The 9 Worst Types of Podcasters


?By Shaun Clayton

It was said by Andy Warhol that “In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.” Now that we’re officially living in the future, this should be corrected to “Everyone will get fifteen podcasts.” The podcast, which allows one to essentially create their own audio or video show for free, with minimal set up is a wonderful for way for people to share their thoughts, interests and opinions on a multitude of subjects. Unfortunately, like everything else on the internet, 99% of people who make podcasts shouldn’t be making them. Here are the 9 horrible podcasters you’re likely to listen to before you actually manage to find one of the good ones.

9) People Who Never Stop Talking

Would you like to hear someone talk on and on and on about nothing in particular? Well, that’s almost ever podcast. There’s not even a blessed commercial break to end the monotony. It’s just one run on sentence after another, meandering from one discussion about Star Trek to who should really be playing Green Lantern to why they are losing their hair at thirty-five in their parent’s basement. It’s kind of like listening to Jimmy Stewart filibuster in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington except you just want Mr. Smith to die, with blood shooting out of his nose.

8) Nerds with Incredible Narrow Interests

Well, you know, there are a lot of podcasts out there that broadcast to anyone, even if it’s just shouting into a very loud wind. You can lose your goddamn mind just searching for a podcast on a subject you think that nobody would possibly ever have a podcast for, finding that podcast exists, then killing yourself by listening to it. Do you want to listen to a whole podcast about continuity in Star Trek? Do you want to listen to a whole podcast about 2-wheeled RC cars? Do you want a podcast literally full of white noise? The iTunes store has your back — and the knife to plunge into it.

7) People Who Can’t Work the Recording Equipment

You may think that Public Access Shows are low-budget disasters, but just take away the studio and equipment people can check and you have what are most podcasts. It’s a tinny cacophony of voices recorded through a laptop microphone, fed through Skype and played back on what sounds like a wax cylinder covered in dirt. Then, of course the volume ranges from so silent you think perhaps your iPod is broken, to OH MY GOD I’M DEAF all within the same ten seconds of one podcast.

6) Crazy People

If there is a place where other people might hear a person speak, then there is a good chance that a crazy person is there. If you think there are nutty people on A.M. radio, then just imagine what it’s like without the worry of losing advertisers. Oh, if you want to hear the disturbing shrieks of the damned, then by all means do so. Learn about random mumblings of letters and numbers, or how Hitler was the greatest Christian of all time, or how crystals can solve world badger. Actually, if there’s one good thing about these podcasts, at least the people are being true to themselves.

5) Girls Who Get Too Many Listeners Because They’re Girls and the Internet Fame Has Gone to Their Heads

The Internet is full of lonely guys who will just as readily listen to the sounds of a feminine voice as a cocaine addict will attend the Pitchfork Music Festival. Therefore, a woman-lead podcast will get at least double the listeners of a podcast featuring a guy, and triple if the woman even mentions anything remotely sexual and/or video games. No effort is required on the part of the woman, which just furthers the idea of women = things to masturbate to. There is a balancing act to be had though. The woman doing the podcast must never reveal any personal information or risk being grabbed in the night by a giant sweaty, no-necked man with Joker facepaint and a Batman shirt, sealed away in a giant plastic bag with backboard.

4) Anyone Who Reads Listener Mail

If a podcast seems like a lonely affair, then listener mail is there to tell you of an even lonelier affair, one where people with apparently too much time on their hands not only listen to a podcast but write in to voice their opinions. It’s almost always starting with “I love your podcast” and then unfurls maximum griping. “Clearly that one thing you read two weeks ago is completely wrong, according to my encyclopedic knowledge,” the mail will say, either as an e-mail read by the host or with maximum distortion as a voice mail recording. “I understand your opinion and maybe I made a mistake and thanks for listening,” the host will say. It is one person thinking their voice is so important that it needs to be heard writing to another person thinking their voice is so important it needs to be heard and both are disastrously wrong.

3) Idiots with Delusions of Grandeur

Having a podcast and having people listen to it does not make you a celebrity or a guru or a person who deserves a television show, or a minor diety. It makes you a person who records their voices into a device to be thrown out into the endlessly shouting wind of other voices. Yet, some people don’t realize this, and think perhaps their voice comes down upon high and with lights and theatrical effect, and will Tweet and Facebook with multiple exclamation points about their upcoming episodes, and have you possibly purchased a t-shirt/mug/collection of off-key songs from their CafePress store?

2) Unfunny People Who Think They Are Funny

If you think you are funny, then podcasting is like open mic night, except there is nobody there to tell you “you suck.” Podcasting allows one to simply have a stage, surrounded by one-way mirrors, with the mirror-side facing the stage. People speak, and they never have to take criticism if they don’t want to. Hence they can put as many jokes about Obama drinking lattes, songs about farting on dates, and shouting about Michael Jackson’s penis as much as they want without anyone running up to them and slapping the microphone out of their hand. Take a look at the category of comedy and download a few of the winners if you don’t believe me; you will hear a lot of unfunny people laughing at themselves.

1) Whiners

“Oh my gosh, my life is so horrible.” No it’s not. It’s not horrible. Not even in the slightest. “Horrible” would be more like “I don’t have money for a computer, or an Internet connection or food, and I have to stay away from the windows for fear of sniper bullets.” That’s horrible. Your inability to pay a parking ticket for your Vespa is not horrible. Nor is your Xbox “red-ringing.” Nor is the choice of Ryan Reynolds as the Green Lantern. Nobody wants to hear you bitch about any of these subjects. Shut up, shut up, shut up!

Note: Shaun Clayton has a podcast at He is not one of these types of people.