My Top Podcasts for 2016

My Top Podcasts of 2016

I am a podcast addict. There I said it. To some people (mainly, my wife) that comes as no surprise. Whether it’s writing, working out, washing the dishes, or driving, I almost always have a podcast going. Sometimes, I confess, I listen at 1.5x speed so that I can fit more podcasts in the day.

At this point, I’m subscribed to about 50 or so podcasts, but even I can’t listen to every episode of that many podcasts. However, there are a few podcasts that I will listen to regularly, and that is why I’ve made this list. There are my not-to-be-missed podcasts, and if you’ve been looking for some different entertainment to distract you from family or current events, here are some of my top recommendations.

My Top Podcasts of 2016 (In No Specific Order)


Probably one of my favorite podcast categories, I have quite a few favorite funny podcasts, but for this year these are the three that made the cut for 2016.

  • Doughboys – Two comedy writers eat, discuss, and rate all sorts of fast food chains. A dumb premise, to be sure, but somehow the two hosts (and their guest) make it work.
  • Judge John Hodgman – Famous Minor Television Personality John Hodgman is the judge in all sorts of weird cases. From the useless (is a machine gun a robot) to the serious (how should two hilarious brothers handle a bat infestation).
  • The Dollop – This one is relatively new to me, but so far it delivers. A history buff/comedian reads a true story from American history to another comedian. Hilarity, funny voices, and even a bit of learning ensue.

Politics/Current Events

  • The Weeds – A political podcast that looks at a variety of issues, not from 10,000 feet but by getting into the weeds. It’s a nice change from the often-inane political talk focusing on gaffes and irrelevant sound bites.
  • Common Sense – One of two podcasts by Dan Carlin on this list. This is his current events/political podcast. He is refreshingly non-partisan and often looks at things from a different point of view than most political coverage.


  • Hardcore History – The other Dan Carlin podcast. This is his history show, and the amount of work that goes into these episodes is mind-boggling. His 6-part series on World War I (Blueprint for Armageddon) and his Genghis Kahn series (Wrath of the Khans) are both informative and engrossing. A must-listen.
  • Lore – A podcast about the roots behind some of history’s creepiest and scariest stories. The host, Aaron Mahnke, has a great and slightly-creepy delivery.
  • 99% Invisible – A podcast about the unnoticed and invisible design that shapes how we interact with the world. With a wide variety of topics, from architecture to baseball to the NBC chimes, this podcast covers quite a bit of design that people never notice.


  • Switched on Pop – If you didn’t think that there was anything intelligent about pop music, then this podcast may change your mind. Hosted by a musicologist and a songwriter, these guys may go slightly overboard at times, but it’s an interesting look inside the songwriting and producing process from the outside.


  • The Tim Ferriss Show – Hosted by Tim Ferriss, the author of “The 4-Hour Workweek”, “The 4-Hour Body” and “The 4-Hour Chef” interviews guests from a wide variety of disciplines who are all top performers in their field to deconstruct their methods, tools, and techniques.

So, there you have it – those have been some of my favorite podcasts of this year. They aren’t all for everyone, but if you are looking for something different while running or cleaning, give one of these a try!