Things to Do at Home: Funny, Engaging, Thought-provoking & Binge-worthy Podcasts

Angela Kinsey & Jenna Fischer recap & reminisce about The Office episode by episode, with anecdotes & stories from the set | Photo: 365 Houston

Lend an ear to entertaining and engaging podcasts from the worlds of pop culture, science and more.

If your Netflix queue is starting to look a little stale and you’re in need of something thought-provoking to fill the hours, then look no further than our guide to some of the most engaging and binge-worthy podcasts available today, culled from our staff and writers’ favorites.

Interviews

  • Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend – The beloved late-night host, comedic genius, and all around leader of Team Coco tries his hand at the podcast game with hilarious interviews featuring old and new friends from a much more laid-back setting. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher
  • Fresh Air – NPR’s Terry Gross hosts this long-running interview program that features some of the most engaging, entertaining and enigmatic guests that include prominent figures from the worlds of entertainment and the arts, culture, journalism, and global current affairs. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Play | Stitcher
  • Life is Short with Justin Long – The actor and comedian sits down with fellow actors, comedians and entertainers to peer inside their minds for how they find meaning in life—among other embarrassing and hilarious distractions. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher
  • The Best of Coast to CoastWhether you’re a first-time caller, longtime listener or completely new to this cult classic, occult radio program hosted by George Noory, this recently transposed to podcast series is perfect for those looking to burn the midnight oil to a spooky story, out-there conspiracy theory, or Bigfoot sighting tale. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Play | Stitcher

Pop Culture & True Crime

  • Joe Exotic: Over My Dead Body – Just in case you can’t get enough of the jaw-dropping docu-series on Netflix, Tiger King, this podcast was the original telling of the sordid tale involving Joe Exotic, Carole Baskin and a whole lot of big cats. Dig deeper and hear more details, info left out of the show, and more with this addictive podcast. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Play | Stitcher
  • Office Ladies – Sure, you’ve binged through The Office time and time again, but have you ever done it with Angela and Pam guiding you through the behind-the-scenes hi-jinx? This podcasts brings Angela Kinsey (the straight-laced head of accounting) and Jenna Fischer (the aspiring artist and receptionist-turned-saleswoman) together for breakdowns on favorite episodes in the ultimate re-watch of the celebrated comedy show. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher
  • The Good Place: The Podcast – Bing! Spend 70 minutes in heaven with each episode of all four seasons of the recently completed NBC show, The Good Place, which has been called the “Smartest, dumbest show on TV.” Marc Evan Jackson (he plays Shawn) welcomes a revolving small panel of guests comprised of cast and crew, including the occasional turn by stars Ted Dansen and Kristin Bell, plus creator Michael Schur. If you loved the show, this podcast offers up even more laughs, feels, and real life “good person lessons.” Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Play | Stitcher
  • Still Processing – This podcast, hosted by two of NPR’s foremost culture writers, focuses on pop culture resonating in the present while connecting it to the past and our potential future. Dig into how pop culture weaves through our society, from Fight Club to Tiger King and everything in between. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Play | Stitcher
  • Dirty John – From the Los Angeles Times, this true crime podcast centers on John Meehan and the investigation of a possible murder in Newport Beach. As the series unfolds, L.A. Times journalist Christopher Goffard unveils a bizarre web of deceit, abuse and manipulation in a story that was adapted for television in 2018. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Play | Stitcher
  • Dr. Death – This unbelievable true crime podcast follows the story of Dr. Christopher Duntsch, self-proclaimed to be one of the best back doctors in Dallas. But as the story unfolds, listeners hear from some of his former patients and their extreme complications that shed a sinister light on the performing physician. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Play | Stitcher
  • You Must Remember This – This podcast focuses on the good, the bad, and the weirdest stories that make up Hollywood’s checkered past. Prepare to learn everything you ever wanted to know—and the secret stuff you didn’t know—as this podcast lifts the curtain to reveal the underbelly of Los Angeles’ wonder years. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher

