Culture 5 Podcasts That’ll Make Holiday Travel Less MiserableWhen the highway morphs into a parking lot this Thanksgiving, use these podcasts to pass the time and stay entertained.
- Words Iron & Air Staff
According to AAA’s predictions, up to 54 million people will travel 50 miles or more by car for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Going by air? Airline bookings are set to hit 94% of their pre-pandemic levels this holiday season in North America, according to the International Air Transport Association.
And this makes complete sense, because record-high gas prices, overpriced airfare, and nightmarish crowds are no excuse to miss the hours of
political debates with your extended family bonding time with the ones you love.
In other words, if you’re hitting the road for Thanksgiving, you need a go-to to stay sane when — not if — the highway you’re driving on turns into a parking lot. And since drinking and driving are highly discouraged (and highly illegal and irresponsible), a podcast might do the trick.
Yes, there are zillions of them. So if you’re looking for a handful of entertaining ones to dive into, check out these I&A-approved recommendations.
Imagine combining the L.A. Auto Show with a comedy festival, and the result would be pretty close to Spike’s Car Radio. Former Seinfeld writer and bonafide automotive nut Spike Feresten, hosts the podcast and is joined each week by auto enthusiast and lawyer Paul Zuckerman, MotorTrend’s Jonny Lieberman, and The Smoking Tire’s Matt Farah. Jerry Seinfeld is a recurring guest on the show, which brings a whole other level of hilarity and automotive enthusiasm to the mix.
Looking for a place to start? Listen to the episode “Seinfeld Rants” to kick things off.
Recommended by: Adam Fitzgerald, Iron & Air co-founder & editor-in-chief
Listen to Spike's Car Radio
“The Drug Wars” is the story of Ned Timmons, a Detroit FBI agent that embedded himself in a motorcycle gang during the 1980’s war on drugs. What started out a small undercover operation eventually leads to the invasion of a foreign country and one of the wildest drug busts in history. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jake Halpern, this larger-than-life true crime tale is full of intrigue, weed, cocaine, chaos, skulduggery, and motorcycles.
Recommended by: Gregory Moore, Iron & Air co-founder & director of commerceListen to Deep Cover
Eddie Alterman spent a decade as the editor-in-chief of Car and Driver and is the current chief branding officer at Hearst Autos. The self-proclaimed “car freak” sees cars are more than just machines: “ … the most fascinating thing about cars is what they say about us, what they say about our culture,” he explains in the show’s intro.
From diving into why the Porsche 928 was a failure and reviewing the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 to taking Malcolm Gladwell’s prized BMW E39 M5 for a spin, there’s a story worth listening to behind each ride Alterman chooses to showcase.
Recommended by: Iron & Air StaffCar Show! with Eddie Alterman
As a relative latecomer to MotoGP in 2014, there’s plenty I’ve learned beyond watching races on motogp.com or reading British correspondent Mat Oxley wax poetically about the two-wheeled gladiators and their death-defying displays of adrenaline and maximum velocity in his blog. In the burgeoning age of podcasts aplenty, one stands apart for me: The-Race.com’s MotoGP Podcast, hosted by Toby Moody.
A relative newcomer to the motorsports race reporting scene, the-race.com quickly became my go-to news source for in-depth reporting after its debut in early 2020. MotoGP correspondent Simon Patterson and deputy editor Valentin Khorounzhiy routinely go behind the scenes and provide the extra insight my MotoGP-starved brain requires, and with 21 races scheduled for 2023 plus five official test sessions, there’s plenty to report and publish.
What I appreciate about Moody’s hosting with Patterson and Khorounzhiy’s enthusiastic insight is the quality, frequency, and thoroughness of each episode. The audio engineering is amazing, and they publish weekly in 42- to 80-minute chunks, depending on the subject matter.
With race organizer Dorna continuing to artificially create drama during its broadcasts–with cliched commentary by Matt Birt–this podcast is the salve I need to remain a fan of MotoGP. And speaking of which, if MotoGP is not your jam, they publish several podcasts to please four-wheeled racing fans.
Recommended by: Iron & Air contributing writer, Gary BoulangerListen to The Race MotoGP Podcast
Former Road & Track writer and regular The Drive contributor Matt Farah created The Smoking Tire video and podcast series with co-host Zack Klapman as a “no Hollywood, no bosses, no bullshit” place to discuss all things automotive. The Smoking Tire features regular guests from the automotive and entertainment industry, custom builders and tuners, stand-up comedians, stunt drivers, and industry experts. Check out this episode featuring our friend, Ash Thorp.
Recommended by: Iron & Air StaffListen to The Smoking Tire