Our smooth-talking, (usually) unflappable radio announcer. A Night Vale local, Cecil has a voice like butter and remains calm in the face of many of the town's dangerous peculiarities—but is reduced to fanboyish glee over boyfriend Carlos' perfect hair and internet cat videos.
Action Survivor: Episode 33 shows that Cecil was an intern at the radio station. Given their mortality rate and that he is still alive today, he definitely has a place in this trope.
Adorkable: Cecil gets charmingly dorky off-script, particularly when gushing about Carlos and cute animals. It's hard not to "d'aww" at his utter despair at not managing to be suave when talking to his crush, as well as his gleeful adoration of both Khoshekh and Internet cat videos.
Fifteen-year-old Cecil is adorkable as well, with his slight lisp, breaking voice, and undying enthusiasm for radio.
Ambiguously Human: There's enough evidence to cast reasonable doubt over his status as a human being. He's at least normal enough to be treated as normal by the inhabitants of Night Vale, but they also treat the almost-definitely-not-human City Council and Hiram McDaniels (who is literally a 3,600 pound, 18-foot-tall, five-headed dragon) as normal, so that isn't exactly a ringing endorsement.
Badass on Paper: Played with-for all intents and purposes, he's just a radio show host. But when you consider what the staff at the station have to go through each day, and that Cecil must have worked his way up...
Racism. This is the reason he hates the Apache Tracker so much. He also expresses disapproval toward Pamela Winchell for claiming that Hiram McDaniels can't be mayor because he's a dragon.
Desert Bluffs, and everything about them. Probably justified, though, since Desert Bluffs and Night Vale are rivals.
Steve Carlsberg, the reasons for which were finally explained in "Cookies". Steve's the stepfather of Cecil's niece, and doing a rubbish job at it.
The eventual explanation allows "neglectful step-fathers" to be added to this list.
Anything bad happening to Carlos. This one would be considered understandable if it weren't for the fact that Cecil considers Carlos getting a haircut to be an unforgivable crime.
Anyone or anything that hurts Khoshekh.
Camp Gay: Quite downplayed. He's certainly not flamboyant, but he tends to slip into Valley Girl speech patterns, loves cute things, is a self-described "aficionado of the theatre", and he's often very descriptive about fashion and people's outfits. One of the first things he mentions when describing his first date with Carlos is the lab coat which Carlos wore and the tunic and furry pants which he himself wore.
"Apparently here they pointed to Night Vale Weekly Gazette writer Lauren James, who usually wears very nice shirts. It's really her bangs that don't work, I think. I mean I like bangs, but they just frame her face too dramatically, especially with those thick-rimmed glasses."
Combat Pragmatist: Cecil can do a surprising amount of damage with an ordinary cell phone. Like pirating the station's signal for an unauthorized broadcast, or smacking John Peters (...you know, the imposter) completely unconscious.
Cool Uncle: "Cookies" reveals he has a niece named Janice, who he cares for very much. Enough to buy a shitload of Girl Scout cookies in order to help her out, and to heap unending ire upon her neglectful step-father, Steve Carlsberg, for letting everyone down. Again.
Creepy Good: Cecil seems genially disposed towards most people, but is capable of genuine creepiness—though it seems to be part and parcel of the creepy atmosphere of Night Vale itself.
Cuteness Overload: Cecil has a soft spot for all things adorable, and sort of breaks down in Squee for a while. This gets used against him.
Disproportionate Retribution: When Telly the Barber cuts off Carlos's beloved (by Cecil) hair, Cecil reads out detailed information about Telly's physical attributes and location, apparently hoping a lynch mob would form over the hot new guy's hair being cut.
Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Interesting inversion. In universe everyone refers to the character as Cecil, but at the end of every episode Cecil Baldwin (the actor) is only credited as "The Voice of Night Vale".
First-Person Smartass: Though a very genial person overall, Cecil will occasionally come out with slightly catty or over-honest commentary on residents' appearance, behavior, personality, or intelligence. Despite his rose-coloured glasses, he has even gone so far as to be critical of Carlos on several occasions too.
"Carlos did want me to ask if anyone has ever actually seen the Night Vale clock tower. I told him that it was invisible, and always teleporting, and that's why he can't ever see it. I mean, that seems sort of obvious. Okay. That was unfair. Carlos is a very smart man, and I shouldn't roll my eyes just because he doesn't comprehend basic architecture." — Episode 16, "The Phone Call"
Gadgeteer Genius: In episode 36 Cecil manages to successfully broadcast part of his show by pirating the station's signal from the roof. He wires his phone into the soundboard and hacks the station's auxiliary power to run the transmitter after Strexcorp shuts down his usual recording studio to take him off the air. He learned how to do this as a Boy Scout.
