I listened to my first episode of The Monster Professor a couple of weeks ago, and I have been cramming episodes in ever since. In part, I listen because–monsters. I mean, who doesn’t like a good monster? I also listen because of the scope of the podcast. So far, Josh Woods has talked to fellow professors, a woodworker, movie enthusiasts, werewolf hunters, horror writers, and The Tolkien Professor. The podcast has covered fairies and demons (in one episode), sharks and minotaurs (also paired in one episode), werewolves, Nosferatu, doppelgangers, and Frankenstein. You get the idea! So far, there are fifty-nine episodes, each with a different focus. Sooner or later, most of them tackle the thorny questions behind our monster stories: What is a monster? What makes something (or someone) monstrous? And why do we care?
I should warn you: Listening to this podcast will increase your reading list. Josh Woods and most of the people he interviews have written books, and they all sound good.
Suggested starting points:
I started with “Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Monsters with Corey Olsen” from 2019. Conversations between The Tolkien Professor and The Monster Professor are exactly the sort of thing the internet is made for. Also, yes, I do recommend The Tolkien Professor’s multiple podcasts–but more on that later!
I also suggest “Horror in Woodcraft with Steve Ramsey,” as it combines two seemingly unconnected subjects and does it very well.
“Cosmic Horror with Simon Strantzas” turns to the question of horror too big to grasp.
The official description: The Monster Professor: a show in which we discuss and explore monsters in literature, myth, film, games, theater, folklore, culture, and beyond. Podcast host: Josh Woods, author, editor, professor, and monster expert.