Our Favorite Podcasts from 2016

December 31, 2016

Here is a list of our favorite podcasts from 2016. What podcasts influenced you in the past year? What podcasts would you recommend to the readers of iAt? Leave your recommendations in the comments.

99% Invisible – “all about the thought that goes in to the things we don’t think about”

The Culture Gabfest – Slate Magazine’s culture podcast, covering topical material from the highbrow to the lowbrow.

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History – Sporadically released, meticulously researched, long (frequently 4+ hours), and engaging explorations of historical events and phenomena.

Filmspotting – A weekly movie podcast hosted by two Chicago-based film critics.

Freakonomics – “Conversations that explore the riddles of everyday life and the weird wrinkles of human nature—from cheating and crime to parenting and sports. . . . Talks with Nobel laureates and provocateurs, social scientists and entrepreneurs.”

Hang Up and Listen – Slate Magazine’s weekly sports podcast.

History Author Show – Interviews with history authors– “people who build time machines with their words.”

In the Dark – A podcast about the 27-year child abduction and investigation of Jacob Wetterling in rural Minnesota that changed the nation.

Keepin’ it 1600 – An unashamedly partisan take on political events from former Obama staffers.

Longform – A weekly conversation with a non-fiction writer about how they got their start and how they tell stories.

Memory Palace  –  “A story-telling podcast about the past”

Mere Fidelity – Features discussions of theology, culture, and politics.

The Moth – “Dedicated to promoting the art & craft of storytelling. The Moth’s stories are true, first-person narratives told live, and without notes in front of an audience. Our mission is to celebrate the diversity and commonality of human experience through storytelling and by doing so, satisfy a vital human need for connection.”

Pass the Mic – A podcast from the Reformed African American Network, touching on theology, race, politics, and other topics that matter to the contemporary church.

The Political Gabfest – Slate Magazine’s weekly politics podcast.

Radiolab – Sounds take center stage in this show about following curious questions about ideas, science, philosophy, and the human experience.

Splendid Table – A celebration of food and its place in our lives, featuring interviews with the people who prepare it, eat it, and write about it.

Story Corps –  An oral history project in which people record interviews with friends or family about events in their lives.

Stuff You Should Know – An engaging, witty primer on all sorts of topics, from panic attacks to Monty Python.

The Talk Show With John Gruber – An interview show about the technology industry, with a focus on Apple.

This American Life –  a weekly public radio show that is a collection of stories related to a theme.

Vox’s The Weeds – An engaging, in-depth discussion of the details relevant to current policy debates.

Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! – NPR’s irreverent, strangely informative quiz show.

The Watch – One of The Ringer’s signature pop culture podcasts.

Welcome to Night Vale – A dramatic podcast presented as a radio show for the fictional town of Night Vale, reporting on the strange events that occur within it.

Whistlestop – A podcast from Face the Nation’s John Dickerson on presidential campaign history

You Must Remember This – A storytelling podcast detailing the overlooked histories of Hollywood’s first century.

About the Author
  • Liz Moss is the former managing editor of In All Things and the Andreas Center Program Coordinator. Today she is the Development Director for The Tesfa Foundation, serving students and families in Ethiopia. She is ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Reformed Church in America.

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  1. I would add Malcolm Gladwell’s thought-provoking podcast, Revisionist History, and the always-delightful Stuff You Missedin History Class to this list.

  2. I enjoy several of those you list. I also recommend The Weekly Standard (balances out the Slate stuff), Planet Money (from NPR), and The Gospel in Life – Sermons from Timothy Keller.

  3. Thanks for sharing! I always love to find new podcasts! I love the Chasing Justice podcast put out by the Justice Conference and HopeWriters by Emily P. Freeman and gang. Great for writers and bloggers honing their craft!