Welcome to Night Vale
|Genre||Comedy, fake news radio, surrealism, paranormal horror, deadpan|
|Running time||Typically 20 to 30 minutes|
|Producer(s)||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor|
|Air dates||since June 15, 2012|
|No. of episodes||43|
Welcome to Night Vale is a podcast presented as a radio show for the fictional town of Night Vale. It was created by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, is voiced by Cecil Baldwin, and is published by Commonplace Books. The podcast airs on the first and fifteenth of every month, and consists of "news, announcements and advertisements" from the desert town, located "somewhere in the Southwestern United States". In an interview with NPR, Joseph Fink commented on the creation of the series, stating that he "came up with this idea of a town in that desert where all conspiracy theories were real, and we would just go from there with that understood."
Every episode of the podcast includes a piece of music as its "weather report", each by a different independently-published artist. The theme and background instrumental music to the series was created by the musician and composer Disparition. In July 2013, Welcome to Night Vale became the most downloaded podcast on iTunes.
In October 2013, Welcome to Night Vale began presenting live shows which continue into 2014 with a West Coast Tour. In addition, it was announced during the episode "Auction" that in 2015 there will be a novel. Fink stated that "it's going to have all the characters and weird atmosphere that you want from Night Vale, with a brand new story that explores parts of Night Vale that we just haven't been able to get into with the podcast."
The show has been described as "the news from Lake Wobegon as seen through the eyes of Stephen King", and Christopher Wynn of The Dallas Morning News characterized it as "NPR meets The Mothman Prophecies." The Daily Dot's Gavia Baker-Whitelaw compared the podcast as being "caught somewhere between Weird Twitter and 'Tales of the Unexplained'" and that it is "well worth a listen—although possibly not after dark, if you live in a small town yourself." Colin Griffith of The AV Club said the show is "really well done, offering a surrealist/absurdist (and occasionally existentialist) take on community radio, with dispatches from the small, delectably nightmarish desert town of Night Vale." Writing for TechGeek, Erin Hill considered the uniqueness of the podcast to be because of "its presentation of what is ordinary", adding that "many of the things that Cecil reports on goes against our idea of normal, but is presented in a manner that makes it seem mundane."
In July 2013, Welcome to Night Vale was ranked second on the top 10 audio podcasts list on iTunes, behind radio program This American Life. During the same month, it surpassed This American Life to become first on the podcasts list, having received 150,000 downloads during a single week.
Co-producer Jeffrey Cranor attributed this spike in popularity to both Tumblr and fans of the television series Hannibal. Max Sebela, a creative strategist for Tumblr, stated that the fan following began to "spiral out of control" beginning on July 5, with that week having "20,000-plus posts about 'Night Vale,' with 183,000-plus individual blogs participating in the conversation, and 680,000-plus notes." The Twitter account for the podcast has been noted as having more than 20,000 followers by July 2013. The show has a fan following on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr, with fan fiction and fan art having a particular focus on the romantic relationship between the show's narrator character and the scientist Carlos. Fans have published "fanscripts", transcripts of the podcast, in order to widen the availability of Welcome to Night Vale.
Guest stars and guest writers
Guest stars include Mara Wilson as the Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home, Jasika Nicole as Intern Dana, and Jackson Publick as Hiram McDaniels. James Urbaniak guest-starred in the LA Podcast Festival performance as Intern Leland. Molly Quinn appeared as Fay, the sentient computer, in the March 2014 episode, "Numbers".
Zack Parsons, who wrote alongside Fink at SomethingAwful.com, co-wrote the two episodes The Traveler, and A Beautiful Dream. The Auction was co-written by Glen David Gold who also contributed material to The Woman from Italy.
