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Podcast / King Falls AM

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Radio journalist "Shotgun" Sammy Stevens has moved to the sleepy mountain town of King Falls to participate in the King Falls AM local late-night talk radio show with local producer Ben Arnold...

Only for him to be stopped by a local police officer because the apparition of a Civil War general has been screwing with his sense of direction. Then things get weird as he and his co-host begin reporting on lake monsters, skinwalkers, werewolves, murder, zombies, transmissions from the abductee, mysterious presences calling in to the station, pet seances, a library haunted by the apparitions of Abraham Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth, and the... let's call them eccentric... residents of King Falls, along with its absurd local businesses.


Early episodes could be described as an attempt to emulate Welcome to Night Vale, but it grows the beard as the storyline goes on.

King Falls AM, 660 On Your Radio Dial contains examples of:

  • 555: Averted; the King Falls AM phone number has a 424 area code... which is in Los Angeles. See Where the Hell Is Springfield? below.
  • Absurd Phobia: Ben has a fear of garbage bears, also known as raccoons.
  • Accidental Innuendo: In-Universe, a minigolf course based on Christian teachings is coming to King Falls. Its name? Glory Holes. The people behind it seem entirely oblivious to the meaning of the phrase, and Sammy and Ben can barely contain their laughter whenever it's brought up.
  • Affectionate Parody: King Fall's resident vigilante superhero, The Dark, is this for Detective Comic's Batman.
  • Agent Mulder: Ben. He's incredulous when Sammy, on his very first night in town, doesn't believe that the apparition of an old Civil War general is haunting the mountain roads.
  • Agent Scully: Sammy, at first, is reluctant to believe anything supernatural going on in King Falls. He starts accepting some things around the time Tim Jensen contacts the station in Episode 7, but as late as Episode 73 he's still trying to find rational explanations for Supernatural occurrences.
    • As of the first episode of the King Falls Chronicles, Sammy has been replaced by Lily Wright as the resident Scully. She is dismissive and downright confrontational to the supernatural antics of the town.
  • Alien Abduction: Occurs live, on-air, in episode 1! And episode 25...
  • All Myths Are True: Played with- King of King Falls lists several urban legends in King Falls that do not exist, while ignoring several actual myths, including the local Stock Ness Monster.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism:
    • Howard Ford Beauregard III is an odd case- his book, King of King Falls, is essentially an antithesis to Journal 3, documenting non-existent oddities in King Falls while completely denying supernatural events that actually occur.
    • Sammy, despite seeing and knowing about all sorts of weird happenings in King Falls, still refuses to admit that Kingsy, the Lake Hatchinhaw Monster, actually exists.
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  • Bad Liar: Pete Myers, Howard Ford Beauregard III's gardener, often calls the station in place of his employer to spout insults, and despite his best efforts to hide the fact that it's him, Sammy and Ben catch on every time.
  • Berserk Button: Even merely saying Jack's name in Sammy's presence will cause easy-going Sammy to snarl a warning to stop talking and at one point he nearly destroyed the sound board in rage after Greg Frickard both outed him and mocked his relationship with Jack.
  • Big Blackout: The Electrolocaust, which happens in Episode 8 and ends in Episode 9. It lasts for two weeks in-universe, with the only electronic things working in town being radios and telephone lines. Howard Ford Beauregard III seems to have had something to do with it.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Mayor Grisham has a secretary that listens to and records all of Sammy and Ben's shows, should something he disagree with come up.
  • *Bleep*-dammit!: Often. Apparently Ben controls the censorship live on the air to an insane degree- the button must be literally on his person, because he manage to hit it during events like Sammy and Mayor Grisham's fight in Episode 18.
    • He's been slipping on this lately, though; there are at least four uncensored F-Bombs since Emily's abduction, three of them delivered by Ben himself.
