Entertainment

7 Underrated Podcasts You Should Be Listening To

For when you're looking to kill time with something new.

woman with headphones, mask
Mikhail Tereshchenko\TASS via Getty Images

Podcasts used to be the thing that I, and so many others, listened to on my commute to work, but now they mean so much more to me. When I’ve exhausted all my streaming efforts on Netflix, I have hours worth of episodes on my podcasting app I can listen to while not being tied down to the couch. If I’m feeling down from the current climate, I can take a walk and enjoy some laughs from one of my favorite comedians. If you're looking to mix up your podcast routine, here are seven podcasts you might not know about -- but you should.

For more podcasts, check out our favorites from 2019. Or, listen to Thrillist's very own podcast.

You’re Wrong About

The hosts, former journalists Sarah Marshall and Michael Hobbes, shine a light on subjects you think you know all the details about but these two prove you wrong. Did you want to take a deep dive into the OJ Simpson trial? Well, they have a ten-part series that takes you through it, learning fresh new details about Kato Kaelin, Marcia Clark, and Nicole Brown Simpson. Do you think Jessica Simpson is only her “chicken of the sea” moment? Marshall reads Simpson's memoir to dig up all the details you never thought you needed to know to reshape your opinion about her. These two push our collective assumptions about social ills like homelessness, to historical figures like Marie Antoinette, and to so much more. 
 

Harlem Queen 

This incredible audio drama will have you hooked after just one episode. This is the story of Stephaine St. Clair, the “Numbers Queen” of the Harlem Renaissance. Yhane Smith, the writer and producer of this series, transports you back to the 1920s where Stephaine St. Clair meets all kinds of true-to-life historical figures — activist Marcus Garvey, mob boss Lucky Luciano, and poet Langston Hughes, to name a few. Things continue to heat up in Season 2 as Stephaine’s daughter has to face some hard facts about her identity. This audio drama has it all — the mafia, murder, kidnapping, with all episodes less than 15 minutes. 

FOH with Kelly Sullivan and Lillian DeVane

Restaurant workers, this podcast is for you. If you've also never worked in the service industry, this is also the podcast for you. These funny ladies talk all-things restaurants, from a famous celebrity visiting DeVane at work and ordering a porterhouse steak, no utensils, to what actually happens when a New York Times food critic shows up. As industry veterans, Sullivan and DeVane — and their friends — have seen the full spectrum of horrible dining/serving experiences.

Where Should We Begin?

The Belgian psychotherapist Esther Perel, author of Mating in Captivity, talks to couples about the challenges in their relationships as 2020's version of Dr. Ruth. Perel’s insights on how to go about dealing with the daily struggles and finding a common language for your partnership is captivating. She has a way of listening and empathizing, honing on the real issues the couple faces and helping them work through whatever the problem happens to be — from one person's struggle to get their family to not hate their life partner, to a cheating spouse, or how to deal with your relationship in lockdown. Whether you are single or in a committed relationship, there is wisdom to be taken from this podcast.

Puddles with Andrew Collin

Puddle Boy, a.k.a. Andrew Collin, hosts this hilarious podcast where he interviews fellow comedians, like Nicki Glaser, Heather McMahan, and Tim Dillon. Collin's frank, conversational interview style harks to a bigger celebrity interview podcast you've surely heard before (ahem, WTF), and his self-deprecation -- “You should not learn English from me,” claiming he knows all of three hundred words -- relaxes the room. If follow Collins on Instagram, he often holds an IG Live dating show. You could date Andrew Collins! He may only know three hundred words but he’ll use each and every one of them to make you laugh.

You Must Remember This

Karina Longworth loves Old Hollywood, and after listening to a few episodes of this podcast, you will too. Karina dedicates herself to researching the secrets and forgotten histories of Hollywood’s first century. With 169 episodes to date, there’s a lot of Old Hollywood to love — from Howard Hughes creating what we now know as the first blockbuster of the sound era to a seven-part series on Marilyn Monroe. This incredibly well-researched podcast gives you a wealth of information and fun facts about how Hollywood became what it is today.

This Is Actually Happening

This podcast explores the human experience through thematic first-person storytelling. Each episode poses a (not-so) rhetorical question -- for example, “What if your mom was murdered by a serial killer?” or "What if you suffered a shocking loss?” This highly addictive and emotional podcast will have you listening for hours.

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Jocelyne O'Toole is an actor, writer, and comedian living in Brooklyn.
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