Pro Tip: Local Podcasts

Most folks who know me already know that the bus plays a big part in my life.  Sans car, I commute to my 9-to-5 in Golden via the #20 every day.  And as a result, my Facebook statuses consist of a lot of bus musings.  I have seen a lot of random stuff, overheard some wack conversations, smelled some funny smells, and have been fairly creeped out on several occasions (e.g. the one time that “gentleman” invited me to sit in the Lake Steam Baths with him, just after telling me he was spending the night in a porno theater, because it was cheaper than a motel.  Um, sure let me think about it for a sec…)

But a part of me also really likes the bus.  I like being able to get from Point A to Point B without having to depend on a car, I like the more urban feel I get from riding the bus – I actually feel like I live in a city, I like learning the different quirks of the various bus drivers (and which gas stations they like to stop and pee at), I love being able to have some serious quality time with my phone, and I appreciate not getting all hopped up on road rage, as I am so wont to do when driving.  I also really like listening to podcasts.

Traditionally, I have stuck with the usual suspects of podcasting with This American Life, Radiolab, Comedy Bang Bang, and the TED Radio Hour topping the list.  However lately I have found myself listening to more local podcasts and so I figured it might be a good idea to help spread the word about these Denver ear hole gems.  So here are my top three favorite local podcasts, with some insights from their hosts.

(Psst…if you are already a fan of these or have any aural recommendations of your own, please feel free to comment below!)

1.  The Unicorn with Andrew Orvedahl and Talitha K.


Andrew Orvedahl

The Unicorn is a podcast that features comedians talking about sex and relationships (but mostly about sex).  This podcast has definitely had me LOLing like a crazy person on the bus on more than one occasion.  Even if you are not familiar with the comedian, you will be able to appreciate their candor and their humor when talking about doing it.  Highly recommended.  The below questions were answered by Andrew.

How long has your podcast been around?  My podcast The Narrators has been around with the occasional hiatus for like three years, and my podcast The Unicorn has been around since August of 2013.  [Editor’s note: I definitely prefer watching The Narrators live, but the podcast is great if you are unable to make it to the show.]

What do you like best about the podcast format?  What I like best about the podcasting format is that ANYONE can have a show.  If you have even the simplest means to record, you can create something.  That accessibility is really cool.

Who was your most memorable guest?  My most memorable guest…was probably the first, Kyle Kinane.  It was sweltering hot in my kitchen so he took off his shirt and just sat there sweating, chatting about sex, and making us die laughing.

What is your favorite local podcast?  This might make me sound really terrible, but the only podcast I (sometimes) listen to is my own, The Unicorn.  I prefer music in the background when I’m doing most activities, but sometimes I’ll listen to a Unicorn episode to see what wizardry our producer Ron Doyle has pulled off.

What is your favorite national podcast?  Same as above, I just don’t really listen to them, even if I’m a guest.  When I had a day job I used to listen to the How Stuff Works podcast, so let’s just say that’s my favorite.

Who is your dream guest?  Dream guest… gosh, I consider Kyle one of the best storytelling comics in the world, so I feel maybe I have already had my dream guest?  Maybe Tig Notaro would be my new dream guest.

2.  My Dining Room Table with Adam Cayton-Holland

My Dining Room Table takes place around Adam Cayton-Holland’s breakfast nook.  Just kidding.  Historically during MDRT, ACH would sit around his DRT talking to comedians about their comedic journey; a topic that I find fascinating.  I love funny.  And I feel I have a compulsion to try and be funny (not always succeeding), however standing up in front of a crowd and delivering jokes that I wrote is an idea that simply blows my mind.  So it’s fun to listen to how these guys got started, “got good”, and to hear some funny road stories along the way.  However, every once in awhile Adam will also open it up to some notable non-comedians, including Kayvan Khalatbari of Denver Relief, Sexy Pizza, and Sexpot Comedy fame, and Aaron Collins of A. Tom Collins and Machine Gun Blues (you should definitely click on this link) fame.  I like all the stories.  (This show also taught me about dog periods.)

How long has your podcast been around?  My podcast has been around exactly a year.


Adam Cayton-Holland and Marc Maron at the High Plains Comedy Festival

What do you like best about the podcast format?  I love that no one is telling you what to do and that there is no direction or right or wrong answers.  Of course, that can lead to crappy, meandering chaos, but done right it can really lead to great conversation.  The art of conversation is being reborn in podcasting and I think that’s a good thing.  It’s less staid then say a soundbite on NPR, which always sounds the same or the canned five-minute promo interview people do on a press junket.  It’s a way to get a new perspective on people you’re already interested in or a fan of.

Who was your most memorable guest?  My most memorable guest was definitely Marc Maron of WTF fame.  He dropped by for the live episode we did during the High Plains Comedy Festival and just lit that room on fire.  He was of course bristly and throwing blows every which way, but that’s what you want from him.  He was awesome on that episode and really a nice guy before and after.  That one stands out for sure.

What is your favorite local podcast?  My favorite local podcast is probably These Things Matter.  They win all the awards so they really don’t need the love, but they do a great job so here’s some more love.  ENJOY ALL YOUR SUCCESS TTM.

What is your favorite national podcast?  Favorite national podcast is probably one of the comedy staples –  WTF or Nerdist…lately I’m also getting into Terrified with Dave Ross and I like Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction with Bryan Cook.

Who is your dream guest?  My dream guest is any of the Colorado Rockies but I’d love Carlos Gonzalez.  I’m friends with John McCauley of Deer Tick (as are you); I want to pick his brain on my podcast.  And I’d like to sit down with Conor Oberst too.  There.  I said it.  Oh, I’d also love to interview Jeff Tweedy and I want to interview Guy Fieri.  No joke.  I’d crush that interview.

10265365_10203098700685057_645293827362411035_o3.  These Things Matter with Kevin O’Brien and Taylor Gonda

A podcast about pop culture and why it actually matters.   This dynamic duo takes on pretty much any topic related to movies, music, comedy, television, video games, toys, books, comics, and more with a special guest “expert” each episode.  Past topics have included Caddyshack, jam bands, pro wrestling, Erykah Badu, Pee-Wee Herman, and The Brat Pack – fun!  The below questions were answered by Taylor.

How long has your podcast been around?  We’ve been around for 2 years – we’re celebrating our 2 year anniversary on April 24th at the Sidewinder Tavern, and our 2-year anniversary episode will come out on the 22nd.

What do you like best about the podcast format?  We like that we can spend as long as we want on each story or moment, that there’s a lot of room to explore and let the show be whatever it wants to be.

Who was your most memorable guest?  Kevin and I will probably disagree about our most memorable guest.  A lot of them are our friends, so it’s just fun to hang with them, but we did meet comedian Greg Behrendt, which was really cool.  I just asked him to be on the show via Twitter and he said yes, so that was a cool experience.

What is your favorite local podcast?  My favorite local podcast, and I’m biased because I’ve been on it, is The Narrators.

What is your favorite national podcast?  My favorite national podcast is Doug Loves Movies, which I’ve been listening to before it was even a podcast.  Doug was a writer on Mr. Show and he had a column on bobanddavid dot com where he had one sentence reviews of movies.  That turned into “I love movies”, and that turned into “Doug Loves Movies”, so I’m a long long time fan.

Who is your dream guest?  I think our dream guest is probably Tom Scharpling who was the host of our favorite radio show, The Best Show on WFMU.  I would love to have him on to talk about something he’s obsessed with that he rarely discusses, like Elvis Costello.