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Bad Reception

Length: 7 hrs and 27 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (297 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

[Contains explicit content] Get ready for a completely improvised and unscripted Audible Original that invites you to listen in on the funniest phone calls from the world’s weirdest town.

“Welcome to South Grampers! Please enjoy our world-famous movie theater butter, and kindly stay away from the glowing toxic waste.”

Ever been on a terrible conference call where nothing gets solved? 

Stuck on hold trying to cancel your cable service? 

Lonely and needed to talk to a friend? (Even if they’re a cat?) 

Bad Reception is an entirely improvised comedy, set entirely on the phone. A cast of over 40 top comedians and improvisers brings to life (and completely makes up) the story of South Grampers, Northern California - the Movie Theater Butter Capital of the World. 

The town is in dire straits and must launch their own film festival to raise some desperately needed cash. But an unexpected sequence of events ultimately leads to an event known as...The Incident. Only one person can solve the mystery and expose the terrible truth. He just doesn’t know it yet. 

Now featuring a special bonus chapter! Enjoy a live performance and prequel episode of Bad Reception, performed by a full cast of improvisers. Tune in to Chapter 14 for the live show from SF Sketchfest!

Created and directed by Justin Michael and Eric Martin 

Story by Justin Michael and Eric Martin 

Full cast Includes (in alphabetical order): Alex Berg, Alex Fernie, Alexa Loftus, Ally Beardsley, Anthony Gioe, Ben Greene, Betsy Sodaro, Carl Tart, Casey Trela, D’Arcy Carden, Dan Gregor, Dan Lippert, Dhruv Singh, Drew Tarver, Echo Kellum, Ego Nwodim, Eric Martin, Gilli Nissim, Haley Hepworth, Harry Chaskin, Jace Armstrong, Jessica McKenna, Jon Mackey, Julie Brister, Justin Michael, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Kyle Mooney, Lauren Lapkus, Lou Wilson, Madeline Walter, Mano Agapion, Marissa Strickland, Mary Holland, Mary Sasson, Matthew Brian Cohen, Nic Michaels, Nicole Byer, Oscar Montoya, Paul F. Tompkins, Peter Banifaz, Rene Gube, Ronnie Adrian, Ryan Rosenberg, Veronica Osorio, Zac Oyama, Zach Reino 

Editing and sound design by Nic Michaels, Jake Young, Grant Martz, and Emma Erdbrink 

Recorded by Emma Erdbrink, Brendan Lynch-Salamon, and Matt Brousseau 

Logo by Roxy Radulescu and Rustam Hasanov 

Executive producer Morgan Jones 

Presented by Audible Originals and Audible Comedy  

©2018 Audible Originals, LLC (P)2018 Audible Originals, LLC

Critic Reviews

“Yes, the scenes and characters are improvised, but hours of playing is cut down and edited into digestible chapters that are part of a very well-shaped—albeit ridiculous and supernatural and off-the-rails—story. One device that serves the narrative well is the use of telephone calls to introduce characters and reveal important details (much of what listeners hear are voicemails). Even as the story takes shape, the improvised elements keep things absolutely unpredictable. Each of the 13 chapters ends with either a cliffhanger or something so absurd that it’s impossible to stop listening.” (The A.V. Club)

Outrageous phone calls, amazing comedians, totally improvised.

Bad Reception – Chapter 1
  • Bad Reception – Chapter 1
  • By: Paul F. Tompkins, Lauren Lapkus, Justin Michael, Gilli Nissim, Dan Lippert, Jon Mackey, Echo Kellum, Carl Tart, Mary Sasson, Eric Martin
An introduction to a town on the brink of collapse.
Bad Reception – My Stolen Purse!
  • Bad Reception – My Stolen Purse!
  • By: Justin Michael and Mary Sasson
A 911 call regarding a man’s stolen purse.
Bad Reception – Truckers United
  • Bad Reception – Truckers United
  • By: Justin Michael and Ally Beardsley
A CB radio call between two lonesome truckers.
Bad Reception – South Grampers Middle School
  • Bad Reception – South Grampers Middle School
  • By: Echo Kellum and Mano Agapion
A call in to the Vice Principal’s office.

