Everything Is Normal: A special Halloween post from Nightvale

welcome-to-night-vale-hc-cHello, WordPress. It’s me, Ashley. Of course it is. Who else would it be? It’s time for my weekly installment of Box Office Buzz. So, what with “Doctor Strange” not coming out until this weekend and today being a special day — Halloween — I thought I’d go a little off the beaten path and talk about a podcast. Can I talk about podcasts? I know this is usually about film but a podcast is merely a film being described, right? Of course it is. Why would you think it isn’t? Why would you think? Thinking isn’t your job. It’s the job of the city council to think for us and they said podcasts and movies are “basically the same thing.” Is this where I put a happy face? I think it is. 🙂

At this moment of writing, which is virtually indistinguishable from all moments when you think about it, I’d like to write about “Welcome to Nightvale.” This podcast is a true-to-life series of community radio broadcasts about a town not so dissimilar from the ones you and I live in. There’s menacing government agencies, bloodstone circles, hooded cultists roaming the streets, and frequent disasters that threaten to pull all the inhabitants of the town into the eternal void of nothingness.

The show is hosted by Cecil Gershwin Palmer, voiced by himself as everyone in the world is also voiced by themselves. He opens each show with a standard proverb we all know like, “Life is like a box of chocolates: unopened, dusty, and beginning to attract a lot of insects.” 🙂 Or, “You take the good. You take the bad. You take them both, and there you have spiders crawling out of a red velvet cupcake.”

After the opening proverb, Cecil takes us to the news. Though the content is fiction, you can’t help but notice the parallels between it and the goings-on of the real world. Sometimes it’s election season, so the votes for the city council are lovingly rigged, “Vote correctly, or never see your loved ones again.” Sometimes the Sheriff’s secret police are on a manhunt for dangerous fugitives like Hiram McDaniels, the literal five-headed dragon, or the faceless old woman who secretly lives in your home. Or sometimes the town is facing a deadly summer reading program. You never know what will happen today.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. We get to meet all the interesting people that live in this Anytown, USA. There’s Mayor Pamella Winchell, who after being replaced as Mayor becomes the Director of Emergency Press Conferences. There’s the kindly old Woman Josie who lives with those tall winged creatures who are definitely not angels because acknowledging the existence of angels is illegal. There’s the harrowing tales of Dana Cardinal, one-time intern at the public radio station, who becomes lost in a desert otherworld and eventually becomes town mayor. *END SPOILER* We get to know and love all these characters for all of their quirks and humanness. Except Steve Carlsberg, because he’s…he’s just STEVE. You know?

Since the town is in a desert, the weather is always the same, so instead of playing the weather report during its mandated spot, they play some random music from hipsters who probably come from the barista district. I just skip it personally. You can’t be seen encouraging these guys.

If you find you like the show, there is also a book by the same title which follows two of the minor characters from the podcast in their quest to find King City. Also, a woman eats a plastic avocado. That’s all I’m authorized to tell you.

I hope you find this quirky slice-of-life podcast as refreshing as I do. So until next time, good night, Wordpress. Good Night.

This is the real Ashley. I don’t have long, but I’m being held in an unknown location and being forced to read into a radio microphone. I don’t know what it means, but if you could track the signal and find me, I’d appreciate it. 🙂

This is the real Ashley, not that one. This is the same Ashley as the original post, but not the one from the P.S., who probably is named Doug. You shouldn’t trust Doug.

Just listen.


OK, this is the real me, I promise! 😉 I was having some trouble thinking of what to blog about for Halloween, and my husband Aaron has been bugging me to let him do a guest post on my blog. So, I decided to let him blog about the quirky, spooky podcast “Welcome to Nightvale.” I’d encourage you to check it out if you get the chance. Happy Halloween!


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