Cosy up in a slanket and let your lugholes do all the heavy lifting as Sofie Hagen suggests 10 podcasts to get you through the winter.
Winter is here. It’s time for blankets, candles, slippers and staying inside no matter what. Seriously. Even if George Clooney shows up at your door and invites you on a long walk in the moonlight, slam the door in his face and shout: “Your wife is magnificent, you pig! And I have just read this Standard Issue article about podcasts and I am hours behind if I want to get through all of them by summer.” Because this list is about to make that Seasonal Affective Disorder a little easier to get through.
My Favourite Murder
The two American comedians Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark are currently absolutely killing it on the podcast scene. Which would make them happy to hear, as they love murder. Well, they don’t love murder. Murder actually makes them sad. But it fascinates them – enough to meet up once a week and share their favourite real-life cases.
The chemistry between them makes them worth listening to week after week in itself. The fact they spice it up with excellent storytelling and empathetic tales of survival and grief and, let’s be honest, a lot of gore, just makes this podcast one of the best ever.
Do you believe in ghosts? Comedians Ian Boldsworth and Barry Dodds discuss ghosts (in season one) and mysteries (in season two). In every episode, Barry brings up a ghost story or a mystery, in which he 100 per cent believes. Then Ian spends an hour debunking it until Barry is a broken mess who will say things like, “But wasn’t it more fun when it seemed real?”
Their banter (for lack of a better word) is extraordinarily funny. The special episodes in which they actually go to a haunted house and interview a clairvoyant are just incredible. Another notable mention is Barry’s genuine fear of Derren Brown – or as he puts it, “about as close as we’ve got to the Devil on Earth”. By far my favourite podcast and my two favourite hosts – and people.
“Stop Podcasting Yourself has been going for nearly 10 years. I mean. How is that even possible? In the beginning, did they just send a tape out to subscribers?”
Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People
Comedian Chris Gethard had quite a special idea: what would happen if he put his number on the internet and just let people call him? One rule: he can’t hang up. You might expect the same thing as he did – a lot of prank calls. Instead something beautiful happened; people call in and share some of their deepest fears or darkest memories.
The phone call from the woman who found out that her husband was a child molester is chilling, but ends up being about so much more than that – it’s about perseverance and strength.
Gethard is an excellent listener; he is in awe of all of people he speaks to. Most of them seem to humble him in some way. This is the most intimate podcast you’ll listen to. Intimate to an almost uncomfortable extent – but only ‘almost’.
2 Dope Queens
Comics Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson are incredible. Queens indeed. They are quicker on their feet than most comedians I know. The show starts with them talking about their lives in front of a live audience, just being BFFs, but it’s rammed with punchline after punchline.
They introduce to the stage – and to the listeners – three exciting comedians each time. Rarely do we hear the comedy of a white, straight male. Instead we hear everyone from celebrities to newer acts on the scene. This is a funny, empowering and pretty fucking poignant podcast.
Grownups Read Things They Wrote As Kids
If I tell you the title of this podcast and the fact that it’s Canadian, do you really need to know more? Host Dan Misener invites people to come to the live shows and read things from their youth out loud. And it is hilarious. Sometimes touching. Sometimes just plain entertaining. And. So. Freaking. Relatable.
The episodes are quite short, so you’ll sail through a season in days. And then you’ll be waiting impatiently for the next episode. It’s addictive. You’ve been warned.
Kid Fury and Crissle meet up once a week to talk about pop and hip-hop. I know nothing about pop and hip-hop and I don’t particularly care, meaning this podcast is obviously so much deeper than that. The episode that came out right after Trump was elected was heartbreaking. There was an episode about the police shootings of people of colour in America too that just has to be listened to.
You have to trust me. You have to listen. It was recommended to me by Jessamyn Stanley and I do think that says it all. White people especially need to listen. And then shut up. And then keep listening.
The Alison Spittle Show
I am a fan of Alison Spittle to the extent that I don’t know what I’ll do with myself if she doesn’t become super-famous very soon. I’m in luck because she is on her way pretty fucking quickly.
Alison hosts this live show and releases it as a podcast. It’s a talk show in which she interviews someone cool – but wait? Is Alison Spittle not a woman? Do women host talk shows? Um, now they bloody do. If you hear one episode without falling in love with Alison, I will pay for your child’s university fees. Also listen to this podcast if you love the Irish accent.
Stop Podcasting Yourself
This podcast has been going for nearly 10 years. I mean. How is that even possible? In the beginning, did they just send a tape out to subscribers? There is no doubt why it has continued ever since: because it is bloody marvellous. And no, you don’t have to listen from the beginning to be on board.
Dave Shumka and Graham Clark talk to fellow comedians. And that’s it. It’s hilarious. I also have a big crush on Graham Clark but you don’t technically need to know that in order to listen to the podcast. I just thought I would mention it because aren’t you just a bit curious now?
Comedian Sofie Hagen (Oh hello, it’s me and my podcast!) talks to people about life-stuff. That sounds oddly unspecific when actually it becomes so specific that often it feels like it’s only you, the guest and Sofie (hi again!) who is in on it.
Like in the episode where Avery Edison reveals that she always orders the exact same thing at Subway. And Sofie (hi again AGAIN!) shares that she hates blueberries (because they are never the same size, they never taste the same and they have very different consistencies). This is a podcast about connection. About two people. About weirdnesses, about adulting badly, about trying to be humans.
Bad Fat Broads
On their website, the subtitle is “the bad fat bitch perspective on everything important” and I think we’re all like HELL YEAH BRING IT, right? KC and Ariel talk about fat stuff. They get angry, they get vigilant, they get educational and it’s worth listening to and it’s worth taking in. An intersectional podcast if there ever was one. I’m such a big fan. I’m donating to their Patreonaccount. I love them.
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Sofie Hagen is a Danish stand-up comedian based in London. She is also a body positivity activist and a comedy writer.