There are three podcasts I have been listening to regularly, whose hosts are not people would probably enjoy hanging out with in real life, but I hang on their every word when I delve into an episode.
If I met them at a party or a bar, I would likely write them off at people I’m not interested in talking to. Not in a “I’m good. They’re bad” sort of way. But just acknowledging that we’re different and maybe not compatible.
They are all very different from each other, but the common thread that runs through all of them is that they are unapologetically themselves and they create a space for everyone else to be themselves. They all surprise me with their vulnerability, humility, and generosity.
So, who are these people that I wouldn’t say hello to in a social setting, but bring with me on quiet walks, sit next two during my commute to work, and let accompany on my errands?
Let me formally introduce them one by one:
Marc Maron, host of WFT
Marc is the classic crank at the end of the bar. He is opinionated, negative, sour and just a turd in the punch. Marc interviewed renowned feminist and author of The Vagina Monologues, Eve Ensler. At one point they both break down in tears over the broken and hardened emotionless world they see around them, and Marc earnestly asks, what people, specifically men in power, need to do to apologize and account for the harm they have caused. Who would have thunk?
Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff, hosts of My Favorite Murders
Karen and Georgia are two self-proclaimed valley girls, who tout the benefits of botox and L.A. dive bars. They make it clear they are no experts or fact checkers and if you don’t like it, “BYEEEEEE.” At the same time, when they get feedback from their listeners they do their best to be more aware of what they are saying. They started using the term sex worker because fans informed them saying prostitute or hooker implies exploitation or victimhood, which isn’t always the case. They also are honest and open about their own struggles with alcohol, drugs and mental illness creating dialogue or at least a starting point for others to talk openly about their mental health.
Greg Dybec and Joe Santagato, hosts of Other People’s Lives
Joe and Greg are two millennial white dudes, who obsess over working out and call each other “bro” and “dude.” What can I say? My fondness for them had to be the most surprising. An episode of Other People’s Lives was recommended to be my podcast app. I took a quick listen and immediately wrote them off as just two bro’s who wanted to start a podcast. But then I really started to listen, and I was touched by how curious and honest they were with their guests. They were sensitive in asking prying questions and did their best to be mindful of their biases, ignorance, privilege and lack of knowledge on topics they were interviewing people on. They champion their guests for their courage to come on the show, and they protect their anonymity if it is requested.
I’m still not sure they are people I’d want to spend my Saturday night with, but I really like listening to what they have to say. Here is an episode of each to get your started:
WFT - Episode 1035 – Nahnatchka Khan
My Favorite Murder – 155 – You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
Other People’s Lives – Living With HIV