Listening to podcasts is a wonderful way to spend a commute, but with so many options available it can be hard to know where to dive in. Well you’re in luck, because whether you’re a full-fledged podhead or a complete novice, you’re sure to enjoy one of these award-winning podcasts that are perfect for pausing to listen to the conversation of some nearby strangers who look like they might be in a weird fight or something.
This American Life
This long-lived journalistic radio show hosted by Ira Glass has garnered multiple Peabody awards, and each episode effortlessly weaves genres in a compelling exploration of one overarching theme or question. There’s no bad place to start, so pick any show and prepare to be sort of transfixed until you realize you can overhear the tense conversation of the people in front of you, at which point you will hit pause and be utterly transfixed by that instead. Sorry, Ira, but the real story is right in this train car, and it’s two people you don’t know talking about a kind of fucked up-sounding third person you don’t know.
If true crime is more your speed, then you’ll be swiftly sucked into the disturbing story of gross malpractice by a Texas surgeon. You’ll be wondering, “How did he get away with it for all those years?” but also, “Are these two people across from me a couple or just friends, or are they together? Or even siblings?” Only one way to find out so go ahead and pop those headphones off. Listen closely and you’re bound to discover some hints about the relationship between these people who you will never see again in your life. Why do you enjoy this so much?!
My Dad Wrote a Porno
If you desire lighter fare, check out the pod where comedian James Morton and friends read and analyze an erotic novel written by his father, chapter by chapter.
Or honestly, just skip the whole charade it will never come close to listening to the conversation of the couple in front of you who might actually be discussing the terms of their divorce. It’s like a podcast that only airs when you’re on a train! It’s fun cause you’re spying!
So download an episode or two of these acclaimed podcasts and get ready to hit pause in favor of a stranger talking about something likely incomprehensible without context! Maybe they’ll say something funny and you can text it to your friend… can’t get that from a podcast!