View this email in your browser
This Week in Podcasts newsletter logo
Making podcasts skimmable since February 2018. 
#8·April 6, 2018 · By Michael Yessis
Happy Friday. I’m fighting a cold, and I passed some cold-medicine induced downtime with extra listening. So it’s a big newsletter this week. Thanks for reading!

8 Pod Takes: Provocative Thoughts From This Week's Podcasts


1) “You don’t need antipathy and acrimony to create great art.”

Listen: The West Wing Weekly: Hamilton Special (with Lin-Manuel Miranda and Thomas Kail) (27:15)

  • That’s “Hamilton” director Thomas Kail, on a lesson learned from “The West Wing.”

  • Adds Kail: Thinking otherwise is “a load of [bleep.]”

  • My take: A must-listen episode for anyone who can’t get enough of “Hamilton.” That’s everyone, right?


2) “The real lesson is that you can never win and still become the cartoon editor of The New Yorker.”

Listen: The New Yorker Radio Hour: How Not to Write a Caption (7:04)

  • So says New Yorker cartoon editor Emma Allen, who, during high school, regularly submitted to the magazine’s caption contest.

  • Number of Emma Allen wins: zero.

  • Allen shares how caption entries are whittled down (an algorithm) and interviews Willy Staley and Matt Jordan, whose Shitty New Yorker Cartoon Captions Tumblr chronicles their imbecilic and hilarious efforts to win the caption contest.


3) “The Pacific Northwest is Disneyland for serial killers.”

Listen: My Favorite Murder: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark at Skylight Books (16:47)

  • That’s Patton Oswalt, master of squeezing comedy out of tragedy, guesting on MFM to speak about the crime book of his late wife, Michelle McNamara.

  • Oswalt says undercover police photograph crowds during true crime book readings at Powell’s bookstore in Portland, Oregon. Apparently serial killers have been known to attend.

  • My take: The pod takes you into the mind of a true-crime writer. It’s a fascinating, scary place.


4) “Accepting an appointment from Donald Trump is about a 98 percent indicator of the lack of any integrity.”

Listen: Trumpcast: Sinclair’s Local News Propaganda Bomb (16:55)

  • So says Jacob Weisberg. “That’s exactly right,” echoes WaPo’s Erik Wemple, in a conversation about the people serving in Trump’s cabinet.

  • Spoiler: The swamp is growing.


5) “I think we’re at year 10, or year 15, maybe year 20 of a truly revolutionary crack-up of what we’ve typically expected from stories.”

Listen: Longform Podcast: Tom Bissell (11:07)

  • That’s Bissell, a magazine, book and video game writer on the potential impact of VR and new storytelling technologies.

  • He and host Aaron Lammer agree: Technology is starting to rewire how our brains process stories.


6) “When you’re doing something that nobody else is doing, you’re either the smartest or the stupidest person in the room.”

Listen: How I Built This: Stitch Fix: Katrina Lake (0:37)

  • Says Lake, who turned out to be on the smart side the equation with her online personal shopping service.


7) “It’s an act of defiance to watch the show.”

Listen: Pop Culture Happy Hour: Roseanne and What’s Making Us Happy (20:50)

  • That’s Invisibilia co-host Hanna Rosin, guesting on PCHH and talking about the reboot of “Roseanne.”

  • It’s another insightful, nuanced discussion from the PCHH crew about hot-button pop culture.

  • Spoiler: They’re split on the execution and success of the show.


8) “They were like the sandwiches your mom made you in 1978.”

Listen: House of Carbs: Bill Simmons and Adam Rapoport on Meals From the Masters at Augusta National (26:33)

  • Simmons, Joe House and Bon Appetit EIC Rapoport have the podcast gig of the week: Taste testing the sandwiches served at the Masters golf tournament.

  • Spoiler: Mayo abounds.

Got a Pod Take, a show to binge or a great guest I should consider for next week’s newsletter? Send it!

One Podcast That Mesmerized Twitter


Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo

With the 10th and final episode of the series about a missing Cree girl come more accolades.

  • “[S]ome of the best storytelling I’ve ever come across.” — @MatthewTeague

  • No podcast has ever moved me as much as this one has.” — @ipitysnails

  • “Spellbinding.” @Lpal87

  • “Journalism at its most meaningful.” — @maryannbarr1

  • “[R]edefines the podcast format.” — @michelle_furlow

Go Deep

1) Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Last Year

Listen: King’s Last March

  • On the 50th anniversary of King’s death, a five-part series on the events of his final year.

2) Lin-Manuel Miranda

Listen: My Brother, My Brother and Me, The West Wing Weekly

  • Miranda tweets he and “Hamilton” director Kail considered creating a podcast, but never developed a “sustainable” idea.

