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The Podcasts That Defined The Decade

The 2010s was the decade of the pod. The medium of blabbing into the worldwide void had been around for a few years when 2010 dawned, but it was really these past ten years that solidified podcasting as its own quadrant of the entertainment industry. As we close out 2019, it’s common to see star podcasters get book, movie, and TV deals while pulling in megawatt guests. The form is all grown up.

Since we listen to a lot of podcasts around these parts, we thought we’d throw down the 12 podcasts that helped define podcasting over the past decade. Are these the best podcasts ever? Maybe not. But they are iconic examples from several genres that straight-up changed the game. One small caveat here: There are a lot of great new podcasts that didn’t make this list. We’re mostly focused on podcasts that have been running for years and are definitive examples of the form. If you want newer launches, you can check out our favorite podcasts of 2019.

Let’s dive into the podcasts that defined the decade.

UHH YEAH DUDE

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The Podcast:

Jonathan Larroquette and Seth Romatelli of Uhh Yeah Dude have spent the past 700 plus episodes dishing out advice, shooting the shit about USA Today Snapshots and news, and ranting about the big moments and trivialities of life. The show is a foundational example of the comedy podcast wherein two smart friends riff while recording. Over the years, that format has spawned a million imitators.

As they record more and more episodes, the duo has grown to become the old friends that listeners rely on for a no-nonsense point of view and maybe even a little advice. Jonathan and Seth started recording episodes back in 2006 and have consistently put out a great show pretty much every week, ad-free, since then. Don’t forget, “seat belts.”

Where To Jump In:

You can get the whole archive of show by supporting the show’s Patreon. Otherwise, the wise-cracking of Jonathan and Seth is best enjoyed in a current setting. Check out a recent, free episode wherever podcasts are streaming and go from there.

Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Castbox

SERIAL

The Podcast:

Sarah Koenig created a seismic shift in podcasting and true crime when Serial dropped in October of 2014. Season one was all anyone could talk about for the rest of that year, it seemed. Koenig’s deep investigative dive and stellar storytelling ability made for enthralling listening.

The story of the murder of Hae Min Lee was picked over as was the trial and conviction of Adnan Syed for her murder. There were no easy answers given by Koenig (she’s a pro, after all) and the case is still being mulled over to this day. True crime and story-telling podcasts were never the same after season one dropped.

Where To Jump In:

Start with episode one of season one. This is a serialized podcast, so jumping around isn’t going to work too well.

Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Castbox

HOW DID THIS GET MADE?

The Podcast:

Paul Scheer, Jason Mantzoukas, and June Diane Raphael started the now iconic How Did This Get Made? back in December of 2010. Over 200 episodes and many imitators later, HDTGM? has become the ultimate comedy-movie podcast — offering deep dives on terrible movies. The show has branched out into packed houses for live shows and has become the pod every comedian and actor wants to be on to figure out how their favorite terrible movies got made.

There are a lot of great movie podcasts out there (special mention to You Must Remember This) but HDTGM? is the mountaintop. Oh, and it’s f*cking hilarious. “Five Stars!”

Where To Jump In:

Hobbs & Shaw: LIVE! with Adam Scott, Nicole Byer‘ is a great place to start and get a sense of the show. Plus, Adam Scott and Nicole Byer bring the laughs for this one.

Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Castbox

LORE

The Podcast:

Aaron Mahnke’s Lore has become a juggernaut of storytelling, history, and folklore that’s since spawned a TV show and multiple books. It’s also the historical storytelling podcast with a dash of the supernatural and true crime that all others are judged against.

The podcast started in 2015, has over 130 episodes under its belt, and shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. Hell, you can even buy Lore branded whisky from Lapgroaig now. This show runs deep.

Where To Jump In:

Episode 113, ‘Word of Mouth,’ is a great taster episode, sorry. The episode looks at myths around medicinal cannibalism around the world. It’s a creepy AF episode and will clue you into the show’s feel.

Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Castbox

TOASTED SISTER

The Podcast:

There are so, so many food podcasts out there these days. And, for the most part, those podcasts are covering the same foods — with American-migrant cuisines taking center stage. One podcast stands out from that crowd and offers insight unlike any other, Toasted Sister.

The food podcast by Andi Murphy takes a deep dive into Indigenous American foods and the people behind the cuisine’s resurgence in the mainstream. There’s literally no other food podcast out there highlighting Indigenous folks and foods — making this a must-listen for anyone looking to finally try the real foods of the Americas. And that makes this podcast a game-changer.

Where To Jump In:

Check out episode 33 with chef Shane Chartrand who’s recent cookbook was named one of Uproxx’s favorites of 2019.

Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Castbox

WTF WITH MARC MARON

The Podcast:

Comedian Marc Maron launched WTF with Marc Maron back in late 2009 and never looked back. The show’s conceit was pretty simple. Maron interviewed his friends (and enemies) in Hollywood about life, comedy, and working in the entertainment industry. That snowballed into one of the most listened to chat shows in podcast land with Maron landing the biggest stars and even a sitting president. Guests seemed to open up to Maron is a way that allowed the conversations to flow and become deeply personal, solidifying the show’s staying power.

Now, seemingly, every other comedian in business has a chat show in the vein of Maron’s … for better or worse.

Where To Jump In:

The episode with President Obama is a must-listen, full stop.

Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Castbox

HISTORY ON FIRE

The Podcast:

Between Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History and Daniele Bolelli’s History on Fire, it’s a great time to be a history nerd. But, we have to give the edge to History on Fire for the best of the decade. Before we go on, please note that we’re really splitting hairs here. Both shows are stellar. Bolelli’s show is a tad more accessible with more manageable run times. And, History on Fire has more to chose from with deep dives into the genocidal wars against Indigenous Americans, looks at female snipers in the Soviet Red Army during WWII, and historical story-telling about medieval Japanese martial artists … all of which just scratches the surface of this great show’s episode list.

Where To Jump In:

Bolelli just wrapped a three-part series on the story of the demise of Lakota leader Sitting Bull. It’s a harrowing tale that’s wrapped up in genocide on the plains via the story of one man’s struggle to save his people from the aggression of the United States.

Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Castbox

YO, IS THIS RACIST?

The Podcast:

Andrew Ti and Tawny Newsome created a comedy podcast that broke the mold for comedians making podcasts. Yo, Is This Racist? is based on a blog Ti started in 2011 (the podcast dropped in 2018) and has remained simple in its central conceit. People send in questions whether or not something is racists and Ti and Newsome answer those questions with a guest (usually a comedian, writer, or actor working in Hollywood). The show blew up and became a repository for figuring out the world without hurting people along the way. It’s educational, fun, and often hilarious.

Where To Jump In:

Dreamcatchers with Lucas Brown Eyes‘ is a great episode to jump in. Writer-comedian Lucas Brown Eyes drops in to talk about dreamcatchers and people cosplaying as “Indians.” It’s an enlightening listen all around.

Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Castbox

VINYL ME, PLEASE

The Podcast:

Vinyl Me, Please has come and gone over the last decade. Now, it’s back and stronger than ever. The show takes a look at iconic music by having deep conversations with the people who made the tunes. This is a deep-dive podcast with freshness and brevity that never lacks depth. This is where musicians come to talk and lay bare how they put their souls into their music.

Where To Jump In:

DMC on ‘Good Convo’ is the episode to jump in at. DMC of Run-DMC drops in and chats about making records, scoring shoe deals, and even his adoption. It’s a great listen even for the passive fan of the iconic rap trio.

Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Castbox

THE JOE ROGAN EXPERIENCE

The Podcast:

On paper, The Joe Rogan Experience and WTF with Marc Maron are the same podcast. Comedian interviews friends (and enemies) and they shoot the shit for a couple of hours. In reality, the shows couldn’t be more different. Rogan goes deep with is guests and covers health, diet, exercise, sports, mythology, archeology, comedy, history, politics, and much more.

Just this year Rogan’s guests have included Bernie Sanders, Edward Snowden, Cornel West, Michelle Wolf, Malcolm Gladwell, RZA, Richard Dawkins, and Tulsi Gabbard. And that’s only these last couple of months. Rogan’s long format and affable attitude changed the interview game, maybe forever, and now everyone is clamoring to get on the mic with the comedian.

Where To Jump In:

Check out the episode with presidential candidate Congressman Bernie Sanders for a long talk about his views and what policies he’s campaigning on for in 2020.

Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Castbox

UNPOPS NETWORK

The Podcast:

Adam Tod Brown’s podcast network, Unpops, kind of does the impossible. Brown’s deft hosting and producing hand has sculpted a stable of shows that are deeply researched while remaining wickedly funny. Brown trusts his hosts to do a great job while making people laugh. Comedians, writers, and actors from the young comedy scene in L.A. make up the hosts and co-hosts with Brown and leans towards people of color and the LGBTQI community. Everyone gets a voice and a place to tell their stories and riff on movies, culture, and news at Unpops.

Brown has built a podcast network that is fully inclusive while being amazingly informational, fun, and goddamn hilarious. That’s no small feat.

Where To Jump In:

There are plenty of free episodes on podcast streaming services. But for the good stuff, you’ll need to subscribe to the show’s Patreon. Start with a little Conspiracy! The Show and then move onto List! Cast! The Best Shows of 2019.

Where to Listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Castbox

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