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In this line of work, we find it helpful to listen to far more pinball podcast content than we probably should. We generally enjoy having a firm grasp on the hot-button topics of the pinball enthusiast community, and the ability to tap into other folk's passions and interests to learn new things about the pinball hobby that we love.
Plus, since we contribute to This Week in Pinball and their weekly pinball news roundups, there's some professional interest as well. In order to deliver the best weekly news source, we have to consume all the sources of news! Obvious, right?
But on Kineticist at least, we haven't done a full rundown of what we think are the best pinball podcasts out there. These are not listed in any particular order, as we are fans of all of them for different reasons. So instead of giving each pinball podcast a ranking, we've decided to call out what we think each show is best at, and a small writeup about why we like them. For this list, we've tried to stick with active podcasts or those that are in the habit of posting regularly.
Also since we're entering TWIPY season, I've noted each podcast's 2022 finishing position in TWIPY voting. Will we see a new #1 this year?
Rounding Up The Best Pinball Podcasts
Don's Pinball Podcast
- Host: Donald Garrison
- Episodes: 70+
- Best for: Friendly, enthusiastic solo banter about the latest in pinball with the occasional interview
- 2022 TWIPY Rank: N/A - new in 2023
- Website: Don's Pinball Podcast on Spotify
- Notable episodes: Spooky Pinball Interview, Jason Knapp Interview, Year in Review (so far)!!
Donald Garrison and his eponymous podcast is one of the newer entries to the pinball podcasting scene, having only started recording his thoughts on the pinball hobby in January of 2023. He's already released over 70 episodes and has quickly made his mark on the public discourse. We enjoy his brand of positive "man-talks-into-mic" style, and the enthusiasm he displays for the hobby is infectious. Recent interview episodes with Spooky Pinball, Jason Knapp, and others have also been well received. Don has experimented with YouTube content, live streams, and other formats as he builds his audience and finds his voice.
Eclectic Gamers Podcast
- Hosts: Dennis Kriesel, Tony Kurkowski
- Episodes: 200+
- Best for: A mix of pinball and video game content
- 2022 TWIPY Rank: N/A - outside the top 10
- Website: Eclectic Gamers Podcast
- Notable episodes: Marketing 101, 2022 Year-End Review, 2023 Post-TPF
If you're into pinball, chances are you dabble in the occasional video game too. Dennis Kriesel and Tony Kurkowski, Hosts of the Eclectic Gamers Podcast, bank on that fact with a podcast that splits its time between pinball (covered by Dennis) and video games (covered by Tony). The banter between the hosts and long-time friends is top-notch, and we appreciate their reasoned but informed takes on both gaming hobbies, with the occasional foray into watches.
LoserKid Pinball Podcast
- Hosts: Joshua Roop, Scott Larson
- Episodes: 118
- Best for: In-depth interviews with pinball movers and shakers
- 2022 TWIPY Rank: #8
- Website: LoserKid Pinball Podcast
- Notable episodes: The Man Who Saved The Game with Roger Sharpe, The Kind of Flow, Steve Ritchie, Pinball Expo with Rob Berk
LoserKid Pinball Podcast, with hosts Joshua Roop and Scott Larson has become one of the go-to pinball podcasts for in-depth interview-style conversations with movers and shakers in the pinball world. Joshua and Scott are able to craft natural, free-flowing conversations with everyone from top-flight pinball designers like Keith Elwin to content creators like Zach Meny and film directors like The Bragg Brothers.
Pinball Innovators & Makers
- Host: Dan Rosenstein
- Episodes: 12
- Best for: Deep dives into the world of homebrew and custom pinball machines
- 2022 TWIPY Rank: N/A - new in 2023
- Website: Pinball Innovators & Makers Podcast
- Notable episodes: Who Needs More Than 3 Hours of Sleep?, There Was A Maker Who Went to Market and BINGO Was His Name-O!, A Collection of Details
Dan Rosenstein loves pinball, particularly the sub-set of the pinball community that is focused on building their own custom pinball machines. As a maker himself, he has a deep fascination with how pinball machines work and how they are made. Through his podcast, he sheds light on the homebrew pinball community, a vibrant scene that doesn't get nearly enough attention (but thanks to this podcast and other efforts, they are starting to).
- Hosts: David Dennis, Ron Hallet, Jr.
- Episodes: 32
- Best for: Learning about pinball's deep history
- 2022 TWIPY Rank: #5
- Website: Silverball Chronicles
- Notable episodes: Bat Sh*t Crazy: The Python Anghelo Story, Moving Units – Bally’s Art Revolution, Pinball’s Centenarian – Wayne Neyens
As one anonymous reviewer recently proclaimed on This Week in Pinball, "It's mostly two guys reading from Internet sources and prior interviews". To which we say, "yes".