    • And then the censor button breaks during the 2016 Christmas episode, after tensions rose in the previous episode to the point where Sammy is referring to his co-host as Benedict Arnold.. It's also a Musical Episode. Hilarity Ensues.
    • Starting in early 2017, they seem to have stopped censoring "Shit" and derivatives thereof.
  • Brass Balls: Sammy. When finding out about the fact that Mayor Grisham is going to use the 7th Annual Best Small Town in America Award ceremony to announce his candidacy for mayor in 2016, he calls him out live, on air for using an event that the town has been eagerly awaiting to announce this. When he's snubbed from announcing the mayor on stage, he goes up to the stage to confront him, and Grisham cusses him out and punches him in the face. Sammy apparently puts up quite the fight.
  • Camp Gay: Archie Simmons, to Ron Begley's Straight Gay. Archie is extremely flamboyant, speaks with a feminine lisp, and babies the pom-shi's that he breeds.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Ben, towards Emily. This bites him in the ass big time when he acts like a jealous prick and strains their friendship, after which Emily says that she would have like to have been in a relationship with him.
  • Church of Happyology: The "Science Institute" seems to be similar to this, having "brainwashed Hollywood celebrities" among its ranks, and its on-air advertisements being rather cultish. They outright name-drop the actual Church of Happyology as an insult to them, at one point.
  • Close-Knit Community: Everyone knows everyone in King Falls.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: The trope seems to be somewhat deconstructed over the course of the series- while the antics of the more unusual townsfolk can be amusing, they can often be a sign that something is wrong with them.
    • Howard Ford Beauregard III has all sorts of (incorrect) beliefs about the supernatural events of King Falls, and insists that they're true, even in the face of evidence to the contrary of actual supernatural events. He is also quite rude, and even belittles Emily Potter for attempting to convince him of the truth. However, his presence in a group of powerful men about town suggests he knows more about the supernatural happenings than he lets on. And he might be a vampire.
    • Storm Sanders's sudden outburst in episode 15 is a clear indicator that he's been cursed to become a skinwalker.
    • Gwendolyn, the Racist Witch, is possibly the most malicious example of a Cuckoolander that has been seen in media to date- every other word that comes out of her mouth is racist, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise bigoted, all while having a perky pep to her voice, a smile on her face, and an obfuscating quirky personality.
  • The Conspiracy: In Episode 55, Emily suspects that there is a group of powerful male business owners and politicians that are pulling the strings around town.
    • Lily Wright puts forth a similar idea on her own show: she thinks the powerful people of King Falls are staging and exaggerating supernatural events for an unknown purpose.
    • Episode 63 has Emily and two other women investigating a meeting of the Himinists. Unfortunately they're caught and the group scatters before they can catch more than one member.
  • Corrupt Hick: Mayor Grisham, hinted to embezzle from the town, and all-around unpleasant. He has run completely unopposed in the last two mayoral elections. When he is opposed, the votes are mysteriously rendered null and void. And he wins the election, nearly killing Troy in the process just so the ballots from the election station won't be counted.
    • Joining him is Sheriff Judd Gunderson, whose very presence intimidates Sammy and Ben to the point where they're powerless to do anything. It is blatant that he had Troy Kreighauser— his own deputy— run off the road just so he couldn't deliver decisive ballots for Mayor Grisham's election. He even has him run off at Torrance Gulch- the place where he himself killed Ben's sugar glider Serendipity, just to rub salt in the wound.
  • Country Matters: In Episode 51, when Greg Frickard calls in to gloat about burning the only evidence Ben had that he, not Greg, was responsible for getting Emily Potter back to King Falls, Sammy calls him this twice in a five second period. Ben, who detests Frickard is even slightly mortified by the use of the "C Word."
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Ben verges into this sometimes on the subject of Emily Potter. On the other hand, the Crazy Jealous Guy who's his rival for her love, Greg Frickard, is worse.
  • Critical Research Failure: In-Universe, Howard Ford Beauregard III claims that the leader of the Nazi party was Waldorf Hitler.
