Welcome to Night Vale: 67 - [Best Of?]
May 1, 2015 6:30 AM - Subscribe

A look back at some of the best Cecil broadcasts we have never heard before.

The voice of Leonard Burton was James Urbaniak.

Weather: "When Can I Say That I Love You" by Kyle Fleming


I sure do dislike change. The sun has moved in the sky and I distrust it completely.
posted by DevilsAdvocate (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Wow so...yeah....I don't really even know what to do with that one yet. Will require another listen or two at the least.
Initial thoughts:

1. Cecil is immortal? or just really old? Maybe some kind of earth or location spirit bound to the land?
2. Happy 30th birthday to Lee Marvin!
3. Multiple (well at least 2) branching timelines....though the sports headlines changing in the papers a few episodes back imply it may be more common?
4. Happy 30th birthday to Lee Marvin!
5. Cecil seems to have a thing for scientists....being one my self can't blame him...we are a handsome group :)
6.Hope Cecil is having a good vacation and can't wait till he gets back to see where some/all of this goes.
7.and finally we should wish a Happy 30th birthday to Lee Marvin!
posted by Captain_Science at 8:33 AM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]

Cecil is really old and timeless.... as is Lee Marvin... and I guess Leonard Burton came back from the dead too?

Oh, Night Vale. Where radio hosts are not only older than radio, but totally immortal. Presumably thanks to the time being changed.

"The past is always better than the present, but the future is worst of all."

Cool beans, y'all.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:46 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

Did we ever know that Leonard Burton was dead? I mean, did they ever say for sure? I am remembering Leann Hart . . .

posted by chainsofreedom at 8:54 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Listeners, have you ever forgotten where you put your keys? You were certain they were on the mantel but they were not? Have you ever missed an appointment because you were sure it was on Wednesday at noon, not Tuesday at ten? Have you ever remembered a life you did not lead? Has a carefully collated series of words ever made you uncertain? Unconfident? Or un, just un? Un, as an adjective unto itself?

I did not remember that story at all. I do not like that story. That is a bad story. It was a better day earlier, back when I hadn’t heard that story. This present, this now is no good. No good at all!

Sooooooooooo meta.
posted by chainsofreedom at 9:07 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

So, Cecil was around before the invention of radio; so what was he making the recording for?
posted by Cash4Lead at 5:17 PM on May 1, 2015

And what was he an intern for?
posted by Cash4Lead at 5:18 PM on May 1, 2015

Given that this episode reflects the episode Cassette, many a thing comes into question!

Hi, Cecil here. Mom gave me this recorder for my birthday so I could make my own radio shows, just like Leonard Burton’s show at the real Night Vale Community Radio. I’m going to replace Leonard one day. I really want to, plus the tablets down at City Hall say so, so I better start practicing now.

Leonard always starts out his show with his big catchphrase, and so I’ll do it too, just the way he does it. Here goes:

The sun is actually cold. It’s cold and empty and all is lost.

Greetings from Night Vale.

How was that?Hold on, hold on, I want to hear that back! Wait, where’s the Stop button?

Cecil's internship predates Night Vale, The Prophecy Proclaiming Cecil as Host of Night Vale Community Radio, Night Vale Community Radio, Radio, Cecil.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 6:20 PM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

Someone over in the Reddit thread mentioned quantum suicide theories, and how you are only cognizant of the universe in which you survive. They then quoted the very first NRA bumper sticker: "Guns don't kill people. We are all immune to bullets and it's a miracle!"

That seems really on point here.
posted by chainsofreedom at 7:32 PM on May 1, 2015 [4 favorites]

Some random thoughts and observations:
  1. I literally jumped when the episode started and James Urbaniak started talking instead of Cecil. Somehow, it was initially even more disconcerting than Kevin...
  2. Disparition did a great job producing the episode. WTNV has a surprisingly good track record when it comes to experimenting with its format, and I'm glad that the creators are comfortable and confident enough to hand the reins over to somebody else for an episode, particularly one as interesting as this.
  3. I could listen to James Urbaniak for hours. Despite my initial reaction, he was awesome in this.
  4. I started fiddling with my stereo a few times while listening to the episode, only to realize that the apparent drop/change in sound quality was part of the recording. There were several subtle (and some not-so-subtle) changes to the mixing and recording made over the course of the episode. After all, this was the episode produced by their music guy. (He recommends headphones.)
  5. The music over the credits was great.
Now for some theories
  1. As I've hypothesized before, there's definitely some sort of multiple-universe or universe-splitting thing going on. The confusing thing is that there also appears to be some time weirdness happening.
  2. Night Vale might be in a pocket universe, but real-world events are leaking through. Worldwide nuclear annihilation in 1983? That almost happened.
  3. (I've been watching too much Fringe.)
  4. I don't buy the quantum suicide theory. My theory is that the universes are splitting during significant events, but are starting to come back together, collide, and overlap. Desert Bluffs was likely one such split. Another split occurred in 1983. Occasionally, the real world evidently splits too, eg. Michigan.
  5. Is the desert otherworld actually a window into the pre-Night Vale desert? Did Carlos just accidentally establish the town of Night Vale?
  6. Josie is important, especially now that we've established that she's been present for a large portion of Cecil's continuity, and hasn't acknowledged any discontinuities like Earl Harlan has. She is also surrounded by a literal flock of angels at all times.
  7. Nulogorsk (and Russia in general) are also important: the Apache Tracker comes back speaking Russian, as does the mirror Michigan football team. I don't have a good explanation for why Nulogorsk's universe didn't split cleanly in 1983.
  8. The last episode that revealed definitive time/universe weirdness also involved magnetic media (Cassette). Voicemail is also similar, but doesn't reveal a whole lot.
  9. Perhaps Cecil isn't ageless and immortal, but certain characters flicker in and out of existence, only to reappear at a different time. This dosn't quite fit the narrative, because we know that Earl Harlan aged during his fugue.
  10. Where do You and Them fit into the picture? Many things seem to be coming into focus, but others are becoming even more mysterious.
  11. I still don't trust Carlos.

posted by schmod at 10:01 PM on May 13, 2015

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