Before we start, let’s get one thing straight: I love Welcome to Night Vale. “A Story About Them”? Fiction podcasting at its finest. But you all know about Night Vale already because Tiny Doom talked about it nearly a year ago and you’re probably all listening to it already. And while I love Night Vale, I have been taking a break from it due to the current storyline feeling a little too close to real world events. So here’s what I’ve been listening to in the meantime and why I think you should be listening too.
The Thrilling Adventure Hour
Last I checked, none of my fellow Ladies were listening to The Thrilling Adventure Hour and I’m hoping I can change that. The Thrilling Adventure Hour is a series of stories in the style of old time radio plays, performed for a live audience and recorded for your listening pleasure. It’s kind of an anthology podcast featuring various recurring segments, most with continuing story lines, though it’s still pretty easy to dive in anywhere. With stories about superheroes, space cowboys, time travel, the occult, and a millionaire who takes up life as a Hobo in order to find and court the Hobo Princess, there’s sure to be a segment that fits your tastes. Or you can just do like I do and listen to everything.
Bonus: The podcast features an amazing array of brilliant comedic talents as both regulars and guest stars, but the two who will probably be most exciting to our readers are John DiMaggio and Nathan Fillion. DiMaggio can primarily be heard as the title character in “The Adventures of Captain Laserbeam” while Fillion plays Cactoid Jim, a recurring character from “Sparks Nevada, Marshall on Mars” who eventually got his own spinoff series.
Talkin’ Toons with Rob Paulsen
There are a lot of podcasts that cover the various aspects of animation and animation production, some good and some bad. Talkin’ Toons with Rob Paulsen is easily one of the best. Hosted by voice actor Rob Paulsen – voice of Yakko Warner and Pinky from Animaniacs, two Ninja Turtles in two different versions of the show, and countless other characters, the show offers fantastic candid conversations with many of the greatest voice actors working today. You get everything from behind the scenes stories to advice for aspiring voice actors to characters who would never get to do so otherwise having a conversation (frequently asking Pinky if he’s pondering what they are pondering). If you have any interest whatsoever in the craft of voice acting, this is a must listen.
Bonus: Not all of these interviews are one-on-one and some of the most entertaining episodes feature multiple voice actors playing off one another. Billy West and the aforementioned John DiMaggio are always fun, as are Paulsen and voice of the Brain Maurice LaMarche. The recent episode with April Winchell and Pam Adlon is a riot, though keep in mind that it is the definition of NSFW, as both of these women swear like particularly foulmouthed sailors.
Stuff You Should Know
This is probably the most straight-up “educational” podcast I listen to and it’s still just as entertaining as the rest of my regular podcasts. Spun off from the How Stuff Works website, the podcast gives listeners a crash course in whatever topic the current episode features with the two affable hosts as guides. Just looking at a list of the most recent episodes, the diverse range of topics includes the LaBrea tar pits, soccer, the placebo effect, archeology, and temper tantrums.I’ve never had trouble finding a podcast on a subject that interests me, though I’ve been surprised to find how interesting the podcasts on topics I would normally find utterly boring are.
Bonus: I’ve really enjoyed the annual holiday episodes: the Christmas one, which generally tackles the history behind various legends and traditions associated with the holiday and the Halloween one, which features a reading of an appropriately spooky story. There’s also an episode on how Muppets work, which is obviously right up my alley.
Got a podcast suggestion for me or the other Ladies? Share it with us in the comments!