Although podcasts now encompass a wide range of topics and subjects, it's safe to say that most people get into by way of celebrity interviews.
It's basically the cornerstone of podcasting in general (we even got it on with our limited series, 'The Revisit') and it's no surprise that some of the best podcasts out there feature celebrity interviews. The reason for that is pretty simple, however.
Podcast interviews always tend to offer a level of intimacy and informality that you just don't get with a typical junket setup. For one thing, they often take place in people's homes and that's pretty vulnerable to begin with. Not only that, but it's also often the case that they get far, far longer than normal junket interviews.
With that in mind, here's 6 recommendations for celebrity interview podcasts.
If you've ever been curious about how journalists work, what their process is, where they started, and why they're still in a business that is actively trying to shut them down, 'Longform' is right up your alley. The long-running series interviews some well-known journalists about their careers and biggest works, but also digs behind some of their motivations too.
Recommended episode: Ezra Klein's interview, for sure
Alec Baldwin's clear, lucid tones play throughout this podcast series where he interviews basically anyone who'll come in and sit down with him. There really is no clear direction in any of the podcasts, it's simply just a bright conversation between two reasonably well-known names, done with a care and generosity that doesn't always come through in a lot of celebrity interviews.
Recommended episode: The Billy Joel episode is especially moving
No matter how you slice it, Joe Rogan has pretty much led from the front when it comes to celebrity interviews in podcasting. In the same way that Marc Maron built his career and his brand on vulnerable, open interviewing, Joe Rogan's blend of direct questioning and free-wheeling conversation has led him to a industry-breaking exclusivity deal with Spotify worth upwards of $100 million.
Recommended episode: Any of the Elon Musk interviews, for all the reasons they made headlines
If you're in the mood for a long, long, LONG podcast interview, 'Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard' pretty much has the longest interviews going in the celebrity-interview space. Episodes typically go well over an hour and a half, and pretty much bounce from each and every topic that crops up into host Dax Shepard's mind. Guests, of course, come ready for that kind of variety and that they're still there at the end of hour-plus interviews speaks a lot to Shepard's ability to get them to open and for them to speak.
Recommended episode: Julia Louis-Dreyfus' episode is up there with some of the best in the series
If you're any kind of admirer of '80s pop culture, you'll know the name of Gilbert Gottfried. The uniquely-voiced comedic actor interviews fellow bygone pop culture icons like the cast of 'Airplane!', Robert Wuhl (the journalist from 'Batman'), Neil Sedaka, Robert Wagner, not to mention random episodes about off-kilter topics like the history of drag, TV theme show tunes from the '60s, their own record collections and lots more besides.
Recommended episode: The episode with 'Weird' Al Yankovic is an utter delight
Pretty much the gold-standard of celebrity interviews, 'Desert Island Discs' is far and away some of the best radio / podcast content that the BBC has ever made, or will ever make. The format is so blindingly simple, and so open to all kinds of discussion, that it never once fails to materialise some brand-new perspective on someone you think you know. Nothing that's imitated this format comes even close to replicating how well this show is done, or has been done since 1942.
Recommended episode: George Michael's episode from 2007 is a frank, heartbreaking interview about how self-destructive he had become in his later years