Cecil's editorial about people who want to prevent Hiram McDaniels, an 18-foot tall, five-headed firebreathing dragon, from running for mayor, accusing them of Fantastic Racism.
Any time Hiram is mentioned, really. There's something hilarious about the idea of a massive, five-headed fire breathing dragon who has his own blog and wants to run for mayor. Especially his incredibly nonchalant first mention: "McDaniels is described as a five-headed dragon."
And when he finally gives his own campaign ad on-air, the results are pretty hilarious.
Hiram McDaniels: What you haven't heard is — Another Voice:Do you hear the beating of my terrible wings? Do you feel the flames lick at the corners of a life you once thought belonged to you?! Hiram McDaniels: Sorry about that — my green head got excited. We all have human foibles. I don't, I'm literally a five-headed dragon.
How beautiful is Carlos? The barber who cut his hair was publicly denounced by Cecil, underwent a Despair Event Horizon, and now spends his time in the desert, giving haircuts to cacti.
While Cecil is generally pretty accepting of the City Council's explanations for the various strange events that occur around town - if only because he knows better than to question the City Council - even he has difficulty accepting the cover-up for the attacks and vandalism by the feral dog pack.
Plastic bags. PLASTIC. BAGS.
The Libertarian graffiti artist feral dogs.
According to the City Council's Suspiciously Specific Denial, Pink Floyd does not exist. And even if it does, they are not fans of Pink Floyd's music. And they certainly did not attempt to hold a seance to summon the ghost of Syd Barrett, or use that spirit to hold a Pink Floyd Laser Show in Radon Canyon.
And even if they had, they wouldn't have heard any juicy gossip, since Syd Barrett is quite the gentleman.
In another Suspiciously Specific Denial, the traffic department denies there are traffic jams in town, and goes onto angrily deny that there are any cars in town, or even that cars exist at all.
"Word from our sponsors" often involve nightmarish scenarios, so when they turn out not so scary, it's doubly funny.
Episode 6's one is just an incoherent groan/whine.
Episode 7: "And now, a word from our sponsors. That word... is carp."
It's also hilarious how in most of these they use real brand names, to the point where you wonder why they weren't slapped with a lawsuit by now. The sheer disconnect between hearing these ghoulish scenarios being used to "endorse" a real world product makes for hilarious Mood Whiplash, a prime example being from Episode 22:
Cecil: You cannot see. You grope around wildly as your footing is also unstable. You feel a thin liquid filling your shoes. It is not water, you can tell. A pungent smell of brine, or anxiety. Your hands strike something solid, a wall, you think. It is soft, leathery, but also wet. You keep your hands to the surface, and it is moving in and out, like it is breathing. No, more like spasms. You hear a dull rumble from above, a gurgle from below. You still see nothing, the walls jerk back quickly. You lose your balance and slide down to the floor which is the same surface, but now the liquid is sloshing past you, something grabs you, your leg. Something is grabbing your leg. You are being pulled down, you cannot see which way. Madness. Which way madness? You scream, but no sound comes from your stubborn lips, your impudent throat. You reach, for what you do not know, only that you reach. A blinding flash, a moment of understanding. You are in an empty store room, tied to a chair. There are others, but they are hooded and limp. You recall this living nightmare, you take comfort in its familiar pain. You smell fermentation and can hear a dull, unending beeping. Someone shouts in a language you do not know. You love your family. YOU. LOVE. THEM. Welcome to Red Lobster. Come see whats fresh. Today.
Does the carpet match the drapes? No. It doesn't. You're the worst interior decorator. Please leave my home. (Episode 12 - The Candidate)
What has four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three legs in the evening? I don't know, but I trapped it in my bedroom. Send help. (Episode 4 - PTA Meeting)
If you love someone, set them free. Set them free now. This is the police, and we have you surrounded. (Episode 22 - The Whispering Forest)
If I said you had a beautiful body, would it matter because we are so insignificant in this vast and incomprehensible universe?
