#PodsWeLike Syfy 25: Origin Stories

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As a die-hard science fiction and fantasy fan, there’s nothing more enlightening for me than listening to how the creators of some of my favourite fictional worlds come upon their ideas and what were the philosophies and experiences behind their work.

SYFY 25: Origin Stories is a podcast that gives me just that. Hosted by Adam Savage (of Mythbusters fame) the show features conversations with legends of the genre - Frank Oz, Kevin Kelly, D.C Fontana -contemporary stars - Neil Gaiman, Nnedi Okorafor, Sana Amanat - as well as uber-fans who’ve built an empire out of fan culture like Chris Hardwick and Kevin Smith.

Even if you are someone who isn’t familiar with the works of some of the guests there’s still much to absorb and revel in by hearing these extraordinary creators and visionaries talk with passion about their work and keeping the spirit of the genre alive.

You can listen to all the episodes here: http://www.syfy.com/syfywire/podcast-episodes  

- Abbas Momin

#PodsWeLike Maltin On Movies

Legendary film critic Leonard Maltin (of Maltin's Movie Guide fame) hosts a wonderful podcast with his daughter Jesse Maltin where they sit and discuss films old and new, and the memories and experiences associated with them.

The episode which features director Edgar Wright as a guest is especially enlightening. It's a joy to hear Wright in full on film geek form as they discuss the difference between listing out 'best films' and 'favourite films', how wonderful it is to discover classics of a bygone era and how it helps appreciate contemporary cinema and the relationship that exists between a critic and an artist.

If you're someone who loves to get movie recommendations I suggest you sit with a pen and paper while listening to this one as some wonderful, lesser known films are name-dropped in their conversation.

You can listen to the episode here: http://nerdist.com/maltin-on-movies-117-edgar-wright/

 

- Abbas Momin

#PodsWeLike West Wing Weekly

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One of my favourite shows of all time, what could be better than doing an episode by episode recap with insiders. Hosted by Josh Malina (who played Will Bailey on the show) and Hrishikesh Hirway (who hosts the Sound Exploder podcast), they have a bunch of stars from the show and people who work in similar roles in real life as guests to discuss each episode. 

Check out their episode with Aaron Sorkin here:  http://thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/200

The podcast that saved my comedy career

1am, some Tuesday, 2014

I return home dejected after another open mic where my material crashed and burned. The usual. It’s been four months since I started doing comedy and open mics are the only public forums where I can take my pitiful jokes and hope to evoke a reaction. But it doesn’t seem to be working.

My mom keeps some dinner for me which I don’t bother heating up. I just want to get it over with. The embarrassment of bombing on stage isn’t half as bad as coming home after work and a gig to a quiet room with no one to talk to. I can’t watch TV or I’ll wake everyone up and I can’t cry into my food because it is salty enough as it is.

Instinctively, I open Soundcloud and instead of listening to remixed ‘90s anthems (my real source of power), I check out Comedy Central’s podcast. There, in a sequential order are international comedians performing some of their new material. Curiosity took over and I start eating my meal while listening to these episodes. I listened to the episodes, back to back, each featuring just about 10 minutes of comedy from comedians who were now, somehow hanging out with me in that room that night.

With no visual to these bits and just the audio, that podcast made me appreciate every single line. I understood what joke delivery was, how to set something up, and then deliver it. It made me realise what I wasn’t doing right on stage; speaking too fast and with fear. I realised that the audience is always listening and it’s my job to communicate better. It’s a learning I cherish to this day.

I have been doing stand-up comedy and improv professionally for two years now and I also get to host my own podcast now,  so I’d say everything kind of worked out. I still eat food at 1am though; some routines are hard to break.

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Check out Comedy Central’s podcast channel: https://soundcloud.com/comedycentral

Check out my podcast Keeping it Queer, in which I talk to members of India’s LGBTQ community and bring their stories to you: https://audioboom.com/channel/keepin-it-queer

 

- Navin Noronha

#PodsWeLike Making Oprah

30 years ago, Oprah Winfrey made her big debut on television. While it may not seem like that to us now, considering her status as a part-book Midas, part-therapist and part-lady who gave people free cars, it wasn't always easy. 

In this mini podcast series by WBEZ, Making Oprah, host Jenn White traces the show's awkward beginnings, Oprah's rise on daytime television and what the show meant to people who worked on it. 

In just 3 episodes (plus 3 bonus ones), Making Oprah talks to producers, competitors, publicists and even Oprah herself. Check it out: https://goo.gl/OJqdT3

 

#PodsWeLike The Hilarious World of Depression.

Comedians are known to be notoriously sad people in real life. This podcast hosted by John Moe (who's fought his own battles with depression) tries to understand why that is and the different coping mechanisms that the comedians found in comedy. What's fascinating in each episode is how every comedian went through or is going through a different type of depression from bipolar disorders to a messy divorce to suicidal tendencies. It's not all doom and gloom though, every episode has a bunch of laugh out loud moments. Some stand out episodes are the ones featuring Maria Bamford, Peter Sagal and Andy Richter.

You can find it here: https://www.apmpodcasts.org/thwod/

#PodsWeLike 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy

Tim Harford - the undercover economist talks about some of the critical "inventions, ideas and innovations" that make the modern work function.

There are episodes on the light bulb, the shipping container, the compiler where he narrates the story of how the subject became a crucial building block of modern life. The latest episode is about paper and is a great way to get started.

You can find it here: http://bbc.in/2jeZe2T

#PodsWeLike: Crimetown

Gimlet Media has a new show called "Crimetown". The concept behind the show is to examine crime from the angle of how it affects a town. The first season examines the intersection between the mob and the politicians in what is a relatively small town, at least compared to the mega cities where the mafia normally thrived. The fact that it is a smaller city makes the stories much more personal. Check it out, I highly recommend it.