My Top 10 Podcasts of 2016

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What is a podcast?

A podcast is like listening to a morning radio talk show, but the main difference is that you get to choose what topic the hosts talk about. Where a radio talk show will discuss celebrities, general world news, etc., podcast topics vary drastically. There are podcasts for everyone, whether you like comedy, movies, history, politics, economics, social issues, parenting, and so on.

You can find most podcasts on iTunes and can access them from any smartphone. If you have an iPhone, then you simply subscribe to the podcast you're interested in through the iTunes app. It’s that simple. If you use an android device, then you will have to download a podcast player from the Google Play Store (an extra step, but a simple one). I suggest an app called Pocket Casts. Alternatively, you can listen to podcasts from any laptop or desktop computer by using iTunes or other podcast programs/websites.

Podcasts are hosted on media websites such as Libsyn.com (this is the host I use for my podcast). Those websites allow a person to upload their podcast audio and then edit its information, such as: title, description, artwork, etc. All of this information is then published to a RSS feed, and that RSS feed is what iTunes uses to read the podcast data and update it when the podcaster adds new episodes.

Why should you listen to podcasts?

Like i said in the paragraph above, podcasts are a great way to indulge in your catered interests. Feel like having a laugh? Listen to a comedy podcast. Want to learn about history? Listen to a history podcast. The point is, podcasts give you the power to stop and start a conversation about whatever interests you in the moment.

Without further ado, here are my top 10 podcasts for 2016. This list will be updated in the future, and all update notes can be found at the bottom of the article. Also, it should be noted that this list is presented in no particular order. Enjoy!

My top 10 podcasts:

1. My Brother, My Brother, And Me

My Brother, My Brother and Me (often acronymed to MBMBAM, pronounced muh-bim-bam) is a comedy podcast on the Maximum Fun podcast network. It’s hosted by 3 brothers: Justin McElroy, Travis McElroy, and Griffin McElroy, whom each week, attempt to give advice to the public. They put their own comedic spin on the advice and often digress into “goofs” where they perform different impressions and rant about horses.

MBMBAM is for people who like goofy humor, people giving advice, and brotherly love. For the most part, the brothers stay away from offensive humor (religious, political, sexual, abusive, etc) but may sometimes dip a toe in that pond. MBMBAM may tout itself as an advice podcast, but it’s more appropriately a podcast about 3 brothers talking and acting silly.

New episodes release every Monday.

Episodes are about 1 hour long.

2. Comedy Bang Bang

Comedy Bang Bang is a weekly podcast on the Earwolf podcast network. It’s hosted by actor/comedian/writer Scott Aukerman. Each week he usually has one or two guests on who are being “interviewed” as themselves. Joining them are other comedians who improvise as characters. Improv comedy alumni like Paul F Tompkins, Lauren Lapkus, Ben Schwartz, Thomas Middleditch, etc make frequent appearances on the podcast.

Comedy Bang Bang is for people who enjoy improvisational comedy. Although Scott Aukerman often exclaims “it’s not that kind of show” when the comedians veer into raunchy, overtly sexual humor, it should be noted that Comedy Bang Bang can be very explicit. This is a podcast that could easily offend those who find sexual, racist, and abusive humor to be...well...offensive.

New episodes release every Monday.

Episodes are about 1.5 hours long.

3. The Weekly Planet

The Weekly Planet is a weekly podcast about comic book movies. It is hosted by James Junior Editor (he doesn’t want to give out his last name) and co-host Nick Mason. James was the Junior Editor of the website comicbookmovies.com where you can find all sorts of news and information about...well...comic book movies. Each week, James and Nick bring their Australian humor and accents to discuss the latest nerdy entertainment news.

The Weekly Planet is for people who like comic books, graphic novels, and movies. Nick and James have good chemistry that feels like listening to two genuine friends just “shooting the shit” about nerdy pop culture.

New episodes release every Monday.

Episodes are about 1.5 hours long.

4. The Comedy Button

The Comedy Button is a weekly podcast hosted by five goofballs: Anthony Gallegos, Scott Bromley, Brian Altano, Max Scoville, and Ryan Scott. The show was originally called The Gamespy Debriefings, but was relaunched as The Comedy Button after the Gamespy website shut down. All of the hosts are either currently working in, or at some time have worked in, the video game industry. The show isn’t really about anything. It’s just five guys hanging out talking about raccoons, being Italian, pinball machines, hipster/stoner life, playing video games, getting drunk, and how Ryan Scott is a cartoon character.

The Comedy Button is for people who enjoy listening to friends talk about random shit. This podcast will definitely not be for everyone--it's catered towards the fans who have listened to these hosts since the beginning, but I’m confident that even new listeners will fall in love with the hosts.

New episodes release every Friday.

Episodes are about 1 hour long.

5. Judge John Hodgman

Judge John Hodgman is a weekly podcast on the Maximum Fun podcast network. It’s hosted by comedian/actor John Hodgman who you might remember as playing the “PC Guy” opposite of Justin Long in those older Apple commercials. Each week, random people bring a case to John Hodgman as he pretends to be a judge. Playing as bailiff to Judge John Hodgman is Jesse Thorn, host of other podcasts on the Maximum Fun network, as well as the founder of the Maximum Fun network.

