Characters: Giant Bomb
Character page for the video game website Giant Bomb.
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Jeff GerstmannThe co-founder of the site alongside Ryan and Giant Bomb's head dude. He reviews games, is a weekly guest on the Giant Bombcast, the site's weekly podcast, and co-hosts the Powerbombcast, the site's professional wrestling podcast, with Alex, Dan, and Giancarlo Varanini.
- Author Appeal: Cyberpunk, 90's Gangster Rap, things that are So Bad, It's Good, and dubstep.
- Born Unlucky: It has long being theorized that there are cosmic forces in play that refuse to allow him to have any kind of luck in Mario Party, as the little he does get is immediately recalled.
- Catch Phrase: "I'm the best [insert game]note player in the world."
- Chewing the Scenery
- Dirty Old Man: Jeff often plays this up for comedy.
- Knight in Sour Armor
- Nerves of Steel
- The Leader
- The Lancer: Played this role to Ryan Davis. Plays it for Brad solely on the Bombcast.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: His spot on Brad imitation.
- Picky Eater: Admits that he "eats like a child", although he's admitted to getting better about this recently (and even at his worst, was likely never as bad as Dan Ryckert).
- Rebellious Spirit
- Self-Deprecation: Jeff frequently mocks himself and the website."This is the worst fucking website in the world. They funded this and this is what we're doing with it!"
Vinny: "How's their video player?"Jeff: "Probably better than ours."
- During a Bombcast ad for Squarespace:
- The Southpaw
- Trash of the Titans: While not as bad as most, Jeff definitely has a lot of stuff piled up, enough to make a fake Hoarder's episode.
Brad ShoemakerA reviewer who joined the site in June 2008. He is the current host of the Giant Bombcast.
- Author Appeal: Emotional games, deeper meanings. And StarCraft. And Dota2.
- Badass Baritone
- Catchphrase: "Emails!", "Oh no!", "Come here, you!", "I'm out!"
- Friendly Rivalry: With Dan Ryckert. The friendliness is up for debate, though, especially during the Mario Party videos.
- The Lancer: Outside of the Bombcast, he's this to Jeff.
- Performance Anxiety: Brad seems to have the most trouble out of everyone when it comes to public panels in front of large crowds. He's usually the most nervous/quiet host during these events.
- Singing Voice Dissonance: Oh yeah.
- Took a Level in Badass: After unlocking the infamously difficult Mile High Club achievement in Call of Duty 4.
- Undying Loyalty: Has this to Giant Bomb, according to others on the site.
- Up Through the Ranks: Now hosts the podcast.
Alex NavarroA reviewer who worked for a movie site called Screened and also contributed to Giant Bomb part-time. After Giant Bomb's acquisition by CBS Interactive, he joined the site as a full-time employee. As of 2012, he lives in New York City and serves as one half of "Giant Bomb East", working with Vinny separate from the site's main office in California. He reviews many games, writes his own column on the site called The Guns of Navarro, and also writes some news. Alex was an infrequent guest on the Giant Bombcast before moving, and currently is a regular on the Giant Beastcast, as well as co-hosting the Powerbombcast with Jeff, Dan, and Giancarlo Varanini, and Box Office Bomb, the site's movie podcast, with Rorie.
- Deadpan Snarker
- In-Series Nickname: When deciding on a name for Patrick and Alex's two-man video feature, Jeff insisted on ending every suggestion with "with Scoops and the Wolf". Alex does not fully understand why he is "The Wolf".
- Straight Man: Is this to Vinny in many Giant Bomb East videos.
- Took a Level in Cheerfulness: Very apparent when looking at his GameSpot days, especially after taking on a more prominent role at Giant Bomb after Vinny moved to New York.
Dan RyckertFormerly of Game Informer, Dan joined Giant Bomb as a Senior Editor in mid 2014. He is a weekly guest on the Giant Bombcast, and currently co-hosts the Powerbombcast with Jeff, Alex, and Giancarlo Varanini, and Danswers, a life advice podcast, with Danny O'Dwyer.
- Author Appeal: Like Jeff and Alex, is a huge professional wrestling fan to the extent that the latter two have toned down their interest in it. Also, based on the games he picks for Unprofessional Fridays, gets a lot of enjoyment out of games with floppy, Ragdoll Physics enabled characters.
