Solo act! 12 of the best podcasts led by 1 host

round up December 31, 2022

By all means, we love roundtable discussions on podcasts. But sometimes, we’d just like to hear from 1 host digging into the topic at hand. We’ve gathered some of the greatest podcast hosts who fly solo and are joined by an occasional guest.

On our list, you’ll find true crime, music shows, dark tales, and history podcasts. There’s a series diving into Hollywood’s Golden Age, sharing stars’ histories, and going behind the scenes of iconic films. If general history is more your scene, Jon Meacham remembers the past on weekday episodes of “Reflections of History.”

For true crime podcasts hosted by 1 person, check out “Criminal,” “Casefile,” and “Dark History.” You’ll also find a music podcast from Jake Brennan, a philosophy series, and hosts sharing thoughts on listener-submitted topics.

You Must Remember This podcast art

You Must Remember This

Listen to ‘You Must Remember This’

You Must Remember This” is a narrative work of nonfiction hosted by Karina Longworth, former film critic for LA Weekly and founder of Seasons navigate stars’ lives, old news stories, the Golden Age of Hollywood, and institutional cover-ups to learn what really happened behind the scenes.

Criminal podcast art


Listen to ‘Criminal’

Phoebe Judge hosts the classic true crime series “Criminal,” presented by Vox Media Podcast Network. Since 2014, episodes covered cases ranging criminal investigations to murders, mysteries, and people who have been wronged. Sometimes, those involved in cases join the series to share their stories firsthand. You’ll also learn more about the criminal justice system in over 200 episodes.

Philosophize This!

Philosophize This!

Listen to ‘Philosophize This!’

Join Stephen West’s educational episodes of “Philosophize This!” The good news is this series is consistently informative and “beginner-friendly” for anyone just diving into history or philosophy. Past episodes discussed Albert Camus’ The Fall, Ethics of Care, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Nature and Other Things, and more in over 170 episodes.

Casefile image


Listen to ‘Casefile’

“Casefile” covers solved and unsolved cases in weekly episodes. Brace yourselves for stories where “fact is scarier than fiction,” presented by the anonymous Australian host Casey. Past episodes discussed serial killers, missing persons, mysteries, bombings, arson, and the dark web.

Disgraceland podcast art


Listen to ‘Disgraceland’

Jake Brennan steers the helm of “Disgraceland,” a music and true crime series unpacking celebrities’ bad behavior. Hear about Charles Manson, punk rock icon Sid Vicious’ life, Britney Spears’ conservatorship, Taylor Swift’s stalkers, Jerry Lee Lewis committing murder, and Cardi B’s robberies.

Timesuck with Dan Cummins

Listen to ‘Timesuck with Dan Cummins’

On weekly episodes, Dan Cummins takes listeners on a “Timesuck” and comedically shares topics requested by his audience. He’s happy to dive into the absurd and sarcastically discusses everything ranging from news to the Lizard Illuminati, serial killers, cults, and World War II.



Listen to ‘rSlash’

rSlash” draws from Reddit’s vault of the most random information. Including personal stories, questions, community building, miscellaneous discussions, the site is a treasure trove for hilarious and absurd podcast content. Tune in to hear some of the best posts from subreddit topics and the comments that followed the original post.

Cocaine & Rhinestones

Cocaine & Rhinestones

Listen to ‘Cocaine & Rhinestones’

Coined “Cocaine & Rhinestones” from a phrase that podcast host Tyler Mahan Coe heard from Justin Townes Earle, son of country music legend, Steve Earle, this series shares music stories. Coe is the son of country star David Allan Coe, so he grew up surrounded by musicians. And boy, did they have some stories to tell! “Cocaine & Rhinestones” is narrative history show all about country music. From Lonnie Irving to Loretta Lynn, to Fiorello LaGuardia and his war on pinball machines, this podcast will change your perception of country music forever.

Reflections of History podcast art

Reflections of History

Listen to ‘Reflections of History’

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author Jon Meacham shares what happened today in history on new episodes every Monday through Friday. Learn about significant moments, political events, historical happenings, birthdays, death anniversaries, and much more. This series is presented by C13Originals.

Dark History podcast art

Dark History

Listen to ‘Dark History’

Host Bailey Sarian started combining her make up talents and interest in the macabre on her YouTube channel that branched into podcasting. On “Dark History” and her other series “Murder, Mystery & Makeup,” Sarian unpacks true crimes and dark topics from American and world history.

Lore podcast art


Listen to ‘Lore’

Aaron Mahnke and Grim & Mild present “Lore,” the podcast covering dark tales from history since 2015. In over 230 episodes, hear about scary stories, disastrous events, bizarre places, and mysterious creatures. Chilling episodes share ghost stories, vampire folklore, paranormal activity, possible murders, and painful pasts. “Lore” is now also a TV show and book series.

Bill Burr's Monday Morning Podcast

Monday Morning Podcast

Listen to ‘Monday Morning Podcast’

Turmeric? Hair cuts? French lessons? Jogging in the road? Yep – on “Monday Morning Podcast,” Bill Burr rants on a slew of topics and is occasionally joined by guests. He’ll also cover topics like sports, news, relationship advice, and what’s happening on the internet.

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