The 8 Best Podcasts to Listen to in 2014

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Podcasts have taken the internet by storm in recent years. They're perfect for a long drive, working out, or any long task that you want to take your mind off of. Here are some of my favorites.

WTF with Marc Maron

Personal Favorite Episodes: Louis C.K. (Episode #111 + 112), Dan Harmon (#179), Bryan Cranston (#216), Mel Brooks (#358), Carl Reiner (#359), Gillian Jacobs (#385), Alison Brie (#386), CM Punk (#444), Josh Radnor (#484)

Why it is Great: I would argue anyone who is getting into podcasts for the first time needs to start with WTF w/ Marc Maron. Maron is one of the pioneers of the medium, and for good reason.

A comedian by day, his career had for lack of a better phase stalled out. His podcast, which he does from his garage, helped jump start the medium and with millions of downloads, his career as well.

There's an opening monologue, usually detailing his life at that moment, and anything he's wrestling with.

Listen to a few of them and you'll become very familiar with his story. A history of drug use, multiple divorces - they all come into conversation with refreshing honesty.

Maron's interview style has been the biggest reason why the podcast is as good as it is. As deep and as revealing as he'll be, he will have his guest be as just of an open book. And when you know only superficial details about a person you admire, the results can be quite eye opening and have a precious quality to them.

Maron probably wouldn't agree with the idea that celebrities tend to open up more on his show and that he pushes for it, but it is something that naturally happens with his interview skills.

That's why he is one of the kings of the podcast world, and cannot go unmentioned when you talk about the greatest podcasts to listen to. His influence has rippled across the podcast landscape.

The most recent 50 podcast episodes are free, then you have to pay a fee to hear the other 400+ others. Worth it.

The Joe Rogan Experience

Personal Favorite Episodes: Kevin Pereira and Brian Redban (#96), Amy Schumer (#485), Neal Brennan (#443)

Why it is Great: I will admit, I am new to Rogan's podcast. I was unaware he was even a comedian until I saw him eviscerate Carlos Mencia years ago. Rogan's talks are similar to Maron, yet different. The topics tend to be true spur of-the-moment, from UFO's and conspiracy theories to hosting Fear Factor high, or debating the legacy of the late great comedian Bill Hicks.

As funny as they can be, the true gems are the philosophical episodes. Rogan is a natural and churns out episodes that are high quality no matter if he's known the guest for decades or just met (like the Hannibal Burress episode).

The episodes tend to be 3+ hrs, which is perfect for the people who like it.

The Rich Eisen Podcast

Why it is Great: Hosted through NFL Network with help from Chris Law and Chris Brockman, Eisen hosts a weekly podcast covering everything and anything NFL. With NFL Network behind them, Eisen is able to get many of the NFL Network people like Mike Mayock on the show.

He'll have celebrities call in, most of the time they'll come on because they're NFL fans, but they also do a bit of advertising for the work they're putting out.

Long story short this is a must listen to for NFL fans.

Juan Epstein

Host: DJ Cipha Sounds & Peter Rosenberg

Personal Favorite Episodes: Pusha T, Ja Rule & Irv Gotti, Bun B, Slaughterhouse, Hannibal Burress.

Why it's Great: co-hosts of the Hot 97 Morning show, this is the rap podcast for you to listen to. They have everyone from the hottest current artists to the pioneers of the genre. It's especially interesting when they get someone on the podcast that they've only interviewed on the radio, where they can get more in-depth and don't have the time and format restrictions of radio.

They usually try and explore hip-hop stories that they (and 99.9% of the audience) haven't heard. That's always dope.

Cipha Sounds does an improv show and is trying his hand at comedy so he'll have a lot of comedians on and they'll talk about comedy and rap - usually how the comedian's life intersects with them (see Aziz Ansari and Hannibal Burress).

Bill Burr's Monday Morning Podcast

Why it's Great: If you've ever wanted to hear the inner monologue of comedian Bill Burr, this is for you. It's usually just Burr, but sometimes he'll have a guest or his wife Nia on.

He'll usually will discuss touring, any newsworthy events, sports, as well as fan emails.

Not much to say about it besides it's worth your time to listen. It comes out every Monday (usually), and provides a good hour of material to listen to.

The Champs

Personal Favorite Episodes: Eric Andre, John Legend, Charlemagne tha god, Hot 97 DJ Cipha Sounds, Daily Show writer Travon Free, Cristela Alonzo

Why it's Great: Co-hosted by comedians Neal Brennan and Moshe Kasher, each episode tends to be deep at times, yet always hilarious.

Neal and Moshe's comedic timing together is second to none and I would put The Champs up against any podcast in terms of true laugh-out-loud moments.

Call Chelsea Peretti

Personal Favorite Episodes: Any

Why it's Great: Similar to Monday Morning Podcast with Bill Burr, this podcast mostly features comedian Chelsea Peretti who takes calls from fans and will either chat with them about what they have on their mind, or throw out a topic.

Always hilarious because of the spontaneity of the calls, this podcast is always a good hour of material to listen to.

You Made It Weird

Personal Favorite Episodes: Chelsea Peretti (all episodes), Anthony Jeselnik, Chris D'Elia, Joe Mande, Dane Cook, Kirk Fox

Why it's Great: I could write 100k words about why You Made it Weird is awesome. Hosted by Comedian (and now TBS host) Pete Holmes, this podcast follows a general formula of comedy, sex, and religion. Obviously that can differ, but that's usually what happens.

Holmes has been very honest in the past about using Maron's formula of deep personal talks with his guests.

You'll hear about his divorce, his friendship/feud with Chelsea Peretti, as well as his religious upbringing and evolution over the years.

On stage he's a fine comedian. However, at least for me, I would argue I wouldn't be as big of a fan as I am if I had not heard his podcast. His infectious laugh and demeanor will win you over.

You can't help but root for the guy. This is also the first podcast where I will listen to an episode even if I've never heard of the guest.

In conclusion, this is a pretty good list to get you going if you've never gotten into the podcast world before.

Podcast channels that are good but didn't make my top list (but are still worth checking out) include The CrabFeast with Ryan Sickler and Jay Larson, Ice-T: Final Level, Fitzdog Radio with Greg Fitzsimmons, Mohr Stories with Jay Mohr, and Girl On Guy with Aisha Tyler.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia, NFL Network, ITunes, All Things Comedy, Twitter, Feral Audio, These Old Colors