When the creepy podcast Welcome to Night Vale came to town last year, the show's creator dropped one hell of a bombshell on me in our interview. Jeffrey Cranor and Joseph Fink talked about their inspiration for the show and I was surprised to learn that Cranor, a Mesquite native, based the format of his surreal community news show on KEOM 88.5 FM's straightforward information-delivery system.
For a split second, a twinge of hope crept across my brain at the thought that the elusive, mysterious dimension known as Night Vale may actually exist just a few miles away from where the fates have placed me on this part of the globe. So I just came right out and asked him without stopping to ponder how dumb and wide-eyed I might have sounded, "So I have to ask, is Mesquite Night Vale?"
Cranor responded, "No, not at all. Mesquite is definitely not."
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I shot back a disappointing and hopeless "Darn" and Cranor and Fink just laughed at my crushed and pummeled dream. If you can't empathize with my disappointment, then you're not a proper Welcome to Night Vale fan, but you can become one when the popular, bizarre podcast returns to Dallas on April 12 at the Majestic Theater.
Welcome to Night Vale is a weekly community news program hosted by Cecil Baldwin as the twisted newsman who informs the populace of all the weird goings-on and happenings-to in the unreal town of Night Vale. The show plays out as if you picked up the signal of some weird broadcast in a realm of existence that doesn't seem to fit in with ours, just like Carl Sagan taught us about when he hosted Cosmos on PBS. The only normal in Night Vale is the abnormal. Sometimes two or three suns can be seen in the sky. The sheriff has his own secret police force and works out of an office located above the clouds. The city council enacts bizarre legislation such as the outlawing of pocket calculators and requiring certification for becoming a bloodstone builder. It's a lot like the Texas Legislature, but we're sure Night Vale's council wouldn't pass a law allowing citizens to carry bloodstones in holsters pretty much anywhere they wanted to. Night Vale is creepy, not stupid.
The show at the Majestic Theater will feature a live recording by the show's host and any other voice actors hired to add to the weirdness as well as a special musical interlude performed by singer/songwriter Mary Epworth.