Pinball history is incredibly rich, and there's a lot to explore if you know where to look. Much of silverball history is buried in obscure, out-of-print books, hobbyist websites that no longer exist, or within interviews on long-defunct pinball podcasts. David Dennis and Ron Hallet do the yeoman's work of tracking down all that info, digesting it, and summarizing it in very detailed audio form. They even take the extra step of linking to all their sources, and there may even be text transcripts in the future!
The Pinball Show
- Hosts: Zach Meny, Dennis Kriesel
- Episodes: 138
- Best for: Entertaining pinball news roundups and industry commentary
- 2022 TWIPY Rank: #2
- Website: The Pinball Show
- Notable episodes: Ep. 134 Rumor Fatigue, The Current Pinball Market Landscape, & Hogwash Pinball, Ep. 137 Soft Dogs & Cold Takes, Ep. 130. Into the Pini-Verse
No shilling here! While we are fans of the show (and contribute to their Patreon), we genuinely enjoy listening to Zach and Dennis opine on the pinball news du jour. Ever since Meny graduated from pinball media to pinball industry insider with his Flip N' Out distributorship and various other ventures, we've appreciated his in-the-know observations and Kriesel makes for a good straight-man counter to Meny's passionate exuberance.
Triple Drain Pinball Podcast
- Hosts: Joel Engelberth, Travis Murie, Tom Graf
- Episodes: 42
- Best for: Tournament talk and pinball insider takes
- 2022 TWIPY Rank: #7
- Website: Triple Drain Pinball Podcast
- Notable episodes: Ep. 20: Elgato No Signal, Ep. 42 Knull has nothing on us, Ep. 34 - TPF 2023 Recap with Colin MacAlpine
Whenever Triple Drain Pinball Podcast drops a new episode, we listen. The podcast collects notable pinball personalities Joel Engelberth (The Pinball Network, various other media ventures), Travis Murie (top competitive player and Pinball Company employee), and Tom Graf (top competitive player and proprietor of the excellent Fox Cities Pinball Stream). The hosts have their own takes on the pinball news of the day, with an emphasis on the tournament pinball scene and in-depth discussions of the latest games. Each host brings a different perspective to the table and they all have great chemistry together. If we could offer one piece of unsolicited advice - how about a GoFundMe for a new camera setup for Murie?
- Host: Jeff Teolis
- Episodes: 374
- Best for: Bite-sized interviews with well-known and lesser-known members of the pinball community
- 2022 TWIPY Rank: #9
- Website: Pinball Profile
- Notable episodes: Eight Ball Beyond, Pinball in the Media, Elizabeth Gieske
Jeff Teolis is one of the best ambassadors for modern pinball. He's a positive tour-de-force for the community and a great advocate for the game. Jeff does a lot of things well with this particular cast, but I think what we appreciate most is his work featuring some of the lesser-known people and stories from the pinball community. You're just as likely to hear a conversation with Keith Elwin and Steve Ritchie as you are a festival organizer like Kim VanderVeen or a top competitive player like Kassidy Milanowski. Pinball Profile is proof positive of the vibrancy and depth that the pinball community contains.
The Slam Tilt Podcast
- Hosts: Ron Hallet, Jr., Bruce Nightingale
- Episodes: 215
- Best for: Entertaining hobbyist banter
- 2022 TWIPY Rank: #6
- Website: The Slam Tilt Podcast
- Notable episodes: Ep. 193 A Lot of Ka-ching, Ep. 212 Save The Ice Cream!!, Ep. 200 Glenn's Song
They cover the latest pinball news and have the occasional interview, but what we tune in for is the banter between hosts Ron Hallet, Jr. and Bruce Nightingale. It's entertaining and a little irreverent, which can serve as a nice change of pace when consuming hours upon hours of pinball podcast content. Of late, we've particularly enjoyed their "Mail Ball Bag" segment, where they read and react to listener questions on air.
A few of our other new or recent favorite podcasts didn't quite make the top pinball podcasts list, mostly due to being new to the scene, or posting less frequent updates of late.
- The Electric Bat Cast - The Electric Bat Cast is extremely new, with only two episodes to date. However, hosts Cale Hernandez and Rachel Bess (owners of the Electric Bat Arcade) are not new to pinball podcasting, having joined several excellent episodes of the Pinball Party Podcast in the last year. While on Pinball Party, we appreciated their perspectives as arcade operators and pinball industry vets.
- Pinball Party Podcast - Pinball Party may be on a bit of a hiatus, but while he was posting regularly, we really enjoyed host Jason's audio production values, creative skits, stories of buying and selling games, and other hot takes.
- Pinball Nerds Podcast - Another podcast that seems to be decreasing its posting frequency of late, but host Orbital Albert Agar has a unique perspective on the pinball hobby, and we found his enthusiasm and positive outlook to be refreshing.
- Final Round Pinball Podcast - Jeff Teolis' other podcast (with co-host Martin Robbins) is another pinball news roundup-style podcast, with a bit more of a focus on the tournament scene and pinball culture commentary.