Top Five Other Podcasts

Top Five is a show where the hosts categorize, rank, compare, and stratify everything… from cars to gadgets to people and movies. From stuff that is hot, and things that are not nearly as interesting – it’s Top Five.

When you are done listening to all of the shows in the Major Spoilers Podcast Network (10 and counting), what next? Zach and Stephen sit down and share their favorites.

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About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. Julian Chin on

    I’ve got a few here…

    I Was There Too, from the Wolfpop network. A comedian interviews actors who played minor characters in famous films.
    THE BEST SHOW, formerly from New Jersey’s WFMU. A weekly three-hour live show, released as a podcast the day after. There’s a lot going on in the show, but usually it’s a mix of live call-ins, celebrity interviews, and inspired two-man comedy. It’s the only podcast other than Major Spoilers I give money to.
    Lastly, anything from the Earwolf network, which does comedy shows. My favorites are Comedy Bang! Bang!, Who Charted (another list show!), and the now-defunct shows You Talkin’ U2 To Me? and Analyze Phish.

    Honestly though… I’d trade them all if I could get a daily episode of Critical Hit.

    • We don’t have the funding to commit to that… :) Everyone has to pay their bills, hence the need for their other jobs, which means we can only sit down every other week to record episodes that will play out over a month. On the plus side, there are so many other Major Spoilers Podcast episodes for you to enjoy in between Critical Hit episodes :) Of course with enough support from fine fans like you, we can reach my personal goal of hiring all of these fine people full time (

  2. here are my top 5 (categories) podcasts I listen to:
    1. Star Wars = RebelForceRadio, Rebels Recon, Star Wars Oxygen, Star Wars Minute, TheForceCast, Rebels Roundtable
    2. Tech News = Daily Tech News Show, Tech News Today, This Week In Tech
    3. Frogpants = The Morning Stream, CurrentGeek, Film Sack
    4. Major Spoliers = Critical Hit, Top 5, Major Spoilers
    5. Comedy = Doug Loves Movies, ComedyFilmNerds, WTF Podcast, Kevin Pollak Chat Show, Nerdist
    6. Music = Above & Beyond’s Group Therapy (formerly Trance Around The World), Corsten’s Countdown, Alphabeatical

  3. 1. Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History
    2. Major Spoilers Network Master Feed – Lumping in all shows
    3. WTF with Marc Maron Podcast & The Nerdist – Both completely different but both are interview biased shows
    4. Stuff You Should Know – Best family friendly show, my 9 year old daughter and I love listening together
    5. NW Nerdcast & Fear the Boot – Both are about tabletop gaming/gaming but emphases different elements

  4. Here are my 5 favorite podcasts in no particular order.
    1) The D6 Generation – a tabletop gaming podcast. It tends to run long but I enjoy it.
    2) The Thinking Sideways Podcast – a podcast about unsolved mysteries. Very well done and very engrossing.
    3) The Morning Stream – a morning new show for the geeks in the world.
    4) Current Geek – a tech discussion with various guests with a contest.
    5) Film Sack – a multi-person bad film review that is absolutely hilarious.

    Before anyone says anything, I know the last 3 are Frogpants shows and all of them include Scott Johnson. I think he is great and he doesn’t know me from Adam.

  5. Derrick Donaldson on

    My Top Five podcasts is a tough questions. Leaving out any Major Spoilers podcasts in the interest of fairness here they are:

    5: Harmontown

    Mayor of Harmontown Dan Harmon (Creator and sometimes writer on Community) talks about stuff and interviews people with comptroller/co-host Jeff Davis (Whose Line is it Anyway cast member). These shows are frequently laugh-out-loud hilarious. They also began playing Dungeons and Dragons at the end of most episodes. Dan is usually quite drunk by then, and frequently very little happens to further the campaign.

    4: Nerdist

    For all of the same reasons you already mentioned.