- Captain Patriotic
- Dreadful Musician
- Eagleland: 80's style!
- Friendly Rivalry:
- With Brad Shoemaker. The friendliness is up for debate, though, especially during the Mario Party videos.
- Even more pronounced with Patrick Klepek, since Dan has taken to creating fiendishly difficult Super Mario Maker levels for Patrick to beat, culminating in a grueling 72-hour challenge known as The Ryckoning. While the two men were quite friendly, and Dan quite gracious, when Patrick Skyped Dan to accept Dan's defeat, mere minutes before Patrick had been cursing Dan's name and Dan had been lobbing grade-school-level insults at Patrick over Periscope. A rematch is scheduled, rules to be determined.
- Genki Guy: He's a very upbeat and energetic fellow.
- Heel: Very much intentionally, being a wrestling fan. Nowhere is it better seen than in his Mario Maker rivalry with former Bomber Patrick Klepek, in which Dan will create a fiendishly difficult Super Mario Maker level (sometimes with input from the audience), and Patrick will meticulously work his way through it during his Mario Maker Mornings livestream. It came to a head during The Ryckoning, in which Dan challenged Patrick to complete the eponymous level in 72 hours with no outside help, and then proceeded to break the spirit of the challenge himself by accepting outside help in the creation of the level. Patrick still defeated him with nearly a day to spare, but not without taking a noticeable toll in exhaustion and mental stress. Dan kept up his Heel persona (if it is a persona) by livestreaming his reactions to Dan's attempts to beat the level, cackling maniacally at particularly satisfying deaths and lobbing grade-school-level taunts at Patrick.
- He later took this to the next level by getting his Heel wrestling manager persona featured in APW. Behold "Dirty" Dan Ryckert, Bay Area investor extraordinaire.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Displayed this, over and over, during the Avalon stream.
- Man Child
- Nobody Calls Me Chicken
- Odd Friendship: Despite his pre-Giant Bomb friendship with Jeff, Dan's most frequent partner for Giant Bomb content has rapidly become Drew. So far, they have partnered for Metal Gear Scanlon (Drew plays the Metal Gear Solid games while Dan watches), Demo Derby (Drew and Dan play through old demo discs), and Films and 40s (a RiffTrax-like podcast where Drew and Dan watch a movie together).
- Selective Obliviousness
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: With Jose Canseco.
- The Slacker: He is apparently quite proud of the fact that he managed to complete a full college degree with very little effort thanks to strategic picking of courses and negotiating with professors for alternate projects. The results are quite apparent since he has never seen neither The Godfather nor Citizen Kane despite having majored in Film Studies; claimed all his knowledge about The Renaissance came from Assassin's Creed II despite having a minor in History and he had no idea who Jane Austen was before discussing Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell on the Bombcast despite writing for a living.
- His first post-college job was in the Garmin Tech Support helpline... in which he claims he would nearly always transfer the calls to someone else (especially the Software Department, which is supposed to actual technical software issues, not "old people not knowing how GPS works") while he spent the day writing game reviews on his computer.
- The Ditz: After only a few weeks on the Giant Bomb staff, several comments made by Dan (including not knowing about Africa's involvement in World War II despite having a history minor, having to have the concept of a car's title explained to him at the DMV, and believing that "egg whites" were actually the egg shells and attempting to cook them) have firmly established him as this.
- The Pollyanna: Although he's struggled with anxiety and panic attacks in the past, he's still an optimistic and jovial guy.
- Troll: One of his first appearances on Giant Bomb, before being hired, was detailing an elaborate prank he set up on a dating site.
- He also admitted that during his college days he would drop stink bombs to clear queues for drinks in crowded bars.
Austin WalkerFormerly a freelance games writer who has done articles for Paste, the New Statesman, and his own blog at clockworkworlds.com, Austin Walker was announced as the new News Editor at the end of the 5/29 Giant Beastcast. In addition to writing news articles for the site, he is a regular on the Giant Beastcast and appears on the Powerbombcast.
- Ascended Fanboy: Was a big fan of the site before being hired on.
- Author Appeal: Has mentioned that he will automatically be more interested in a game if it involves giant robots of some kind. Also joins the stable of Giant Bomb wrestling fans, to the point of being added to the Powerbombcast, and is one of the few members of the site with a legitimate desire to be the Anime Editor.
