And now we come to the podcast that started it all: Welcome to Night Vale. I started listening to this podcast in 2015 or so, and fell off the wagon for a few years. (According to the Night Vale community, though, you’re not true Night Vale Trash unless you’re like 50+ episodes behind the current one.) I caught up this year, though (seriously, according to my Podcast Addict stats as of 1/2/19, I’ve listened to just shy of 3 full days of WTNV), and I learned that WTNV even has a recap show now! (I listened to a few episodes, but I wasn’t a fan so I deleted the podcast.)
WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE is a twice-monthly podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events.
Turn on your radio and hide.
Welcome to Night Vale is the ultimate cult podcast. It’s a serialized fiction podcast, under the guise of a local radio station from the desert town of Night Vale, but don’t expect this to be anything even remotely ordinary. Everything is strange, weird, and wonderful in Night Vale, and although it might worry one of us, the citizens of Night Vale treat everything just like it’s normal. Which it is. In Night Vale, anything can happen and nothing can happen.
I wish there was an easier way to explain what WTNV is, but the only way to truly get to know Night Vale is to go there yourself. The first few episodes start out being a radio show, and as the podcast progresses, we get to know more about Cecil (that’s the radio host), his boyfriend Carlos (the scientist), The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home (voiced by Matilda/Mara Wilson!), and more of Night Vale’s wacky citizens. You’ll learn how to decode helicopter colors, why you should stay away from the library, and so much more.
Night Vale can’t be explained, but rather it should be experienced. I still feel like this is a 4.5/5 star rating, though, because there are things that don’t seem to work just right, or will make you upset when they happen. (I mean, you’re supposed to ~feel things~ when you read a book or listen to a fictionalized world, but sometimes it’s too much.) There are a few inconsistencies, and some other things I could be nitpicky about, but overall WTNV is a very good podcast to get addicted to. If you haven’t experienced it yet, you should at least give it a try. You do have to start from the beginning, though, so that you don’t get lost.
And as always, keep reading (and listening).