    3: (tie) We’re Alive/The Leviathan Chronicles

    Two very well produced and sporadically released audio dramas. If you have not listened to either of these add them to your list immediately.

    2: How Did This Get Made

    Reviews of bad movies every week from Paul Scheer, Jason Mantzoukas and June Diane-Rafiel (I probably spelled all of those wrong). This show is one of the funniest shows on the entire internet. I love bad movies almost as much as these guys do. Listen to episode 86 for their review of Ernest Goes to Jail. That is a great starting point.

    1: The Scathing Atheist/The Skepticrat

    Two podcasts from the same hosts. One released on Mondays and one on Thursdays. The Scathing Atheist lampoons religious news around the world while the Skepticrat has a great take on politics from an Atheist/skeptic point of view. Be warned, this podcast is not for children or for anyone who still has the ability to be offended by words.


    Judge John Hodgman, The Indoor Kids, Radiolab, The Dice Tower (boardgaming podcast), The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe and Intelligence Squared (a truly fantastic debate podcast).

    To be clear, if I was including Major Spoilers podcasts this list would look much different. Critical Hit is THE ONLY podcast that convinced me to donate some of my limited income. I like many other podcasts on the network as well, but I am refreshing my list every Friday waiting for the new Critical Hit. Now, when are we going to get back to The Adventures of Orem Rivendorn featuring Torq and the Torqletones?

    • I love Intelligence Squared! Just started listening last year and then got incredibly happy when I realized you can watch the debates online on PBS.

      • Derrick Donaldson on

        That’s news to me. I’ll have to check it out. My only concern is that sometimes it feels like the audience is in on the method and rigs the vote. Aside from that the topics are always timely, and very well debated. A great way to become informed on both sides of a topic.

        • Agreed. It is amazing how when people with differing viewpoints decide to have a civilized debate how well it can go and informative it can be.

    • I wish The Leviathan Chronicles would have some new episodes. I hate not knowing what is going to happen to the Immortals.

  6. Michael M. on

    I have a lot of listening to do!

    So my Top 5 favorite OTHER podcasts, besides those in the Major Spoilers network and ones mentioned on the episode or in the comments thus far include (in no particular order):

    The Book Riot podcast — I’ve been trying to read a lot more lately, just for fun, and the Book Riot podcast (and accompanying website) has opened my eyes to “the world of books and reading.” Plus, the hosts, Jeff and Rebecca, are very intelligent and a lot of fun.

    The X-Files Files — maybe not for everyone, but as a casual fan of the X-Files, it’s been fun listening to host Kumail Nanjiani and his comedian friends go through and discuss the series.

    Sawbones — Justin McElroy and his wife, Dr. Sydnee McElroy discuss old timey notions and cures that people (and doctors!) had about medicine. Funny and fascinating!

    We Have Concerns — Hosts Anthony Carboni and Jeff Cannata discuss news topics from the worlds of science and technology, often breaking into sketches. Funny 20-minutes episodes for those short drives to and from work.

    5Cast Podcast — Another “Top 5” style listicle podcast, Tyler and Ben discuss their top 5 picks in some crazy topics ranging from Creatures of Middle Earth to Rides that Disney World SHOULD Have. I just love the rapport between the hosts!

    Also rans: Hello Internet, Nintendo Voice Chat, and RJ & Bley Suck at Girls

    • Derrick Donaldson on

      X-Files Files is another podcast I really love. Also the Indoor Kids. Kumail Nanjiani is very funny as is his wife Emily V. Gordon.

  7. Frederick, aka Darth Macho on

    My Top 5 “Other” Podcasts

    5: TV AFTER SHOWS: More of a category than an individual podcast, I listen to podcasts that discuss my favorite TV shows, like the Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. Since I’m obsessed with these shows, I can’t help but listen in on what people have to say about them.

    4: RESORT LOOP PODCAST: A Walt Disney World podcast where two hosts discuss my favorite theme parks, and often includes audience participation through social media. They are very friendly, love the subject, but don’t take it all so seriously. They are very family friendly.

