Helen Zaltzman’s show is a hilarious series for the word nerd in all of us. Each episode celebrates language and etymology delivered with wit and spark.
This is currently my favorite show, anywhere. The host, Chris Gethard, receives a call from one stranger and, well, they talk. No script. No prep. It’s like tagging along on a first date. So it’s sometimes awkward, sometimes enlightening.
I loved this episode, about a woman who falls for a stranger she meets on a subway, partially because – like a of Heart episodes – I could relate to it a little too well.
I suggest starting with this episode, wherein you essentially learn that the band Radiohead got their name from a song by the Talking Heads which was in turn inspired by a childhood memory of Stephen Tobolowsky. Pretty sure Thom Yorke has no idea.
I usually am a sucker for shows that provide context and make the listener feel oriented. However, L+R is great because it defiantly does the opposite — it dares you to listen without telling you much, if anything. The result is an experience that totally sucks you in. I really enjoyed this episode, which is about a guy who picks up a hitchhiker who turns out to be someone who changes his life. I also loved The Neighborhood, which is made by Scott Carrier who many recognize from his amazing work on This American Life.
Paul Gilmartin’s talk show tackles conversations about depression, anxiety and all that fun stuff found in your head. This is a topic that is very personal to me, and it’s important to that this stuff be discussed in public without shame.
A gripping show about the stories behind design. This episode is one of the best WW2 true life stories you have never heard, examining a team of artists (including future fashion mogul Bill Blass) who are tasked with creating fake tanks, trucks, and even soldiers… to fool the enemy watching from afar.
Each show, Lauren pretends to be a fake guest on a fake show hosted by today’s real guest. Does that make sense? Maybe not. But that is part of the fun. Some of the best improvisers are on this series and it’s fun hearing them play with ideas and characters in the moment. Episode 13’s Tom Leykis parody (with James Adomian) is hilarious but only for people who have a high tolerance for parodies of sexist talk shows of the early 00s.