Slate’s new podcast, The Gist, with Mike Pesca, is a bit on the brief side. That’s not to say those 22 minutes or so aren’t chocabloc with food for thought.

Mike Pesca Photo

Pesca is a former NPR sports commentator who knows his way around a story. He relies on his quick wit and an uncanny sense of relevance to make his interviews resonate. It’s a commuter’s show if I’ve ever heard one. Perfect for that drive home. It you’re a super commuter, you can always binge and watch two shows.

According to a memo he sent his public radio colleagues in February after he left NPR for Slate, he made the move because the news and talk show aggregator was less ambitious and daring than he could stomach professionally. He wanted to push the boundaries and talk about more than sports, which is exactly what he does on The Gist.

He pivots between pop culture, politics, and social commentary with ease and a slipperiness you don’t hear much in podcastia. So listen close or you might miss something. Definitely a good snack for the podcast deprived.