    3: WDW MEMORIES: The host brings his audio equipment with him on his Walt Disney World vacation and shares his clips from rides and attractions with the world. Since I’m obsessed with WDW, but can’t there often enough, I thoroughly enjoy this podcast.

    2: STAR WARS IN CHARACTER: Rather than a Star Wars show with behind the scenes news and rumors, this podcast is 4 friends that take obscure Star Wars characters and tell us their backstories, which are usually pretty interesting. The hosts clearly love Star Wars, but don’t take it too seriously, injecting lots of humor into the show. Much of the humor is very “off color” so I wouldn’t recommend this one for kids. It’s the only other podcast besides Critical Hit, for which I own a t-shirt.

    1: CRITICAL HIT: Okay, I know this is supposed to be about “other” podcast, but there just isn’t a podcast that I like better than Critical Hit. I’ve probably listened to the entire series at least five times through, but there are series of episodes and individual episodes that I’ve listened to more than a dozen times, including the Celestial Crusade finale, Boomp Boomp, and believe it or not, the Christmas Episode. Whether it’s the main story, the offseason, or mailbag, there isn’t a podcast I look forward to more than Critical Hit, and will continue to war my t-shirt proudly.

  8. My top 5 in are in no real order as I love them all.

    1. Welcome to Night Vale- Not much to add to what Stephen and Zack said.

    2. Jim Harold’s Campfire & Anything Ghost- Personal paranormal stories about ghost and hauntings.

    3. Drabblecast, Nightmare, Pseudopod, and No Sleep- Fictional horror stories.

    4. Harry Strange Radio Drama- Done in the old style radio drama. Harry is a modern day PI that is immortal but has a noir personality.

    5. 1 More Podcastle- Retro gaming podcast.

    Some other good ones are Breaking Bits(gaming news and reviews) and Hunt the Truth(a tie in for Halo 5).
    Of course MajorSpoilers, Zack on Film, Top Five and Critical Hit.

  9. Rob Lancaster on

    I enjoy Top Five any time it comes out, but this is the first show I’ve commented on. Be kind.

    I will preface my comments with the fact that I may be slightly addicted to podcasts. At last count I have 93 podcasts that I listen to, nearly all of them on a weekly or bi-weekly basis depending on their release cycle. Luckily I have a job and commute that allows me to do so. Therefore narrowing all of those shows down to 5 is a daunting task. Like some of the other commenters I will combine some of them into categories. Hopefully others will find new shows to listen to and enjoy. As others have done, I’m not including any of the Major Spoilers network shows because we all know them and love them.

    5. Tech:
    TWit Network of shows – Leo Laporte of Screensavers fame has a great stable of shows with various hosts and tech topics. Anyone in the field or interested in technology can find something they will enjoy.
    Vergecast – Brought to you by the Verge website, this show takes a weekly look at the top tech news and infuses their own humor and take on it.
    TekThing – The video podcast is a short 20-30 minute show that covers a multitude of topics from DYI to latest in tech.

    4. Comedy:
    Nerdist – The interview episodes are great as Stephen said, but I agree with Zach, the “hostful” episodes with just the three main hosts are amazing. The humor and way they delve into their lives is very entertaining. If you enjoy Nerdist you have to listen to You Made it Weird as well.
    Kicking and Screaming – Actress Jenna Elfman speaks with her husband on camera about their married life with its ups and downs. Their style of self-deprecating humor makes the show.
    Tell ‘Em Steve-Dave – Fans of the show Comic Book Men and the show Impractical Jokers will know the three hosts of this Smodco network podcast. The hosts delve into their private lives and give their take on the news of the week. Warning, they often tackles topics in a matter that comes across as crass but it is usually for effect.
    The 40 Year old Boy – This stream of consciousness podcast follows the weekly struggles of a 40 something comedian who’s day job is delivering barbeque.