  • Dirty Cop: Judd Gunderson.
  • Eldritch Location: King Falls itself. Aliens and Monsters, apparitions, the possible demons in the Devil's Doorstep...
  • Election Day Episode: Election Special: Rock The Vote.
  • Elvis Lives: He makes an appearance in the first Christmas episode, saying that Sammy shouldn't make a big deal about Santa living in King Falls. He apparently faked his death and retired to the town because Rose makes the best Peanut-Butter and Banana Sandwiches he's ever had.
  • Evil Is Petty: Howard Ford Beauregard III buys up almost every Christmas tree in the tri-state area so he can (allegedly) make a Holiday garden.
  • Gaslighting: Greg Frickard has been deliberately lying to Emily about the events surrounding her rescue and causing her to doubt her own memories in order to date her and keep her away from Ben.
  • The Ghost: Merv, who apparently is the station manager of the show.
    • Sheriff Judd Gunderson, whom Ben absolutely hates for killing his pet sugar glider. He makes an appearance in episode 38, and intimidates Sammy and Ben, and pretty much shows the corruption present in the town first-hand.
  • Hot Librarian: Emily Potter, much to Ben's surprise. When she's introduced, he's griping about how she's probably going to be a hag like the last librarian.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The Devil's Doorstep, a mountainous area just outside of King Falls that's full of... something bad. Something evil.
  • In Medias Res: Most of the episodes start immediately after a commercial or a segment that was broadcast just before, with events taking place before and after the transmission starts.
  • Insistent Terminology:
    • It's "apparition", never "ghost".
    • After Jesus Christ apparently has his second coming in a fast food restaurant, the terms "Jack-In-The-Box Jesus" and "Burger King of Kings" are thrown around in place of the usual epithet.
    • Ben has a couple of "alternate names for beasts": raccoons are "garbage bears", snakes are "danger noodles" or "nope ropes", and spiders are "wall crabs".
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: It's revealed in episode 26 that Hershel Baumgartner is this, giving Ben a well-needed pep talk after episode 25.
    • Chet Sebastian, the smooth-talking and lecherous host of Chet Sebastian's Jazz Corner (which plays on the same station), will occasionally sub in for Ben or Sammy if one of them is out of the studio. He consistently hangs up on phone calls from anyone who doesn't sound young and attractive. Yet, in Episode 27, he uses his lechery to weaponize I Banged Your Mom to imply all sorts of horrible things about Pete Myer's mother so that he'll give up details about Ben's location.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: In Episode 63, after spending half of the night fuming and threatening Sammy and Ben, Greg Frickard gets knocked to the ground by a solid punch from a thoroughly pissed-off Emily.
    Emily: Hi, Greg."
    Emily: Bye, Greg."
  • Kitschy Local Commercial: Usually Once an Episode, with businesses ranging from everything from Rose's Diner to the local cemetery King Falls Forever to Creepy Carl's Candy Van.
  • The Mafia: Ernie Salsedo, former owner of a muffler shop in town, implied to be the Don of a local Mafia, complete with a stereotypical accent and veiled threats made over the radio. He's implied to be behind the death of Rich McGuff, whose body comes back as a zombie...
  • The Masquerade: Non-existent in most parts, but enforced when it comes to one point: They always deny that Santa Claus lives in King Falls, because they know he doesn't want to be bothered.
  • Mundanger: One of the biggest threats Sammy and Ben have to deal with on a regular basis, outside of the Rainbow Lights and The Shadows is the corrupt infrastructure of King Falls, including Mayor Grisham, Judd Gunderson, and what may be an entire Cult of powerful men in King Falls, including Greg Frickard, Howard Beauregard, and Ernie Salsedo.
  • Musical Episode: Episode 40. After Gwendolyn the Racist Witch encants a spell to give King Falls a snowy Christmas, Sammy is shocked to find that everyone in town but him is communicating in song. Here are the songs:
    • Crowd Song: "A King Falls Christmas", where Ben leads the town in a rap number.
