Best 2011 Podcast

by George Watches Things

The runner-ups, in alphabetical order:

Culturetopia (NPR)

Culturetopia has two shows a week: a fancy, but still entertaining, pop culture interview/news show very typical of weekday NPR shows, and an entertaining, but still fancy, pop culture panel show very typical of weekend NPR shows. If you love pop culture, and feeling fancy, download Culturetopia.

Filmspotting (WBEZ)

This is definitely the best film podcast of all-time, but it could have had a more even year. Filmspotting’s goal for 2012 should be narrowing its list of co-hosts down to a manageable and rotating 5. My suggestions: Rian Johnson, Michael Phillips, Tasha Robinson, Matt Singer, and Allison Willmore.

This American Life (WBEZ)

TAL improved upon a strong 2010, proving that they still have it, even after 12 years.

The Tony Kornheiser Show (WTEM)

Now remember: this was not the year of the suspension. Even though the Reginald segments aren’t as funny as they used to be, the Andy Rooney-like lovable curmudgeon that is Mr. Tony still makes for fun morning radio. It’s like The Today Show, but not terrible.

Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me (WBEZ)

I don’t mind that they’re clearly biased (perhaps because I agree with them most of the time). And I love them all (perhaps because they’re hilarious). Even and especially you, Paula. I want Larry King to be a panelist, though, now that he’s a comedian.

And the winner is…

The Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz (WAXY)

This show has seen better days. Last year, in my opinion, was their best year, and they will probably never top it… ever. But even though most of the other shows on this list improved over last year, the LeBatard Show still wins. It’s not easy to dedicate yourself to a weekdaily show that runs 2 hours and 30 minutes (without commercials), especially when you have Netflix AND Hulu Plus. But I do it. Because I genuinely enjoy spending time with all these people.

And now a few suggestions for Dan LeBatard and his crew:

  1. Don’t be afraid to claim the stuff you do is satire. Luis Buñuel did it, and he got good returns.
  2. Bring back Douche or No Douche.
  3. Bring back Hackman. Or at least The Sports Comic. (Night night.)
  4. Create a spinoff show entitled “Mike and Belly in the Morning.” Mike could talk about soccer and crying, while Roy goes on about crackers and hockey.

That is all.