Since both a new year and my first anniversary with Chicago is approaching, I’ve recorded some lists to honor the oddest memories I want to take with me into 2016 and beyond. I’ll be posting them one at a time for the rest of the month because it’s the season and because it’s easier than my usual entries and I am lazy.
So, for the first list, I present:
The Podcasts That Made Me Cry in 2016: where, when, and how hard
This American Life – “Good Guys”
You’re rolling along, chuckling at a good old Mike Birbaglia yarn, then BOOM: they hit you with an underwater-cave-diving tragedy that you can’t quit listening to even though you’re hyperventilating in fear-tears on the Red Line so you miss four stops.
Radiolab – “Juicervose”
This episode came out last year, but this year it definitely had me sneaking a weep at my temp desk as I listened to the story of a little boy with autism who found a way to communicate by memorizing Disney movies.
How Did This Get Made – “Furious 7 Live”
It’s pretty unfair to ask me to pick a single episode of HDTGM but I chose this one, as it’s now a hallowed tradition for my good friends Jason, Paul, and Adam Scott to discuss the most recent Fast and Furious sequel while June tries to remember ever having seen one. Most episodes of this podcast have me leaking tears of laughter as I deafen fellow commuters with my foghorn guffaws. I couldn’t have survived last winter’s 8 a.m. bus rides without these guys.
StartUp – “116 Men and a Baby”
After a whole season listening to two boss bitches facing the treacherous fundraising and mansplaining of the startup world, it’s a treat to learn the fate of the clever dating app they’ve slaved over. But it was the episode’s revelation of a real-life romance forged online that made tears come out of my face and announced to my fellow temps that LOVE IS REAL YOU GUYS.
WTF with Marc Maron – “Episode 575 – Cameron Esposito”
This humble blog has previously honored this side-mulleted never-not-collared denim-adoring stand up comedian. Right after seeing her live at the Hideout during my third week in Chicago, I found this little treat in my podcast queue. Having witnessed Mama and Papa Esposito supporting their daughter at her late-night gig, it was particularly uplifting to hear the story of how her super-Catholic family came around to Cameron’s lesbianism and her relationship with her killer fiance, Rhea Butcher (aka The Lady James Dean). I let all my hopeful feels drip out while I hung onto the rubber loops on the 20 bus.