  • He gets his pod fix as “visiting gadfly” on MBMBaM and with a guest spot on The West Wing Weekly, talking about his love for “The West Wing.”

  • That “mind at work” Angelica Schuyler’s looking for in “Hamilton”? That’s a Sorkin-ism, uttered first on “The West Wing” by Rob Lowe.  


3) Songs that Misrepresent Artists

Listen: Rockin’ the Suburbs


4) Mark Zuckerberg

Listen: The Ezra Klein Show, Freakonomics Radio, Today, Explained

  • The Facebook CEO makes the pod rounds in advance of his appearance before Congress next week.

  • Klein’s interview with Zuck is “a master class in an interviewer making sophisticated points himself while still listening closely and responding to his subject's answers,” tweets Steven Johnson.


5) “Butterflies,” by Kacey Musgraves

Listen: Switched On Pop

  • Nate Sloan and Charlie Harding take 29 minutes to break down Musgraves’ latest.

  • Their take: The song “is a master class of creativity.”

Guest Appearances By...

Albright, Madeleine Fresh Air

Andrew W.K. Bullseye with Jesse Thorn

  • Throw down with W.K. and some new “inspirational party rock”

Attenberg, Jami Otherppl With Brad Listi

Barkley, Charles The Axe Files with David Axelrod

Berg, Alec Scriptnotes

  • Exec producer of “Silicon Valley” and “Barry” on the craft of comedy

Braff, Zach Armchair Expert With Dax Shepard

Bragg, Billy Talkhouse

Cannon, Kay The Big Picture

  • Writer/director on transitioning from writing to directing

Cena, John ID10T, Pardon My Take

Fleming, Renée How to Be Amazing with Michael Ian Black

Gates, Melinda Decrypted

  • On the dearth of women in tech

Gilroy, Tony The Moment With Brian Koppelman

  • Convo with the prolific screenwriter

Goldblum, Jeff The Bill Simmons Podcast

Gondelman, Josh But That’s Another Story

  • “Last Week Tonight” writer on “Infinite Jest”

Harris, Neil Patrick WTF With Marc Maron

Kloss, Karlie The Tim Ferriss Show

Kulash, Damian The Limit Does Not Exist

  • OK Go singer says he’s “always tried to strike a somewhat reasonable balance between pragmatism and living in Fantasyland.”

Landrieu, Mitch The Atlantic Interview

Letterman, David Edge of Fame

Odom Jr., Leslie Late Night Whenever With Michelle Buteau

  • “Hamilton” star talks about his new book

Phair, Liz The Joe Rogan Experience

Porowski, Antoni Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness

  • Two guys from “Queer Eye”

Robbins, Tim It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders

Robinson, Phoebe U Talkin’ U2 To Me?

  • “2 Dope Queens” co-host on her U2 obsession

Sehgal, Parul I Have to Ask

  • Interview with a book reviewer for The New York Times

Toobin, Jeffrey The Josh Marshall Podcast

  • Trump, Trump, Trump…

Wendell, Sarah Deviate With Rolf Potts

  • On romance novels and the foundations of storytelling

Yousafzai, Malala Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations

  • Malala and Oprah for 33 beautiful minutes

Pick From a Podcaster

This week's podcaster: Erika Ettin of So, We Met Online... The online dating coach and her co-host Chris Hood "share their own dating stories — the hilarious, the poignant and the unthinkable — while providing advice and insights."

  • Erika adds: “If you like to talk about love, sex and dating, then this podcast is for you. Season 3 comes out April 14 — catch up in the meantime!”
  • Her pick: The Mortified Podcast: A Montana Love Triangle
  • Erika says: “Do you like to laugh? Say no more. Each episode of Mortified takes you through the childhood writings of an awkward adolescent. The naivety of the woman in this week's episode makes it all the more endearing...and hilarious. Hint: She likes a boy in jail, and this doesn't faze her.”

Reviews and Recommendations

Scott Aukerman, Lauren Lapkus and Paul F. Tompkins Tell Us Why Podcasting Is Good (and Slightly Bad) for Comedy (The Wrap, Tim Molloy)
  • Says Lapkus: “Now my mom has somehow figured out how to listen to my podcasts, so that’s changed the whole game.”

This Week in Comedy Podcasts: David Letterman on ‘Edge of Fame’ (Splitsider)           

True Crime, Fake Homicide: The Onion's 'A Very Fatal Murder' Podcast (NPR, Audie Cornish)

This Is Normal puts young people at the helm of their own mental health narratives (AV Club, Podmass)

10 Audio Drama Podcasts to Get You Hooked on Fiction (Discover Pods, Wil Williams)

If you like The Week in Podcasts, please pass it along to someone else who might like it, too. Thanks for reading!

Find us on Twitter @WeekInPodcasts.

Copyright © 2018 Michael Yessis, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp