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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.

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
  • 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!
  • By: Justin Michael and Mary Sasson
A 911 call regarding a man’s stolen purse.
  • Bad Reception – Truckers United
  • By: Justin Michael and Ally Beardsley
A CB radio call between two lonesome truckers.
  • 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

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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!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

5 of 5 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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • RG
  • 08-27-18

Rollicking With Fun

This truly was like comfort food to feel good. This audible book was hilarious!!! Every chapter was a riot. Definitely my type of humor. At times, bizarre and crazy. The way I like it!

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing comedy

Great improvisation and narrative. Fantastic comedy material. Audiobooks are an incredible media to consume comedy. I highly recommend to Audible to continue to produce this content and for us to enjoy it. Shout out to the Audio cast for the laughter!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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!

5 of 6 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!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Bizarre and Brilliant

This is pretty sound proof that American comedy is capable of reaching Monty Python-level heights far as consistently funny, off-the-wall nonsense. The cast is amazing, and I loved that I couldn't always place who was who far as matching performers with their characters. Everything's fast and furious in the best way, and I can't recommend it enough.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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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...

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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The First of Its Kind

Michael and Martin's Bad Reception is crafted in this Curb Your Enthusiasm meets Audible kind of way that makes it the first of its kind. With acting and comedy that is witty and smart (and with more than a hint of zany), Bad Reception goes by so fast and left me wanting more. Supported by an amazing array of comedians, Michael and Martin weave a story that is unexpected, yet comes together seamlessly. I highly recommend this Audible Original to anyone who happens to read my review, as this is the kind of comedy that is fresh and needed right now. I don't want to give much away, so check it out!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful