HomeTech Best podcasts of the week: Jon Stewart confronts corruption, Trump and more

Best podcasts of the week: Jon Stewart confronts corruption, Trump and more

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Best podcasts of the week: Jon Stewart confronts corruption, Trump and more

Picks of the week

Where everyone knows your name with Ted Danson and Woody Harrelson (sometimes)
Widely available, weekly episodes.

The two Cheers stars reunite and rekindle their friendship while chatting with interviewees, and it’s as fun as you’d expect. Will Arnett is the first to arrive, but the hosts are questioned about both his and their guest’s comedic skills, including a great anecdote about Harrelson and Arnett joking around and annoying Bono at a celebrity dinner. Alex Duggins

Smokescreen: My friend, the serial killer
Widely available, weekly episodes.
Steve Fishman was an intern at his local Connecticut newspaper in the ’70s when he hitchhiked for a ride from a man named Robert Carr III, who, he learned while working on a story, had killed three people. Fishman uses tapes of confessions and interviews with detectives to remember what happened. Hollie Richardson

Tales of hamsters, puffins and more appear in the new podcast, Animal. Photograph: Irina Vasilevskaia/Getty Images

Widely available, all episodes now available
This warm, personal look at the beauty of the animal kingdom is full of magic, from rescuing baby puffins and helping them find their way back to the sea (by throwing them off a cliff) to charming stories of dogs saving lost hamsters. Come for the adorable animals, stay for the excellent storytelling. ADVERTISEMENT

The pink house
Widely available, weekly episodes.
Sam Smith’s new podcast is named after his childhood bedroom, a refuge to which they escaped after many difficult days. Now they welcome celebrity guests to share that sentiment. The first guest is Elliot Page and it’s a moving talk about coming out, trans joy (and rage) and not feeling shame. Hannah Verdier

The Weekly Show with Jon Stewart
Widely available, episodes every Thursday.
American satirist Jon Stewart launches his news podcast in time for all the American election shenanigans, starting with an episode on corruption, where, unsurprisingly, Donald Trump’s name appears. Stewart features knowledgeable guests as well as thoughtful monologues about democratic dysfunction, economic reform, and challenging conventional wisdom. high voltage

There’s a podcast for that.

Coco Khan and Nish Kumar, hosts of Pod Save the UK. Photograph: Lucy North/PA

This week, Hannah Verdier choose five of the best podcasts on elections unfolding on both sides of the Atlantic, from an open-minded break from the US election to Nish Kumar and Coco Khan raising all the big questions in the UK

Electoral dysfunction
Just in time for a bumper election year arrives Beth Rigby guiding her Conservative peer Ruth Davidson and the Labor Party’s Jess Phillips (with special guests as she continues her campaign). Smack in the middle of the UK political scene, all three can offer a real insight into the run-up to the US and UK elections. They take an informed and gossipy approach, with theories about why Rishi Sunak chose July 4, a look at how leaders prepare for TV debates, and extras like a sit-down with Angela Rayner.

The previous period
For all things US election-related, host Astead W Herndon takes a measured approach on this New York Times show, bringing in a wide range of opinions, some of which might leave you speechless. Are Donald Trump “overprosecuted”? Yes, this is an accusation that comes from Kellyanne Conway when Herndon asks her and Celinda Lake what voters really want. What do younger voters think of the older president? Can celebrities help influence elections? And what the hell will happen next? If you want to hear all of the campaign’s dramatic twists and turns in a half-hour episode, this is the podcast for you.

Oh God, what now?
Every Tuesday and Friday, this politics podcast modestly promises to “make the unbearable bearable with high-quality guests and analysis, plus trashy jokes.” (“Mordaunt on the dancefloor”, “What’s the story? Mourning Tories” or “Things can only get wetter”, anyone?) There are also bonus episodes as the team quickly reacts to the latest mistakes and surprises of the campaign, starting with Rishi Sunak’s national service plan for pesky idle youth. A great election week will feature additional panels with lively discussions guaranteed.

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I could save the UK
Crooked Media’s Pod Save America provides insider insights from four of Barack Obama’s former aides, and its UK cousin sees Nish Kumar and Coco Khan (above) bring in the fun. If you like the left, the hosts pull no punches, and Khan is particularly blunt in the heavier interviews. Big questions are asked, including: Would you kiss a conservative? The countdown to the election has begun, but the thoughtful episode asking trans and non-binary people what they need right now brings the human side of politics.

UK Politics Weekly
Could Sunak lose his seat in the election? Just one of the questions posed by John Harris on The Guardian’s political podcast as the election looms. He cleverly describes the run-up as “the political equivalent of a 12-hour wait in A&E” and asks why Sunak’s campaign is so chaotic and pessimistic. The conversation is simple, with high-quality guests from across the political spectrum who don’t need to resort to comedy for electoral fun. Guests include journalists at the heart of the matter, such as The Guardian’s Pippa Crerar and The Spectator’s Katy Balls. Additionally, The Guardian also publishes bonus short election episodes every weekday in the Today in Focus feed.

Why not try it…?

  • The ex-Invisibilia presents the new series by the ex-Invisibilia Yowei Shaw Attorney it’s about frank, human conversations with strangers.

  • Comedian Chloe Petts delves into the big story of a small room in her Radio 4 series, bathroom humor.

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