The 12 Best Podcast Episodes I’ve Ever Heard

Ethan Maurice
5 min readSep 16, 2019

I love podcasts — not quite as much as books — but they accompany daily tasks from driving, to cooking, to working out in the most engaging, fruitful of ways.

As but one human, I’ve only listened to a tiny fraction of all the podcasts ever recorded. However, I’ve scoured the web for quality conversation for half a decade now, and for perspective alone, consider each episode below well worth the time investment.

I could write about how valuable podcasts are for expanding awareness, allowing one to choose their influences, and how this list is just as much as a study of my own choices, but these things are easily inferred.

Let’s dive right in.

The twelve best podcast episodes I’ve ever heard:

1. Werner Herzog on The Portal

If anyone today possesses what the ancient Greeks called “divine madness” it’s Werner Herzog. He’s obsessed, a verging upon crazy filmmaker, who pushes the limits of himself, his cast, and his art. For instance, read about the incredulous production of Fitzcarraldo, in which they re-enacted the story of pulling a ship over a mountain in the jungles of Peru to build an opera house under identical circumstances, with a ship that weighed ten times as much. His willingness to stand and think alone is most inspiring.

2. Elon Musk on the Joe Rogan Experience

Elon Musk might go down in history as superhero or supervillain, but “super” is sure to be attached to his recollection. Elon co-founded Paypal, sold it, and bet the entire fortune on simultaneously founding companies in three necessary, new industries — solar energy, electric cars, and privatized space exploration — all of which he lsucceeded at. He also harbors great fear of Artificial Intelligence and his newest company, Neuralink, is well on the way to eliminating the barrier between our brains technology, because “if you can’t beat em, join em.” I find this utterly terrifying. It’s a most casual, honest exploration of the views and ambitions of what might be our century’s most influential human mind.

3. Kevin Kelly on the Tim Ferriss Show