17 Pop Culture Podcasts To Keep You Company During Quarantine
From TV, to theatre, to the glitzy and gritty world of old Hollywood, we’ve rounded up pop culture podcasts for your listening pleasure
It’s hard to imagine a world without podcasts. Or at least, a world in which podcasts aren’t the behemoth that it is today. There are pods on quite literally everything, from sports, to comedy, to wellness, to TV shows, to podcasts about TV shows. Vulture has taken a deep dive into the history of the medium, from its pioneers, to the term’s accidental coinage, to the way in which it’s everywhere these days.
As we approach the second weekend of the enhanced community quarantine, you might be starting to get a bit antsy. Maybe your TV shows don’t have the same sparkle to them anymore as you head into season five out of ten; maybe the movies you’ve been meaning to watch all these years have finally been seen. If you’re looking for a new way to consume pop culture, why not try disappearing into a podcast about it?
We’ve rounded up 17 pop culture podcasts—from TV, to theatre, to the glitzy and gritty world of old Hollywood—for your listening pleasure. All podcasts mentioned are available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Overcast.
1. Billboard on Broadway
If you’ve always been interested in the intersection of musical theatre and pop music, then Billboard on Broadway is the pod for you. In this podcast, Billboard senior editor Rebecca Milzoff chats with Broadway stars and artists, from Lea Salonga to Sara Bareilles, Sutton Foster to Billy Porter, and the casts and creatives of shows like Hadestown, Come From Away, Anastasia, The Cher Show, Dear Evan Hansen, and so much more.
2. Keep It!
If you’re more about keeping up with the current zeitgeist in pop culture today, then Keep It!, hosted by Ira Madison III, is up your alley. Every episode, he and his co-hosts Louis Virtel and Aida Osman (Kara Brown in the earlier episodes) are joined by comedians, journalists, actors, musicians, and more to discuss how pop culture and entertainment intersect with politics and society. One of the show’s best moments, bar none, is still when Louis enumerated all of Meryl Streep’s Oscar-nominated roles in one breath.
3. Dolly Parton’s America
Based on the Q score—a celebrity scoring system that advertisers, marketers, and publicists use to determine how popular a personality, brand, company, or piece of media is—Dolly Parton is one of the top ten most beloved celebrities in the world and also one of the least hated. Radio personality Jad Abumrad, host of Dolly Parton’s America, set out to discover why this is. In this 9-episode podcast “into the Dollyverse,” he examines Dolly’s legacy and influence on individuals, politics, and pop culture.
4. My Favorite Murder
In My Favorite Murder, comedians Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark talk about exactly that: their favorite murder, going as far back as the case of Albert Fish and Ed Gein to more classic serial killer stories like Richard Ramirez and John Wayne Gacy. Formatted more like a casual hang with your BFF (pod catchphrases like “Stay sexy, don’t get murdered,” “Pepper spray first, apologize later,” and “Toxic masculinity ruins the party again” have made their way onto t-shirts and baseball caps), Karen and Georgia often bring the victims and survivors to the fore, rather than the murderers and the criminals.
Potterless follows Mike Schubert, “a grown man reading Harry Potter for the first time,” in this comedy podcast named after Pottermore. He goes chapter by chapter in each book as well as bonus episodes talking about the movies, often with guest hosts, who are Harry Potter fanatics themselves.
6. Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Podcast
After moving to the comfortable spaces of NBC, Brooklyn Nine-Nine experiences having promotional material for the first time. In this podcast, host Marc Evan Jackson (who is also on the show as Kevin) takes a deep dive into each season of one of TV’s biggest hit comedies. The cast and creators often come onto the show as well, sharing behind-the-scenes stories, anecdotes, secrets, and more.
7. The Good Place: The Podcast
If you’re a fan of the NBC comedy The Good Place, then head right over to its official podcast. Also hosted by Marc Evan Jackson, who, again, is on the show—this time as Shawn—The Good Place podcast features interviews with the cast, creators, writers, and producers of the show.
8. Gilmore Guys
Maybe you just finished bingeing all of Gilmore Girls on Netflix for the third time. Maybe you miss it, maybe it’s your first time seeing it. Whatever the case, if you’re a fan of the show, then you’re sure to enjoy Gilmore Guys, a comedy podcast that recaps and talks about each episode of Gilmore Girls (and, later on, Bunheads and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) featuring Kevin T. Porter, lifelong Gilmore fan, and Demi Adejuyigbe, a comedian who watches the show for the first time.
9. Good Christian Fun
Also by Kevin T. Porter, Good Christian Fun takes a look at Christian pop culture, from Fireproof to Veggie Tales—everything encompassing the “weird and hilarious world of faith-based entertainment.” Guests also come on the show, often comedians, often Kevin’s friends, and they set out to have a bit of good Christian fun.
10. Pop Culture Therapists
In Pop Culture Therapists, join two therapists as they analyze how mental health is portrayed in movies and television shows. They talk about 13 Reasons Why, This Is Us, Hereditary, Gilmore Girls, Sharp Objects, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and more.
11. Still Watching
In Still Watching, Vanity Fair’s television podcast, TV critics Joanna Robinson and Richard Lawson cover various television shows episode by episode. They’ve done American Crime Story, Westworld, Sharp Objects, various fall TV shows, The Romanoffs, True Detective, Game of Thrones, Big Little Lies, Succession, The Mandalorian, and The Outsider.
12. The West Wing Weekly
Josh Malina and Hrishikesh Hirway co-host The West Wing Weekly, a podcast dedicated to one of television’s most beloved shows, The West Wing. They bring on cast members, Aaron Sorkin, and the crew and creatives of the show to talk about, reminisce, and bicker about the lives and times of Sam, Donna, Josh, Jed, Leo, Abby, CJ, and more.
13. You Must Remember This
Karina Longworth narrates this storytelling podcast about the secret and forgotten histories of Hollywood’s first centuries, from the life and career of Judy Garland, Madonna, Marlon Brando, Star Wars, the Manson murders, Joan Crawford, and a whole lot more.
14. How Did This Get Made?
In How Did This Get Made?, comedians Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, and Jason Mantzoukas talk about badly-made movies and ask the eponymous question. How did this get made? They talk about and lightly diss movies like the Bratz movie, Jennifer Lopez’s The Boy Next Door, Spider-Man 3, and more.
15. Show People With Paul Wontorek
This is the podcast version of Broadway.com’s Show People series, a talk show the celebrates Broadway artistry by inviting stars, producers, and newcomers to talk about their beginnings in the art form and their recent works. Past interviewees include Idina Menzel, Andrew Garfield, Eva Noblezada, Stephanie J. Block, and more.
16. EW’s Binge
Entertainment Weekly’s pop culture podcast, Binge, celebrates the best in film and TV, “the shows and movies you want to curl up with and watch for hours on end.” In this podcast, they invite the cast and creators of beloved shows to discuss their works with EW editors. Past episodes include Schitt’s Creek, Harry Potter, and Friday Night Lights.
17. Punch Up The Jam
“What if the greatest musical hits could be …greater,” comedian-musician Miel Bredouw asks. In Punch Up The Jam, he teams up with guests to “revisit, review, and revise” pop songs and offer an “improved, punched-up” version. Punched-up jams include “Material Girl” by Madonna, “Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes, “Shallow” from A Star is Born, “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield, and more.
Lead photos from Spotify