Madison Malone Kircher and Rachelle Hampton are the hosts of Slate’s ICYMI, a twice-weekly podcast about internet culture. Every Wednesday and Saturday, they stare into the internet abyss and report what is staring back.
From talking to the women who dated “West Elm Caleb,” to explaining why everybody is suddenly talking about Elmo on TikTok, Rachelle and Madison are online so you don’t have to be. Expect nuanced takes about the digital story du jour and lots of laughs. Plus plenty of puns from Madison and groans from Rachelle about said puns. Here are some of their favorite podcasts, both old and new.
The Trojan Horse Affair
An investigative thriller from Serial Productions and the New York Times, this podcast retraces the story of a mysterious letter that appeared in Birmingham, England back in 2014. The letter set off a chain of events that led to the then education secretary commissioning a counter-terrorism report looking into what was allegedly going on in several majority-Muslim schools. (Spoiler alert: It wasn’t great.) But, years later, the origins of the fear-mongering letter that started it all still remained unknown. A mystery Brian Reed and Hamza Syed set out to solve. It’s a messy and multi-faceted story, so don’t expect a fully satisfying conclusion. But do expect the satisfaction of listening to two excellent journalists digging for answers in real-time.
Gee Thanks, Just Bought It!
If you need anything, from cult-favorite overalls to an inflatable hot tub for your yard … this shopping show has a recommendation for you. Hosted by writer Caroline Moss, it’s like having a direct line to your favorite product recommendation website. Except that website is actually a community of thousands of people recommending stuff they genuinely use and like to a podcast host, Moss.
For anybody who grew up in the era of big Victoria’s Secret, this show, co-hosted by Vanessa Grigoriadis and Justine Harman, will send the hair up on the back of your arms. A sharp behind the scenes look at the mechanisms and villains that led to dangerously thin women wearing giant wings strutting down runways in their underwear with a surprising cast of characters waiting in the, uh well, wings. (Though maybe it’s actually not all that surprising that Jeffrey Epstein was involved.)
Season two of this Vox podcast hosted by Avery Trufelman is all about interiors and lifestyle products. I have not been able to get the mental image of a giant vacuum rolling down the street and stopping at each house in ye olden times out of my head since listening to this show. Nor have I been able to look at my own, handheld vacuum with anything but disdain. Join me in hating your sub-par vacuum cleaner and understanding exactly what happened culturally that led us here.
Wait, Is This A Date?
A queer dating podcast from Autostraddle this show never fails to make me laugh. Hosts Drew Gregory and Christina Grace Tucker are delightful and very candid. Highly recommend whether you are actively dating or not.
Bonus Episode Recs:
Food4Thot: The Miseducation of Bowen Yang
Thirst Aid Kit: Lee Pace: Sturdy but Delicate
Normal Gossip: Leave ‘em a Little Bit Broke, a Little Bit Mad with Laci Mosley
Scam Goddess: The Sha*n K*ing Episode with Ashley Ray-Harris
Back Issue: Remember All That Teen Angst? (feat. Fefe Dobson and Hannah Giorgis)