Sample the first chapter of Bad Reception!

  • Bad Reception – Chapter 1
  • An introduction to a town on the brink of collapse.
  • Bad Reception – My Stolen Purse!
  • A 911 call regarding a man’s stolen purse.
  • Bad Reception – Truckers United
  • A CB radio call between two lonesome truckers.
  • Bad Reception – South Grampers Middle School
  • A call in to the Vice Principal’s office.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Truly Astounding

Improv comedy has never been so well done! Over 6 hours of coherent story through short scenes that if no one had told me I would have guessed were carefully scripted. Each and every performer was both amazing and hilarious. I didn’t know what would happen next, but I knew it would be fun!

27 of 28 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

FUNNY podcast-style comedy!!

DON'T BE FOOLED. this isn't an audiobook. It's something EVEN BETTER. I think people expecting a straight up narrative might go in with the wrong expectations, but if you're into all the comedy podcasts out there on Earwolf and like Adult Swim or The Good Place, you're gonna love this crazy show. Seriously it's 6 hours and I'm already done with it and want more!! Part 2??

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nicole
  • East Brunswick, NJ, United States
  • 09-08-18

Keep a second pair of pants nearby

Have no clue how I was lucky enough to find this, but I couldn't be happier. I was already madly in love with half of these comedians and follow their podcasts and various other works. This is basically a wonderful way to hear them all in the same place, telling a ridiculous story, with a ton of great characters and insane plot lines. It keeps the hilarity and intrigue going until the very end. Please do more of these. And bring in an even larger cast...

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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OMG

This was very funny and I rarely listen , read or watch comedy. perfect for a break from my usual serious listening.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love it.

This is by far the funniest book I have listened too. All characters were comical and kept me entertained. Perfect book for roadtrips and to diffuse road rage lol.

23 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Best comedy/improv podcast that exists!

Extremely enjoyable. I'm constantly rewinding to hear parts multiple times because the jokes are so funny and the performances are so good. This structure lends itself to really natural delivery and timing and the editing makes each sketch very snappy and polished while keeping the naturalness in tact. The voice actors/improvisers are incredible. Some really original ideas and conceits. Some of these sketches are instant classics!

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Didn't stop laughing the whole time!

This was so great! Loved getting to know the different personalities of South Grampers better! Love Justin Michael's vibe and the improvised performances from people like Lauren Lapkus, Paul F. Tompkins, Jessica McKenna, and Mary Sasson had me laughing so hard in my car!

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Ridiculous fun

For anyone who is a fan of Superego, Paul F. Tompkins’ Spontaneonation, improv comedy, and any of the top notch cast of this production, you’ll most likely enjoy Bad Reception. The narrative is created by a swag of excellent, delightfully quick comedic performers who knit together a mad, chortlifying, car-crash of a story which leads you by the earlobe all the way to the grizzly end.

I do hope the talented cast are brought back for a new story.

Have a listen and give Bad Reception a good reception! -And then go seek more content from the contributors. Let’s keep them prolific to keep the content coming for us devout devourers.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Love this show!

Really happy I decided to buy this! Consistently very funny, a nice hybrid of a story with a sketch comedy vibe. I was iffy on spending $$$ when there's so much free stuff out there, but they clearly sprung for good production value and it's like every good comedy person in one place. The sound design is really good and the mystery actually kept me hooked more than I thought. If you're into Comedy Bang Bang or Hello From the Magic Tavern or any of the improv podcasts on Earwolf and Stitcher, this should be right up your alley.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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So very good!

This is so funny! Not only does it feature the most impressive cast of comedians I've ever seen assembled in one place, but it's completely and unabashedly bonkers. The conceit of recorded phone calls and witty narration give it just the right amount of structure, while the phone calls themselves have a hilarious sense of spontaneity that can only be achieved through improv. You can tell everyone involved had a ton of fun doing it, which makes it even more fun to listen to!

The characters are larger than life (I especially liked the warring bagel shop owners) and the satire is pitch perfect-- I have no doubt the opening scene will resonate with anyone who's ever been part of an awkward conference call, and it just keeps getting better from there. Bottom line, Bad Reception is not to be missed!

12 of 13 people found this review helpful