    • Villain Song: "I'm No Good," sung by Beauregard, where he brags about taking the Christmas trees.
    • Battle Rapping: Occurs between Deputy Troy and Jacob Williams. While the former is arresting the latter. This includes attempting to read the Miranda rights.
    • Gospel Music: "Santa Up, Devil Down", where the Reverend Xavier Hawthorne leads the town in a gospel song, about Santa beating the Devil, seeming to not know that Saint Nicholas and Santa Claus are one and the same.
    • Grief Song: "Can You Hear Me?" Ben, again, sings this as he laments the loss of Emily. She's even heard in the closing moments of the song, whispering Ben's name.
    • Grand Finale: "Next Year", a rock number which also doubles as Musical Exposition, with Ben revealing that the Notebook is done and he's ready to get Emily back, that Tim is flicker-free, and Dale breaking into Beauregard's house to smoke the trees in there (which are actual Christmas trees).
  • Mysterious Past: Nobody seems to know much about Sammy before he came to King Falls, except for his Stalker with a Crush caller. When Sammy discovers that Ben is questioning his identity in episode 39, having written "Who is Sammy Stevens???" in his notebook, he storms out of the studio and refers to Ben as "Benedict Arnold" for the next episode." Some hints are given in Episode 49 that suggest the show where he was "Shotgun" Sammy is now an Old Shame.
    • Although Sammy's reasons for coming to King Falls are now revealed (he's trying to find his missing boyfriend/producer/fiance Jack Wright, who went missing after becoming obsessed with the town), his background is still remarkably mysterious. Which "big city" did he come from, again?
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Apparently they like to get frisky with purebred dogs, and pass on these tendencies to those they bite. If they manage to... get frisky with them, their puppies become human under a full moon. Also, they develop a love for The Twilight Saga. They're team Jacob.
  • The Paranoiac: Ben is a serious contender. He holds grudges like no-one else (don't mention Film/Grease), he always seems a little too willing to believe in a supernatural explanation for anything that happens, and his suspicion towards everyone and everything causes a serious rift in his relationship with Sammy on multiple occasions.
  • Platonic Declaration of Love: Ben towards Sammy at the end of Episode 44. Sammy reciprocates in Episode 49, after some hesitation, and since that point, it's become a regular feature of the show and their friendship.
  • Preacher Man: The Reverend Xaiver Hawthorne is very much a southern gospel preacher, who intends to open up a Christian-themed golf course in King Falls after the apparent Second Coming of Christ within city limits.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: As Sammy approaches the mayor in Episode Eighteen: "Ben, post my bail!"
  • Precision F-Strike: Ben of all people delivers one, uncensored, following Emily's abduction.
  • Quirky Town
  • Reality Ensues: After Gwendolyn the Racist Witch summons a snowstorm for Christmas, massive storms happen in January and February of the next year due to the weather being magically changed from eighty Fahrenheit to below freezing within forty minutes.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The entire character of Gwendolyn the Racist Witch, is based on this. Every other word out of her mouth is demeaning to some minority group, and the fact that Sammy and Ben are just as uncomfortable with Gwendolyn as the audience is makes the scenarios less horrifying and more hilarious.
  • Replacement Goldfish: As a means of making peace with Ben, Deputy Troy manages to acquire a new sugar gli- uh, "cat" to replace Serendipity, who he names Peas- as he says it, he wants Ben to "Give Peas a Chance".
  • Running Gag: Ben chiding Sammy for never— and we mean literally never— checking his e-mails.
    • After episode 9, Ben and Sammy both will occasionally exclaim "Jack in the Box Jesus."
    • "Cronkite. Brokaw. Ben Arnold."
    • Ben's small stature has become this. "Average height, medium rage."
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Herschel. Overlaps with Sir Swears-a-Lot, but he has a Hidden Heart of Gold.