Lost? Confused? Lacking direction in your life? (fade out)
Even the messages from show creator Joseph Fink get in on the act, by occasionally being narrated by other people (usually the proverb narrator Meg Bashwiner, who is of course female), all of whom claim to be "the REAL Joseph Fink". In one particular message, Fink even interrupts HIMSELF.
Candles lit, runes drawn upon the floor, sacrifice prepared. Everything is ready for the summoning. I begin the incantation. [beat] "Shakira, Shakira!"
Any NRA sticker slogan.
"If you say guns kill people one more time, we will shoot you with a gun, and you will, coincidentally, die."
"Guns don't kill people, we're all immune to bullets and it's a miracle."
1 - Pilot
In the Pilot, Cecil states that Carlos and his team of scientists have found that one of the houses in Night Vale does not exist. And states that the last time they were seen, the scientists were all standing around on the sidewalk in front of the "house", daring each other to go knock on the door.
One year later, they still haven't worked up the nerve and are offering $5 to anyone who will.
"[The City Council] would like to remind everyone that dogs are not allowed in the dog park. People are not allowed in the dog park."
"Alligators: Can they kill your children? (rustling papers) Yes."
If you're new to Night Vale and aren't expecting it, the fact that the Weather segment is actually a song or other musical piece can be hilarious. It's only really funny the first time, afterwards becoming something to anticipate and a sign the episode is nearly over.
5 - The Shape in Grove Park
Cecil rants about the Moon, and wonders if it's watching them. When considering if the Moon found something more interesting than Night Vale, Cecil seems genuinely put out by the idea and then demands that the Moon watch them.
This anti-moon hostility returns in the Adventure Hour crossover live show performed in Seattle. Night Vale is just starting their First Annual Destroy-The-Moon Festival, which employs such techniques as throwing things at moon and also shouting hurtful words at the moon.
6 - The Drawbridge
In Episode 6, there's the method for donating to the station: whisper 'forsaken Algonquinia' into your phone receiver and then "angels or Facebook or something" will deliver the station an appropriate amount from your bank account.
10 - Feral Dogs
The Community Health Tip on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Are you suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome? Are you enjoying carpal tunnel syndrome? Are you surprised by carpal tunnel syndrome? Are you enraged by carpal tunnel syndrome? Do you feel a throbbing sadness that you almost cannot stand from carpal tunnel syndrome? Do you feel a bounty of love and appreciation for your fellow human beings travelling through this confusing and finite lifetime with you from carpal tunnel syndrome? Do you get sexually aroused by carpal tunnel syndrome? (beat) That would be weird. Not to be judgemental...but it would be weird.
11 - Wheat & Wheat By-Products
Why does the City Council already have a Wheat-and-Wheat-Byproducts Bunker built? Prophecy.
15 - Street Cleaning Day
Episode 15, "Street Cleaning Day", Cecil lists off the things NVCR thinks are happening outside their protected bunker:
"Screaming, a slow movement downwards, the crunch of items made of wood and items not made of wood. A quick movement upwards. Char. A smell of rotting seaweed, or a poisoned ocean. The song "La Bamba", only faster."
"The world ended three or four decades ago," she scrawled on a Subway sandwich wrapper. "I don't know what this thing is that we're living in, but it's not the world. Scientists won't investigate it because they're not real. Turkey with extra swiss." ...I think that last bit was already written on the wrapper by a Subway sandwich artist, or one of their familiars.
"And how did Simone get this Subway wrapper, given that all Subway restaurants have many entrances, but no exits? It's as their motto says: 'A thousand ways in, no way out. Subway. Eat fresh. Eat terribly, terribly fresh. Terribly, awesomely, gruesomely, terrifyingly fresh.'"
22 - The Whispering Forest
"I had a hamster as a child, and it died in, like, two weeks, so, (adorable squeaky voice) meh! What do I know?"
24 - The Mayor
THE BROWN STONE SPIRE makes its first appearance, where Cecil has an ominous voice and reverb whenever he mentions the former. After a while it sounds like he's just messing around with filters as the effect gets increasingly out of sync with when he says it.
"[The Mayor] increased funding for the cancer ward at the Night Vale Hospital...and now, anyone who wants cancer can get cancer! Whether or not they have health care or a reason to live!"
