It’s 8:27 a.m. on a Monday. You’re waiting for the train, or worse, a streetcar. It’s -27 degrees Celsius outside, or at least you think it is because you’re just genuinely too terrified to look at the wind-chill. The hypothetical train and/or streetcar arrives; it’s jam-packed to the doors with fellow commuters, deadened by the cold and the early hour.
Quell that rising misanthropic impulse! Soothe your frayed nerves. Pop on one of these podcasts and remind yourself that life is really only miserable between 7-10 a.m, on weekdays in winter Toronto.
The podcast delves into topics “often left out of polite conversation.” Podcasts include discussions with a formerly incarcerated bitcoin mogul, Q+A sessions with everyone affected by student loans and Kevin Bacon discussing financial troubles. Anna’s curiosity, fascination, humour and empathy with all her guests produces insightful conversations about, “the things we think about a lot and need to talk about more.”
The premise of the podcast is simple: hosted by Chris Gethard (most well-known for his role on Parks and Recreation), the actor calls someone anonymous, and talks to them for an hour. At first glance, it seems to be a platform for some juicy bar stories from strangers but in reality it’s a graceful way of witnessing two people connect, through stories and stories alone.
What comes to mind when you think of Buzzfeed? Listicles? Gifs? A flurry of tasks you evaded to find out which Disney princess you are? (Link here). Whatever your perceptions of Buzzfeed are, they are coming out with some exceptional content because of the quality of their producers—specifically, Kelsey Darragh and Kate Peterman.
If you’ve ever watched a Buzzfeed video with either of these ladies you know what we’re talking about. As comedians, writers and video producers, they’re intensely brave about sharing a level of vulnerability with their audience. Topics range from living with chronic pain, diva cup tips, anxiety and depression, and how to love yourself through the existential pain that is #adulting.
The podcast captures the whimsical elements of the New Yorker and condenses it into an hour. The strength of the New Yorker’s podcast lies in the fluidity of its format. The podcasts consist of a mix of profiles, storytelling, conversations with artists, with topics ranging from discussions on current world events, interviews with artists and their craft, and even a conversation about whether robots could actually take over our jobs.
It is universal knowledge that the career of a stand-up comedian is generally a tragic phenomenon to watch until they have some relative success. Luckily for us, we have Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams to transcribe their experiences and use their platform to showcase their favorite comics and performers. What they create is pure magic, what they do with their success is purely empowering: featuring female comedians, LGBTQ comedians and comedians of color.