He's Back: Suddenly returns in truly badass fashion halfway through episode 48, followed by one of the most kickass weathers.
Intrepid Reporter: Seems to consider himself this to some degree, although Intrepid Gossip might be more accurate.
"Look. I've probably said too much. I can see down the hall that an envelope just came flying out. I pray it's not another HR re-training session in the dark box. Uuuuugh... but what can I say? I'm a reporter at heart! I can't not report." — Episode 3, "Station Management"
Kent Brockman News: Cecil is devoted to the cause of giving out community updates and warnings. He also gushes about Carlos, berates Steve Carlsberg, and shares details about the station cat's adorable kittens in between stories.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: "Cassette" reveals that Cecil's memories are highly unreliable, perhaps even deliberately altered. Cecil did not take the revelation well, and his decision to destroy the tape suggests that he's still in denial.
Mysterious Past: Even after "Cassette", we still know very little about Cecil's life before he became an intern at the station, what happened with the mirrors, or what became of his mother and brother.
OOC Is Serious Business: He's usually quite unflappable. Which makes genuine fear in his voice pretty damn disturbing.
Oddball Doppelganger/Evil Twin: To/with Kevin from Desert Bluffs. Although there are notable differences between the two, unlike the other doubles, which are so similar that Cecil literally cannot tell apart from their originals. Cecil's voice, for one, is very different from Kevin's, as are his political leanings, general demeanor, and opinions towards the counterparts of recurring characters such as Steve Carlsberg.
Mouth of Sauron: To the Sheriff and his secret police, the council of elders and Mayor Winchell whose voices are never heard but every declarations Cecil reports faithfully and cheerfully.
The Narrator: Almost all of the stories occur in third-person-limited narration via Cecil's newscast, although he's Lemony enough to occasionally break into second-person audience address or first-person editorial. Cecil is usually reporting things that happened elsewhere or only a bystander to a story with a Non P.O.V. Protagonist, but on rare occasions he is the protagonist of the storyline.
The Non Descript: Night Vale writers Joseph Fink and Jeffery Cranor have both confirmed that Cecil's appearance will remain ambiguous. The best description we have of Cecil comes via Kevin narrating a photograph. He describes Cecil as being a man, not fat and not thin, not tall and not short, with eyes like Kevin's, a nose like Kevin's, and hair like Kevin's. He also wears a tie, and has a hard to describe smile. (Keep in mind, though, that Kevin sees faces a little differently than most people do. Also, unlike Kevin, Cecil actually has eyes.) Occasionally Cecil will offhandedly describe other parts of himself, such as his shoes or hands, but mostly just in the process of describing what he's doing. One episode also mentions him wearing his best tunic and furry pants as a date outfit.
The Philosopher: Fond of lacing his monologues with poetic language and endearingly loopy metaphors, not to mention frequent bouts of existentialism. Verges on Fauxlosophic Narration at times, but Cecil's brand of bizarre insightfulness usually prevails.
Purple Prose: Cecil is quite fond of this verbal style when describing people, places and events.
Straight Gay: Cecil has only ever mentioned male love interests in the show and Night Vale writers Joseph Fink and Jeffery Cranor, as well as Cecil Baldwin, have all confirmed Cecil's sexuality as gay. While Cecil can get a little Valley Girl when off-script (particularly when gushing about Carlos), he is otherwise very attached to his idea of professionalism and doesn't go for camp.
Obviously, there is his intense and long-standing love for Carlos. This is especially notable under the Straight Gay trope because from the get-go Cecil speaks about his same-sex crush without any reservation or sense of it being abnormal or unexpected. To all appearances the rest of Night Vale reacts to his relationship the same way, most notably Old Woman Josie, with whom Cecil happily chats about his "new boyfriend".
At some point Cecil may have had a romantic relationship with Scoutmaster Earl Harlan (his childhood best friend). Earl was certainly still carrying a flame for Cecil, grabbing his arm during an interview at the station and sadly telling him that they "could have had something" and to always remember it, before he is dragged away by strange mute children. It's unclear whether Cecil reciprocated this affection, but he does say that he often thinks about his last moments with Earl and what was said.
