Tristan Miller’s Top 10 Podcasts of 2017

Hey, do you like podcasts? I sure do!

Hey, I love podcasts how about you?

I thought I’d share some of my favorites that I listened to this last year!

  • 1. The Cryptid Keeper Podcast

In the Cryptid Keeper Podcast Addison Peacock and Alex Flanigan pick a Cryptid to discuss that week ranging from El Chupacabra to Santa Claus. For those of you unfamiliar, Cryptid is a slang term for Cryptozoological creatures, e.g. Bigfoot, the monster from Loch Ness, and possibly Jesus Christ. (There have been sightings.) Addison and Alex are a delight to listen to,  and with an enthusiasm that is rarely matched they create a podcast that is fascinating, entertaining, and has some of the most positive energy I’ve seen in the medium. Thank you for Keeping us safe.

  • 2. Wonderful!

In Wonderful, internet podcast power couple Rachel and Griffin McElroy share with you the things in their life that bring them the most joy! Soft pretzels, Nick Drake, Chanukah, and Virtual Reality are all considered with all the jubilation one can muster for one’s favorite things. They also share with their audience things that their listeners enjoy, which gives one the opportunity to reflect on what one might find the most joy in on the daily. I constantly fight the temptation to send them their own podcast as the thing I find most Wonderful. It’s an incredibly opportunity to let joy into your life! You two are truly wonderful.

3. Force Center

Force Center is a Star Wars review and round up feed that features a few different shows. In the main show Joseph Scrimshaw,  Ken Napzok, and Jennifer Landa discuss Star Wars news or themes. They also feature Data Bank Brawl in which they make obscure Star Wars characters fight in a fan-fiction-esque battle to the possible death, and Star Wars Ranked in which they create Star Wars top ten lists. The reason this show is so important to me is that in a time where ideas in fandoms are polarized and heated, these three positive and thoughtful folks come together to share in the joy of one of my favorite things of all time. The center of these programs is the childlike delight we take in story, learning lessons, myth, and super cool space battles.

  • 4. Queery with Cameron Esposito

In Queery, stand up comedian and writer Cameron Esposito sits down with guests to discuss sexuality and identity. As a CIS White Male™ this choice might seem an odd one. What you need to understand is two things: One, Cameron is one of the funniest working comics and it has both nothing and everything to do with the fact that she is super gay. Two, as someone who isn’t queer this is a very enlightening and engaging way to learn about what it is like to be someone else. Everyone is facing struggles, or differences, or hardships, and the only way to help to normalize these experiences is by listening, and then taking what you’ve heard and applying it. Thank you, Cameron, for your frank look at identity and art.

  • 5. The Adventure Zone

Okay, so this is my favorite podcast. I was going to pretend that I like them all the same amount, but I love this one with all my heart. If I could marry a concept it’d definitely be this one. We’d probably get a divorce. (My fault, not its.) This is the best long-form storytelling narrative I’ve ever had the privilege of experiencing. What the McElroys do is wonderful: They go from hilariously blasphemous to so sincere that you will be crying on your train commute. What Griffin McElroy accomplishes in the Balance Arc (think of it as season one), is incredible. The slow burn to what can only be described as the end of days, has in it the best use of a Chekov’s Gun I’ve ever heard tell of. This podcast has heart, heroes, and is incredibly sensitive to its audience in the kindest way possible. I cannot wait to see which new thing they choose for season II, as all of the test plays they’ve been going through have been immaculate. Great job, boys.

  • 6. The Turnaround with Jesse Thorn

In Turnaround, Jesse Thorn interviews interviewers. He speaks to Marc Maron, Katie Couric, Larry King, Ira Glass, and a few others in this limited run podcast. Now, as someone who does interviews as well, it was great to learn at the feat (intentional) of these masters. To learn how to be truly present and engaged in the moment is the key of any great interviewer, and the exploration that Jesse hands us is wonderful. The fact that Jesse, an accomplished and skilled interviewer himself, is willing to sit and learn with you is incredible. Thank you very much, Jesse, for your kindness.

  • 7. Judge John Hodgman

I know, I know. It’s been around for a bit. I just found it. It is incredible. I’m a huge fan of what Hodgman does in general, but the way he has distilled what makes him hilarious so well into an hour long podcast is a feat of alchemy that never ceases to amaze me. But more than him being funny, he is most often right in what he passes as judgements. His advice is always practical, kind, and at its heart, a compromise. He is someone from whom we must learn. This is the sound of a gavel.

  • 8. Hang Out With Me (A Myq Kaplan Podcast)

Now, I have to be honest with you: I’ve guested on this podcast, which is a reason I like it. But more than that, I like Myq. He is a good friend of mine. He is also thoughtful, hilarious, kind, and knows how to listen to his guests. His program is a very fine one and never fails to cheer me up. At its center the program feels as though not only does Myq want you to feel the joy that he clearly does in learning about someone, but also he wants pass everything he has/can learn onto you. His guests are always varied and diverse from someone who works at NASA, to psychologists, comedians, and musicians. Thanks, Myq, for both having me on and listening as well as you do.

  • 9. Likely Mad as Hell

So Rhea Butcher is a fantastic comic and loves baseball. I like to believe I have at least one, if not two things in common with her. In her eight episode podcast run, she discussed the 2017 World Series. I love how much she loves the game and how big of a nerd she clearly is about it. Her insight is wonderful and positive, even in the face of what happened.  I love her frank attitude about baseball and its social meaning. I deeply hope that once the season starts up again she will as well.

  • 10. Radio Free Burrito

The kindness with which Wil Wheaton approaches not only this podcast, but his life is astounding. In Radio Free Burrito Wil shares a bit of his life and also some excellent music. He is so very uplifting in these programs that I have welled up with tears and self-belief so many times on the train going into work that I cannot count them. Wil has a gift of making you feel not only loved but also that you are not alone in your self-doubt, your anxieties, but that through those things you can learn to love deeper. He also is very funny. Thank you, Wil.

  • Honorable mention: ‘Til Death do us Blart

Okay, so Until Death do us Blart only comes out once a year on Thanksgiving Day. But it is worth it. From the folks behind Worst Idea of All Time and My Brother, my Brother, and Me comes the strangest idea for a podcast I’ve ever heard. They watch and review Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 every year from now until the end of Time. Each host will be replaced as they slowly die off. This is a hilarious look at how you can make anything fun by adding a strange meta-narrative.

Thank you for reading! I hope you saw some you liked and some you didn’t know. (I hope you listen to both!) Thank you to all the content creators that made this year get-throughable.




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