The Simplecast Team's Favorite Podcasts of 2020

5 min read

In an average year, the Simplecast team listens to a lot of podcasts. 2020 was anything but average, but because of that, we were even more grateful to the podcasts and creators in our (listening) lives. Here are a few of our favorites.

Sarah Frisk, Senior Front End Engineer

Comic Lab: Yeah, I know I bring up this one every time you do this, but I still love this show. [Ed. note: That's okay! –CVH] Brad and Dave discuss the art and business of making comics, and I find their discussions can often apply to a lot of non comic creative endeavors. Wherever I listen, I always pick up something new to apply to my comic I work on outside of my work at Simplecast, and my other creative projects.

MusicalSplaining: I loooove musicals, and I've been known to force my friends to watch some obscure ones, so it is really fun listening to a podcast about Lindsay (a musical lover) forcing Kaveh (a musical hater), watch musicals with her and discuss them. Of course COVID had to happen this year, which put a damper on live musical watches, but thanks to this podcast, I have discovered some musicals I probably wouldn't have found out about otherwise.

Beyond the Botcast: A spin off podcast of Beyond the Bot youtube channel (it itself a spinoff of another youtube channel, Get in the Robot), hosts of the show (Curt Richy, Cristal Marie, Lovely Dorrie, Y. Chang, and Yedoye Travis) get together to discuss various anime movies and tv shows.  It's fun listening to a group of people who obviously have a lot of passion for a topic, and the show has resulted in me checking out some movies i hadn't thought to watch before (and let's face it, we're all in lockdown right now, I need stuff to watch)

Luke Brawner, Product Support Specialist

The Vigilante Book Club: I found this show when they popped into Support after releasing their first couple episodes. Their artwork intrigued me so I checked it out. It’s similar in format to My Dad Wrote A Porno, but with three very funny, very articulate friends, who seem to care about all the right things. It’s the perfect blend of sardonic humor and honest, introspective dialogue about things that matter. And things that totally don’t. I love it so much.

The Deciding Decade, with Pete Buttigieg: I’ve been a fan of Mayor Pete since early on. His show is excellent. Simply produced, but with a really pleasantly diverse and surprising guest list. The John Legend episode was a personal favorite.

Smartless: No surprise here. I expected to love this show, and I haven’t been disappointed. So much fun.

Heavyweight: This is in no way new. Certainly not to me. But it continues to be one of the very best shows out there in any medium. I don’t know if it’s won any Peabody Awards yet, but it surely should IMHO.

Jeanine Wright, CFO

Pfizer's The Antigen is amazing and the perfect COVID podcast. Appalachian Mysteria by our friends at Jam Street Media and The Score Bank Robber Diaries by our friends at Western Sound were my two fav indulgent true crime podcasts of the year. Zen Parenting Radio is helping me survive living with my kids 24-7.

Madeline Wright, Enterprise Account Manager

My favorite podcast of 2020 is Six Minutes from Gen Z Media and PRX. It's about a family who rescues a girl from the waters off the Alaskan coast who has lost her memory, and soon they discover that she has special abilities. If you're into family-friendly sci-fi audio narratives then this story will hook you from the start! You may even be inspired to create your own audio fiction.

Grace Kane, Sales Director

Gotta go with Smartless, which has been a light in my life during quarantine.

Lemuel H. Thornton, Enterprise Account Manager

Thirty Pop: As a culture junkie, movie and tv fan this was the kind of show that was right up my alley. I’m into knowing the odd facts and stories about the media I consumed growing up and there are interviews with some of the coolest characters from tv and movie. I also really enjoy hearing Luke’s, the host, personal experiences tied in with what was happening on this date 30 years ago.  I’ve been telling folks to check it out lately, so I thought it’s one to share with you too.

Sista Brunch Podcast: I’m clearly not the target demo as I’m not a sista, but this short first season has such a great flow in the interviews. It also touches on some of the less seen or heard from leaders, movers and shakers in Hollywood — black womxn. To hear some of their stories is inspirational and full of some true gems. I’m looking forward to the next season.

Matt Rubin, Head of Product

How to Save a Planet: Truly something I care a lot about and always have. Every episode is informative or sends me on a fired up journey to change my ways to help the environment and our future. The show notes alone are helpful, but the episodes are done in a way that makes it exciting and drives you to want to learn more.

Thirty Pop! - with Luke Brawner: I’m not only listening this one because it’s done by an awesome teammate at Simplecast but because Luke is living my dream. Thirty Pop is about the 90’s from music, movies, fashion and other topics which is all I know and love. During the Holidays the last episodes have been with actors from Home Alone. So far Gerry Bamman “Uncle Frank” and Michael Maronna “Jeff” (Kevin’s older brother). Check it out!

Caitlin Van Horn, Marketing Manager

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Jordan Cobb's work–Janus Descending was a favorite last year. This year, I've been listening to every episode of Primordial Deep the day it comes out. While Janus Descending showed what Cobb can do with an economy of characters, it's been incredibly entertaining to listen to what she can do with a wider cast of characters. Plus, who doesn't love gigantic, murderous, prehistoric sea creatures?