Judge John Hodgman is for people who are interested in hearing light-hearted disputes, like: “who should do the dishes after dinner?” or “is a hotdog a sandwich?”. Although the disputes are usually non-issues, it is still a very interesting podcast where you can learn some fun facts to share with your friends. Judge John Hodgman is family-friendly podcast with the occasional minor curse word or two per episode.

New episodes release every Wednesday.

Episodes are about 1 hour long.

6. Beautiful Anonymous

Beautiful Anonymous is a weekly podcast on the Earwolf podcast network. It’s hosted by actor/comedian Chris Gethard (Broad City). Each week, Chris Gethard answers a phone call from a random, anonymous person. The anonymous person is given one hour to talk about whatever they want, and Chris is prohibited from hanging up on them regardless of the topic.

Beautiful Anonymous is for people who enjoy hearing candid conversations with real people. The podcast has a mellow tone, almost “indie” in feeling, if that makes sense. So if you’re looking for an upbeat, energetic podcast, then this one is not for you. That being said, Chris Gethard is a still a comedian, so he keeps things fun and light even when the conversations get depressing.

New episodes release almost every Tuesday.

Episodes are about 1 hour long.

7. Cool Games Inc

Cool Games Inc is a weekly podcast on the video game blog/web site Polygon. It’s hosted by Griffin McElroy (MBMBAM podcast) and Nick Robinson. Each week the hosts workshop ideas to create a brand new video game, and then pitch the idea to a professional in the video game industry.

Cool Games Inc is for people who like video games, or rather, for people who like fake video games. If you like MBMBAM and/or Griffin McElroy’s numerous Polygon youtube videos (see Car Boys and Nuzlocke Challenge), then you'll probably like this too. Nick Robinson and Griffin McElroy’s chemistry and clever banter is something special.

New episodes release every Friday.

Episodes are about 1 hour long.

8. The Cracked Podcast

The Cracked Podcast is a weekly podcast on the Earwolf podcast network. It’s hosted by Jack O’Brien and Michael Swaim. Each week the hosts and other guests discuss and sometimes debunk various cultural and pop-cultural myths and tropes.

The Cracked Podcast is for people who like the Cracked website, or people who enjoy listening to fan theories, debunking cultural and social beliefs, exploring hypothetical situations, or learning useless but very interesting facts. This podcast contains strong language sometimes, so it’s probably safe to say that this one is explicit.

New episodes release every Monday.

Episodes are about 1.5 hours.

9. The Adventure Zone

The Adventure Zone is a bi-weekly Dungeons & Dragons podcast on the Maximum Fun podcast network. Each week, the McElroy brothers (MBMBAM) along with their father Clint McElroy, play Dungeons & Dragons. Comedy and whimsical banter are more important here than following the rules of the game.

The Adventure Zone is for people who like tabletop games, specifically Dungeons & Dragons. However, it’s also for people who like the McElroys (yes, the McElroys do A LOT of podcasts). The best part of The Adventure Zone is that the McElroys don't take the game too seriously. They focus more on the story and being entertaining, than on the precise rules of the game. So, if you’re a stickler for rules or you believe D&D should be played with the utmost seriousness, then probably skip this one. Otherwise, have a great time listening to this family of grown men play a board game!

New episodes release every other Thursday.

Episodes are about 1.5 hours long.

10. Hollywood Handbook

Hollywood Handbook is a weekly podcast on the Earwolf podcast network. It’s hosted by Sean Clements and Hayes Davenport. Each week the hosts pretend to be big hollywood executives and discuss the entertainment industry with special guests.

Hollywood Handbook is for people who like improvisational comedy. This podcast is very similar to Comedy Bang Bang, in that there are “characters” on the show. Instead of having guest characters like Comedy Bang Bang does, Hollywood Handbook’s hosts are the ones playing characters. Each week they pretend to be showbiz executives and talk to a special guest about movie trailers, screenplay ideas, or other random topics. This show is unique because the hosts also improvise the ads placed within each episode, making them funny and canon within the Hollywood Handbook continuity.

New episodes release every Tuesday.

Episodes are about 1 hour long.

11. The Blake and Jeff Show

The Blake and Jeff Show is a weekly entertainment review and news podcast where the hosts give you their irreverent take on all things entertainment, but mostly movies. Hosts Blake Rudy (that’s me) and Jeff Campbell talk about entertainment news of the week and usually review the newest blockbuster movie in theaters. Sometimes there’s nothing good playing in theaters, so the hosts will review an older movie or video game or just talk for an hour. The hosts will often digress into things unrelated to entertainment, and will sometimes rant about current events.

The Blake and Jeff Show is for people who enjoy discussions about TV shows and movies. The show can become very explicit, so if you are offended by crude language, sexual discussions, stereotyping, or people talking like ignorant morons, then this podcast is not for you. However, everything we say is for the sake of humor, so please don’t read too much into it.

New episodes release every Weekend.

Episodes are about 1 hour long.

Leave a comment below and tell me your favorite podcasts!

© 2016 Blake J Rudy

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