Editor’s List: Favorite stand-out podcasts that are worth the listen

The Channels Arts Pages | EDITOR’S LIST


Rodrigo Hernandez

Clockwise from top left, logo of “The Church of What’s Happening Now: With Joey CoCo Diaz” from Audible, logo of “Steve-O’s Wild Ride” from Spotify, logo of “Sal and Chris Present: Hey Babe!” from Spotify and a photo from a live taping of “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” on Thursday, July 22, 2010 by Ben Schumin/Wikimedia Commons.

Bianca Ascencio, Associate Editor

Podcasts have become more popular than ever in the last few years. From murder mysteries to sports podcasts. Practically any topic you can think of, there is a podcast for that. This week at The Channels, the Editors tell you their favorite podcasts to listen to.


Rodrigo Hernandez, Editor-in-Chief

“The Church of What’s Happening Now: With Joey CoCo Diaz”

Comedian and actor Joey “CoCo” Diaz is someone who you may recognize from roles in “The Longest Yard” and “The Many Saints of Newark,” or even his iconic line in “Spider-Man 2” where he confronts Dr. Octopus on the train and says in the most East Coast fashion, “if you want to get to him you gotta go through me.” His gruff voice and intimidating exterior only add to his delivery in both acting and comedy. This voice, along with co-host and fellow comedian Lee Syatt, recorded over 800 episodes of “The Church of What’s Happening Now: With Joey CoCo Diaz” from 2012 to 2020. I found “The Church” early in high school and became an avid viewer, watching and listening to the antics of Diaz and Syatt, with Diaz recounting stories from his childhood, offering life experiences from being formerly incarcerated and making his guests and the audience cry from heartwarming laughter. Throughout recent years, “The Church” brought levity through times of stress and anxiety. In high school, I often sought comfort through the mediums of music, film, books and podcasts. When podcasting really blew up around 2016, that’s when I started following Diaz’s wild stories and epic rants. Over the long run of the show, the hilarious hosts invited countless comedians, musicians, directors and actors among other close friends and familiar faces. On Aug. 30, 2020 “The Church” filmed its last episode, since Diaz decided to move back to his hometown of North Bergen, New Jersey. Since the move, Diaz returned to podcasting in October of 2020 with his solo podcast “Uncle Joey’s Joint” where he occasionally features guests over Zoom. Syatt is now a podcast consultant and runs two shows, comedy podcast “What Was I Thinking?” and another focused on weight loss called “The Waistline Podcast.” As recently as March 28, the two met up and filmed an episode of “Uncle Joey’s Joint,” marking the first official in-person reunion since the final days of “The Church.” Although “Church” members may yearn for the days of before, the archive is available on YouTube, and both hosts continue to make content for their passionate listeners. 


August Lawrence, Photo Editor

“Steve-O’s Wild Ride”

Yeaaah dude! Welcome to the “Wild Ride” with your host, Jackass’s very own stilt-walking, wasabi-snorting stunt clown, Steve-O joined by Scott Randalf. Crazy tales of debauchery, heartbreaking reveals and hilarious stories, this is what to expect from the “Wild Ride.” The format of the Steve-O’s Wild Ride podcast is your basic conversation/interview format only Steve-O and Randalf visit each guest in their portable mobile-home recording studio, creating a relaxed and comfortable environment. I love it for all the laughs and weird, yet cool guests. Whether its pro-skater Tony Hawk recalling the pain of losing his mother to Alzheimer’s, Apple Computer creator Steve Wozniak revealing what working with a young Steve Jobs really was like or super-star Demi Lovato wishing she was less famous so she can go to Starbucks without taking a selfie with a fan, there’s an episode for everyone to enjoy. All the OG Jackass crew (besides April and Phil) have visited, Shark Tank star Mark Cuban came on and retired NBA-star Shaq even stopped by. In my opinion, Steve-O’s conversational skills, openness and ability to get up close and personal with his guests always gets the best and greatest never-before-revealed stories. Hilariously, Steve-O himself admits he has a problem with speaking too much and talking over guests but that’s where Randalf saves the day by asking amazing questions that keep the interview moving along. Steve-O and Randalf’s hosting dynamics form a perfect tone. My favorite episode is when fellow Wildboy and Jackass alum Chris Pontius came in for a visit. The two old friends recalled early MTV times, traveling the world together and their most embarrassing arrests. From its in-depth and personal conversations with all my favorite celebrities to the hilarity that is Steve-O, “Steve-O’s Wild Ride” is my favorite podcast.

Yeaaah DUDE!


Eric Evelhoch, Sports Editor

“Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” from NPR and WBEZ Chicago

One of my first local media jobs in Ventura County was with a broadcasting company that aired local high school and college sports coverage, plus hosted a nightly sports talk show on both AM radio and streaming. We posted podcasts of our shows, as well as interviews and game highlight packages, in line with industry standards. Later, I was part of the more home-brew aspect of it being a host of a weekly hockey podcast on the Anaheim Ducks for Vox Media’s SB Nation platform. It’s been interesting to watch the evolution of the podcasting medium, as I was an early listener of the format. To see it grow beyond just radio stations and media outlets making their content portable on-demand, to now evolving into one that is everything from celebrity-hosted chats, to documentary-style journalism and even a revival of the old radio serial is wild.

The podcast I’ve listened to longest is a show that I grew up listening to on the radio and have since regularly taken portably – NPR’s weekly news quiz show “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” The show is an infotainment “taped before a live audience” combination of current events presented through cleverly crafted questions to a panel who usually seemed like they were people who did interesting things more so than celebrities. The challenge of seeing how many answers I know, as well as potentially winning “any voice from the show as your voicemail” if selected has kept “Wait Wait” a regular part of my listening life.


Bianca Ascencio, Features & A&E

“Sal and Chris Present: Hey Babe!” 

During the last year or so I became a super-mega fan of the TruTV show Impractical Jokers. From that show, I started following all the jokers on their social media pages and it came to my attention that my favorite joker, Sal Vulcano, was a co-host on a few podcasts. I gave them each a listen and out of the two, I became a bigger fan of “Hey Babe!” Vulcano and “Chrissy Chaos” Chris Distefano have their almost weekly shows where they say “let your hair down and hang with the BABES!” While I get ready for my day I usually listen to the comedians and the crazy, funny stories they tell or the wild news they talk about. It is the perfect distraction from my school and personal life where I just listen to be entertained and laugh with the babes. When I’m not listening to “Hey Babe!” I am usually listening to baseball/St. Louis Cardinals podcasts (shoutout “Turnin’ 2”) or gossip/crime ones. “Hey Babe!” even has episodes on Youtube where they are even more chaotic because sometimes on the shows they talk about videos and on the visual episodes they show the videos they discuss. I was never one to follow comedians or even want to go see a stand-up show, but after becoming a “Hey Babe!” fan I can definitely see myself, hopefully, going to see Sal in May in Los Angeles. God Bless!