- The Smart Guy: Is a PhD candidate in Media Studies from the University of Western Ontario.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: He appears to have the same social justice sensibilities as Patrick.
Vincent "Vinny" CaravellaThe lead video producer who is as prominent a personality as the editors. Vinny wrote a few reviews in the early days, but producing and managing video seems to eat up most of his time now. Moved back to his home state of New York in mid-2014 to join Alex in establishing a Giant Bomb office on the east coast. He was a weekly guest on the Giant Bombcast until his relocation, and currently hosts the Giant Beastcast.
- Author Appeal: Games with a heavy focus on story. Will read companion novels (no matter how bad) and complete any sidequest promising to reveal even the tiniest amount of background information or lore. He also likes (more compelled) to complete collectables if a game has them.
- Constantly Curious
- The Big Guy
- Happily Married: As well as a father to two kids.
- Mean Video Game Player, Nice Video Producer: In most cases, he comes across as a genuinely nice and happy guy. But get him in front of a game with a lot of Video Game Cruelty Potential (especially Sleeping Dogs), and watch him turn into a total sociopath.
- N-Word Privileges: Vinny has a Berserk Button for Italian-American stereotypes but that doesn't mean he doesn't get to occasionally indulge in them.
- Signature Style: A Vinny edited video or podcast will always have the extra effort of background music where others don't and he has a strong preference for jazz.
- Younger Than They Look: He's the same age as Brad but he used to look older than the rest of Giantbomb due to his shaved hair. Recently though time seems to have caught up to the crew and at this point Vinny might look like the youngest besides Drew.
Drew ScanlonAnother video producer who shows up often in video features and live shows. Drew is a weekly guest on the Giant Bombcast as of 2013, and co-hosts Alt+F1, a podcast about Formula-1 racing, with Danny O'Dwyer.
- Ascended Extra: Unlike much of the Giant Bomb staff, he was not a former GameSpot editor but was originally hired as an intern. After being hired full time, he occasionally made guest appearances in Quick Looks and on the Bombcast when there was an empty seat. In the summer of 2013 he became a permanent member of the Bombcast and was included in the Game of the Year deliberations for the first time later that year.
- Author Appeal: Extremely realistic and realistically complicated military/vehicle simulators. He's a bit of a military/outdoors nut in general. Also loves world travelling, which is probably half the reason he's the one who tends to go on the crew's crazy adventures (like to Iceland for Eve Online's Fanfest)
- Celebrity Resemblance: Commonly compared with Michael C. Hall.
- With his beard and longish hair, he has recently been compared with Troy Baker.
- Even the Guys Want Him
- Formerly Fat: Once mentioned that he was "kind of a fat kid" in high school.
- Morality Pet: If the 2014 GOTY deliberations were anything to go by, Drew's this for Alex Navarro. Navarro repeatedly pointed out how his decisions were influenced by if a game negatively affected Drew.
- Odd Friendship: With Dan Ryckert. As listed in Dan's character section, they have done a lot of videos together.
- The Quiet One
- The Stoic: The most calm and emotionally reserved of the duders. Seeing him truly angry is extremely uncommon, and he has rarely, if ever, cursed on camera. However...
- Not So Stoic: He has his moments, such as in Metal Gear Scanlon and the Mario Party videos, especially Mario Party 3. And then there was the Ghostship Aftermath Quick Look...
- Those Two Guys: Hosts Alt+F1, an F1 podcast, with Danny O'Dwyer.
- Up Through the Ranks
Jason OestreicherFormerly of Game Informer, Jason joined as the site's new video guy alongside Dan in July 2014. He is an infrequent guest on the Giant Bombcast (usually subbing in for Drew).
- Author Appeal: Likes Street Fighter and other fighting games. If he's guesting on the Bombcast, chances are there's some news relating to fighting games to discuss.
- Happily Married
- Older Than They Look
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Dan:Jason: Dan is an idiotic manchild. Annoying as shit. And I love him as much as I hate him.
Matt RorieA site engineer and community manager, usually the one who monitors the chat during livestreams. Co-hosts Box Office Bomb with Alex.
BrettThe man in charge of gathering advertisements for the Bombcast and reading them during the podcast. Voiced by Jeff Gerstmann.
