An incredibly popular podcast that happens to be terrible.

I could easily change the title of this post to ‘an incredibly popular podcast that I happen to find terrible’ but I feel like the fact that this podcast is so popular – it’s basically always in the ‘top downloads’ and on those ‘best podcasts’ lists – makes that a given. Obviously, other people seem to like this podcast but I found it unlistenable. And that’s saying a lot from me, I’m one those people who will sit through anything because ‘maybe it gets better after the first few hours’. But with this, I had to turn it off after about 25 minutes- which is objectively quite a long time to listen to crap.

The funny thing is that I can’t quite figure out what it is that made the podcast so terrible for me. It was a typical back and forth between 2 or 3 sort-of funny hosts and later on, a guest that was casually interviewed in the same style. I didn’t find the hosts particularly funny, although I could tell by how hard they laughed at their own jokes that they probably were funny…to someone out there…just not me. I didn’t find them particularly smart – this wasn’t one of those podcasts you listen to in order to learn something or get inspired though. I didn’t find anything they said between themselves, or during the small portion of the interview I actually listened to, particularly interesting or riveting. In fact, I found them to be mostly boring. It was almost rather insulting how boring the podcast was. Why do they keep laughing? Why is this podcast so popular? Why do I get the feeling that they believe they are making great content when I all I hear is pointless dribble???

Am I missing something? I feel like I’m missing something. Kind of like when you’re in high school and the popular kids decide to make fun of you and everyone laughs and laughs and no one explains that you’re the butt of the joke so you either sit through it in confusion or you make an even bigger fool of yourself by laughing with them even though you have no idea what’s so freaking funny!

Maybe I should have listened further on. But how great can this show be if it only gets into the swing of things after 30 minutes of insipid ‘banter’? Not that great, in my opinion.

My best guess is that I didn’t like the show or didn’t get the jokes or the guests because I just couldn’t relate to them. It’s dominated by white, American men. I happen to be a black, African woman. Maybe all the jokes were white, American, man-jokes? But this theory doesn’t really hold up. Some of my favourite comedians are white men whom I have nothing in common with -Russell Brand is a prime example. I don’t come from Essex, I’ve never run around stark naked in public areas to campaign for my personal beliefs, and I’m not a drug, sex or alcohol addict…so far. I do however find myself relating to and laughing at the things Russell Brand talks about and the opinions he expresses. So maybe it’s more about that. Maybe we (myself and these random American podcast hosts) are just ideologically mismatched. We just don’t share the same interest and don’t find the same things valuable or worth talking about.

Come to think of it, I don’t really remember what they specifically talked about, but I do remember that they talked about themselves quite a bit. Their lives, what they were up to and their careers. So they’re self-centered. But don’t you have to be in order to host a show? Its almost unavoidable that you’re going to have to talk about yourself at some point, unless if you actively avoid doing so. One of my favourite podcasts is by a self-centered guy, Chris Gethard, he hosts Beautiful Anonymous. He too is a white, American man. He too talks about his career in comedy quite a bit. He too talks about himself and his life in every episode. But I still find him quite funny, in a charming, self-deprecating (but not really) sort of way. Maybe it’s because his podcast is producing great content that I love – beautiful conversations with anonymous people. It allows me to connect with all kinds of different people and their lives and thoughts and opinions. I don’t necessarily agree with everything Chris Gethard says or does on the podcast or what his anonymous callers say but I find it very interesting to engage with. Chris also happens to be very conscious of his “narcissism” – he calls himself out on it almost every episode too. It’s almost more annoying than the narcissism itself. So why am I completely unable to engage with this podcast that is probably even more popular than Beautiful Anonymous???

*If you’re wondering, I’m not going to call it out by name because maybe I’ll come around to it and realise that I was completely wrong about the show and then I’ll feel terrible about releasing all this negativity towards it. But for now it still just seems like a shitty pointless podcast.

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