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Five Great Podcasts to Check Out During Long Summer Drives

As residents continue to emerge from safer-at-home orders and begin planning summer vacations and trips, many are turning to cars rather than airplanes.

To pass the time, we offer five great podcasts that both adults and teens/tweens will enjoy. (And even if your teen checks out and stuffs in their AirPods, you can continue enjoying them.)

The Moth

Storytelling—which is how humans passed knowledge down for hundreds of generations—is not quite a lost art. Moth offers stories gathered through live storytelling competitions, where folks get up on stage before audiences and tell true stories without notes. (These stories often come with strong language.)

Good Starters: Adolescence and Agony features Another Saturday Night at the Clam King, a brilliantly touching story about a young man’s embarrassment about spending his weekend nights with his Greek grandmother and aunt. In the Best of Times, the Worst of Times a comedian tells of his experience getting his big break on Johnny Carson after learning his daughter’s cancer has returned.

Stuff You Missed in History Class

Holly Frey and Tracy Wilson love nerding out by sharing their personal research and discoveries that make history fun and interesting. You’ll be drawn in as historic figures and events you vaguely recall become intriguing stories and fascinating people. How can you pass up listening to a brief history of peanut butter and learning about the Great Moon Hoax of 1835?

Good Starters: Don’t miss SYMHC Classics: Freedom Riders, which tells the story of 400 Americans of all races challenging segregation laws governing bus rides, and SYMHC Classics: Phineas Gage, which tells the story of a railroad foreman who survived a four-foot metal spike shooting through his skull in 1848, rewriting textbooks on how our brains function.

Reply All

Hosted by P.J. Vogt and Alex Goldman, Reply All features stories about how people and the Internet shape each other. Many of their reoccurring features will keep you entertained. Yes, Yes, No, where the hosts explain Internet trivia to a less “with it” adult, will make you laugh and Super Tech Support tackles some odd, complex tech issues that have surprise endings.

Good Starters: In Long Distance a telephone scammer makes the mistake of calling one of the show’s hosts, and in the Case of the Missing Hit, the hosts track down a memorable pop song from a listener’s youth that seems to have mysteriously vanished from the Internet.

This American Life

Each week Ira Glass explores a theme in a few acts. Thought provoking and funny, the stories peel back and explore the human sides of current events, human nature and iconic American themes. Regular podcast listeners are likely familiar with and have appreciated at least one episode of This American Life.

Good Starters: Prom explores different teens experiences with prom, including kids from one small town whose town was destroyed by a tornado while they were at prom, and No Coincidence, No Story tells tales of coincidences that will touch your heart and leave your mouth gaping.

Heavyweight

Like a therapist in a time machine, host Jonathan Goldstein explores folks’ major regrets or mysteries—moments that have changed listeners’ lives. Moving and funny, Heavyweight may be a bit of a stretch for teens who’ve not lived long enough to have many regrets.

Good Starters: The Marshes explores a lifelong secret the mother of the Marsh siblings kept until a relative’s drunken slip of the tongue, and Scott features a search for a lost family heirloom and an encounter with a very eccentric character.

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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