Music

  • KCRW’s Lost Notes – The Santa Monica-based radio station hosts the Lost Notes podcast that sends renowned music journalist Jessica Hopper down the rabbit hole to uncover some of the greatest music stories never told. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher
  • The New York Times Popcast – Hosted by NYT pop critic Jon Caramanica, this podcasts welcomes special guests and covers the latest in pop music criticism, trends and news while feeding off Caramanica’s massive stores of musical knowledge. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher
  • Questlove Supreme – Hosted by the prolific drummer of The Roots and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, this podcast digs deep into the stories of musical legends and cultural icons based on Questlove’s encyclopedic knowledge and interviews with prominent guests like Michelle Obama, Usher, Chaka Khan, Weird Al and many more. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher
  • Song Exploder – The biweekly podcast welcomes musicians to the mic for an exploration of their creative process behind an individual song, while also deconstructing the tunes into its component parts for a fascinating look into some of the most exciting creative voices today, including Vampire Weekend, Robyn, Fleetwood Mac, Janelle Monáe, and more. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Play | Stitcher
  • Switched On Pop – For fans of music theory and all things pop music, songwriter Charlie Harding and musicologist Nate Sloan examine the making and meaning of popular music by placing those irresistible hits into a larger historical context, teaching listeners what really makes a pop hit. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher

Sports

  • 30 For 30 Podcasts – From the makers of the acclaimed 30 For 30 documentary series on ESPN, this podcast series explores more stories from the world of sports and beyond with captivating storytelling that digs past competition to shed light on the human aspects of sports. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher
  • The Bill Simmons Podcast – Former ESPN personality, author of The Big Book on Basketball, and head of The Ringer, Bill Simmons host the most downloaded sports podcast of all time, looking at all things sports alongside celebrities and guests from pop culture, legends of sport, and his Cousin Sal. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher
  • Hall of Shame – Fox Sports host Rachel Bonnetta teams up with comedy writer Rachna Fruchbom (Parks and Recreation) to pick apart a long history of sports scandals with humor and a healthy dose of perspective to help understand what went down and why it matters today. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Play | Stitcher
  • The J.J. Redick Podcast – NBA sharpshooter and current New Orleans Pelican, J.J. Redick brings together the biggest names in basketball and other celebrities for conversations that illuminate what life in the NBA is like, as well as the people who interest Redick and his co-host, Tommy Alter, the most. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | YouTube
  • The Lowe Post – ESPN’s Zach Lowe provides the antidote to hype and hysteria on the networks with an extremely knowledgeable deep dive on basketball with some of the biggest names in the sport alongside other celebrities to break down current headlines and shocking events in NBA’s past. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher

Storytelling

  • Levar Burton Reads – The Reading Rainbow host invites listeners to join him for a short fiction storytelling session featuring tales from authors like Kurt Vonnegut, Octavia Butler, Ray Bradbury, and many more. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher
  • The Moth – Every month, venues around the country host a night of narrative where storytellers are randomly picked from a hat and then deliver their own personal tale based on a theme with no notes or script to read from. What results is a long-running series that features some of the most human, heart-breaking and hilarious stories recorded. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Play | Stitcher
  • Reply All – Blending storytelling with a focus on technology, this hit podcast features more than 150 episodes that examine how people shape the internet and the ways the internet shapes people. The stories told are interesting, compelling, and painfully human, therefore making for a binge-worthy listen. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Play | Stitcher

Food & Drink

  • Drink of Ages – Since 2013, the Drink of Ages Radio Show (broadcast on ESPN 97.5 on Friday nights at 9pm) has been hosted by Jon Denman, highlighting Houston beer, music, and the things you enjoy in between, like tacos and cheeseburgers. Apple Podcasts
  • Gastropod – The biweekly podcast series hosted by Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley dives into the cross-section of food history and science with expert interviews, lab visits, field and archaeological digs, and more to discover new ways of understanding the world through food. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher
  • The Racist Sandwich – From Soleil Ho and Zahir Janmohamed, this series hashes out a diverse range of topics to explore how food and the ways we consume, create, and interpret it can be political by bringing in the voices and perspectives of chefs of color and marginalized communities in the world of food. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher
  • The Splendid Table – Hosted by award-winning food journalist Francis Lam, this podcast covers the intersection of food, people and culture by inviting fresh voices and surprising conversations to the table. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher
  • What’s Eric EatingCultureMap‘s long-standing Houston food editor, Eric Sandler, digs into the latest in Houston restaurant news and dining opportunities. Listen in as he talks with chefs and the people who are making the food scene a thing in Houston, and explores how local restaurants are coping with Coronavirus closures. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Play
  • 5 Things to Know in Houston Restaurant News Today – Houston Food Finder founder and editor, Phaedra Cook shares her insights on today’s evolving (and currently struggling due to the Coronavirus crisis) restaurant industry. Currently only available on Soundcloud.

