Indulge your interests, expand your brain, listen a little – here’s Men’s Style‘s guide to podcasts perfect for the modern gent.
Bret Easton Ellis
The author of American Psycho offers up a masterclass in stream-of-conscious social and cultural commentary. Just listen to him go on a rant about what he calls America’s new ultra-PC movement: “This is the outcome of both terrible helicoptering parents and Facebook culture conspiring to create a generation of wussy self-victimisers who overreact to the slightest thing that alters their self-made safe spaces, which they have been building ever since they occupied their social media havens, where they can only have friends who agree with them about everything, and all the things they like and tune out anything that might challenge them…” And that ain’t half of it. Ellis is outspoken, funny, eloquent and offers incisive “insider” interviews with fellow celebs like Quentin Tarantino, Kanye West, Shirley Manson and Matthew Weiner.
If you’re a right-thinking gent who sees red whenever someone spews pseudoscience, then Skepticality is the place to get your regular fix of rationality. The official program of Skeptics Magazine, this started in 2005 and has clocked up more than 260 episodes, with hosts Derek Colanduno and Robynn “Swoopy” McCarthy interviewing authors, researchers and boffins actively battling the epidemic of bullshit that sees vaccines doubted by the very same charlatans who promote homeopathy. But don’t think your own beliefs won’t be challenged, particularly when data expert Kyle Polich uses “conditional probability” and “hindsight bias” to explain the striking coincidences we sometimes encounter in our lives.
This comedy powerhouse started back in 2003 by making animated movies out of video game graphics, with its wildly popular Red Vs Blue having now clocked up more than 400 episodes over 13 seasons. Since then, the Rooster Teeth team has added this podcast, with each ep a freewheeling back-and-forth discussion about gaming, movies, pop culture, their projects (RT movie Lazer Team, crowdfunded to the tune of US$2.4m, was released recently), and subjects like dick pictures, doing it in the butt, and, naturally, the annoying minutiae of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Rooster Teeth recently came to Australia for a sellout RTX event, with the shenanigans dutifully recorded for an ep of the podcast.
In just six years, Chris Hardwick and mates have produced nearly 800 episodes of their podcast devoted to all things nerdtastic. In the process, Hardwick, once a jobbing actor, has become one of new media’s busiest multihyphenates as a TV host, producer, musician, writer, and, still, CEO of Nerdist Industries. You may know him from the official weekly Talking Bad and Talking Dead post-Breaking Bad and Walking Dead TV shows. But The Nerdist remains just as high-profile, landing guests like John Brolin to talk Hail Caesar!, David Duchovny to rap about reprising The X-Files and Jason Alexander on the life after playing Seinfeld’s George Costanza.
Get Fit Guy
Personal trainer Ben Greenfield offers up short (seven to 10 minutes) episodes revolving around how you can “slim down and shape up”. Greenfield is a no-nonsense chap who mixes up his subjects to keep you fresh and thinking about your routine, whether it’s in the gym, at home or at work. “8 Alternatives to Sitting at Your Desk” is seven minutes well spent, though it’s debatable whether you’ll want to do lunges while you’re at your next meeting. There are hundreds of these short, sharp tips – “How to Get Very Strong Without a Gym”, “3 Exercise Trends That May Actually Be Bad for You” – that come complete with downloadable notes.
Read our extended list of podcasts for the modern gent in the current issue of Men’s Style, with Waleed Aly on the cover.