Also from Europe, he waxes poetic about "the beautiful face of that young man from Luftnarp with his gaping mouth and ashy skin, last seen already half turned away as you boarded the bus, already turning towards a future without you in it, where this thing between you that seemed so possible now already and forever never was."
Servile Snarker: His station may be run by authoritarian and incredibly suppressive bosses, but that doesn't mean he has to like it.
Played straight insofar as Cecil is so obsessed with Carlos that he shouts his crush to the entire town on a regular basis, gets disturbingly overprotective of Carlos' hair, and prior to Episode 25 misreads every meeting as a potential date.
However, the series also averts some of the worst implications of the trope because Cecil does respect Carlos' right not to reciprocate his affection (noting, in Episode 16, that "sometimes people just don't call, and that's okay"), and Carlos is in fact the one who initiates each new step in their relationship: it's Carlos who asks Cecil out, Carlos who kisses Cecil at the end of their first date, and Carlos who suggests they move in together.
Tomato in the Mirror: In episode "Cassette", the cognitive dissonance that Cecil displays when attempting to reconcile his clearly altered memories with the past he heard in the cassette recordings, coupled with the revelation that the mirrors in the radio station bathroom are always covered, hint at this.
Tranquil Fury: Cecil does not shout or get loud when he's angry, to disconcerting effect.
Trouble Entendre: Uses a lot of these when talking about his delightful new bosses from Strexcorp, most memorably:
"So, our new owners have had to learn to live with those doors, bleeding on their way out. Good practice for them. (Pause.) Anyway."
Unfazed Everyman: He doesn't seem to find much, if any, of the madness happening in town to be at all weird.
Unreliable Narrator: He has eccentric news judgment even at the best of times, lets his biases override his professional detachment, gets much of his narration written for him by businesses and by his higher-ups, and falls victim to the occasional mind-control entity. His memories aren't reliable either; that probably doesn't help matters any.
The Voice: Well, he's a radio host, so not surprisingly he has a deep, smooth, dynamic voice with precise and proper diction.
Vocal Evolution: Initially Cecil is fairly deadpan, but over the course of the series becomes a little less formal and more obviously emotional. Cecil in "Pilot" is a much less rounded and developed character than Cecil in "Whispering Forest". This is even more obvious when you compare the opening lines from the pilot to their Ironic Echo from "One Year Later". The words are nearly identical but the reading is much warmer and more dynamic in the later episode.
Voiced by Jeffrey Cranor (episode 16 only), Dylan Marron (all other appearances)
Carlos is the newest addition to Night Vale's populace. He came to town to study its particular brand of weird science, and spends much of his time being baffled by little things like how time doesn't run right here. Or how all the clocks contain only grey matter. Or how the local radio host waxes lyrical about his hair...
Adorkable: When he calls to ask Cecil out, the first thing he says is "I am calling for personal reasons." He's also described as stammering when trying to describe the tremor activity he's recorded under the city to the radio show.
In episode 38, he ended a text to Cecil with "XOXO" and then followed that up with an elaborate emoji involving velociraptors and fruit-shaped topiary bushes.
Anti-Magic / No Sell : Carlos is immune to the otherwise citywide torpor in episode 35, "Lazy Day", and to the buzzing shadow-energy in episode 27, "First Date". It's unclear why—particularly since Cecil, who normally is susceptible to citywide effects (he's affected by, among others, the creeping fear in episode 3, "Station Management", and the Glow Cloud's mind control in episode 2, "The Glow Cloud"), is unaffected by the shadow-energy when he's with Carlos in "First Date".
Badass Gay: Cecil remarks several times on Carlos' bravery, and for good reason. He's one of the only people in town with any real sense of how dangerous and unusual his surroundings are, yet he still continues to throw himself in harm's way For Science! and for the sake of protecting the town. He stood up to the militia in the bowling alley and didn't hesitate to jump down into the pit to prove his point, and took on the buzzing shadow-energy alone.
"I'm not a hero...I'm a scientist!"
For Science!: Carlos's motivation, although unusually for this trope he seems to do more good than harm.
Going Native: Seems to be gradually happening. In episode 4, "PTA Meeting", Carlos tries to disrupt a town meeting to warn the citizens about some kind of presumably impending doom, then flees, screaming that "There is no more time!". By episode 35, "Lazy Day", he's taking advantage of gravity slacking off to clean his gutters.
