TBTAM’s Top Ten Podcasts of 2017

You know you’re a radio junkie when you find yourself scribbling not just prescriptions, but lists of podcasts for your patients to listen to on their long plane flights or drives to Florida or wherever else they are heading for the winter months. I figured if I wrote them all down, I could save myself the scribbling and just share a link to the list.

And so here, in no particular order, are the podcasts I found myself recommending over and over again this past year.


Part mystery, part bizarre tale, part crazy sad but also totally wonderful and addicting. I fell in love with this guy John B McLemore, quirks and all.  Not to mention this is one gorgeous website.

And some great theme music.

Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin 

A veritable who’s who of modern media and culture sit down for one-on-one’s with Alec. He’s not the worlds best interviewer, and sometimes I wish he’d shut up and stop trying to impress us, but the truth is I love him. He’s not afraid to seek common ground with his guests, who range from Judd Apatow to Kristin Wiig to Patti Smith to Jerry Seinfeld.

Fresh Air

Terri Gross is a true national treasure, and her interviews just get better and better with time.

She makes me so proud of my hometown, Philadelphia. And WHYY, still my fave radio station ever.

More Perfect

Thanks to my daughter for introducing us to this podcast about the Supreme Court, that branch of government no one but Nina Totenberg seems to understand. Until now. Learn about the cases that define the court and the nation. The Imperfect Plaintiffs and Object Anyway, from season 1, are must-listens for every American.

The Axe Files

David Axelrod, former Obama campaign strategist and White House Advisor, interviews key figures in the political world. Broadcast from the University of Chicago, where Axelrod heads the Institute of politics.

Naturally, a highlight was his interview/discussion with Barack Obama (12/16/16), but if you’re a political junkie, you won’t stop there. Great listening, this.

The New Yorker Radio Hour

Somehow I never find time to read the New Yorker, but I do listen to the podcast. The episode on how Oxycontin was sold to the masses is a tour de force, and David Remick’s conversation with Hillary Clinton is one of her best post-memoir interviews she’s given.


Freakonomics Radio

Stephen Dubner hosts this wonderfully creative and interesting podcast, exploring ” the riddles of everyday life and the weird wrinkles of human nature”. A three-part series “Bad Medicine: explores the underbelly of medicine and the drug industry. The July 5 episode tying the fracking boom to local population explosions and the decline of marriage is fascinating. And “When Helping Hurts” will change forever the way you think about what “doing good” can really mean.

This American Life

Of course.




Missing Richard Simmons

One day Richard Simmons, fitness guru, weight loss coach and darling of the aerobics set, just up and disappeared from public and private life. Dan Tuberski wants to know why. If you think it’s none of his or your business, don’t listen. Or rather, try not to listen.


Number Ten 

Actually, I only have 9 top podcasts of 2017.

I’m still searching for number 10, which I hope to listen to on drives back and forth to Philly over the holidays.

Contenders are :

  • 36 Questions (a three part podcast musical);
  • Dirty John (True crime mystery, supposed to be riveting); and
  • Sincerely, X (Anonymous Ted type talks about things no one really talks about- including one doc’s medical error that lead to a diagnosis of burnout).

Let me know in the comments which you think I should listen to first.

And if I’ve left your favorite podcast off the list, tell us what it is and why it’s your favorite.

Happy listening, everyone!

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