Have your ears been lonely? Headphones collecting dust? Well perk up your iPhones, Unrealtors, time for another edition of You Should Really Give A Listen To…
Today we’ll be highlighting three podcasts you may not have heard of, but ones you hopefully won’t regret pressing play with.
THE INDOOR KIDS
You know those brief lulls in adult conversation where you dare to reach out and talk about Pac-Man? Those moments at the dinner table that transform from traffic patterns and work problems to best Mario power-up and worst Zelda dungeon? How those wind up being all you want to talk about all night? Imagine a podcast where it’s okay to be a grownup who hates blue turtle shells. Come inside and play with The Indoor Kids
Husband and wife team Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon host this weekly chat show that isn’t just about video games, but isn’t not about video games. Crisscrossing between introspective looks into Skyrim, day-to-day married life shenanigans, and just what bootlegging video games in Pakistan used to be like, The Indoor Kids reaches a broad spectrum of discussion, typically centered around gaming, but without the typical fanaticism or criticism that most gaming podcasts can’t quite seem to get over.
Instead, The Indoor Kids offers a more modern, more thoughtful, and, ultimately, more enjoyable look at our favorite electronics entertainment. Gaming has historically carried an unfortunate stigma of immaturity, but shows like The Indoor Kids help to further the cause in legitimizing games as an acceptable outlet for adults without being preachy or esoteric.
Instead, it’s all rather quite…common. Gaming is treated as a part of life, no more or less strange or immature than any of the other strange or immature things we do. It’s programs like The Indoor Kids that gives me hope that gaming can comfortably make its way into the cultural focus without being shoehorned. It also helps that both hosts are completely hysterical, the guest list is always intriguing (Dan Harmon? The Game Grumps? Troy Baker? I’m in!), and with episodes rarely running over an hour and a half, it’s like the best video game conversation you ever had over dinner on a weekly basis.
This is how to share our love with the masses, gamers. Listen up.
THE MOTH PODCAST
I forgot how much I love a good story.
The Moth is an-ever growing live sensation where performers are invited on stage…to tell a story. But there are rules: the story must be true, it must be YOUR story, and you can’t bring notes on stage. What comes out of these absolutely fascinating events is a buffet of tales to take your breath away, choke you with laughter, and always, always, always lean in and listen.
There aren’t too many bells and whistles with The Moth Podcast. In the spirit of old school radio personalities like Paul Harvey, you’re just getting stories. But it’s this elegance that makes The Moth so intriguing. This podcast evokes something ancient within. You suddenly get why people used to sit around fires and listen to one person talk. It speaks to a universal, timeless aspect of humanity that’s becoming more and more diluted as entertainment grows brighter and wider.
And you never see it coming. Each week The Moth Podcast shares stories from every step of every walk of life. Care to know what it was like to be inside the Fukushima Reactor when the earthquake hit? Wanna hear about the world’s worst Facebook “prank”? How about how it took a man being eviscerated on the streets of New York City to know he finally belonged?
The Moth’s stories are waiting to take flight.
Easily my guiltiest pleasure podcast, Hollywood Babble-On features filmmaker and podcaster extraordinaire Kevin Smith and hilarious cohost Ralph Garman as they tear Hollywood, celebrities, and pop culture in general to itty bitty bits. Normally such TMZ/Perez Hilton style chit-chat repulses me, but HBO is a show unlike most.
Sure there are oodles and kaboodles of chit-chat and hen-peckery, but Kevin, and, especially, Ralph find ways to keep things funny, and, most importantly, original. Anyone could riff on the headlines, but instead Kevin and Ralph incorporate various segments and bits to keep things flowing freshly. Think of it as an X-rated Johnny Carson meets variety show, complete with dirty-worded theme songs and always concluding with a massive discussion involving Liam Neeson and…well, you’ll have to hear for yourself. Bring a helmet.
While Kevin is always entertaining, the real star of the show is Ralph Garman. A veteran of the LA radio scene, and the weird and wild world of Hollywood in general, Garman brings quick wit and razor sharp impressions that really make you wonder why he isn’t the most successful comedian in America. Wait’ll you hear his Adam West. Or mumbling Harrison Ford. Or my personal favorite: David Lynch. Or his general thoughts about Chelsea Handler. Again, the man should be a sensation.
Either way, we get him weekly, and it’s cheeky, sophomoric sublimity. Don’t expect this podcast to legitimize your favorite pastime or offer up life-changing true stories. Do expect to have a fun time turning your brain off and laughing along. This is always my first podcast to listen to once it’s downloaded, and I’ve gone through the entire catalog of episodes at least twice.
HBO is the tastiest mindless brain candy of podcasts out there, and I don’t mind one bit if it gives my ears diabetes.
That’s it for now, Unrealtors. Get to listening! Already a fan of these shows? Sound off!
Adam Esquenazi Douglas is a playwright who was born in Texas, grew up in Arkansas, was raised by a Jewish man and a Cuban woman, and, somehow, he doesn’t have an accent. His plays have been produced across the United States, as well as in Canada and Japan.
He is co-host of two podcasts, The JimmyJew Podcast Extravaganza and Schmame Over, which can be found at http://jimmyjew.libsyn.com/ and http://schmameover.libsyn.com/ respectively, as well as on iTunes. He is a contributing writer to www.GamersSchmamers.com.
He currently lives in Brooklyn where he drinks far too much coffee.