Hot Scientist: According to Cecil (and Old Woman Josie), at least. Carlos' physical appearance is discussed in much more detail than most other characters, but often in such flowery prose that it's hard to discern concrete details. We know for certain that he has black hair with a premature touch of grey at the temples, dark skin, straight white teeth, and a square jaw.
Informed Attractiveness: Cecil can't bring Carlos up without telling us that he's beautiful and perfect, and of course we only have his descriptions to go on. Cecil also describes Carlos's voice as "caramel" and "oaky". He shares some voice mail messages from Carlos in Episode 16, allowing listeners to form their own opinions. Old Woman Josie is the only other Night Vale resident who comments on Carlos' attractiveness, also describing him as "perfect" and "smelling like lavender chewing gum".
Married to the Job: Carlos seems to be intensely focused on his scientific work, unusually so, and at first refuses to talk to Cecil about anything else. It's not initially clear if Carlos is just socially awkward and bad at picking up social cues, or if he really is just that obsessed with science, or if it's some combination of the two.
In Episode 27, when the two finally do begin a relationship, Carlos still seems distractedly fixated on science. Even his first personal phone call to Cecil also involves reporting a threat approaching town, he wears a labcoat and discusses science over dinner on their first date, after dinner he takes Cecil to experiment on the trees in the park, and their date ends with Carlos heading to his lab to work on returning the townspeople to normal instead of inviting Cecil up to his apartment.
As of Episode 31, someone (heavily implied to be Cecil himself) has pointed out to Carlos that he's been spending too much time with his science and not enough with his boyfriend. Carlos does not become involved in the episode's plot until the very end, as he's been cooking dinner for Cecil to make up for his previous inattentive behavior.
The live episode "Condos" is set a few weeks prior to episode 42, "Numbers". In it, Cecil remarks that Carlos is slowly learning social graces like calling to cancel dates if he winds up working late.
Monster of the Week: It's heavily implied, particularly during Episodes 25, 27, and 29, that Carlos spends his time thwarting these, or at least trying to help people understand what is happening.
Omnidisciplinary Scientist: To date, Carlos has mentioned work that touches on theoretical and applied physics, mechanical and electrical engineering, organic and inorganic chemistry, plant/animal/microbial biology, ecology, medicine, geology, and seismology. Fans usually attribute this either to Carlos being only one member of a team of scientists from different disciplines who help each other with their research projects (Episode 30 confirms that there are still other members of Carlos' team in Night Vale with him), or to simply having to develop skills outside his original field of study as the only person in Night Vale who can think in a straight line.
But Carlos does NOT specialize in botany. Or dendrology. He is a scientist.
Only Sane Man: He is the only person, aside from the audience (and perhaps Steve Carlsberg), to whom Night Vale is in any way weird. By Episode 25, Carlos has clearly become more accustomed to random and inexplicable things happening, although he still has trouble with the way Night Vale residents respond to such events. He seems to make peace with that as well, after his near-death experience later in the episode.
Put on a Bus: As of episode 49, he cannot return to Night Vale (for now, anyway). Might also count as Commuting on a Bus since he's still capable of contacting Cecil.
Straight Gay: Night Vale writer and original voice of Carlos, Jeffrey Cranor, has confirmed Carlos' sexuality to be gay. However, in show, Carlos initially ignored all of Cecil's advances and it wasn't possible to tell his orientation prior to the end of episode 25, when he calls Cecil to the Arby's carpark, where the two share a tender moment before they begin dating in episode 27.
Traumatic Haircut: Traumatic for Cecil, at least... to the point where he ran the barber who gave it out of town to wander the desert in delirium.
The Unseen: Until the voice message in Episode 16, we only ever heard Carlos filtered through Cecil's narration.
Vocal Dissonance: A mild case. His appearance is apparently perfect, but both his voices have been slightly dweeby.
Voiced by Kevin R. Free
Cecil's counterpart in Desert Bluffs. Like Cecil, he is a radio host — but he is somewhat more upbeat than Cecil and unnervingly cheerful. As of episode 47, the new host of the Greater Desert Bluffs Metropolitan Area Community Radio, including Night Vale.
Affably Evil/Faux Affably Evil: Which one he is is currently impossible to determine. Although, the more we hear from him the more he sounds like the latter.
On the other hand, when Lauren crashes the stock market just to piss him off, she notes that he grows more concerned and helpful.
Black Eyes of Evil: According to Cecil's panicked description of Kevin's photograph. Later during "The Debate", when the two finally meet outside swirly vortexes and have their first proper conversation, Cecil notices with horror that Kevin has no eyes.