  • Second Coming: Happens at a local fast food restaurant, but blows over pretty quickly as there are much weirder things going on.
  • Secret Circle of Secrets: There's apparently a society in King Falls that delivers wreaths of white roses to businesses around town every October as some form of invitation. Businesses who don't accept either move away or go under. Howard Ford Beauregard III is involved somehow, and his gardener leaves an entire garden of white roses in the parking lot of the studio as a warning.
    • They seem to either be, or are connected to, a second secret group of powerful male townsfolk that Emily is now investigating.
  • Straight Gay: Ron Begley. He's a foul-mouthed, hard-living bait shop owner who makes it completely clear that he is into guys and has no shame about it.
    • Also, Sammy. The entire reason he came to King Falls is to find his missing boyfriend.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Ben and Sammy have a few:
    • Cynthia, for being incessantly negative and interrupting broadcasts.
    • Mayor Grisham, for attempting to silence the radio multiple times.
    • Howard Ford Beauregard: For historical inaccuracy, being needlessly unpleasant, and also insulting Ben and Sammy.
    • Originally, Greg Frickard started off as this for trying to steal Emily's affections before Ben can move on them, but he's becomes steadily more creepy and unhinged with each appearance he makes. As of Episode 49, he may have just flung himself straight into the villain category after lying to Emily about rescuing her from the UFO crash instead of Ben so that she would date him instead.
    • Deputy Troy - though he and Ben end up burying the hatchet later.
    • Channel 13 News, although this may be one-sided on Ben's part.
  • Surprise Santa Encounter: Sammy has one in Episode Sixteen, "Santa Claus Ain't Coming To Town".
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Ben's new pet Peas is not a sugar glider, because sugar gliders are illegal in this state. Peas is a cat.
  • Shout-Out:
    Referencing Aladdin don't make it right.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Oliva DuPont, featured in episode 10, is a medium capable of communicating with the spirits of deceased pets.
  • Stock Ness Monster: The Lake Hatchinhaw Monster, Kingsy. Apparently it's a bit of a local Berserk Button to compare her to Nessie.
  • Talk Show: The format of the podcast.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Ben's attitude towards Deputy Troy, for his role in the death of his pet sugar glider, Serendipity, when he was a child.
  • Tough Love: Sammy gives Emily this, after he and Ben tell her that she was apparently never supposed to return from her abduction.
  • Tsundere: Cynthia of all people has a thing for Ben, but Jack in the Box Jesus help anyone who makes fun of her for it.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Pretty much a running gag on the show, at this point.
    • Jesus has his second coming in a Jack-In-The-Box. This is passed over quickly because there are more pressing concerns, such as the town's power being completely offline.
    • The rainbow lights reappearing over King Falls cause a fair bit of concern, but what really tilts the heads of the town are the influx of Bronies coming to see them.
  • Weirdness Magnet: King Falls itself, and possibly Sammy and Ben. Mayor Grisham points out that weird things seem to always happen when they're involved.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Episode 7. Tim Jensen makes contact with Sammy and Ben.
    • Episode 22 has two whams. Firstly, the Coroner reveals that the zombie that was observed in Episode 5 is just one of ten cases in the past year. Secondly, Tim Jensen is back, having been returned by the rainbow lights over town.
    • Episode 25. Emily is abducted by the rainbow lights, on-air, just like Tim was one year previously.
    • Episode 33: More crop circles pop up at Libbydale Farms, and Tim Jensen is sent to translate them. The crop circles say one word: EMILY. On top of this, Tim says this:
    You'll never get her back.
    • Episode 38: Grisham wins re-election, despite great opposition from Ron Bagely. He clearly cheated, and there's nothing the town can do about it.
    • Episode 41: Mary Jensen is getting caught by the Lights, and is about to be abducted... until Troy arrives, shoots at the UFOs, and runs them off.