List of Episodes
|Episode||Title||Written by||The Weather||Date||Running Time|
|1||"Pilot"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"These and More Than These" by Joseph Fink||June 15, 2012||20:46|
|"A new dog park opens in Night Vale. Carlos, a scientist, visits and discovers some interesting things. Seismic things. Plus, a helpful guide to surveillance helicopter-spotting."|
|2||"Glow Cloud"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"The Bus is Late" by Satellite High||July 1, 2012||19:57|
|"A mysterious, glowing cloud makes its way across Night Vale. Plus, new Boy Scouts hierarchy, community events calendar, and a PTA bake sale for a great cause!"|
|3||"Station Management"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"Bill & Annie" by Chuck Brodsky||July 15, 2012||20:33|
|"It's contract renewal time with station management, and negotiations get tricky. Plus, a new city litter initiative, books stop working, and a creeping fear comes to town!"|
|4||"PTA Meeting"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"Closer" by The Tiny||August 1, 2012||22:53|
|"Last night's PTA meeting accidentally opens a rift in spacetime, and Night Vale faces the consequences. Plus, changes afoot at the Night Vale Daily Journal, controversy at Radon Canyon, and our annual high school football preview!"|
|5||"The Shape In Grove Park"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"Jerusalem" by Dan Bern||August 15, 2012||20:48|
|"A protest against the removal of the Shape in Grove Park That No One Acknowledges Or Speaks About. Plus, changes to the school curriculum, a growing tarantula problem in town, and musical auditions!"|
|6||"The Drawbridge"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"Aye" by Dio||September 1, 2012||22:42|
|"The city faces extensive delays in the revitalization of the Old Town Drawbridge. Plus, time for another pledge drive, changes afoot at the Night Vale Daily Journal, and good news for radio controlled airplane hobbyists!"|
|7||"History Week"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"Despite What You've Been Told" by Two Gallants||September 15, 2012||24:22|
|"Learn about the storied history of Night Vale during this special week's celebration. Plus, psychological assaults on tourists, highway construction announcements, and metal detectors in schools!"|
|8||"The Lights in Radon Canyon"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"This Too Shall Pass" by Danny Schmidt||October 1, 2012||23:52|
|"Mysterious lights and sounds are coming from Radon Canyon. Plus, tips on how to win the town lottery, our newest (incorporeal) School Board member, and the abandoned mineshaft finally gets HBO!"|
|9||""PYRAMID""||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. Messages from the pyramid by Regis Lacher.||"Last Song" by Jason Webley||October 15, 2012||23:35|
|"A large, philosophical pyramid appears in town, announcing several messages, but is it what it seems? Plus, best practices for regular skin-checks, an update on the levitating cat, and whatever happened to that vile barber?"|
|10||"Feral Dogs"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"i Know This" by Rachel Kann||November 1, 2012||24:34|
|"A roving pack of feral dogs terrorizes Night Vale. Plus, a new installment of Community Health Tips, the Fireperson Appreciation Parade, and free admission day at the Museum of Forbidden Technologies!"|
|11||"Wheat & Wheat By-Products"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"Cigarette Burns Forever" by Adam Green||November 15, 2012||21:54|
|"An important announcement from the Night Vale Council for Commerce to regularly consume wheat & wheat by-products. Plus, the dangers of discount bloodstones, property taxes going up, and changes afoot in our health insurance policies!"|
|12||"The Candidate"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"Of a Friday Night" by Anais Mitchell||December 1, 2012||23:32|
|"The search for a dangerous fugitive finally comes to an end, but he's gaining some unexpected popularity. Plus, what to do about those noisy sunsets. City Council regects "breath entitlements," and more issues with Santa Claus at the Night Vale mall."|
|13||"A Story About You."||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"You Don't Know" by Mount Moon||December 15, 2012||25:33|
|"You listen to a podcast. You check the episode description to see what is in store this time. It is a different kind of description than you are used to. You suspect the episode will be a different kind of episode than you are used to. You listen."|
|14||"The Man in the Tan Jacket"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"Movement 1: Invocation of the Duke" by daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra||January 1, 2013||24:18|
|"A stranger comes to town with a briefcase and an unmemorable face. Plus, controversy with the Daily Journal, another segment of Children's Fun Fact Science Corner, and new security footage from the bowling alley."|
|15||"Street Cleaning Day"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"A Little Irony" by Tom Milsom||January 15, 2013||23:02|
|"Today is Street Cleaning Day, an the street cleaners will soon be upon us. Remain calm, and run away screaming. Plus, new music trends from Dark Owl Records, the crackdown on wheat & wheat by-product speakeasies, and we take a look at clouds."|
|16||"The Phone Call"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"Those Days Are Gone and My Heart is Breaking" by Barton Carroll||February 1, 2013||24:52|
