That’s ‘Bananas!’ 10 fun, feel good, and frankly absurd (in the best kind of way) podcasts
We could probably all use a laugh or two. So we’ve rounded up 10 delightful podcasts sharing feel-good content and fun stories. These podcasts go off the beaten track of more popular and hilarious podcasts like “SmartLess,” but are equally charming and sometimes absurd.
“Bananas” shares strange news from around the world you didn’t know you needed to hear. Tune into unscripted interviews with inanimate objects on “Everything is Alive,” or join everyday people turning their goals into rip-roaring adventures on “Personal Best.” “Good One: A Podcast About Jokes” chats with comedians, and if you feel like solving lighthearted questions, “Mystery Show” has you covered. Check out these fun and feel-good podcasts that just might bring a smile to your face.
Everything is Alive
What’s it like being a grain of sand? A vending machine? We’ll hear all about these inanimate objects’ experiences in Radiotopia’s “Everything is Alive,” an unscripted interview series. Each episode, a different thing will share its life story, and the show embraces absurdism. Episodes are less than 20 minutes each, so you might find yourself hearing stories from a sock, a mousetrap, and bagpipes all in one sitting.
Good One: A Podcast About Jokes
“Good One: A Podcast About Jokes” is presented by New York Magazine. On episodes, comedians share one of their jokes and unpack it with Vulture’s Senior Editor Jesse David Fox. A recent episode chatted with writer and TV showrunner Liz Meriwether (No Strings Attached, New Girl, The Dropout). A Black Lady Sketch Show’s creator, writer, and actor Robin Thede stopped by to chat about the show’s 4 seasons and her passion for sketch comedy. Check out over 200 episodes less than 90 minutes each.
On “Personal Best,” guests turn goals into fun adventures. On an episode, a punk anarchist wants to head to the dance floor. An actor has auditioned for over 100 commercials and had yet to book any, so he wonders if he’s “too cool.” Cihang is worried she runs out of things to say and wants to create a database of fun info to share at parties. This podcast also reminds us of MTV’s show Made, where young adults have a dream, get a coach, and make strides to achieve their goals. Episodes can get pretty silly, but chock-full of wholesome fun. This series is brought to you by CBC Podcasts.
Are movies scientifically-obligated to accurately represent species, and what did Jurassic Park get wrong? Can animals obtain basic human rights? New Hampshire Public Radio “Outside/In” examines stories like these in over 190 episodes on various topics. It’s an informative series about the natural world, energy, environmentalism and how we interact with Mother Earth. The podcast leaves ample space for goofing around in episodes, too!
“Spilled Milk” is co-hosted by writers/comedians Molly Wizenberg and Matthew Amster-Burton. They’ll start with a food topic and run with it, covering apples to cup noodles to salad spinners, and so many more topics. Their conversations are unexpectedly funny, and you can check out over 500 episodes running less than an hour on average. Fans of “Doughboys” might also enjoy “Spilled Milk.”
Welcome to Night Vale
Night Vale Presents “Welcome to Night Vale,” a long-running sci-fi series sharing community updates from a fictional desert town where conspiracy theories are true, magic exists, and strange events are the norm. This podcast shares twice-monthly episodes that can be streamed in any order.
“Harmontown’s” last episodes dropped in 2021, but the show is still hilarious. The storyline follows self-destructive writer, Dan Harmon, who believes he will find more like-minded misfits. What results is “like a neurotic town hall meeting, often with alcohol and famous people.” For his new colony, Dan gives some of his friends leadership roles. Jeff Davis is his Comptroller and Spencer Crittenden is his Dungeon Master. This series is presented by Starburns Audio and has over 360 episodes ready to stream.
Gimlet’s “Mystery Show” solves lighthearted mysteries and finds answers to questions that have haunted the podcast’s guests for ages. Host Starlee Kine walks listeners through 6 different cases ranging from finding mysterious objects to movie discrepancies and a cafeteria lunch. In Case #2, a writer found a picture of Britney Spears holding one of her obscure books and wanted to find out how she got ahold of it. All 6 episodes are bingeable in a day.
“Underunderstood’s” episodes tackle a question the internet simply cannot answer with a quick search result. This Select Works series embarks on surprising quests, big and small: Does Apple pack their products with a signature scent? How long does lipstick stay on a dead body? In other episodes, the hosts track down an MTV Dial Position Sticker (that might not have ever existed), a Pizza Hut classic, learn where Trivial Pursuit questions come from, chat about pop singers who were supposed to be the first band in space, and more. Listeners will hear from hosts Adrianne Jeffries, Billy Disney, John Lagomarsino, and Regina Dellea in episodes that run under an hour each.
“Bananas” shares fascinating and ridiculous news from around the world with hosts Kurt Braunohler and Scotty Landes. For example, there’s a lady who ate her first real meal in 23 years after eating nothing but potato chips. A British parrot went missing for 4 years and returned speaking Spanish. In another episode, hear about a bartender who found an ATM glitch and swept up $1.6 million. This series is presented by Exactly Right.