Brendan Francis Newnam (Co-Host)
With Neil Gorsuch inching towards a perma-job as a member of The Supremes, there has never been a better time to listen to this brilliant podcast about all things Supreme Court, produced by the talented audio ninjas behind “Radiolab.”
The genius minds behind the satirical women’s magazine Reductress created this podcast that’s so funny it will make you laugh so hard you’ll crack the glass ceiling.
Don’t let podcastmania blind you to the power of this O.G. of audio awesomeness. “TAL” still rules the game. An absolute must for heart, mind, and soul feeding. What would we do without them? (Answer: cry/be dumb.)
Jackson Musker (Senior Producer)
Calling my fellow basketball nerds! This new bi-weekly podcast shifts the spotlight away from LeBron and Steph to less-talked about aspects of today’s NBA. In one episode, you’ll hear why “role players” (like the Bulls’ goofy, insightful center Robin Lopez) are so indispensable to their teams. Think basketball… behind-the-scenes.
I’d heard some of Nate DiMeo’s brief, wondrous bursts of forgotten history a while back… and then stopped listening for ZERO good reasons. When I dove back in, I was reminded just how impressive his storytelling is. With writing that’s both precise and poetic, Nate reanimates the past.
Who wouldn’t want to spend an hour with the golden-voiced, quick-witted George Takei?! (Adjectives that could apply to host John Rabe, too.) Here they chat about everything from Japanese-American internment to George’s shirtless fencing on “Star Trek,” while John tours a new exhibit about Takei in L.A. “Off-Ramp” is a fantastic arts/life show here in SoCal where, full disclosure, I first learned radio “stuff.”
James Kim (Associate Producer)
I’m such a sucker for non-narrated podcasts. Especially ones that make me cry. “Love Me” is beautifully done — from the music (the theme song gives off a Jon Brion vibe), to the heartfelt interviews about love and falling out of love, to Lu Olkowski’s calming voice. The subject matter gets heavy at times, but for some reason, it’s meditative and relaxing. And Olkowski and her team use sound in a really creative way.
Episode Rec: Start at the beginning! Episode 1: At A Loss For Words
Of course I would choose a podcast about everyday sounds as a radio producer. “Twenty Thousand Hertz” goes way beyond analyzing these sounds, though. The host, Dallas Taylor, tells the history of a sound — like who is the real person behind Siri and what’s her story? They also cover interesting topics like how visually impaired people experience films and TV shows through audio descriptions. Plus, as expected, the podcast is well-produced and the sound design is awesome!
Episode Rec: Audio Descriptions
I grew up watching Bobby Lee on “MADtv” when I was younger. He was one of the few Asian-Americans on TV in the early 2000’s. I didn’t think much of it back then, but I eventually realized that the reason I connected with him so much was because I never really saw myself on screen. Plus, he’s really funny!
“TigerBelly” is a podcast hosted by Bobby Lee and his friend Khalyla. It’s hilarious, honest, and I love how casual and revealing Bobby Lee is about his personal life. My favorite episode is where they interview Margaret Cho. The episode starts out with Bobby and Margaret speaking in Korean to each other… and it had me laughing ’til my sides hurt.
Episode Rec: Ep. 71: Margaret Cho and the Yellow Telephone
Kristina Lopez (Associate Digital Producer)
As a Puerto Rican-American, I don’t often hear voices like my own in the public radio/podcast space, which is why I was overjoyed to find “Code Switch” a while back. The entire “Code Switch” team, including hosts Gene Demby and Shereen Marisol Meraji, do a fantastic job at parsing out complex issues of race and identity. Some recent favorites of mine: the “explanatory comma” episode and this one about ally-ship.
I love pop culture (it’s one of the many reasons why I work at DPD), but this show makes it a point to highlight and critique movies and television shows created by and featuring marginalized groups like women, people of color, and those in the LGBTQ community. One of my favorite recent episodes is this chat with “9 to 5” (one of my favorite movies) writer Patricia Resnick about sexism and ageism in Hollywood.
Some of the best podcasts make you feel like you’re just dropping in on a conversation between two of your friends. “Call Your Girlfriend” does this effortlessly. In under an hour, hosts Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman cover everything from the latest political controversy to why “Inspector Gadget” is kind of problematic. A recent favorite of mine was this episode, in which they explore why Keanu Reeves still has sex appeal. I got a lot of glares from fellow L.A. drivers as I was cracking up listening to it in my car.
Emerald Douglas (Intern)
Tracy and Heben’s natural style and format, they share a “round” with their guests, allows for great conversations where guests really open up. I loved when comedian Nicole Byer talked about her ritual before a stand-up show.
Phoebe Robinson also hosts “2 Dope Queens,” but instead of stand-up, this podcast focuses on more serious conversations and interviews. I loved a recent episode with Issa Rae, where Issa talks about her background and her ambitions of opening a studio.
Comedian Little Esther has a great conversational style that leads to fun and loose talks with her guests, in one episode she and Nikki Glaser really get into their favorite Britney Spears tracks.