|"Cecil receives a cryptic phone call from someone who is very close. Plus, a new business plan at the Daily Journal, an important list from the Sheriff's Secret Police, and improvements at the public library."|
|17||"Valentine"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"Neptune's Jewels" by Mystic||February 15, 20132||25:40|
|"Emergency crews are on hand to help cleanup the aftermath of the worst Valentine's Day in recent memories. Plus, important schedule changes at the Night Vale Airport, the City Council votes to choose an official town language, and updates on the Post Office."|
|18||"The Traveler"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. Lead story by Zack Parsons.||"Jews for Jesus Blues" by Clem Snide||March 1, 2013||25:26|
|"A traveler arrives in Night Vale. What does he want? Why has Jerry's Tacos returned? Plus, the mayor calls an emergency press conference, another round of corrections, and a look at the community calendar."|
|19A||"The Sandstorm (Part 1)"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"Eliezer's Waltz" by Larry Cardozo and Ron Fink, performed by Disparition||March 15, 2013||25:08|
|"A dangerous sandstorm threatens Night Vale. Plus, baseball opening day, a look at financial news, and Cecil finds himself in a strange new place."|
|19B||"The Sandstorm (Part 2)"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"Eliezer's Waltz" by Larry Cardozo and Ron Fink, performed by The Ventura Klezmer Band||March 15, 2013||24:09|
|"A dangerous sandstorm threatens Desert Bluffs. Plus baseball opening day, a look at financial news, and Kevin finds himself in a strange new place."|
|20||"Poetry Week"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. Additional contributions from: Trilety Wade, Russel Swenson, Vanessa Irena, Katherine Ciel, Erika Paschold, and Danielle DuBois.||"Get Me Home" by Robin Aigner||April 1, 2013||30:00|
|"It's Poetry Week in Night Vale and folks get a look at a place that should never be seen. Plus, strange new billboards about town and renovations completed at the Night Vale Zoo."|
|21||"A Memory of Europe"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"Sni Bong" by Dengue Fever||April 15, 2013||29:53|
|"Springtime brings with it pleasant memories of a long ago trip to Europe. Plus, exciting news about the end of the world and important information about spiders."|
|22||"The Whispering Forest"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"Winifred" by Seth Boyer||May 1, 2013||26:21|
|"A beautiful and alluring forest suddenly appears just outside of town. Plus, school closings, a dream journal mandate, and a moon exhibit at the Children's Science Museum."|
|23||"Eternal Scouts"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"Too Much Time" by John Vanderslice||May 15, 2013||26:23|
|"Two Night Vale Boy Scouts become the first to ever achieve the rank of Eternal Scout. Plus, an update on the floating cat, changes in who gets to die, and a recruitment drive for a vague yet menacing government agency."|
|24||"The Mayor"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"Biblical Violence" by Hella||June 1, 2013||28:49|
|"The Mayor has gone missing. Plus, Night Vale Community Theater presence Once on this Island, the return of Children's Fun Fact Science Corner, and an update on the Apache Tracker."|
|25||"One Year Later"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"Sunday Morning Stasis" by Joseph Fink||June 15, 2013||32:13|
|"It has been one year since the first episode. One year since strange things began underneath lane five of the Desert Flower Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex. One year since the arrival of Night Vale's most beautiful person: Carlos."|
|26||"The Faceless Old Woman"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"Long Gone" by Mary Epworth||July 1, 2013||24:57|
|"There is a faceless old woman secretly living in your home, and she has something she needs to say. Plus former intern Dana is still alive and texting us from the forbidden Dog Park, Community Health Tips, and an update on the kittens." Guest voice: Mara Wilson|
|27||"First Date"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"Team the Best Team" by Doom Tree||July 15, 2013||31:00|
|"Cecil tries to convey the important news of the day, including delivery of some mysterious crates in the desert, a new library expansion, and the annual Bluegrass Festival, but he has a more pressing issue on his mind."|
|28||"Summer Reading Program"||Joseph Fink, Jeffrey Cranor, and Ashley Lierman||"You and I Belong" by Simone Felice||August 1, 2013||24:57|
|"The Library's Summer Reading Program has begun, sending the town into a panic. Plus, a tough new mandate from the City Council, a list of useful things, and changes afoot in the Freemasons. "|
|29||"Subway"||Joseph Fink, Jeffrey Cranor, and Russel Swenson||"Poor in Love" by Destroyer||August 15, 2013||24:54|
|"An entire subway system appears suddenly in Night Vale, and the City Council is excited by the possibilities. Plus, tips for organ donors, a look into financial news, and a popular new service in town."|
|30||"Dana"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"The Lethal Temptress" by The Mendoza Line||September 1, 2013||26:02|
|"Intern Dana finds a way out of the Dog Park but can't quite figure out where it leads. Plus, a look at opening weekend of football season, helpful tips on adopting a dog from the SPCA, and Carlos visits the house that doesn't exist." Guest voice: Jasika Nicole.|
|31||"A Blinking Light up on the Mountain"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"Never Be Famous" by Hussalonia||September 15, 2013||24:36|
