Statistics show there are roughly ten zillion podcasts out there – including The Daily Review, of course – and roughly a zillion more popping up every day. And on a regular basis – maybe as often as once a week – we’ll be talking about some of the podcasts you probably haven’t heard about over and over. Really good ones that you might actually enjoy, both fiction and non-fiction… like Random Number Generator Horror Podcast Number 9.
Now, everybody knows about Welcome to Night Vale. What started as a strange little fiction podcast a few years back has grown into an international business all its own, with best-selling books and after-snows and merch and live performances that travel internationally, and in all that time and expansion it has never lost its edge.
BUT … two of the creative cornerstones of Night Vale, writer Jeffrey Craynor and the indispensible writer and performer Cecil Baldwin, the voice of Night Vale itself, have a little side-hustle going. Every week they literally throw dice to generate a random number that corresponds with a series of criteria to pick a horror movie – damn near any horror movie, from the earliest to last week’s – which they then watch and talk about. And the thing is, one of them is a long-time lover of horror, while the other is a relative newcomer. You can click on the player below to hear Jeffrey’s introduction:
What the clip doesn’t convey is how unique and quirky and charming their commentaries are. As much as I love a few of the recap shows, like The Flop House or How Did This Get Made or The Horror Virgin – all of which we’ll talk about at some point or another – Random Number Generator remains unique. These are smart and accomplished creators, with a wide background in film and storytelling, and when they’re not horror or even pop-cult fanboys to the degree that many of the other recap show folk are – even the good ones. And Jeffrey or Cecil opens each episode with the oddest, out-of-left-field recollection or tease that it’s worth it just for that. Always fascinating, even when they’re focusing on familiar films like Night of the Living Dead or Pet Sematary or super old classics like M or Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from 1931 or even newer unknowns or overlooked ones like Dust Devil or Blood Quantum (and oh, make a note, we have to talk about Blood Quantum one of these days).
Maybe that’s why I like this so much: it’s not what you’d expect, and there’s always something surprising and even enlightening in their conversations. No interviews, no shout-outs, very rarely a rant. Just Jeffrey and Cecil, havin’ at it. Like all the best podcasts, it’s like sitting back and cracking a beer with the most interesting people in your favorite neighborhood bar..
Anyway: that’s it for this Friday. Listen to more podcasts! Tell me about the ones you like that aren’t Joe Rogan or My Favorite Murder. And especially, listen to Random Number Generator Horrot Podcast Number 9, the most forgettable title ever for a damn good program.