27 - First Date
Cecil and Carlos' first date. They have dinner at Gino's in a doorless room and have to escape by throwing a brick (provided by their waiter) through a window then take a romantic stroll through the park while the usual crowd of Night Vale residents are pointing at the sky and shouting in terror.
Not to mention Cecil's casual description of the clothes they wore to the date.
Cecil: I was wearing my best tunic and furry pants, and he had on a laid-back weekend lab coat.
And not to mention Station Management's distress at the extended romantic tangents:
Cecil: ...And so we talked, just us and our bleeding mushrooms, and the buzzing shadow presence, and a blooming haze of romance in the air - (music abruptly stops) Wait. Hold on. Station Management is apparently getting agitated, and...flailing around their office and howling? So I need to do some more news, real quick.
"All right. News...done. Back to the date!"
29 - Subway
A strange, creepy child messenger sent by the City Council comes to Cecil during his recording and, afterwards, stares at him. Cecil's biggest concern is that he doesn't know what to do with the messenger - or any of the rest that the City Council keeps sending him - and wonders if anyone else would like to have the kid.
31 - A Blinking Light Up on the Mountain
The president of Night Vale Community College turns out to be a river-smooth stone in her attitude to the controversial miniseries - because she is actually, literally a rock. When approached for comment on a recent news development, she writes "no comment" (as she is a rock and cannot speak) and subsequently draws an insulting caricature of Cecil. His feelings are understandably hurt.
"I don't know how it got here, but then, I don't know how I got here. Causation is difficult and confusing."
The exasperated way Cecil plows through the StrexCorp announcement. It's blatantly obvious that he's just rushing through to get it over with. The soundtrack dissonance only makes it funnier.
34 - A Beautiful Dream
Cecil being menaced by a vacuum cleaner.
When the computer spreads its influence: "School officials have all left the gym to go get help. They ran out, courageously yelling 'Save yourself! Save yourself!'"
Later, when the computer asks, "CECIL, DO YOU LOVE COMPUTER?" Cecil says that he could learn to love computers, "given time and perhaps some gifts."
Also, the computer issues a long, eerie monologue about the better world it will create. In the middle of the dreamlike imagery and elaborate details of a child's paradise, it matter-of-factly states "Desert Bluffs will no longer exist" without elaboration.
35 - Lazy Day
Episode 35 has time slowing down all over the world, causing life to end and Cecil is glad that he got to see the end to Breaking Bad.
36 - Missing
After a segment advertising the Night Vale Community College's open house, Cecil finishes by telling the audience not to go to the open house because it's a set up.
"Thinking of furthering your education? Considering taking winter semester classes? Well, it's a trap. Do not go near the Night Vale Community College this Friday. Ha! Nice try, giant worms."
38 - Orange Grove
Cecil, facing John Peters, you know, the imposter, detailing the long, heartfelt message he wanted to send to Carlos in case he did not survive the encounter - then deciding that the message would be too long for a text and simply using the phone to knock John Peters, you know, the imposter, unconscious.
And by "facing" we mean Peters had at that moment cornered Cecil and literally seconds away from shoving a dimension warping orange in his face. Just the fact that Cecil apparently even considered that he could somehow text a final message, let alone one as long and rambling as the one he described is hilarious in itself.
In the same episode Cecil asks Carlos to look into the orange grove, and he hesitates because:
"I am a scientist. I study science, not plants or nature."
42 - Numbers
One of the cuts to the gradually rebelling voice of the WZZZ numbers station has her singing Katy Perry's "Roar" at the top of her lungs. Cecil is left completely baffled and wondering if and how this could be part of a sinister plot.
46 - Parade Day
Cecil 'non-nonchalantly' introducing a guest speaker:
Cecil: He's in the top of his field, a really handsome scientist- Carlos: Staaaahhhpp! Cecil: [Giddy with excitement] Hi Carlos!
When Mayor Pamela Winchell actually sees an angel and admits that it exists.
Erika: Shut uuuuupppp, Pamela!
