I’m going to try to stick to my personal nexus of “favorite” and “obscure” here, since in the past I had a long commute and would listen to a lot of podcasts. So I’m picking two long dead shows on the theory they probably dont get recommended too often anymore.
Destructomundo is a defunct program that was first launched in 2005. In each episode the hosts discuss a different type of apocalypse and how to prepare for it. Dont let the southern accents fool you, the hosts are surprisingly well-read and knowledgeable on science fiction, and the advice they give tends toward the practical. Good chemistry between the hosts means that I dont even mind that much when things start to get off topic, since it’s usually still interesting.
Twilight World Of Ultimate Smoothness is a 2015 6 episode miniseries event. It is hands down the best narrative podcast I’ve ever listened to. The plot follows a R&B radio DJ at the very end of his collapsing career. If I said much more than that I would be spoiling things, but it gets VERY surreal. The main character is a James Urbaniak-esque exploration of resolute denial in the face of failure.
Edit: okay I changed my mind I will recommend one contemporary show that I dont think people know about: Pop Mom
I first heard of John Teti when I was using the (gone but not forgotten) Gamological section of The AV Club.
The show was originally known as “Mom On Pop”, but was rebranded when he left The Onion at the end of 2017.
The premise of the show is simple. Every episode he interviews his mother about a piece of pop culture, and she reviews it.
His mother is very candid and a bit of a stubborn curmudgeon but in a way that’s amusing. They will regularly spend 10 or so minutes at the top of the show talking about her recent interactions with the post office and other foibles of small town life. It is a show that has occasionally been therapeutic for me, as someone who does not have a friendly relationship with his mother.
Edit 2: Insert Credit being “The ONLY video game podcast” is barely a joke, as others have noted.