- Appropriated Appelation: His name came from a Bombcast email where the sender repeatedly misnamed Jeff as "Brett" while simultaneously expressing his enjoyment of the "latter's" repeated rants about Final Fantasy X-2, which Jeff immediately took in stride:"Brett": [Deadpan] All right, Brett here: just wanted to let you know...
Small Business ManA recurring character in the Bombcast ads, often told how the advertised product in question can help his small business. Voiced by Vinny Caravella.
- Phrase Catcher: "Hey Small Business Man!"
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: On the current Bombcast ads Brad plays a character that fills a similar role to the Small Business Man but has yet to be called by the title while Vinny has reprised the role when on the Bombcast.
Dr. Tracksuit"The Prescriber of Pain" with a dubious doctorate, Dr. Tracksuit tends to only emerge from hiding during PAX wrestling events. The only one who can control him is his "manager" Jeff Gerstmann, to whom he bears a slight but entirely coincidental resemblance.
Ryan DavisThe other co-founder of the site alongside Jeff. He was the former host of the Giant Bombcast, as well as live shows. In addition, he reviewed games infrequently. Ryan passed away on July 3, 2013, at the age of 34.
- Ac CENT Uponthe Wrong Syl LA Ble: Liked to mispronounce words, but also liked to get overly angry at Will Smith for mispronouncing words...
- Big Fun
- Catchphrase: "Hey everybody, it's Tuesday [[insert date]] and you're listening to the Giant Bombcast!"
- Happily Married: Unfortunately, Ryan passed only a few days after the ceremony.
- In-Series Nickname: 'Taswell', which he used for his online aliases and in games. It was his great-grandfather's middle name that was also meant to be his, though Ryan's father mistakenly believed it to be 'Thomas', which Ryan's middle name ended up being.
- Lame Pun Reaction: The sound of a fist pounding the table, then "God-DAMNIT!"
- The Lancer
Dave SniderThe former lead site engineer who often appeared in video features and left the site in 2013 to spend time with his family. Dave was an infrequent guest on the Giant Bombcast and wrote a few reviews. He still makes an occasional appearance on the Bombcast and Premium videos.
- Author Appeal: PC gaming and old-school RPGs. Games made in Russia.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: Dude loves dragons.
- Happily Married
Ian KellyBehind-the-scenes tech guy who was sometimes heard in the background, and almost never seen. The guy that the Bomb Crew were talking to when they say "Can we get a little more game audio/big knob out here, Ian?"
Alexis GallisáAnother site engineer who sometimes appeared in video features. Alexis left the site in October 2014 for a position at Twitch, though he occasionally pops in from time to time, most notably to co-host part of the crew's annual Extra Life streams alongside Drew.
Patrick KlepekThe main news editor who joined in April 2011. Patrick wrote many news and opinion columns for the site and also reviewed games. After several years in the main office, he moved back to his hometown of Chicago in the summer of 2013. He was a weekly guest on the Giant Bombcast during his time in California, and co-hosted Bombin' the AM with Scoops and the Wolf with Alex. After some foreshadowing with the announcement of a News Editor position opening up at GBeast earlier in the year, Patrick left the site in December 2014, becoming a senior reporter for Kotaku, though he still occasionally pops up at convention panels and in a few videos.
- Author Appeal: Has a strong personal interest in horror media and indie games. When it comes to writing, he enjoys examining the representation of women in games and considers himself a feminist.
- Iconic Outfit: The hot dog suit he wore in the Happy Action Theater Quick Look has become this.
- Friendly Rivalry: With Dan Ryckert, ever since Dan has taken to creating fiendishly difficult Super Mario Maker levels for Patrick to beat, culminating in a grueling 72-hour challenge known as The Ryckoning. While the two men were quite friendly, and Dan quite gracious, when Patrick Skyped Dan to accept Dan's defeat, mere minutes before Patrick had been cursing Dan's name and Dan had been lobbing grade-school-level insults at Patrick over Periscope. A rematch is scheduled, rules to be determined.
- Funny Afro
- Growing the Beard: In multiple ways.
- Happily Married
- In-Series Nickname: Trick, Tricky, Scoops
- Intrepid Reporter: By the time he was hired at Giant Bomb, Patrick had already gained quite a name for himself, having the first report of the dismissal of Infinity Ward senior employees Jason West and Vince Zampella.
