The Midroll Staff Pick Notable Podcast Episodes of 2014

As we cross the days off our calendar on the way to New Year’s Eve, it’s the time when year-end best-of lists sprinkle the internet like freshly fallen snow. Here at Midroll Media everyone listens to hours and hours of great podcasts, and we have so many amazing shows on our roster, that it would be nigh impossible to assemble a definitive best-of list.

But there are some episodes that stand out because they kept us riveted and made us think, smile, laugh out loud, or even tear up. I asked Midroll staff to share some of their notable choices in 2014 from Earwolf, Wolfpop, and the podcast universe at large.

The Midrollers who contributed to this list are:

Matt Buga – Ad Operations Manager
Gretta Cohn – Senior Producer
Lex Friedman – EVP of Sales and Development
Allyson Marino – Director, West Coast Sales
Josephine Martorana – Artist Care Expert
Aaron Nestor – Designer
Adam Sachs – CEO
Brett Morris – Lead Audio Engineer

Earwolf Shows

The Andy Daly Podcast Pilot Project #3 – Get Fit Now With Bill Carter
Gretta: “I’m big into physical fitness. I’ve done cardio kickboxing, barre method and aerial dance. But Bill Carter’s ‘wolf workout’ is probably the most innovative exercise solution I heard about all year.”

The Andy Daly Podcast Project #5 – Eye on Theatre with Don DiMello
Adam: “This episode was an absolute triumph of vulgarity. I had to pull over on Wilshire Blvd. because I was fighting tears of laughter and the urge to vomit.”

The Andy Daly Podcast Pilot Project #6 – Shut Up and Have Fun with Danny Mahoney
Matt: “I’ll just say I’ve repeatedly restarted this episode to the 1:28:30 an insane amount of times.” Here’s that clip (language is NSFW):

Comedy Bang! Bang! #299 – Don’t Hack the SAC
This episode features “Weird Al” Yankovic promoting his album Mandatory Fun. Lex chose it, “because I love Comedy Bang Bang, and I love ‘Weird Al,’ and Al patiently explaining to Scott which songs are being parodied was a delight.”

The Fogelnest Files #70 – Tiny Skinny Weirdos
Technically this came out in 2013, but at the end of the year, so Allyson actually listened in 2014. She says, “Fogelnest let Moby shine. So much music history from punk to techno. At 21:58 your heart will swell.”

Hollywood Handbook #53 – Two Birthday Boys, Our Close Friends
Sean hangs Engineer Cody out the window. ‘Nuff said.

How Did This Get Made? #85 – Color Of Night with Amy Schumer
Josephine: “For better or worse, Color of Night left a lasting impression on my young mind at the time of its release. The hosts capture and ridicule the film’s awkward, ridiculous tone deftly. Plus, Amy Schumer is fun!”

improv4humans #126 – Their Name is Korn.
Brett: “Picking my favorite Earwolf episode, even my favorite I4H episode, is utterly impossible. But one of the rare moments where I actually was literally in tears was during the David Bazan episode. I remember looking over to Horatio and he was also crying during the (now famous among fans) Atlantis scene. On the other extreme, it was my first time hearing David Bazan, and his music really moved me.” (Chosen by: Aaron & Brett)

Wolfpop Shows

The Canon #5 – Star Wars vs. Empire Strikes Back.
Devin & Amy clash lightsabers in the first ever versus episode where they will decide which Star Wars movie belongs in the canon. The prequels don’t even deserve to be in the running. (Chosen by Aaron)

The Canon #6 – Inception
Matt: “I actually spent a lot of time arguing about Inception when it came out, so I love to hear a good ribbing on it.”

Crybabies # 5 – “Weird Al” Yankovic
Brett: “Weird Al is a personal hero of mine, and hearing him on a not-necessarily-comedy podcast just confirmed to me how intelligent and thoughtful he really is. I also got a selfie with him that day, so I’m biased.”

I Was There Too #2 – Ricco Ross
Gretta: “I love the storytelling possibilities of this show, which is: interviews with actors who played small roles in big films. Ricco Ross gives an intriguing behind the scenes look into Aliens via his role as Private Frost.” According to Lex, “Gourley is an insanely talented podcast host.”

Off Camera #17 – Jackson Browne
Jackson Browne is a master songwriter whose artistic journey spans the evolution of folk music and in many ways the evolution of the music industry itself. Aspiring songwriters, here’s your users manual. So pull up a chair and listen in. (Chosen by Allyson)

Reading Aloud #1 – Aimee Mann, Brian Stack & Steven Weber
Josephine: “A strong start for a show that has a lasting, enjoyable format with a great guest / host combo. I literally dreamt about Hemingway (who was briefly mentioned) after listening to this episode.”

The Sylvester Stallone Show #12 – Mom
Adam: “Paul’s mom is so supportive and so funny. There’s something so great about Paul seeking her advice for approaching Stallone, since she once had that experience meeting Chevy Chase in a liquor store in NYC.”

All Podcasts

Mental Illness Happy Hour – Episode 195 Todd Glass
Matt: “A little more light-hearted than most episodes, it’s both enlightening and motivational to hear about Todd’s closeted experience as well as the discussion about the politics of language and being mindful.”

Radiolab – Hello
Gretta: “In the podcast world we’re always listening to people talking, debating and making jokes. But how often do we hear from animals? In this episode Radiolab gets up close and personal with dolphins.”

Serial – Most episodes
Josephine says she can’t pick just one episode of this breakthrough, binge-listening favorite.

StartUp #1 – How Not To Pitch a Billionaire
Adam: “I’ve been through the VC-funding process before and this episode provides such an honest, relatable portrayal. It’s magical to hear Chris Sacca, with no preparation, give a way better version of Alex’s pitch right back to him.”

StartUp #3 – How to Divide an Imaginary Pie
Alex decides that he can’t build the company by himself. How much of your company should you give up when you bring on a partner? (Chosen by Allyson)

WTF #531 – Anna Kendrick
Lex: “I’m going with Anna Kendrick on WTF. So good.”

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