Pod people: CNET's favourite podcasts

The best podcast discovery is via personal recommendation. Here are the podcasts that the humans of CNET love the most.

CNET staff
1 of 19 BBC

In Our Time

I like In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg for deep-dive discussions on subjects you knew you wanted to learn about, like Jane Eyre and the invention of photography, to ones you didn't know you should know about, like the Lancashire cotton famine during the US Civil War and the female Egyptian pharaoh Hatshepsut.

-- Stephen Shankland

2 of 19 John August and Craig Mazin


Scriptnotes is a podcast from John August and Craig Mazin, two accomplished screenwriters who live and breathe their industry. It's a must for movie fans, especially those interested in the art of screenwriting, but anyone at all should listen a few times to hear two great hosts do their thing.

-- Seamus Byrne

3 of 19 WNYC

Here's the Thing

Alec Baldwin's interviews with a wide range of celebrities bring some fascinating stories to light about how different famous people got where they are and what drives them the most.

-- Jeremy Toeman

4 of 19 Radiotopia


Serial got us all hooked on cliff-hangers, but Criminal is the thinking girl's true-crime podcast. Host Phoebe Judge gets beyond the murder headlines and grisly blood spatter and tells fascinating stories about people caught up in all aspects of crime.

-- Claire Reilly

5 of 19 WEE Studios

Worst Episode Ever

I love Worst Episode Ever for its obsessive dissection of postclassic "Simpsons" episodes and increasingly ridiculous in-jokes. The show's been described by The Village Voice as "breathtakingly self-indulgent", which is pretty much spot-on. It's glorious.

-- Sarah McDermott

6 of 19 Earwolf

Question of the Day

Question of the Day is the best podcast ever. Hosts James Altucher and Stephen J. Dubner are whip smart, insightful, amusing and seriously thought provoking. Can't get enough.

-- Rick Broida

7 of 19 ESPN

Cheap Heat

My absolute favorite wrestling podcast is Cheap Heat. It entertains whether you're a fan of wrestling, a general sports fan or simply here to appreciate the outstanding chemistry between the hosts. Also, no other podcast on the planet has done more for making Fu Fu Schma Schma a household name.

-- Eric Franklin

8 of 19 Gastropod


Whether you're a foodie, a science geek or a history nut, Gastropod encapsulates a tasty morsel for everyone. In this biweekly podcast, hosts Cynthia Graber (Fast Company, Slate) and Nicola Twilley (The New Yorker, Edible Geography) look at what we eat, the way we eat and how it got that way.

-- Chris Paukert

9 of 19

2 Dope Queens

I love 2 Dope Queens, hosted by Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson (same person from Sooo Many White Guys). The podcast showcases not only the comedic chemistry of Jessica and Phoebe, but boasts a diverse lineup of comedians.

-- Ashlee Clark Thompson

10 of 19 Earwolf


Spontaneanation is where comedian Paul F. Tompkins makes up an intro, interviews a guest and then joins forces with three improv comedians to create a long-form improv narrative based on a location and talking points provided by the guest. Easily one of the funnier, weirder podcasts I've ever listened to.

-- Ashley Esqueda

11 of 19 Geekly Inc


There's no other world to describe SAYER but brilliant. It all takes place in the form of instructions being relayed to the listener, a resident on the artificial moon of Typhon, by the artificial intelligence SAYER. It's delightfully creepy and will surprise you until the end.

-- Michelle Starr

12 of 19 Joe Rogan

The Joe Rogan Experience

Joe posts a podcast almost every day, and they're usually around three hours long. You may not be into all of them, but you'll savour each of those 180 minutes when you find a guest you dig. Russell Brand, evolutionary psychologist Gad Saad and biologist Rupert Sheldrake were top casts, for instance.

-- Daniel Van Boom

13 of 19 Giant Bomb

Giant Bombcast

Giant Bombcast is my No. 1 favorite podcast since I started listening in 2009, and I'm not saying this just because I work in the same building as these guys. Seven years later it's still funny, still relevant and still endlessly listenable. Yes, it's produced by CNET's sister site, Giant Bomb, but I'd listen even if it wasn't recorded downstairs.

-- Eric Franklin

14 of 19 Earwolf

I Was There Too

As a total movie nerd, I love this podcast. It brings you behind the scenes of well-loved movies, from the perspective of a minor character.

-- Jeremy Toeman

15 of 19 The Incomparable


Each episode of Pod4Ham discusses one song from the "Hamilton" cast recording (full disclosure, I was on a couple of episodes). It's great for Hamilfans.

-- Ashlee Clark Thompson

16 of 19 Maximum Fun

Beef and Dairy Network

If you're involved or interested in beef and dairy production, the Beef and Dairy Network podcast covers such important topics as cows in space, the dangers of lamb and some of the best ways to enjoy beef. It's interesting and informative!

-- Michelle Starr

17 of 19 Radiotopia

99% Invisible

99% Invisible is one of those fun podcasts to geek out to -- basically how the underlying, yet oft-hidden, design of things shapes our world in ways we often don't notice.

-- Jeremy Toeman

18 of 19 Maximum

My Brother, My Brother and Me

As the title suggests, this is a podcast by three brothers -- Travis, Griffin and Justin McElroy. It's a pseudo-advice podcast where the brothers riff on questions asked on Yahoo and sent to them by listeners. It's fun and light, perfect if you want to take a break from the Hardcore Histories of the world.

-- Daniel Van Boom

19 of 19 Maximum Fun


Hapless, witty husband Justin McElroy (from the previous podcast on this list) and his brilliant wife Dr. Sydnee McElroy take listeners through a "marital tour of misguided medicine." Every week they choose a topic and explain how doctors ruined it for old-timey people, and how it finally found its place in modern medicine.

-- Ashley Esqueda

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