- Theme Naming: In games with customizable character names, Patrick always names his characters after those from Stephen King's The Dark Tower series.
Friends of the Site
Jeff BakalarCNET Senior Gaming Editor and semi-regular guest on the Giant Beastcast.
- Fake Guest Star: Despite Vinny and Alex claiming that there would be "rotating guests" for the Beastcast with Jeff as a fallback option, Jeff was always the guest up until Episode 11. And during Episode 12, Jeff was there alongside the special guest (Samantha Kalman).
- It's gotten to the point that he has to regularly remind people, online and off, that he doesn't actually work for Giant Bomb.
- Running Gag: Vinny coming up with incredibly bad puns for Jeff's last name.
Ed BoonCo-creator of the Mortal Kombat series, and the Creative Director of Netherrealm Studios, formerly of Midway Games.
Adam BoyesVP of Publisher & Developer Relations at PlayStation, formerly of Midway Games
Norman ChanOf Tested.com, previously part of Whiskey Media.
- Those Two Guys: With Will Smith.
John DrakeDirector of Portfolio Strategy at PlayStation, formerly of Harmonix.
- Shameless Self-Promoter
- Enraged by Idiocy: Has taken to viewing Dan as an ill omen for Giant Bomb
- Trademark Favorite Food: Diet Coke.
Cara EllisonFreelance writer.
- Walking the Earth: Spent 2013-14 traveling the world doing embedded reports on various game developers.
Rich GallupProducer at Disruptor Beam. Used to work at GameSpot with the guys.
Jeff GreenA consultant for Hit Detection. Former editor-in-chief of Computer Gaming World.
- Fan Nickname: At some point while working at CGW he picked up the nickname "Dad" for reasons below. Internet osmosis has made it widely used.
- Team Dad: He's garnered this image as one of the few prominent middle aged people in the video game journalism field.
Samantha KalmanGame developer.
Greg KasavinCreative Director of Supergiant Games. Formerly a game journalist at GameSpot with the guys.
Matt KesslerAccount relations rep at Sony and a former Giant Bomb intern.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: When John Drake paid a visit to the Bombcast after being hired by Sony, one of the first topics brought up were the insane things said by Kessler that Drake had overheard, now that the two of them were coworkers.
Mary KishVideo producer for GameSpot.
- Distaff Counterpart: Has frequently been compared to Vinny.
- I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine
Dave LangCEO of Iron Galaxy Studios, formerly of Midway Games. History’s greatest monster.
Brad MuirDesigner at Valve Software, formerly of Double Fine, lead designer of Iron Brigade.
Danny O’DwyerA host and producer at GameSpot.
- Ascended Fanboy
- Cluster F-Bomb: He's not afraid to swear in the slightest.
- Those Two Guys: Does Alt+F1, an F1 podcast, with Drew Scanlon. He and Dan Ryckert also host Danswers, a podcast where both Dans answer questions pertaining to real life problems.
Eric PopePart of the Community team at Harmonix. Used to occasionally contribute content to Screened during Alex and Rorie's tenure.
Paul RyckertDan's dad, who has appeared in several features when he or Dan visit each other.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Possibly more so than Dan.
- Like Father, Like Son: He and Dan are very alike.
- The Nicknamer: According to Dan, once he gives you a nickname he will not let it go (for example, he nearly always refers to Jason as "Island Boy").
- Where Did We Go Wrong?: Paul frequently seems mystified about how his son manages to play video games for a living.
Will SmithOf Tested.com, previously part of Whiskey Media.
- Memetic Mutation: Not one, but two pictures of him have reached meme status: the "happy" face image and his reaction to◊ the Oculus Rift.
- Name's the Same
- Those Two Guys: With Norman Chan.
Giancarlo VaraniniFormerly of GameSpot. Co-hosts the Powerbombcast with Jeff, Alex and Dan.
John VignocchiVice President of Production for Disney Interactive Studios (primarily of Disney Infinity), formerly of Midway Games.
- Open Mouth, Insert Foot: Johnny V. is a very nice guy with a terrible habit of saying things around the Giant Bomb crew that embarrass him or get him in trouble.
- Perhaps the worst one being the time he accidentally tweeted out Dave Lang's phone number during an E3 2015 livestream.
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