I admit I have a very uneven podcast listening habit. I work from home and travel rarely, so I don't have an opportunity to listen to much or a lot of new stuff. I can't listen to podcasts and do most of the kind of work I do, either (writing, editing, audio editing, and podcasting!). But then I'll wind up with a slough of appointments or slack time in the evenings, and catch up. I seem to prefer to binge listen to podcasts than binge watch TV series.
These are shows I think a lot of other geeky people or damned intellectuals will enjoy, not just with my niche interests and quirky tastes. (For instance, while I like listening to Langsam Gesprochene Nachrichten, a weekday 10-minute podcast of German news spoken slowly and clearly to aid in learning (or re-learning), I doubt many will.)
- Hello from the Magic Tavern. I'd heard about this for months, but I hadn't dipped my toes in, and I'm now I'm just obsessively listening to the dozens of episodes produced so far—it's hilarious and fascinating. Magic Tavern is podcast by a guy named Arnie (true) who fell through some kind of gateway to the magical land of Foon (not true?), from whence he podcasts in a tavern. It's an improv show combined with light scripting, so every week they build canon and remember it. So in episode 40, there will absolutely be a callback to something said in passing in Episode 1. It's really an extraordinary bit of mythmaking and incredibly funny.
- Answer Me This: A podcast by Helen Zaltzman and Olly Mann (with interjections from producer Martin the Sound Man, Helen's husband). They answer listener questions with humor, obscenity, and sometimes great moral reasoning. The show's been around since 2007 and is now fortnightly. Helen launched a great podcast in 2015 called The Allusionist, which does deep clever dives into the meanings of words.
- The Flophouse Podcast: Three hosts, including the former head writer of the Daily Show, bring a mix of absurd intellectualism and intentional poop/sex humor to dissecting terrible movies. They watch a bad movie and then discuss it, and improv off into hilarious tangents.
- Thrilling Adventure Hour: After a decade of continuous production of freshly scripted radio plays—performed and recorded live as readings—I only tuned in as it was going "off the air." The back catalog is enormous, and they promise more limited future additions to the canon. The live show was structured into segments, which typically appear as individual episodes. It's a combination of parody, homage, and truly original work.
(Of course, you should also tune into The Incomparable Network, which now has a huge array of shows about geeky and nerdy stuff, including our main podcast, a radio theater show, a rotating gameshow format, and much more.)