47 - Company Picnic
"Company Picnic" has its moments, despite being an extremely dark episode overall:
Kevin: And now, a word from our sponsors! Lauren? Lauren: Thanks Kev! Can I call you Kev? Kevin:Hahaha!No, Lauren. By NO MEANS.
It is also noted that even StrexCorp's Lauren is not immune to Carlos' perfect hair.
Also of note: taking pictures of the cats in the men's restroom is apparently still fatal, and that's what kills Daniel.
49 - Old Oak Doors
Episode 49 is a two-part recording of a live show. It's clear that the audience got really into the story at times, since a unanimous "BOO" can be heard when Kevindares to call Carlos "ugly".
The reunion of Cecil and Carlos veers wildly from heart-warming to hilarious, as Cecil begins to ramble about Snapchat and his wood-work carvings of Khoshekh.
Kevin talking about his Strex Pet:
Kevin: I feed it mice every night before bed.
Lauren: Oh, they're not supposed to eat mice, Kevin.
Kevin: [completely delighted] I've trained it to!
This exchange right before Carlos and Dana leave:
Dana: Cecil? We have work to do but we will be home soon. Cecil: OK. I cannot wait to see both of you. Carlos: Like, an hour or two, max! Cecil: Did Ė did he say something? Was it Ė [Voice suddenly gets really deep] was it cute?
"I'm pretty sure itís implied that hard work is part of it, Kevin." "I'm pretty sure I didnít ask for your feedback.."
When Tamika Flynn shows up with a slingshot and a heavy copy of John Osborne's play Look Back in Anger, StrexCorp's Lauren isn't worried, because she also has a slingshot, and an extremely heavy copy of the Strex Employee Handbook. Tamika replies with a literary critique of the Handbook:
"Take that book you're holding! It looks ill-written, ill-conceived, full of bad ideas expressed badly...I bet it lacks narrative arcs and an appreciation for the flow of language. It looks like the worst book in the history of books!"
This from Hiram McDaniels's violet head:
"The tree of liberty must be periodically watered with blood and mulched with detached limbs and pruned using shears made from bones! It's my favorite tree!"
Intern Maureen complaining about having to edit Cecil's Jaws slash-fic.
Cecil racing to the station door to welcome Carlos home, only to be met with STEVE CARLSBERG!
Cecil: YOU ARE NOT A RADIO PROFESSIONAL!
Steve Carlsberg imitating everyone's voices and using an overly squeaky voice for Carlos.
He also hangs a lampshade on the confusion caused by Steve calling Cecil his stepbrother a few episodes prior, when, as far as we can tell, the two are merely brothers-in-law.
Also, the entire monologue from Michelle, a "hipster" who works at Dark Owl Records.
"Quit Fabricating Our Music Career, Michelle". What makes it especially funny is that it actually sounds like something that Panic! at the Disco would call one of their albums.
Also, there's Steve's near-subsonic impersonation of Cecil.
55 - The University of What It Is
Cecil weaponizing the Weather in "The University of What It Is", allowing the staff of the titular college to escape an angry mob by forcing said mob to stand around awkwardly for several minutes listening to music.
56 - Homecoming
Earl Harlan making tiramisu. It's all left to the imagination, but considering that he thinks marscapone is a fish, the fact that the process requires de-veining nutmeg, and the blender making a sound like screaming lambs, it's all so bizarre you can't help but laugh.
57 - The List
In episode 57, "The List," Cecil goes bowling with Old Woman Josie. When Josie bowls, an Erika takes her ball and knocks down all the pins. Since Cecil and the other bowlers cannot legally acknowledge Erika's existence, they have to let her strikes be counted.
58 - Monolith
In episode 58, Cecil tricks you into being legally declared dead, and cackles gleefully about it.
Also how he pronounces the name of the college that Michael Sandero is now attending: "Mitchigan!"
59 - Antiques
According to episode 59, Cecil has apparently been running a contest, the prize for which is a huge box of custom pencils with ďI WON A THINGĒ stamped on them.
60 - Water Failure
The water department customer service line. All of it.
Customer Service: To give praise to the Mighty Glow Cloud...