    3. Film and TV:
    Fans Talk Wrestling – This wrestling podcasts talks about all the major wrestling promotions. The hosts are usually more positive than other wrestling shows out there. If you want a more cynical take PWF Empire Live or Pro Wrestling Talk Radio are good alternates
    Silver Screen Queens – I just started listening to this recently but enjoy it. The two hosts provide a weekly movie review.
    Comedy Film Nerds – The hosts may and most likely poo-poo a movie you enjoy but their show is definitely entertaining at the same time
    How Did This Get Made – This panel movie review show looks at sub-par movies and breaks them down in all their glory.
    Transformation – This new show goes through entire runs of Anime shows provides a breakdown of what the show is about. Great for anyone wanting to get into Anime.

    2. Misc:
    The Incomparable – This panel show is hard to quantify. Overall its the host Jason Snell and his friends talking about all things geek. It is very entertaining.
    FEAB – A crossover from the sidekicks of Nerdist and Smodcast, this irregular release podcast is a funny show from Matt Mira and Scott Mosier.
    Around the NFL Podcast – The hosts of this show talk about all the news of the NFL and have a good time doing it.
    FreakonomicsRadio – This NPR show looks at issues around the country and how you can use economics to figure out what’s going on and what can be done about it. Topics covered vary from the prison system to online dating.
    Tested – A show by Mythbusters Adam, this quick weekly show covers different random topics. Definitely worth a quick listen to.

    1. RP and Radio Plays:
    Kakos Industries – A broadcast style show from the CEO of Kakos industries(an evil shadow corporation) to its shareholders. This show is quickly moving up the charts of my favorite shows
    Be Gaming – This podcast is running a Star Trek campaign using the FATE system right now, the players style and quirks makes the show more interesting than you’d think.
    Total Party Kill – On the Incomparable network, this podcast goes by season, moving between settings and systems. The first and third seasons are in the Black Sun universe while the 2nd season was in Waterdeep.
    Geekly network of shows – The often blue humor shows on the this network are worth a listen to. The main Drunks and Dragons show has been running for over a hundred hilarious episodes, Cthulhu & Friends is an amazing show set in the Cthulhu mythos, and Sayer is an intriguing radio drama dealing with an AI on a man-made moon. The network’s random encounters feed brings different systems and games to the table if you want a change.
    Others that I love in this category are We’re Alive, The Thrilliing Adventure Hour, Welcome to Nightvale, and Nerd Poker.

      • Rob Lancaster on

        Thanks Stephen. I keep meaning to check out their YouTube videos. Audio is such an easier medium for me to consume right now but I may have to bite the bullet and just make time for it.

  10. Guillaume Berube on

    Ok here’s my top 5 in no particular order

    #1 Skeptics with a K – 3 brits talk about pseudoscience with humor. From medical scams to psychics through bad journalism.

    #2 Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men – This one I discovered recently and burned throug the 50 episodes in a week. it is as the name says Rachel and Miles going through the entire history of the X-men and trying to make sense of it all. It includes interviews with creators too. Similar to Geek History Lesson but completely different. If you’ve ever wondered what makes Storm great or who is the third Summers brother or just love comics this is a great podcast.

    #3 Good Job Brain – If you like Trivia, this is the podcast for you. The hosts challenge each others with quizes and games. It’s a pretty unique and fun.

    #4 Idle Thumbs – The initial pitch would be Videogame developpers and journalists talking about what they play. But the reality is so hard to describe. From game jams based on their episode titles to Robot News and Valve Hat Barons, you can appreciate all that is great of gamer culture without any of the bad.

    #3 Isometric – You take Idle Thumbs and you switch the gender ratio. You get something as amazing and fun. Passionate people talking about what they love. One of the hosts is a psychiatrist so you will also get some insights, one is running a video game studio.

  11. well, these are some of my FAVORITE podcasts, of course in no specific order

    1) Analog Hole Gaming: it is basically a tech news show by people not in the business who enjoy gaming and there is lots of cursing. Definitely NFSW or Children.

