Reply All: #82 Hello?
November 18, 2016 9:23 AM - Subscribe

Alex and PJ take calls from anyone, about anything, for 48 hours straight.
posted by jazon (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I wasn't really sure what to expect, but I definitely enjoyed listening to this. It was well-edited and nicely sound-designed. I am struck at how emotionally invested I got in it. This morning I was listening to the calls in the second night, and I felt really sleepy and awful because the hosts did.

I'm still not entirely sure why they did this or thought it would be a good idea, but I'm glad PJ and Alex sacrificed for their, uh, art. And now I wish I had called in!
posted by radioamy at 9:34 AM on November 18, 2016

I was disappointed that the very long show was mostly them complaining about how miserable they were and finding ways to avoid answering the phone, and hardly any actual conversations with callers. And yet somehow I enjoyed it anyway.
posted by moonmilk at 9:39 AM on November 18, 2016

I spoke to Alex!!! It must have been early as he didn't sound as tired as during this episode. PJ was driving around somewhere.
posted by ellieBOA at 10:17 AM on November 18, 2016 [5 favorites]

At some point during the 48 hours this was going on I contemplated calling just to put them on mute so they could take a break. Glad someone took action (twice!) where I did not.
posted by noneuclidean at 10:17 AM on November 18, 2016

I liked this. Two thoughts.


2. A couple of callers immediately reminded me of Gloria, as if Gloria-ness were part of a collective unconscious.
posted by clavicle at 11:43 AM on November 18, 2016

I really enjoyed this! It was kind of like listening to the late night call-in radio shows I used to like as a teenager, except that the callers were all the sort of people who listen to Reply All. I liked the length too actually. Added to the kind of tired, wee small hours of the morning conversation vibe somehow.
posted by neilb449 at 1:18 PM on November 18, 2016

i sometimes listen to podcasts to fall asleep. i was an hour into this when i realized it was making me tense and anxious and preventing me from sleeping.

it made me think of chris gethard's beautiful anonymous where he often has to listen to someone's horrible story call after call and how i want to call in and do nothing but regale him with dad jokes for an hour or something.
posted by entropicamericana at 7:35 AM on November 19, 2016

"PJ is a baby who is laying down on a couch right now because he can't handle it."

"I would be here with PJ but he's a wiener and he fell asleep."

PJ = kind of a [expletive] in this episode tbh.
posted by General Malaise at 10:28 AM on November 20, 2016 [3 favorites]

There was so much going on in this episode, so much. I really enjoyed it. So many of the callers calling in because they had nobody else to ask/tell, it hit me right in the feels.

Sleep deprived Alex sounded so exhausted, and Brent (or whoever that was) sounded really uncomfortable being asked to put his phone on mute. I liked their hero who called in twice to give them a break, they should shower her in Gimlet swag.

I really want a follow up with Noah from Toronto, the 15 year old who sounded like he was 37 or something. Did he ask his friend out? Did she say yes? I really want to know! They should air drop Sruthi into Toronto to figure this out for us.

The last bit, with Steve from Texas listening to the Lucy play the piano, and clapping. That was so cute! I think it would be wonderful if it was a yearly thing, even if it just paired random Reply All listeners to talk to each other without needing PJ and Alex to be omnipresent.
posted by selenized at 7:48 PM on November 20, 2016

And the woman who is recording for the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie and played them a variety of instruments!
posted by ellieBOA at 3:32 AM on November 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

I like the part where they felt they had to clarify World of Warcraft, as if there were a chance the caller were referring to, say, Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness instead.
posted by Nelson at 8:58 PM on November 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

I love radio experiments, and it's great that they tried this. Props to the editors who had to turn 48 hours of random audio into a listenable program.

I'm also astonished that they received 105,000 calls. I'd have naively expected tens of percent of their regular audience to follow them on social media and a few percent of those to call in. Am I way off in those assumptions, or do they have tens of millions of listeners? Or is there a fascinating untold story of how they managed to advertise this outside of their listener base? (I think of myself as a pretty plugged-in radio fan, but I missed it entirely.) I want to see some statistics on who actually called!

But also, they really set themselves up to fail by going to their separate homes, letting each other lie down, and apparently not actually caring whether or not they slept through half the ordeal. (Not to mention starting this experiment on an anniversary.) Did we lean nothing from college all-nighters and LAN-Parties? Lock yourself in a conference room with a well-stocked coffee maker, a case of Bawls, a bucket of red-vines, a desktop full of cube-toys and puzzles, and a suite of take-out menus. (Okay, I guess you can order takeout online now, so maybe that part isn't as important.)

Taking calls for 14 hours a day seems like the thing they were actually prepared to do, and it wouldn't have been any less interesting. If anything, they'd have had more interactive dialogue and less whining about being tired to work with. Why sign up for a marathon if you don't actually care about completing it?
posted by eotvos at 10:51 AM on November 23, 2016 [3 favorites]

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