"Please, itís our birthday! Oh! Did we not mention itís totally our birthday?" "...could you say 'BRINY DEPTHS' again? Itís for a friendís birthday. Itís also our friendís birthday. We forgot to mention that."
And the reason for all the commotion that occurred just before the weather break? Everyone in Night Vale was a Deep Cover Agent. EVERYONE.
62 - Hatchets
An official announcement that all murder or attempted murder is now illegal is interrupted by questions from a rather distressed reporter, who is not at all the literally Axe Crazy Night Vale Daily Journal editor Leann Hart.
Carlos' bit in "Voice Mail" about telling "scientifically accurate jokes", especially this part
Carlos: I donít get how people can find inaccurate jokes funny.
Like, OK, so a horse walks into a bar, and says ďI feel used. As a species, even, I feel used.Ē And so then the bartender, who is also a horse, Ďcause, you know, this is the Horse District where the horses live when theyíre not being used by the humans, and the horse bartender says, ďDonít I know it, buddy!Ē and the first horse says ďIím not your buddy!Ē And then he says, ďMan, Iím sorry. Iím so sorry. That was awful of me. Itís the anger.Ē
Also, he talks about how he's doing science by doing things that make one further question how much he actually knows about science.
Iíve put some of the junk we found and some of the people we found in my lab, and Iím studying them using microscopes and vials of bubbling liquid and me making thoughtful expressions and saying things like ďHmm.Ē So Iím really using all of the available scientific tools right now.
Right on the heels of reporting a tragic death, Cecil tearfully remembers to remind us that the show is sponsored by Shasta cola.
69 - Fashion Week
A sphere is ridding the town of people who aren't dressed "hip" enough. It arrives at the station, and Cecil admits he doesn't really care to dress for Fashion Week.
I wear leather pants and a Hawaiian shirt and a baseball hat made of honeycomb. I just wore the same thing I slept in last night.
70A - Taking Off
Carlos continues to describe sciencing in very literal tones.
Here in my laboratory, [...] Iíve been hard at work pacing about in front of a row of conical flasks, beakers, and Y-tubes, furiously writing Greek letters and Arabic numbers and I think, later today, I will make an enormous breakthrough.
75 - Civic Changes
Episode 75, "Civic Changes", features a Cloud Cuckoo Lander phone call from John Peters, you know, the farmer, who describes the behaviour of a silent, standing crowd which eventually turns out to be a cornfield. He is also briefly sidetracked by the sun:
"Cecil?" "Yes, John?" "Cecil, I'm lookin' straight at the sun right now." "Oh, John, don't do that, thatís bad for you!" "So beautiful! It is so beautiful it hurts." "Uh, John?" "Oh! Here comes the cloud. That is such a relief."
From the same episode is Cecil's sheepish account of the use (by certain community radio hosts and local scientists) of the dog park as a revolving door to the desert otherworld, which they then broadcast over the airwaves. Apparently. Well, he's not sure. He's not sure of anything, really. Who knows? He doesn't.
82 - Skating Rink
The sheer glorious grotesquerie that is the courtship of City Council and Station Management. Cecil narrates it very professionally, but his voice falters on certain key phrases, like "heads on shoulders", "romantic need", and "fingers".
The City Council showed up at the skating rink, "donned short shorts and headbands, and were twirling and spinning in unison around the rink". Brrrrr.
86 - Standing and Breathing
Computer programming expert Melanie Pennington suggests that "You'll never guess this!" is the most secure password for your computer... even better if you replace all of the characters with zeroes.
And apparently adding an exclamation point (!) to the end of your password makes it unhackable.
95 - Zookeeper
The interview with Joanna, the zookeeper at the Night Vale Zoo, goes fairly well... at least, until the end, when Joanna shapeshifts into a panther and eats all the animals she brought in. Save for the tarantulas, who manage to escape to the radio station's HR department and get hired on in Sales on the strength of their interviews. Despite not being able to speak at all.
"Brown tarantulas are fairly common in the desert. I was hoping for something exotic, like chickens."
