You Pod, I Pod

When podcasting started to trend back when iPods and iTunes hit it’s third generation, I gave them little attention. Now that I  have more than an hour to and from (and at) the gym, and about 45 min to get to work I’m finding them extremely entertaining. Here’s a list of my current faves in listy list order:

5. Humble and Fred. “For 20 years Humble and Fred destroyed commercial radio” is the intro for these two ex-jockeys who I’ve been following for …uh… 20 years. I remember when they started at The Edge and enjoyed their banter. Glad to see them back. I’ve subscribed to them without hearing a full episode, but trust them based on their past …uh… 20 years of experience. I like them, I trust them to bring a funny and occasionally thoughtful show. You should too.

4. Imagineering My Way. I’ve just found this Blue Sky Disney podcast after dropping two of the most popular Disney podcasts out of frustration (See below) and I’m finind it curious and engaging, two shows in. It’s filling my nerd gap between my Disney Travel trivia and my Disney tech organs. While the show isn’t put together by an Imagineer as the title suggests, it’s culled by someone who likes to think he is, which makes it identifiable and opinionated – but not in an obnoxious way. The companion website is a bit… 1998, but the podcast has moments of quirky brilliance.

3. Laser Time. I stumbled upon these guys via iTunes search when looking for “games, nerd, tech”. They deliver this in spades. I have no idea about their back story, but their first ‘cast mentions past transgressions on another podcast that I suspect got too big and too close to their careers, which they might have let loose a couple disparaging opinions on. Whatever. They start their first podcast with a knockout subject for nerds – Star Wars! But sadly they dropped a couple off colour gay jokes within the first 20 minutes. I overlooked that and shouldered on. I loved the banter but they need to reduce the amount of soundboard audio inserts by half. Its like listening to a cheesey morning show. But, three episodes into it, I’m liking what they’re doing.

2. Pod is My Copilot. I found “Pod” through Taylor’s Instagram feed. It’s weird finding a podcast via a picture app but you really do discover gems when you read people’s profiles. These three have literally no taboo topics (okay, facial gimps freaks out Taffy but she will gladly discuss sexing up her husband in the back seat of the family minivan in a mall parking lot) and the three have a great dynamic: Rodan the sex fiend, Taffy the sex fiend fag hag and Taylor is the apparent “prude” (air quotes – he can dish out the odd tryst and dirty story).  Their show is nothing more than discussing their experiences from the past week and allow meandering down conversational paths which makes you feel like you’re sitting in on three friends dishing at the table next to you. I’d like to know the history of these three but the site is without any kind of “about us” page. UPDATE: Yesterday with the release of their 200th episode, the three of them did a big production of being “replaced” with other hosts from three other low level podcasts. Right on the heels of being nominated for best LGBT podcast? Odd. I hope it’s a joke…

1. Nerdist. I’ve been following Chris Hardwick since he would fill in on Attack of the Show – where he talked about tech, gadgets and nerd topics, and then onto his own Web Soup, where he discussed web videos for full comedy effect. For the last couple years, he and his two best friends Jonah Ray and Matt Mira, have been discussing all things nerdist but with a heavier slant on stand up comedy (evident by the list of guests they’ve had over their podcasting history). It’s been fun to watch this show snowball over it’s lifetime and seeing the fanbase grow – a lot like a comic con but without the sweaty freaks and packed retail floor. Chris’ close proximity to celebrity A-list geeks and nerds affords him a great list of guests: Billy West, the voice of Fry and many others from Futurama; Penn Jillette of Penn and Teller, who tells a wicked short person vs monkey story; the cast of Dr Who; the cast of Walking Dead (pre-fired Frank Darabont) and many more, so the show is always interesting, even when they’re doing a “Hostful” show – sans guest – where they just sit around and converse.

I’ve recently stopped listening to the two highest rated Disney Info podcasts: The Dis Unplugged and WDW Radio for bi-polar reasons.

I unsubbed The DisUnplugged for being a bit too opinionated: in the beginning, I liked their honest approach to Disney, often lambasting the House of Mouse for whatever reason – I found it refreshing that they thought Disney was not without reproach. But in the last 6 months I’ve noticed they’ve tipped over into negativity that seemed unwarranted. Their last three shows where they reviewed their Adventures by Disney trip to London and Paris was a symphony of complaints bracketed by “But it was the best trip I’ve ever taken”. Literally, Pete the host, started out each of the 3, one hour episodes saying how he had only ONE complaint (his emphasis) but yet managed to gripe about every segment of their trip they reported on. Food, shopping, cleanliness, host attitudes, guide descriptions, weather, tours, tour subjects, the Mona Lisa, crime, room temperature and many other topics were trashed. But yet they infuriatingly finish the show with a negated, throw-away acceptance comment that they had a great time. Remind me never to book group travel with them.

I’ve stopped listening to WDW Radio for being too treacle. The site and the podcast are a cornucopia of Disney information, history and trivia but without any kind of back up of personal commentary, it gets a bit grating on the nerves. After a while the podcast comes across as a travel agent pitch or a hour-long resume to Disney. The tipping point for me was when Lou Mongello, the host, made veiled gay jokes when suggesting holding hands and skipping through the park with one of his male podcast guest. Repeatedly. Across 3 episodes. Ugh.

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