|"There's a blinking light up on the mountain, which challenges our belief in mountains. Plus, a controversial new television show and a message from the faceless old woman who secretly lives in your home." Guest voice: Mara Wilson.|
|32||"Yellow Helicopters"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"Palabras de papel" by Nelson Poblete||October 1, 2013||28:35|
|"There are strange new helicopters above Night Vale, different than the other helicopters that regularly hover over town. Plus, Community Health Tips, surgery for NVHS's starting quarterback, and a message from Hiram McDaniels." Guest voice: Jackson Publick.|
|33||"Cassette"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"Big Houses" by Squalloscope||October 15, 2013||28:06|
|"Cecil finds an old cassette tape of himself at age 15, and he is surprised at what it contains. Plus, a new exhibit at the Museum of Forbidden Technologies, Children's Fun Fact Science Corner, and an important message from new station management."|
|34||"A Beautiful Dream"||Joseph Fink, Jeffrey Cranor, and Zack Parsons||"Having Fun" by Tom Milsom||November 1, 2013||29:56|
|"The Wallaby family successfully lobbies the School Board to finally allow a computer in school to help their daughter Megan. Plus, a concert from Dark Owl Records and Amnesty Day at the public library."|
|35||"Lazy Day"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"Mijn Manier" by Brainpower||November 15, 2013||28:40|
|"It's a totally lazy day in Night Vale. Feeling really tired. Increasingly tired. Here's some news, I guess: updates on the Summer Reading Program, the Brown Stone Spire, and a delicious new cereal on the market. Just so lazy. Everything slowing down."|
|36||"Missing"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"Peanuts" by Sam 'n Ash||December 1, 2013||29:29|
|"An urgent call to all listeners as 13-year-old Tamika Flynn has gone missing. Plus another edition of Children's Fun Fact Science Corner, breaking traffic news, and the Community Calendar."|
|37||"The Auction"||Joseph Fink, Jeffrey Cranor, and Glen David Gold||"Absentee" by Jack Campbell||December 15, 2013||30:00|
|"The Sheriff's Secret Police are holding their annual auction of seized property, and our favorite community radio hold finds Lot 37 particularly interesting. Plus, a new challenger for the mayoral title and some great advice for toddlers."|
|38||"Orange Grove"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"Black White and Red" by Emrys Cronin||January 1, 2014||26:55|
|"John Peters - you know the farmer? - had a huge, healthy orange crop this year. But Carlos grows skeptical about a sudden orange grove in the desert. Plus, the City Council tries to get out of town, and an important correction to a previous story."|
|39||"The Woman From Italy"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. Additional material by Glen David Gold.||"Penn Station" by The Felice Brothers||January 15, 2014||27:17|
|"A woman from Italy arrived in our town, and we're not quite sure what she wants or what she is doing to us with her presence. Plus, a local hardware store cracks down on the crowds of baristas outside their shop, and update on Khoskekh's kittens, and a look at traffic."|
|40||"The Deft Bowman"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. Additional material by Zack Parsons.||"Offering" by Black City Lights||February 1, 2014||29:20|
|"The Telephone Service finally fixes the only telephone booth in town, and a submarine arrives from faraway Nulogorsk. Plus, a new campaign from the Tourism Board, we meet our station's newest program director, and strange texts from a mountaintop, if you can believe that."|
|41||"WALK"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor.||"What Have They Done to You Now" by Daniel Knox||February 15, 2014||26:21|
|"Walk signals are malfunctioning all over town. Plus, updates from former intern Dana and a look at the Community Calendar" Guest voice: Jasika Nicole.|
|42||"Numbers"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor.||"Keep it Coming" by Senim Silla||March 1, 2014||30:27|
|"Some strange new developments at the local numbers station, WZZZ. Plus, an update on former intern Dana, tips on how to get out of a geographical loop, and constant press conferences from outgoing mayor Pamela Winchell." Guest voice: Molly Quinn.|
|43||"Visitor"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor.||"Cover Me Up" by Jason Isbell||March 15, 2014||30:25|
|"An adorable new visitor makes its way into the radio studio. Plus, controversy in the mayoral race, an update on the house that doesn·t exists, and a look the community calendar." Guest voice: Kevin R. Free.|
|Title||Written by||The Weather||First performance||Recording date||Release date||Running Time|
|"Condos"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor||"Double Feature" by Satellite High (September 25, 2013)
"Remember Us" by Gabriel Royal (18 December 2013)
|September 25, 2013||December 18, 2013||February 14, 2014||56:00|
|"Condos have come to Night Vale, and everyone in town is coming to get one of these perfect new homes, including a certain scientist. Plus, a new wing at the Museum of Forbidden Technologies, visits from the mayoral candidates, and a very specific look at traffic." Guest Voices: Dylan Marron (18 December 2013), Mara Wilson, Jackson Publick|
|"The Librarian"||Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor|
|"A librarian escapes from the library, and Carlos is not adequately terrified."|
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