By Owen Mortner
Taking ours seats, the auditorium lights dimmed, and Dublin senior Dieter Brehm took his place at the microphone stand. What followed was an enjoyable and quick-witted podcast-style episode in which Dieter portrayed various characters, delivered whimsical news announcements, and injected us all with his signature brand of humor. Dieter says that he started listening to the hit podcast Welcome to Nightvale during his freshman year. The podcast, ranked number one nationally, has been described as "the news from Lake Wobegon as seen through the eyes of Stephen King.” Each 25-minute episode features news stories, interviews, and vignettes of life in the fictional town of Night Vale.
Dieter says he was inspired by early BBC radio dramas as well as the storytelling aspect of Welcome to Nightvale to create a parody in which he used Dublin School Morning Meeting announcements as well as signature faculty one-liners such as Mr. McFall’s periodic outbursts of “sick snacks!” to inform his performance. Dieter said that despite the unique format of his presentation, he hoped the experience was thoroughly enjoyable and inspired others to seek out Welcome to Night Vale and podcasts like it. Dieter described his writing process as expanding and riffing on the existing structure of Welcome to Night Vale and adding a bit of truth and courage in the form of inside jokes and common morning announcements.
Overall, we were transfixed as Dieter cast his spell over us. With ambient music, whimsical humor, and brilliantly-crafted punch-lines, Dieter’s senior presentation is not one that will soon be forgotten.