    2) A Cast of Kings: It is a Game of Thrones podcast that does not spoil anything, including things that were in the book that is not in the series. It is an offshoot from their formerly Breaking Bad podcast.

    3) Drunks and Dragons: It is another DND campaign show which is hilarious, the players are drunk and playing DND 4th edition. The Thanksgiving show had them fighting a GIGANTIC turkey hulk.

    4) The Michael Berry Show Podcast: It is the daily (5 hours 3 morning 2 afternoon) show that Michael Berry does out of Houston, TX on KTRH radio. It is conservative talk radio.

    5) Steve Austin Show: Basically it is Stone Cold Steve Austin, interviewing people in the business and other personal friends.

    Also ran: This podcast is over, but they have said they are looking at doing a spinoff of things that happened during the events of the story. It is called: We’re Alive, A Story of Survival! It is a story spanning numerous episodes (over 2 days of audio) in radio show format about the zombie apocalypse in LA. According to their site, they are finalizing the spinoff called, Tales from We’re Alive, and is to span 5-6 hours of audio.,_A_Story_of_Survival

    • Another Also Ran would be the Upper Memory Group podcast. Joe takes an old DOS or pre-Windows XP game and talks about it and if possible, plays through it for show material.

  12. Dan Langsdale on

    In addition to the MSP Masterfeed, some highlights of my iTunes list:

    Atomic Trivia War 9000 – A group of friends get together to have trivia contests with a wide range of questions. The trivia isn’t usually too intense (so you can play along without feeling like a know-nothing) and the atmosphere is akin to what you’ll get on Munchkin Land (i.e. a bunch of friends kicking back and enjoying a competitive game in a social way.)

    StarShipSofa – An audio Sci-Fi magazine featuring SF short stories by a plethora of names read out like a book on tape. It also includes segments talking about recent real world developments in scientific frontiers and occasional interviews with creators and editors.

    Duotang Chesterfield’s Mystery Theatre – A relatively young podcast featuring audio dramas with a focus on different kinds of detective stories. If you like things like Decoder Ring Theatre and Thrilling Adventure Hour and want more, here you go!

    Comic Geek Speak – Comics news, reviews, interviews, etc.views since 2005. There have been a couple hand-overs in producers, but it’s always been within the CGS family of voices.

    Kids’ Comics Revolution – Comics creators Jerzy Drozd & Dave Roman host a series of shows all about the world of comics as it relates to young readers, usually featuring insight from young readers. Recently had an INCREDIBLE interview with Jimmy Gownley.

    Paper Wings Podcast – Comic creator Lora Innes and animator/teacher Chris Oatley offer guidance, insight, and inspiration for the creative process. Amazingly good, if somewhat irregular.

    Decompressed – Comics writer Kieron Gillen interviews other comics creators about process. Really catch-as-catch can, and it’s been over a year since the last update, but excellent if you haven’t given them a listen.

  13. litanyofthieves on

    Here we go:

    5. The Thrilling Adventure Hour – A podcast in the style of old time radio. As a former theatre geek, hearing a live show with really great comedic actors makes me laugh and wax nostalgic. I love the writing, the concepts, and the performances. Sparks Nevada, Marshall on Mars is by far my favorite show, but Beyond Belief is a close second. Captain Laserbeam holds a special place in my heart because it’s got John Dimaggio.

    4. Children of Tendu – A great look at breaking into TV writing with two veteran TV writers, Jose Molina and Javier Grillo-Marxuach, who have worked on everything from Firefly to Lost to Law & Order: SVU. They are really funny and heartfelt and really talk about what it’s like to try to get into the TV writing business. I found them around the same time I did ScriptNotes and Nerdist Writer’s Panel and all 3 together really helped me get my stuff together and put together a proper writing portfolio, as well as start to figure out what steps I need to take to get into writing as a career.

