Podcast Spotlight: ‘Getting Curious With Jonathan Van Ness’

Image courtesy of ‘Getting Curious’ on Earwolf.

Have you ever just been curious about random stuff and wanted to pick the brain of an expert? Jonathan Van Ness (Queer Eye, Gay Of Thrones) does just that in his weekly podcast Getting Curious.

He describes his show as an opportunity to “sit down with a brilliant expert to learn about something that makes me curious.” Van Ness began recording the podcast long before his Queer Eye fame, but it had been in jeopardy of being canceled shortly before the launch of the Netflix show. Then Queer Eye became a hit, and Van Ness became a fan favorite, which helped to reboost the podcast’s popularity. His podcast eventually became an iHeart Radio winner for best LGBT podcast in 2019.

Getting Curious topics range from social issues to mental health issues to relationships and more. Van Ness has interviewed celebrities such as Reese Witherspoon, Katie Couric, Jamila Jameel, and Lizzo. He is also an avid figure skating and gymnastics fan and has interviewed some of his favorites, like Michelle Kwan and Shannon Miller. His cohorts from Queer Eye have also been featured on the podcast.

Getting Curious is one of my favorite podcasts because, like Van Ness, I’m also curious by nature. I like to learn new things about all kinds of subjects. I’m also a mental health counselor, so I find people fascinating. I also love that Van Ness “fangirls” with the best of us. His excitement about talking to his favorite experts and public figures is infectious. He’s also hilarious and full of JVN signature phrases. Yass Queen!

There are a lot great episodes so it’s hard to pick favorites. But here are a unique few that stand out:

Episode #115: “What’s Your Experience with the Binary?” featuring Alok. Alok is a writer and performance artist. He and Jonathan share their experiences growing up as gender non-conforming and how they developed their identities despite societal expectations.

Episode #34: “What Was Jonathan Like As A Kid?” featuring Mary Winters. Jonathan’s mother Mary joins him in this episode to talk about what he was like growing up. She shares ways his quirky personality shone through even when he was young and how he navigated the challenges of gender expectations in the rural Midwest. Her story about his Judge Lance Ito Halloween costume is the best!

Episode #21: “How Do You Navigate Dating and Love?” and Episode #99: “How Do You Know If Your Bae Is The One?”, both featuring therapist and author Dr. Stan Tatkin. Dr. Tatkin is a psychologist and expert on dating, love, and relationships. He developed PACT, the Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy. He shares his insights on why we fall in love with the people we do and how to break negative patterns that hold us back from forming healthier relationships.

There are over a hundred episodes to choose from, so whether you’re a pop culture nerd, a political science geek, or self-help enthusiast, there’s something for everyone. The full archive of Getting Curious can be found on Earwolf.

Select episodes can also be found on Spotify and iTunes podcasts.

Amanda Brock

Amanda is a mental health counselor by day and a nerd by night. She’s been fangirling since 1989 when she had so many New Kids On The Block posters in her bedroom that she ran out of wall space and had to put them on her ceiling. She finds people and stories fascinating and even went to film school years ago. The journey from film to Social Work is a long, depressing tale, but she came out the other side feeling inspired to help people. Now she’s living out that old Hollywood cliché. You know, the one where someone can’t contain their passion any longer and leaves a career in entertainment to pursue their dreams of becoming a therapist in the Midwest. She’s not a filmmaker anymore but she is a fan. Her favorite genres are sci-fi, fantasy, superheroes, and musicals. She loves Supernatural, New Kids On The Block (duh), and comes from a family of Star Trek nerds. She might also be a little obsessed with her cats.

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