Blind Seer: He can see things no one else can see. Such as the Faceless Old Woman's face. She's terrified by it.
Dirty Coward: Is scared of a group of kids with slingshots, leaving Lauren Mallard to be beaten up with books. On top of that, he seems to be far worse than Cecil at facing the unknown.
Disney Villain Death: Possibly, in Episode 49. Steve Carlsberg throws him through one of the doors into the light of the Smiling God.
Dissonant Serenity: He's constantly cheerful and downright peppy, and treats Desert Bluffs like a paradise, or at the very least a happy town where nothing is wrong. And then Cecil shows up. It's one of the few times we hear unmasked terror in Cecil's voice.
"There is so much blood, it is seeping into my shoes..."
Returns in Episode 47, when he and Lauren discuss their changes to the Nightvale Community Radio studio. It's implied that he slaughtered the entire sales department and used their entrails to paint the desk and walls.
The Dreaded: He completely terrifies both Cecil, who's left stuttering and nearly speechless after confronting him in "The Debate", and the Faceless Old Woman, who gets thrown into an identity crisis after her encounter with Kevin. The only person not affected is Hiram, who just doesn't care.
Eye Scream: When he comes face to face with Cecil again in "The Debate", Cecil asks with horror what happened to Kevin's eyes. Because he has none. Although he insists he can see just fine — not only does he compliment the Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home on her face, he actually describes specific features such as the color of her eyes and the shape of her jaw.
During The Debate, Kevin's eternally upbeat demeanor slips for a minute when he responds to a query on Vanessa's health by saying that she died a long time ago, in an incident so horrifying that those who witnessed it were never able to sleep again.
In Episode 49B, Kevin chipperly reveals that Desert Bluffs was corrupted by the Smiling God some time ago. Even those who resisted (as Night Vale did) succumbed in the end- including their radio host.
Kevin: I rarely feel anything. I rarely feel anything at all!
The Unsmile: Again, according to Cecil's description, and Kevin notes the same thing about Cecil's smile in his own photograph. Though this may be because the two have different ideas of what "Smile" means.
The implication in "Old Oak Doors" is that Kevin's "smile" is an expression that's genuinely unsettling, even to residents of Night Vale.
Kevin: Watch me smile!
Cecil: ....You monster.
Steve: That was really gross! Do it again.
Voiced by Jasika Nicole
One of the radio station's longest-lived interns, who survives a fight to the death with her doppelganger or Dana's double did as well as becoming stranded in the forbidden dog park. On her return, along with the removal of Strex Corp from Nightvale, the gorge declared she was the winner of the Mayoral election. Despite not having been a candidate.
In Episode 41, we learn that even Dana doesn't know if she is the "real" one or not.
Another Dimension: The house that does not exist appears to have transported her to a plane where Night Vale either doesn't exist or is invisible and intangible to her, since she walks straight through Carlos as he takes readings on the house.
Cloning Blues: She murdered her double in episode 19... but she's still not sure if she's the original, or the replacement.
Dark Horse Victory: Despite not being a candidate, Dana wins the mayoral election mere moments after returning to Night Vale from the other world.
Mauve Shirt: The only intern to survive being sent to certain doom. As of Episode 41, she is still alive and sometimes calling Cecil with reports, although stranded in a featureless desert on another plane of existence. Cecil mentions that she somehow still manages to text him despite being without a phone charger for the last eight months.
Odd Friendship: She gets along quite well with the Man in the Tan Jacket.
Plucky Girl: She continues to report on occurrences within the Dog Park despite the fact she's nearly starving. She manages to escape from the Dog Park, but ends up in what appears to be another dimension. Even so, she's prepared to explore the featureless desert where she finds herself and report back.
Supporting Protagonist: In Episode 30, she gets the chance to narrate her own story. This continues in Episode 41.
The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home
Creepy Good: Sure, everything about her is super creepy, and she seems to have a Blue and Orange Morality thing going for her, but she does genuinely seem to care. In particular, she showed up to warn Cecil about the danger posed by the condos.
Dark Is Not Evil: She's creepy and at one point lights your(?) fridge on fire because it was "upsetting her", but she's genuinely polite and affable, if odd (though that should be obvious, since she's a Night Vale resident). The whole reason she wants to run for mayor is to help Night Vale.
Hive Mind/Mind Hive: Could be one or the other; it's never explained if the Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home is one old woman who lives in everyone's homes or multiple versions of the same entity.
