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‘Welcome to Night Vale’s’ Jeffrey Cranor on Podcasts, Touring and Subverting Expectations

September 11, 2019
Welcome to Night Vale cover
Image: Welcome to Night Vale

The podcast industry continues to explode before our very eyes. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being sought after by hundreds of thousands of shows all looking to be the next big hit.

But long before venture capitalists and yearly think pieces declaring that podcasts are a thing now, one podcast carved itself a solid sphere of the marketplace, fanning out into a network of series, consistent live tours and a ravenously supportive fanbase.

“Welcome to Night Vale” launched in 2012 in the spirit of a community radio station broadcasting the eponymous town’s bizarre, confusing and at times disturbing goings on. Inexplicable paranormal phenomena are given the same clout as a local bake sale, but let’s be real: the latter might end up being just as horrifying.

As artist and writer Kate Leth described it, “Night Vale” is like “if Stephen King and Neil Gaiman started a game of ‘The Sims’ and then just left it running forever.”

Night Vale 'A Spy in the Desert' poster
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The tour poster for "Welcome to Night Vale's" latest live show, "A Spy in the Desert." (Image: Welcome to Night Vale)

On Thursday, “Night Vale” will bring its latest tour, “A Spy in the Desert,” to Bloomington’s Buskirk-Chumley Theater.

Ahead of the show, co-creator and writer Jeffrey Cranor spoke with us about their new tour, how the show got its start and the state of the podcast industry.

For tickets and information on “A Spy in the Desert,” you can check out the “Welcome to Night Vale” website

All hail the mighty Glow Cloud.