I only discovered podcasts last year, and I only started listening to them because I love forensics and true crime, and Buzzfeed kept suggesting I listen to My Favorite Murder. After that, Karen and Georgia (MFM hosts) suggested The Dollop, and then they suggested Last Podcast on the Left, and I just branched out from there.
Because I’m so bad at putting things in order – I can barely make a top five list, how am I supposed to figure out which I love MOST – I’ve put this in simple, alphabetical order.
And That’s Why We Drink
If you’ve ever wondered what causes a gay Jew and a Catholic who works for Nickelodeon to drink, then this is the podcast for you. Every episode Em (Team Milkshake) covers something spooky, ghostly, or otherwise paranormal, and her co-host Christine (Team Wine) covers a gruesome killing. But don’t let the content turn you off, these two girls are truly hilarious!!
Life Lesson: #TeamMilkshake for life
Favorite Episode: Episode 25 Ghostly Frenemies and Alcala-ism, which is all about ghosts in the White House (you go Abe Lincoln!) and the Dating Game Killer.
I have gotten my best friend, a new friend from school, a girl I didn’t even like, a boy that likes me, a teacher, and my mother to listen to this podcast. If I were absolutely forced to pick a favorite podcast, The Dollop one would be tied for first with My Favorite Murder.
“Lost” episodes: Dave was accused of plagiarism a while back, and because he was getting ACTUAL DEATH THREATS DIRECTED AT HIS SON he chose to take down the episodes involved. Listen, I’m not going to get into “did he plagiarise” because it doesn’t matter: you don’t send your readers to threaten a guy’s four-year-old ever, under any circumstance. But you’re in luck! Because I’ve found the missing episodes and they’re pretty amazing: Killdozer, The Three Jesuses, Ralph Neves, and Michael Larson. If the links quit working, let me know.
Life Lesson: Alcohol makes you…. interesting. And Dave will block anyone on twitter.
Favorite Episode: My favorites are as follows: anything involving the Irish, Baseball, or Australia. Because all three of those tend to involve copious amounts of alcohol. But in terms of specific episodes: Macquarie Island (aka penguin genocide), Rube Waddell, Stagecoach Mary, Boston Corbett, and PT Barnum.
Last Podcast on the Left
Life Lesson: Life is rough. Really rough.
Favorite Episodes: In my opinion, their best episodes are probably the ones about John Wayne Gacy, and if you listen to nothing else, you need to treat yourself to their dramatic reading of his defense attorney’s book, Defending a Monster.
My Favorite Murder
The podcast that started it all (for me)!
Life Lesson: Fuck politeness.
Favorite Episode: ALL OF THEM. Honestly, either the Chicago Podcast Festival where Karen discussed John Wayne Gacy or the one that I got to see LIVE in Nashville! It’s not been published yet, but you’ll hear me screaming with excitement when it is.
Life Lesson: The proper response to history is always “what the hell?”
Favorite Episode: I haven’t listened to as much of this podcast as I have the others, so it’s hard to say. But I loved the one about London’s Train for the Dead.
Small Town Murder
This is a similar style to The Dollop because it features one comedian reading a story to another comedian. But this podcast is different because The Dollop never covers murders (unless you count Otto in the Attic). My favorite part of this podcast, which I’ve only recently discovered, is how each episode starts with the statistics of the town. They let you know how many
Life Lesson: If you want fewer murders in your town, get yourself some Jews and some Muslims.
Favorite Episodes: To be honest, the first one was hilarious, but the one about Maynardville, Tennessee is special to me because it’s right down the road from me, and the one about Old Orchard Beach is cool because I went on a family vacation there only a few months after the featured murder.
If you’ve ever wondered about the secrets of life, then Thinking Sideways is the place to do it. Personally, I prefer some of their older episodes, because a lot of the newer ones have become more about missing people than about insane stories, but they’re all still wonderful. And this podcast is how I got my mother into them. Introduce her to this with minimal cursing or sex jokes, then she can move onto the Dollop and MFM.
Life Lesson: It was the chupacabra.
Favorite Episodes: Coral Palace, Texarkana Moonlight Murders, The Mad Trapper of Rat River