What do Kit Carson, email, parenting, making your own luck, sleep, personal protection, male loneliness, and physical fitness benchmarks have in common? They have all been recent topics on The Art of Manliness podcast. Over the course of more than 600 episodes, the mustachioed maestro Brett McKay, founder and editor of the blog of the same name, has interviewed experts who specialize in everything from history to bodyguarding, philosophy, survival, social sciences, pop culture, and almost anything else you can think of.
While directed toward the interests of the modern renaissance man (another recent topic), the biweekly show isn’t so testosterone-filled as to turn anyone away. Other podcasts geared for men might veer into the tawdry. But since McKay is a family man there are no episodes on seduction techniques or alpha male domination in the queue. In many ways, it’s like listening in on a conversation your dad is having with a guest after dinner. McKay doesn’t only interview other manly men, either, and welcomes anyone to the conversation if their area of expertise is applicable to his audience.
Never satisfied with simply acquiring information, the constant theme of the show is to find something in each topic that can be applied to daily life. At the end of every episode, listeners are encouraged to put what they’ve learned into practice. And with such a wide range of topics to cover, McKay is guaranteed to never run out of material. While we might not be inclined to listen to every episode, there’s certain to be something either in the archives or the pipeline to pique our interest.
In a world where everything is political, it’s refreshing to listen to a show that is simply about life and that encourages action and contemplation. McKay’s guests are so varied and his interviews so focused on them that we never get a hint of his religious or political leanings. Yet every roughly hour-long episode is so wholesome that even if you don’t agree with every point of the guest’s philosophy, you can’t help but feel good about hearing something new. At its heart, it’s a show about virtue, wherever it can be found.
The Art of Manliness podcast is available for free on all the major podcast platforms, though Stitcher premium offers a commercial-free version.