Podcasts are a great source of free, or cheap entertainment. They can be educational, or like these five shows, they can just make you laugh.
1. Judge John Hodgeman
If you're having a dispute with a loved one over who should pay for dinner, whether meditation is appropriate in a shared workspace, or the ideal mourning period for a deceased family pet, Judge John Hodgeman will resolve it for you. His courtroom and authority may be fake, but his judgement is final.
How Did This Get Made? is part of the Earwolf Network, and is hosted by Paul Scheer (of Veep and Fresh off the Boat), June Diane Raphael (from Veep, Bigmouth and the upcoming film Blockers) and Jason Mantzoukas (of Brooklyn Nine Nine and The Good Place). Special guest stars have included Amy Schumer, Kevin Smith and Tatiana Maslany.
Each week the hosts tear to shreds a different bad movie. Mostly they just make fun of the terrible acting, writing and directorial choices, but sometimes they actually attempt to answer the question in the title by reading up on the movie's creation and even interviewing people involved in the production. It was selected by iTunes as favourite comedy podcast of the year in 2011.
3. Bunga Bunga
Flying Maynard, by Maynard Media, via Wikipedia. CC BY-SA 3.0.
Hosted by ABC broadcaster Maynard (also a regular on The Skeptic Zone and host of ABC radio's The Dirty Disbelievers) and Tim Ferguson (of the Doug Anthony Allstars) Bunga Bunga is a manic, disjointed stream of silliness and blathering about music, popular culture and whatever comes into the hosts' minds. It's a lot of fun.
4 Welcome to Nightvale
Welcome to Nightvaleis a very strange, surreal podcast, presented as a weekly radio show from the fictional town of Nightvale, where a lot of very strange things happen. Each week the host, Cecil Palmer (voiced by Cecil Baldwin), provides the news to a town full of bizarre inhabitants such as a literal five headed dragon, hooded figures (at which you must not look), and the station's floating cat, Koshek. He guides his community through events such as town council elections, rains of animals and another civilisation trying to break into this one via a fissure in the local bowling alley.
Welcome to Nightvale is creatively written, skillfully produced and has included many guest stars, such as Will Wheaton and Felicia Day.
5. Lost Treasures of the Black Heart.
Together with regular, Daniel Metcalfe, comedian Josie Long presents people or things from history that she feels have been unfairly overlooked and deserve to be "venerated". The podcast episodes are recordings of live shows from the venue, The Black Heart, covering topics such as misunderstandings about old Disney films, the Queen and the Brontes and audience participation games such as Guess What's In the Box and You Will Win the Box and Its Contents Whether You Want Them or Not.
Although Lost Treasures of the Black Heart is sadly now defunct, you can still listen to the complete archives through Josie's website, iTunes or whichever podcast app you prefer.