Monday, July 27, 2015

Podcasts Make for Great Listening

First of all, I admit to not having Sirius in my car.  With no daily commute driving, most trips tend to be short, with the exception of vacation driving.  My friends, on the other hand, with longer commutes, love to share the latest on Howard Stern, a Sirius favorite.  So without Howard, most trips are made with the news station on or a pop radio format playing the same songs over and over and over again.  No matter how good a song they might be, they start to irritate at some point.

Last year, our longer vacation driving trips were made enjoyable by listening to Serial, a podcast that most everyone has either listened to themselves or at least heard about.  If you haven't, it is exceptional in its telling of a murder and the accused, his trial and incarceration, and whether he is truly guilty or not.  This year, my wife and I decided to try out a couple other podcasts for our longer car trips.  Some were excruciatingly bad, with comedians talking to much about themselves or with others and some were made worse with bad audio that made them either too hard to hear followed by screaming into the mic.  My wife and I easily agreed that we had given each one enough time to decide that we had heard (or not heard) enough.

And while we found a couple that were enjoyable in their recounting of the early days of movies and their stars, one such podcast really made us laugh throughout our rides this summer.  What caught our attention and kept us coming back to download more episodes was the podcast By The Way, In Conversation With Jeff Garlin. While we knew some of his work from Wall-E to Curb Your Enthusiasm, we have yet to really watch his latest TV show, The Goldbergs.  But that will certainly change after listening to his podcast.

They are not for younger audiences filled with endless curses throughout, but his style of speaking, his easy-going nature, and his interaction with his guests are stream of consciousness, funny and fast. From a chat with Larry David to Amy Poehler, Jon Favreau to Bill Burr, each hour or so goes by with tears running down our faces.  It is at times like "Olde Time Radio" for the 21st Century.  And as entertaining as you could expect.  We may have become a video nation and some podcasts seem to forget that we are listening to them and not watching, but for others like the Garlin program, it is a treat to listen to.  If you are looking for a good laugh or need some interesting listening for a long car ride, a podcast may be just the answer.