between Two Ferns webseries) and features a parade of A-list guests taking part in interviews (both real and staged), and games. Nowhere else will you find such an engrossing rendition of the classic party standby "Would You Rather?"
Recommend episode: Weird Al Yankovic and Paul F. Tompkins (masquerading as Andrew Lloyd Weber) drop by the CBB studios for an afternoon of fun. How many different Weber song parodies can Weird Al come up with? "Don't fry for me, Marge and Tina!"

NERD VARIETY SHOW:
-The Nerdologues Present: Your Stories: sponsored by Chicago comedy troupe the Nerdologues (and produced/hosted by—ehem—me), every month this podcast lets listeners share stories about their nerdiest secrets. Sometimes they're funny and sometimes they're sad, but they're always honest. Music and comedy numbers are interspersed throughout the stories, making this a true variety show.
Recommended episode: The March 2012 episode has a loose music theme and features songs about anime clubs, looking up dirty stuff on the Internet and Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, as well as the regular assortment of nerdy confessions.

What are your favorite podcasts?

Tags: music, lists, life, reviews, podcasts

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