Thought-Provoking

  • 99% Invisible – This podcast series digs into the worlds of design, architecture, cities, technology, history and more to examine all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher
  • Behind the Bastards – Explore the machinations and influences that lay behind some of the biggest jerks in history. This podcast delves into some of the worst people in history and reveals the bizarre realities of their lives. Saddam Hussein’s side hustle as a trashy romance novelist, anyone? Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Play | Stitcher
  • Heavyweight – What if you got a do-over on one of the most impactful decisions of your life? Host, author, and humorist, Jonathan Goldstein, talks it through with his guests each episode, while he goes into the crevices of their personal histories and helps identify what can be done, or can’t. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Play | Stitcher
  • Hidden Brain – NPR journalist Shankar Vedantam uses science and storytelling to reveal the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, shape our choices, and direct our relationships. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Play | Stitcher
  • Invisibilia – NPR’s science podcast reveals the unseeable forces that control human behavior and shape our ideas, beliefs and assumptions with a narrative storytelling that may make you look at your own life differently. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Play | Stitcher
  • Radiolab – One of the most popular radio shows-turned-podcasts in the last decade, this series hosted by Jad Abumrad and (until his recent retirement) Robert Krulwich tackles some of the biggest questions of life, science, and the world around us with expert interviews, innovative sound design, and irresistible storytelling. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Play | Stitcher
  • Reply All – Hosts PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman riff on stories about how the internet shapes people and how people shape the internet. The podcast uses technology to explore the human condition, culture, and live in uncertain modern times. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Play | Stitcher
  • Rough Translation – Taking familiar topics into unexpected places, host Gregory Warner explores how the topics we hear in our own echo chambers take on very different angles, bents and tones around the world. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Play | Stitcher
  • The Secret History of the Future – Learn what the past can tell us about today’s challenges and conflicts in this podcast from The Economist’s Tom Standage and Slate’s Seth Stevenson. Their explorations draw from historical precedents to shed new light on modern technology and reveal how people’s reactions to past innovations can also teach us about ourselves today and in the days to come. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher
  • Stuff You Missed in History Class – Hosted by Tracy V. Wilson and Holly Frey, this long-running podcast digs into the lesser known history of the world for the greatest and strangest stories you may have missed. Fascinating and funny, this show offers up carefully gathered and vetted info for a deep dive that highlights many perspectives in our collective history. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Play | Stitcher
  • Stuff You Should Know – With more than 300 episodes to dig through, this wide-ranging podcast helps pass along information on everything from El Niño and true crime to LSD and Champagne. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Play | Stitcher
  • This American Life – The OG of podcasts (from well back before the word “podcast” had ever been uttered), This American Life can be heard on more than 500 public radio stations in the US, delivering an entertaining style of journalism that’s built around a theme or a shared plot. Their compelling stories are big on feelings, funny moments, and unforgettable real characters. Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Stitcher
  • Well/Behaved Podcast – Wellness junkies Stephanie Biegel and Lauren Abney Eisenstein welcome a mix of guests with various experts to help listeners live their best lives. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher
  • The World Ahead – Economist Radio presents a forward-looking, data-inspired take on what we might reasonably expect in the future, based on everything that’s happened to date. A new episode of the podcast, which channels the spirit of the publisher’s annual “The Year In…” special edition, drops at the end of each month. Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Play | Stitcher
From the awe-inspiring to the weird, dig into these thought-provoking podcasts.