    3. Reasonable Doubts – Pretty much the only skeptic/atheist podcast I listen to these days. 2 philosophers and a psychologist (All professors) who are former Calvinist Christians turned atheists address Christian Apologetics through science and philosophy. It’s definitely not 100% newbie-friendly (though some of their earlier episodes are), but they strike a nice balance between criticism and understanding. If you’re already an open atheist, it’s a great way to sharpen your sword for those awkward holiday debates with religious relatives who don’t get it.

    2. The Nerdist Writer’s Podcast – Ben Blacker, one of the creators of The Thrilling Adventure Hour, interviews writers about writing and the business of writing. It’s mostly TV-Oriented, but they do have a regular Comics Writer’s panel, with Blacker, Adam Beechen, Heath Corson and Len Wein. And they do cover movies, books, nonfiction, and even more.

    1. Revolutions – Mike Duncan’s new podcast! This is the same guy that did the excellent History of Rome podcast. He keeps episodes to under an hour, and he’s been going through various revolutions, starting with the English Revolution/Civil War, then the American Revolution, now the French Revolution, and he’s got many more to come. This is an excellent way to get into history, because he’s well researched without being too complex. A great podcast for anyone interested in history.

    • litanyofthieves on

      Two post scripts:

      1. I have to agree with many people on this thread that Critical Hit is easily my top podcast if I include MSP podcasts. I didn’t because there are so many other great podcasts to bring up, and most here already listen to Critical Hit. It’s pretty much the only podcast I listen to as each episode comes out, and I’ve already re-listened once and plan on doing so again once I’ve caught up on my other ‘casts.

      2. Also, wow, this comment thread just doubled my podcast count! Thanks everyone for even more great podcasts.

  14. Adam Corolla is racist, misogynist, classist, and homophobic.

    I’ll use his own words to defend my position of refusing to support him. “Gay people should be glad I don’t bash them.” And he’s using “bash” in this instance to mean “beat with a baseball bat;” this statement was made as a follow-up to a story about how he and his friends had beaten up gay people.

    He’s a weekly segment on another podcast I listen to, which is more exposure than I want. I certainly refuse to do anything to put money directly in his pocket.

  15. Karl G. Siewert on

    Critical Hit and Welcome To Night Vale are the podcasts that I always move to the top of the queue when new episodes drop, but besides those my top five (in no particular order) non-MSP podcasts are:

    Death, Sex & Money
    Slate Presents: Lexicon Valley
    Stuff You Missed in History Class
    The Longest Shortest Time [about parenting]
    The Robcast [about religion, by Rob Bell, currently touring with Pete Holmes]

  16. So, my list changed, because of Major Spoilers. I have 10 hours of commute time each week, so I need a lot of Podcasts. For a long time it was just Critical Hit that I was listening to, and then I learned about the feed, and now it is packed with Geek History Lesson, Top Five, Zack on Film… Stephen, you pushed StarTalk off my rotation STAR TALK RADIO.

    Those non-spoiler podcasts that remain:

    5. Project Moonbase – A pair of Brits bringing eclectic music fitting a theme together each week. Great for listening on long projects or drives. Check it out.
    4. Tested – Still Untitled, The Adam Savage Podcast. Love everything this guy does, and how it covers movie reviews, making, family life, technology, everything.
    3. Caustic Soda – Amazeballs, some of the greatest banter from an ensemble cast, and super educational
    2. Savage Love – Hilarious, Political and educational
    1. Skeptics Guide to the Universe – Love all the topics, the science and the adherence to Critical Thinking.

    After this podcast, I started listening to Welcome to Nightvale, and it is fantastic. Not quite as into We Are Alive. I also quit on the Leviathan Chronicles after a few. Another great episodic story you should check out is The Gearheart – all the episodes are complete.

    • I’m not sure why I tired of Leviathan Chronicles, I think it was the lure that it may have had something to do with Lovecraftian horror, but then turned out to absolutely not be about that… or at least not when I quit after about 30 episodes.

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