Podcast perfection

Listening to Alec Baldwin and Roz Chast a few years back was all it took.

One hour and I was hooked. The podcast quickly became one of my favorite ways to consume content. Alec Baldwin’s Here’s The Thing is one of the best. Say what you will about the man, I’m a sucker for a great voice. Baldwin also happens to be articulate, funny, well informed and entertaining.

Then came — finally! — Season Two of Serial and, well, I’d listen to Sarah Koenig talk about the weather. Roger Angell’s comments on love in his 90’s on The New Yorker Radio Hour had me in tears. Ira Glass got four of us through a wicked snow storm crossing Wyoming last February. Occasionally a podcast is so good that I listen a second time, like Baldwin’s hour with Jerry Seinfeld. Wet-your-pants funny. Or the 2013 Krista Tippett interview with poet Marie Howe. Two times, all the way through. Loved it. Ditto for her interview with Mary Oliver, who rarely talks to folks with a recorder.

I’ve sampled other podcasts but nothing has stuck like these six:

  • Serial with Sarah Koenig (the woman and her crew know how to tell a story)
  • This American Life (Ira Glass keeps doing for radio what The Sopranos did for television: change the genre)
  • Here’s The Thing with Alec Baldwin (funny, intelligent, occasionally provocative)
  • Fresh Air with Terry Gross (if I could have any job in the world, I’d take hers)
  • The New Yorker Radio Hour with David Remnick (another take on what’s in the magazine)
  • On Being with Krista Tippett (when you’re in the mood for spiritual, philosophical and intellectual)

Who are you listening to?