Web Video: The Needle Drop

The Needle Drop is a web and radio based review show hosted by Anthony Fantano with various cameos by his bizarre roommate Cal Chuchesta. The music he reviews is usually more of indie and underground fare with the occasional bigger name slipping in either because of popular demand or relatively high critical acclaim. The show is highly popular on 4chan's music board, partially due to the fact Anthony also is a /mu/tant.

His YouTube channel can be found here, and his side channel can be found here.


This show provides examples of:

  • Accent On The Wrong Syllable: A frequent habit of Cal's, along with Mondegreens.
  • Adorkable: Anthony when he gets excited.
  • Alter Ego Acting: Cal Chuchesta constitutes the Type 1 variety.
    • This is most evident as Anthony currently claims that Cal is dead and yet doesn't drop the act, still treating Cal like he's a different person.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Anthony works in radio and is an NPR contributor.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: During the "Cal is in Hell" arc, Anthony showcased that he really does love Cal Chuchesta, even admitting to it when tried to replace Cal with a cat, calling it Cat Chuchesta.
  • Berserk Button: Steven Wilson fans pushed it after his review of The Raven That Refused To Sing. Also, Childish Gambino seemed to push it in his lyrics on his Camp album, which got one of the lowest scores Anthony's ever given.
  • Breakout Character: Anthony has even acknowledged that a portion of his viewer base is there because they only watch his videos to see Cal.
  • Broken Record: Some of the edits thrown in each video.
  • Brown Note: The cover of "Born That Way" causes Anthony and Cal to throw up.
    • Amusingly, Cal then chose Born This Way as one of his favorites albums of 2011 (so far), and when called out by Anthony on the fact that it made them throw up, he replied by stating that it was the most fun he'd had throwing up all year.
  • Catch Phrase: "Anthony Fantano here, the Internet's busiest music nerd."
    • "Forever."
    • "...I hate Cal Chuchesta."
    • "Tran - sition!"
  • Caustic Critic: Averted as he tends to be quite calm and collected even with music he dislikes, managing to point out its strengths as well as its flaws. That said, he usually avoids the other extreme, Gushing About Shows You Like, giving a balanced look into both the strengths and weaknesses of the albums he reviews.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Once again, Cal.
  • Couch Gag: The tree.
  • Deal with the Devil: Implied as to why Cal's in hell, as he made a deal with the "Damon". Fans have debated he made this deal after Anthony gave The Powers That B a 9/10 instead of the assumed 10/10 rating.
    • Later on it was a proven that Cal's deal was to "get his mixtape out".
  • Department of Redundancy Department: In his video debating messages in music, Anthony asks the audience "And what about people who're in my position? In every review, do I have to throw in a footnote that says 'Anthony Fantano does not necessarily agree with the ideology of the artist he is currently reviewing in this review?'"
  • Early Installment Weirdness: His pre-2010-to-2011 videos, recorded with much more meager means, don't feature Cal, and are recorded against a black background instead of in front of his apartment walls as they are in later videos.
  • Gainax Ending: The Born This Way review. Anthony decides to take the time to simply stare at the album cover with the audience. After a few moments pass, Anthony and Cal spontaneously throw up (Anthony even smears the vomit on his face). Anthony then looks at the camera with a grin and says, "You can't judge me. I was born this way."
  • Gentle Giant: Despite his very buff and intimidating appearance, he's a vegan and known for his very kind, calm, and Adorkable demeanor.
  • Fan Vid: There are a few odd remixes of reviews and livestreams.
  • Jerk Ass: Anthony to Cal, ten-fold.
  • Killed Off for Real: Cal Chuchesta as of the "Changing some scores to '10'" video, although fans think it could be a long Running Gag.
  • Large Ham: Scott Stapp, apparently.
  • Mad Libs Catch Phrase: Anthony has had a lot of fun with the variations of his name (Slamthony Dunktano, Shmoney Dancetano, Symphony Concerto, etc.), as have his fans. He's made so many of them that there's a shirt of some of them that you can buy.
  • Malaproper: Cal Chuchesta somewho marriages to duh this with evening the moist bassist wards.
  • Mind Screw: His 2014 april fool's joke had him do two reviews of the same album, but one gives it a 0/10 and one gives it a 10/10. Well the joke itself isn't confusing, the way he delivers both reviews in his usual style makes it hard to tell which of his reviews is serious, which is a joke, how much of it is a joke, and all that.
  • Mondegreen: Cal with lyrics and names.
  • Overly Long Gag: His review of Gold Cobra basically consists of Anthony eating food.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: In his 2015 April Fool's video, Anthony reveals that Cal Chuchesta died and that he won't appear in any videos. What makes it so unnerving is when Anthony first impersonates the fan's interpretations over "killing off Cal", which leads to Anthony furiously telling his audience to shut up, saying he "has his own problems to deal with" and such. For Anthony, this is pretty confusing and strange for him.
  • Running Gagged: Cal's death has elements and is treated like this.
  • Signing Off Catchphrase: "Anthony Fantano...[artist]...[album]...forever."
  • Sound Effect Bleep: Anthony usually bleeps himself out when he swears, although this is subverted in his review of David Comes to Life note , and drops the F word in the Couch Gag before the review starts. When Anthony first started his reviews he was not averse to swearing, then sometime in 2010 he started censoring any curse words that popped up, and as of 2012, he does let the occasional "goddamn" or even the occasional "fuck" slip out without censoring it.
  • Stylistic Suck:
  • Surreal Humor: His editing gags, Cal's segments, and the tree.
  • Story Arc: Implied after the events of the April Fool's "episode" where Cal dies. After Cal dies, Anthony tries to move on, only to be tormented by Cal's screams of terror, crying out that he is on fire. Anthony tries to assume he just misses Cal, until Cal begins appearing on the "Whack Cal Zone" wall screen in the "Tyler the Creator - Cherry Bomb" review. It's finally revealed in both the "Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld - Never Were the Way She Was" and "blur - The Magic Whip" review that Cal is in hell after making a deal with "The Damon". Since the blur review, Anthony has been trying to banish the "damon" in order to save Cal, but for a while, this hadn't been solved. However, with the help of Creationist Cat and the power of jazz, Fantano freed Cal from hell, and Cal made his triumphant return in Anthony's review of Hudson Lantern's Mohawk.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: The ending of the Born This Way review.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Anthony and Cal, mainly Anthony. He absolutely loathes Cal, but during the "Cal is in Hell" arc, he showed to actually miss him and wanted to later on save him.
  • Wham Episode: While the "Changing some scores to '10'" video starts off like a traditional April Fools' Day prank video, Fantano reveals near the end that Cal Chuchesta is dead. Unlike the other stuff in the video, this fact is not part of the joke and Cal is still treated as dead in future videos.

    Tran-