We’ve rounded up 8 podcasts and episodes covering history’s greatest tragedies, political slip-ups, family feuds, mischief, and other events that led to failure in one way or another.
Tune in for episodes on natural disasters, business mayhem, scandals, and failing at work. To hear interviews with a wide variety of guests from the entertainment world, check out “Funny in Failure.” Host Michael Kahan welcomes guests to share their experiences while bringing humor and honesty to normalize situations ranging from fails to stepping stones on their journeys.
American Public Media’s “Spectacular Failures” highlights some of the biggest business failures and how they could possibly have been avoided. Join host Lauren Ober for stories ranging from shocking to sad that will give listeners new insights on failing in the business world and beyond. Tune in to hear about Forever 21’s bankruptcy situation, NYC taxi medallion problems, Napster’s lawsuit, and more in over 20 episodes.
This episode of NPR’s “Rough Translation” explores failure at work and offers tips. This episode breaks down taboos about failure that some workers bring to the workplace and shares how entrepreneurs in Mexico City started a club to change the status quo. In other episodes, hear about a slacker revolution, a trans truck driver, the Brazilian metaverse, and more stories from around the world.
Writer/comedian Rebecca Delgado-Smith and special guests analyze fails and tragedies on “The Alarmist.” They’ll look at how such events unfolded, what went wrong, and who’s to blame. Tune in for episodes on the Titanic, the Great Railroad Strike of 1877, the Plague, the Grey Gardens estate, and more in over 300 episodes released weekly.
“The Dropout” shared Elizabeth Holmes’ saga and the story of her health technology corporation, Theranos. Theranos claimed it would revolutionize healthcare with advanced tech ready to test blood with a single drop. The company raised millions from investors and venture capitalists, only to learn the whole thing was fraudulent. Hear about Holmes’ trial, sentencing, and updates from former Theranos president Sunny Balwani’s conviction on ABC News’ podcast.
This is a Disaster
“This is a Disaster” tackles all kinds of devastating issues ranging from natural disasters to human-generated catastrophes. Stay tuned each episode to hear a music pairing recommendation for each disaster covered. Check out over 100 episodes.
Now in its 42nd season, Wondery’s “American Scandal” dives into deceit, hubris, and corruption leading to political, personal, or corporate destruction. Each season focuses on scandals involving politicians, celebrities, athletes, moguls, and heroes. Hear Edward Snowden’s story when he started working for the NSA and learned a startling government secret. Past seasons covered President Nixon’s Watergate scandal, The Unabomber, Bernie Madoff, Lance Armstrong, and Big Tobacco – just to name a few.
Wondery’s “British Scandal” shares failings and shady stories from Britain’s elite. Season 17, “The Spy Who Came Back from the Dead” covers John Stonehouse’s rise as a labor politician. As soon as Stonehouse got on the Czech secret service’s radar, it became a cat and mouse game. Previous seasons covered “Spy Cops,” the Sex Pistols, “The Murdoch Phone Hacking,” “The Profumo Affair,” and more.
Funny in Failure
Michael Kahan welcomes an assortment of guests to chat about their careers in the entertainment industry and beyond. Conversations use honesty and humor to normalize situations and frustrating moments that have been stepping stones in guests’ journeys. Hear from folks like Lennon Parham (HBOMax‘s Minx), former pro basketball player Paul Shirley, Adrian Martinez (Focus, Unfrosted), and more in over 180 episodes.