Gretchen Rubin’s been keeping it positive, despite the circumstances. Then again, that’s probably what you’d expect from one of the most prominent voices on the subject of happiness. Rubin is the best-selling author behind books like “The Happiness Project” and “The Four Tendencies,” and she has the distinction of being one of the earliest author-to-podcaster crossovers in the business with her podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin, launching back in 2015. Nick talks to Rubin about her interest in the subject of happiness and human nature, her podcasting work and the concept of “self-help” as a genre.
Chenjerai Kumanyika is a man of many roles: academic, artist, organizer, journalist. He’s also a maker of podcasts, most notable for his work as the co-host of the Peabody award-winning Uncivil along with two acclaimed seasons of Scene on Radio, “Seeing White” and “The Land That Has Never Been Yet.” All three projects are united by a radical sensibility: to fundamentally rethink a core aspect of American society. This week, Nick talks to Chenjerai about how — and why — he has come to integrate podcasting as part of his larger intellectual output.
Paul Bae is one of the more prominent creators of fiction podcasts. Since 2015, he co-created The Black Tapes (with Terry Miles), created the anthology series The Big Loop, directed a podcast project from Marvel, and has two shows in development for Spotify. Paul is also part of a growing cadre of podcast creators that’s finding work in Hollywood, with a few television opportunities bubbling up on the horizon. A lot is happening for him, and he’s come a long way to get to this point. This week, Nick talks to Paul — a former actor, stand-up comedian, and preacher — about how he made his way into podcasting… and back into the entertainment business.
Richard’s Famous Food Podcast is pretty hard to describe. It’s technically a podcast that deals in food documentaries, but it’s also a cartoonish acid trip that rarely follows a straight line. Genuinely one of the most bizarre things you’ll ever hear, the show is also distinct for the fact that it’s all the creation of one person: Richard Parks III, a food writer, documentarian, filmmaker, and audio producer. This week, Nick asks Parks to walk through a single episode of the show – “Cornichon’s Quest” – as a way to figure out how the podcast works.
College football and Major League Baseball are hanging by a thread. A Floridian bubble is home to multiple sports leagues, all playing out experimental seasons. Stadiums and arenas are largely empty, filled in with artificial crowd noises and, in some cases, papered over with digital fans. Persisting within a pandemic, the sports world has never been stranger. So what is it like to make a daily sports podcast? This week, Nick spoke with Pablo Torre and Eve Troeh, the host and senior editorial producer of ESPN Daily, about the delicate balance involved in sports coverage during a most irregular time.
Here’s something a little different. There’s this somewhat parodic but also very real assertion that pornography tends to be at the forefront of new technologies: high-speed internet video, virtual reality, that kind of thing. Podcasting isn’t a new technology at all, of course, but we were interested in the question: how does pornography — and erotica, which is different but related — intersect with the current boom in on-demand audio? This week, Nick spoke with three guests who come at this question from different angles: Caroline Spiegel, the CEO of Quinn, an audio erotica startup; Alex Klein, a representative from Pornhub, and Girl on the Net, an independent creator.