Intern Kareem throws a fit when he tries to convince Cecil that the angels (that totally do not exist) supposedly watching over Old Woman Josie, actually do exist:
Cecil: "There he goes, a man who doesn't believe in time-traveling trains or deer-faced destroyer gods, but deny a single angel and he's throwing a fit."
"Microphones are not for eating! They're smarter than dolphins!"
The show at the LA Podcast Festival was essentially live performances of two older episodes with redone ad bumps, as read by James Urbaniak (as two Redshirt interns). They're promotions for Hulu (which he reads out in an ominous, drawn-out voice: "Huuuuuuluuuuuuu.") and a web hosting service (who break out into tears at the sight of your website, as it's already perfect). Imagine Rusty Venture and you've got it.
In the live-show "Condos", when Cecil says; "I don't know if I've ever mentioned this before, but...Carlos is totally my boyfriend!" It's hard to say which is funnier; Cecil's tone of voice, or the squees of everyone in the audience.
After he and Carlos both hang up, a flustered Cecil tries to distract a squeeing and giggling audience:
Picture a car. (beat) No. You're doing it wrong. Try again.Picture a car. (beat)Really? That's what you picture when you picture a car? All right, look, we'll go with that. I'm not happy about it, but we'll go with your idea of a car for now.
From "The Debate":
Cecil: One last caller, you are on the air. Steve: Hi, this is Steve Carlsberg and my question is for Hiram. Hiram~ Cecil:NO! NO! STEVE CARLSBERG! WE ARE OUT OF TIME FOR QUESTIONS, GOODBYE!!!! (Beat filled with audience laughter) Cecil: (Recomposed) Candidates...
The Faceless Old Woman recommends selling unused items in homes to raise funds for schools, and gives suggestions- such as Marcus Vansteen's table made from human bones.
Marcus: Yeah, and I need that table.
Marcus later ascends to angelhood. As a result, everyone is forbidden from speaking of him or acknowledging it, still claiming that angels aren't real.
During the actual performance of the live show, this is represented by Marcus' VA standing on his tip-toes and gazing up at the theater ceiling.
While explaining how local deer learning advanced mathematics, telepathy, and short-range time travel has caused road closing, the City Council gave this warning:
Cecil: The Council is asking anyone still out on the roads right now to please, return home. If you are not a citizen of Night Vale, but cannot currently get out of town to your home because of the road closings... THEN CONGRATULATIONS! You now live in Night Vale! Please pick up a New Citizen Welcome Packet and mandatory orange poncho at the City Hall.
In "The Librarian," Cecil calls Carlos to see what he thinks about the situation. Carlos proceeds to describe his scientific surroundings with an increasingly distracted and, well, suggestive tone. Cecil's reply really summarizes it best:
The mental image of Carlos gesturing with a spatula while in the process of science (and cooking, obviously).
"Finally on this show; something weird to talk about!"
Cecil eventually consults Carlos about the mountain with the red light, the floodplain and attacking army which has just appeared outside of Night Vale. Carlos says oh, that's just a mirage, and he's seen it before. Well, except for the attacking army, but, y'know.
And the attacking army turns out to actually be passing by on their way to attack someplace else. In the mean time, they helped boost Night Vale's local economy.
Cecil's increasingly acidic displays of Passive-Aggressive Kombat against Station Management. By the time of episode 44, it's gotten to the point of frequent Freudian Slips and Cecil barely even attempting to veil his threats. It's as awesome as it is hilarious.
Meg Bashwinner ("the proverb lady"):Night Vale t-shirts, you want them, we got them. And if you don't want them, please listen to these hypnotic tones: aahhhhmmmm. aaaaaahhhhhhmmm. aaahhhhhmmmturtlesahhhhmmmm. Okay, now that you want them...
The moment you realize that the carnival was just an ordinary friendly carnival with nothing supernatural or evil about it, and that the one time that Night Vale took steps to stave off the terrors of their world was the one time they shouldn't have. Only Maureen figures it out.
"This isn't Modesto!"
Producer Joseph Fink seems to suddenly realise how busy he is:
It's just a week until our Europe tour! ...Oh, Jesus, it's just a week until our Europe tour!