    • Episode 44 is another double-whammy. While Ben prepares for Emily's rescue, Sammy is left alone to man the station and report on the rescue efforts. While Ben is indisposed, Sammy receives a call from Debbie, whom Sammy is immediately hostile to after Troy was nearly attacked by a shadow demon trying to help her. Debbie reveals that the book she found their number in has writing on everyone in town, and that Emily's name is not in it, surmising that she is not meant to return to King Falls, and begging Sammy to tell Ben to stop. Immediately afterwards, Ben successfully shoots the UFO down, revealing both (assumingly) the real Tim Jensen, along with Emily. She recognizes Troy and that she is the librarian at King Falls Library, but her response to seeing Ben is:
    • It seems that anniversary episodes are prime candidates for Wham Episodes— in Episode 49, Grisham runs an attack ad against Sammy showing his old days as a Shock Jock DJ, Ron Begley is arrested live on air by Gunderson for allegedly vandalizing Grisham's property, and it's revealed that Greg has gaslighted Emily into believing he saved her from the Rainbow Lights, so he could force her into a relationship with him.
    • Episode 68: After Ben and Sammy mock Greg Frickard for trying to propose to Emily live on air, Greg snaps and tells Sammy to "mind his gay-ass business", taunting him for being unable to find his boyfriend Jack. Sammy hangs up and almost wrecks the sound desk, and believing that they're no longer broadcasting, finally tells Ben why he came to King Falls: to search for his boyfriend, who went missing after becoming obsessed with the supernatural occurrences in town.
    • Episode 73: Just when it seems like Sammy could be convinced to stay in King Falls, Sheriff Gunderson shows up at the station. After revealing that he discovered Peas, he shows Ben pictures of what he did to the illegal pet, and then drags Ben out kicking and screaming.
    • Episode 100: First off, Tim Jensen is severely injured fighting Robo-Tim, and it's unclear exactly how bad his injuries are.
      • After Cecil disappeared in the previous episode, Herschel finds him at the Devil's Doorstep, possessed by the shadows and about to open the gate and let the Void through. In his brief moments of clarity, Cecil begs Herschel to kill him, but Herschel is ultimately unable to pull the trigger. Cecil opens the gate and is taken by the Void.
      • Sammy, Ben, Emily, and Lily are about to end the broadcast and get to a safe place when Jack calls them and tries to tempt Sammy into joining him in the Void. It's unclear whether or not it really was Jack, or something possessing him or using his voice.
      • In the after-credits scene, it is revealed that Debbie is no longer in the Void.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: We know that King Falls is somewhere in a "Tri-state area" of the USA, and is a "lonely little mountain town". That's it.
    • The phone number given for the hotline has a 424 area code, which covers Los Angeles, raising even more questions. L.A. isn't exactly the most mountainous place, after all...
    • Gauging accents doesn't help at all either, as most of the townsfolk don't have pronounced accents except for Troy and Mary, who sound like they're right out of Mayberry and Mayor Grisham, who sounds like he's from the heart of New England.
    • Sammy operated out of an unnamed "big city" during his shock-jock years, but exactly which big city is never confirmed, only that it was in California, and Sammy seems to dodge the question whenever it comes up.
    • Episode 45 has Ben mention an Anderson Air Force Base. There's no such base, but there is an Andersen Air Force Base... and it's in Guam.
    • In an early episode, Emily mentions that she flew out to Wyoming, meaning that King Falls most likely isn't in any surrounding states like Idaho or Montana.
    • One episode has Ben and Emily flying to Massachusetts, and Ben mentions the large time difference on the East Coast, implying King Falls is on or close to the West Coast.
    • The King Falls Chronicles Part 3 has mention of King Falls being north of California, meaning it's somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Sammy getting into a fight quickly prompts Ben to talk about Sammy suplexing someone. This may just be a figure of speech on Ben's part, since he also calls out the names of various other pro wrestling maneuvers, and in Episode 49 is noted to have done a dropkick.

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