The Dystopian Town of Night Vale

“Welcome to Night Vale” – Podcast Pilot Episode

“Welcome to Night Vale” is a radio show-style podcast of a fictional dystopian society known as Night Vale, with a twist of dark humor. The series parodies a typical radio show of an average, mundane town.

It was created by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor and was published by Commonplace Books. The music sets an eerie ambiance, created by musician and composer Disparition.

The first episode features parody news stories, such as a new dog park being built where neither dogs or people are allowed. There’s also a new person in the neighborhood: Carlos, who is a self-proclaimed scientist with nice hair. Unmarked helicopters sometimes circle Night Vale from above, and parents are instructed to keep their children away from them. A new waterfront recreation area is being opened, in hopes to create a “bustling marketplace,” despite there being no body of water in sight. This is seen as a mere “drawback” to the situation, as Night Vale is a fictional town located somewhere in the Southern United States.

Joseph Fink explained in an interview with NPR that he came up with the idea to create a podcast about a fictional town located in the desert where all conspiracy theories were real.

“Glow Cloud” – Episode 2

This week, a mysterious glowing cloud has caused a death in the town of Night Vale, but no action will be taken. The post office, which has been sealed due to screams coming from within, was ransacked, with the smell of burning flesh in the air and words written in blood on the walls.

A floating cat was spotted in the radio station’s bathroom, as well. “It’s nice to have a station pet,” says the narrator, Cecil Gershwin Palmer, voiced by Cecil Baldwin.

This podcast series  is successful in its attempt to parody a regular news station’s daily newscast.

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