Last week’s podcasts ranged from the brand new to the classic. A new podcast, Question of the Day, hit the podcast world with a big impact, shooting to number one on the iTunes charts in its first week. Meanwhile, comedian Judy Gold talked with the host of a classic television talk show, Dick Cavett, reminding podcast listeners that Marc Maron did not invent the art of the interview. Also, two basketball greats and former teammates made nice, and for some reason podcasts kept reminding us about our own mortality.
Question of the Day: Stephen Dubner, one of the authors of the book Freakonomics and host of the Freakonomics Radio podcast, joined friend James Altucher, entrepreneur and author in his own right, for a new podcast last week. On Question of the Day, Dubner and Altucher spend 10 to 15 minutes discussing a question picked from a range of topics. The questions are taken directly from the website Quora, of which both hosts are admitted fans, or from Dubner and Altucher’s own unconventional minds. The duo have already released eight episodes of the podcast, including discussions of whether focus is important, why people work in traditional 9-to-6 jobs, and what words are missing from the English language. The highlight from the first week, though, had to be Episode 4 in which Altucher shared his four life changing tips, a topic Altucher’s fans are likely already familiar. For those unfamiliar, though, you’ll be shopping for a doctor’s coat very soon. New episodes of Question of the Day will be released each Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Kill Me Now: Talk show legend Dick Cavett joined Judy Gold on her podcast last week, covering a sweeping range of topics. Cavett talked about his early career, some of the groundbreaking moments from his talk show, and his stance on a number of different social issues, from the appropriate punishment for mass murderers to abortion. The discussion was so wide-ranging, in fact, one episode was not enough. Listeners can expect part two of this interview to be released this week.
The Big Podcast with Shaq: Last week started off with big news in the sports world. Shaquille O’Neal, who began his own podcast over the summer, invited Kobe Bryant to join the show to clear the air about their time together in Los Angeles and talk about the state of the game today versus when they began their careers. Lakers fans will want to catch the episode because this discussion between former Lakers teammates could very well be the highlight of the 2015-16 season for the team.
Fiction: The New Yorker’s Fiction podcast celebrated its 100th episode with T.C. Boyle’s short story, “Chicxulub,” as read and discussed by fellow author Lionel Shriver. The story was an intense and emotional look at death, fear and guilt, made even better by Shriver’s reading. You’ll want to hold on past the reading for Shriver and host Deborah Treisman’s discussion of the story, which will not only help you better understand the story and Boyle’s skills, but also have you looking inward at some of the most basic fears and questions you may have about your own mortality.
The Longest Shortest Time: Staying on the death theme, last week’s The Longest Shortest Time dealt with the same topic, just within the context of parenthood and children. Many children have questions about death, but it can be a difficult topic for parents to address, especially when they themselves don’t necessarily have the answers. Lucky for parents, host Hillary Frank found Sarah Troop, the executive director of The Order of the Good Death, a group of funeral professionals, artists and academics whose purpose is to help address the public’s anxiety about death. Troop, who had her own experience with kids’ questions about death as a preschool teacher, gave helpful tips for parents to address their kids’ (and maybe even their own) questions. After listening, you’ll no longer need to rely on those “eternal sleep” euphemisms to have a productive discussion with your child about death.