For when you want to get lost in stories...
This podcast comes from recordings of live storytelling events hosted by The Moth. Anyone can audition to tell their story at one of these events and some are chosen to be aired on their podcast. My old boss said it so well, she said, "sometimes there are great storytellers, sometimes there are great stories, it's really special when you hear a story that has both". Be prepared to cry, laugh and learn about new experiences you never thought about.
Each week of this podcast there's a theme and stories told based off that theme. Stories is a word used loosely here, sometimes it's a stand up act, some times an essay is being read, it really depends. The only real thread between all the episode is they're all about American life, but not the strict definition you're thinking of. Similar to The Moth there are terribly sad stories and some hilariously funny. One great thing about this show is it will take in depth looks at important topics, for instance, it recently did two episodes looking into the real impact immigrants have on American life.
In this podcast interesting people are interview but there's no narrator. So you go into each story not certain what conclusion you should come to or what topic will be covered. I have to be in the right mood to listen to this because more so than other podcasts I listen to, you need to really pay attention. There's typically a moment where the light bulb goes off and you "get" what the story is about. The people they choose to interview aren't typical, like a pimp, a street harasser, online sexual dominatrix personality and an ex-lie detector tester.
Every episode of this podcast is linked somehow to criminality, even if it's a loose connection. Sometimes they interview an ex-criminal, sometimes you learn a new criminality technique and sometimes you learn about a historic criminal figure. Most episodes are light and airy but some can hit you to your core. A lot of these episodes have really stuck with me and I think of them often.