It seems like everywhere we look, everyone has a podcast from stars as big as Oprah to YouTube celebrities like Jenna, Julian and Emma Chamberlain. However, there is a wide variety of podcasts that exist outside of what’s advertised on mainstream media. Podcasting is a whole world and community within itself, and it contains some of the best entertainment I’ve come across in a while. All these podcasts can be accessed through Apple and Spotify Podcasting.
One of the very first podcasts I continue to listen to is “VIEWS with David Dobrik and Jason Nash.” If you love David’s vlogs, in his podcasts, he details how he was able to pull his stunts off and tells mini storytimes of crazy experiences that don’t make the final vlog edit. David once stated in a vlog that there is usually about three to four hours of vlog footage per video he never uses, so the podcast is a great way to get a grasp at the difficulty of creating content for YouTube and the technicalities of being a social media celebrity. The best part of the “VIEWS” podcast is that not only is it David and Jason, but they have other famous members of their friend group deemed the Vlog Squad (like Zane Hijazi and Toddy Smith). Each story they tell seems more unbelievable than the last, like him visiting a fan whose dad is crazy, which is my personal favorite. His bit made David’s vlog, where he builds a giant slide made of tarp and wooden planks and rides down it in a kayak into his pool. The whole time, David laughs behind the camera while saying, “this is safe, right?” Everyone shakes their head, and the dad says, “I hope.” David explained his fear of having to trust that the fan’s dad would know when to stop and that he and his friends are there to help if something goes wrong. It puts into perspective how much David feels responsible for everyone that performs for his vlog and his feelings deep down about how he doesn’t want anyone to recreate these stunts at home. He wants to keep his fans safe, and his character builds the more you listen to the podcast.
Another podcast that may not have the same quick speed of David Dobrik, but still holds the same amount of storytelling and ridiculous concepts is “Everything is Alive” by Radiotopia, a podcasting network. Each episode is about 20 to 25 minutes long and takes the listener through the life story of an inanimate object as interviewed by the host, and creator, Ian Chillag. He interviews things such as a Magic 8-Ball and bath towel to stuffed animals, each with a name, and by the end of the episode, you feel like the object is a real person. The first episode I experienced was Louis, a can of Cola who makes it clear that he is a bottom shelf soda that often gets mistaken for Coca Cola to which he “has made peace with.” Louis details his adventures before his current refrigerator, revealing that Louis has a complex of almost being chosen to be consumed and likes to imagine the ideal person he would like to drink him. It’s very comical to think that a food item would be insulted by not being consumed when there are other times. For example, in the raunchy movie “Sausage Party,” food is terrified to be eaten and see it as genocide by human beings. It made me wonder what inanimate objects would say if they could speak. Would they be judgmental about how I spend my time? Would they care to interact with me, or would they stay silent and be a Toy Story situation? Either way, it’s a choice I recommend to anyone who is looking for a quick laugh for something ridiculous and not that complex.
My current favorite podcast is the “Tiny Meat Gang” podcast hosted by YouTubers Noel Miller and Cody Ko. At the end of each of their famous “THAT’S CRINGE” YouTube videos, they always advertise that it is an hour-long “THAT’S CRINGE.” The two make fun of and analyze trending topics of the day or week, often commenting on other YouTubers and celebrities as well. Noel’s sharp tongue and Cody’s in-depth analyzing skills make an exciting duo that young adults can relate to. They show listeners why certain perspectives are wrong and stand up for gender and women problems with confidence, but encourage their audience to construct their own beliefs and think deeply about social issues instead of taking content for face value. Both creators, on their own, create a commentary on their own YouTube channels, so if you like one of them, they have available solo content for reaction videos that are just as good as their podcast. The best part of their podcast is that they post their highlights or favorite parts, which can range from five to 20 minutes but are significantly shorter than their full recordings. Sometimes sitting through an hour podcast can be tedious, so it is very considerate that they offer an alternative so that everyone can enjoy “Tiny Meat Gang” at different levels. The humor does get very dark and raunchy at times, so it isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you’re interested in exploring the commentary genre of podcasting, I would start here.
Another favorite podcast of mine is “Something Scary,” starkly different from the other podcasts as it is horror-themed. The two hosts Sapphire and Markeia take turns reading short horror stories, whether they be Creepypasta’s, urban legends, or stories that listeners have sent in for a chance to be featured on the podcast. Each story is about five to 10 minutes long but has remarkable detail that makes each story feel like a little movie. Their soft alluring voices that greet you as one of their dark darlings each time makes it addicting to listen to as if you’re sharing stories around a campfire with your best friends. Their style of storytelling is acting out and narrating each piece, which is very similar to another podcaster, “MrCreepypasta’s Storytime,” who is a frequent guest on their podcast to tell his own stories that he has written. My favorite episode of “Something Scary” is one that was recommended to play after a random “MrCreepypasta’s Storytime” I chose as background noise while cleaning my house. Each episode has a theme, this one being forests. The story focused on a small village girl who visits a legendary fairy garden that supposedly grants wishes. Around this time, there have been many people going missing which is usually a big hint for the listener. Due to her family’s extreme poverty, she visits the garden and brings food to feed the fairies in an attempt to gain their trust. The spirits give her the money, and the girl goes home, but once the girl realizes the money is fake, she confronts the fairies. The fairies then attack her and kill her, turning her into another flower in the garden but not before whispering the last words, “why do you think nobody ever comes back?” Each story leaves a spine-tingling feeling, not too scary but not very child friendly but, just enough to make you check the dark a few times for monsters!
Funny enough, I am on a podcast as well for Illini Media at the UIUC called “What’s the Buzz?” It was a radio show every Wednesday from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. every week, but due to quarantine, we transitioned into a podcast that is available on Apple and Spotify Podcasts. There we talk about local happenings in the Champaign-Urbana area and anything cool that is happening, from music to crazy events happening in the world. You can check out all of our music picks from our current two episodes on our Spotify @buzzmagcu. We also just launched social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @buzzpodcastcu. Be sure to follow us there!
I hope everyone gives at least one of these podcasts a listen and stays tuned for more great podcast recommendations in the future.