Hollywood Old: The faceless old woman who lives in your home is played by 25-year-old Mara Wilson, and sounds quite youthful. She also seems very tech-savvy for an old lady.
Humanoid Abomination: A literally faceless old woman who somehow manages to live in every home in Night Vale without ever being noticed, can only be seen via one's peripheral vision or in mirrors (and in the case of the latter, you have to look really hard in order to see her) and has full, almost infinite knowledge of the people she shares the house with? Yes, she certainly qualifies.
Not So Stoic: In "The Debate" when Kevin says that he can see her face she begins speaking more erratically and denying it.
The Omniscient: It's implied that she knows everything about the people who's homes she dwells in.
She becomes quite uneasy when the doors in Episode 49 start admitting people that she doesn't know anything about.
The Trickster: Has shades of this, as Cecil notes that she likes to cause problems for people in the houses she inhabits for no apparent reason (leaving rotting meat in their showers, for example).
Faceless Old Woman: I ate one of your highlighters. Sorry, I got nervous. I'll replace it with a crow's feather as soon as I'm mayor.
Voiced by Jackson Publick
The five-headed dragon who was wanted for insurance fraud, escaped from an arrest attempt by breathing fire, and was a fugitive from justice until caught and jailed. He was eventually acquitted. He has a blog (which Cecil is a fan of) and is running for mayor of Night Vale.
I'm a Humanitarian: In CONDOS, he mentions quite casually that he ate the man who gave him directions to a nearby diner, because he didn't feel like walking that far.
Kill It with Fire: This is his proposed solution to the Strex problem. Y'know. Because he's literally a five-headed dragon.
Multiple Head Case: He has five heads of different colors. His purple head breathed fire at the arresting officer and it and the green head interrupt the interview with him. In said interview, it's also revealed that one of his heads has a Southern accent, his green head is very angry and British, and his purple head is a Nervous Wreck. In "Condoes", it's also revealed that the blue head is very intelligent and the grey head is The Eeyore. In episode 49 its revealed that his fifth head is gold and the other heads get annoyed that it does most of the talking.
Nerves of Steel: He's the only main cast member who's not completely horrified by Kevin. In fact, he doesn't even care.
Refuge in Audacity: Hiram, who is literally an 18 foot long, 5-headed dragon, unsuccessfully attempts this when he's pulled over for speeding and shows the officer a driver's license for a 5'8" man named Frank Chen.
Suspiciously Specific Denial: He's quite okay with people around him committing murders, but it's not because he's killed anyone himself. Especially not Frank Chen to steal his car and driving license to commit insurance fraud.
Racist Grandma: Possibly subverted, in that she goes out of her way to mention that one of the angels is black, but also says, when selling the lightbulb that one of them touched, that it was the black one, in case that "sweetens the pot". As noted under "The Angels", she could've also meant that the angel was literally black, as in, pitch black like a shadow or the night.
Revealed in Episode 48, "Renovations", that she escaped into the house that doesn't exist with the help of her Angels and has been staying there ever since.
But Now I Must Go/Put on a Bus: As of episode 32, "Yellow Helicopters", they have left Night Vale for unknown reasons. Old Woman Josie is saddened by this.
The Bus Came Back: They make a dramatic return in episode 48, appearing in the studio and forcing Lauren and Kevin out, allowing Cecil to broadcast once again. All the while, Cecil continues to deny their existence.
Our Angels Are Different: Actually, we're not sure how different they are, since no one is allowed to know about them or talk about them, and their existence is denied by the City Council. Yet, they manage to show up on multiple occasions, and several are staying at an old woman's house.
Planet of Steves: All of the angels are named Erika. With a "k". (This was orinated in an episode were real-life listeners could send in poetry, which was then attributed to them in-show. Since the author of one of the poems was named Erika, and the poem was said to be written by an angel in the podcast, it sort of stuck.)
Token Minority: One of the angels is black. Although angels and Night Vale, so this could mean either "looks like a human with African ancestry" or "is the same color as the yawning void".
The Unsmile: The Angels are described as having permanent smiles. Interestingly, Strexcorp continually encourages people to believe in a smiling God.
The Apache Tracker
A white guy in a "cartoonishly offensive Native American headdress" who claims to have supernatural tracking abilities.
Color Me Black: He physically becomes Native American due to some sort of supernatural shenanigans. Also, he can now only speak Russian. He doesn't seem to learn any kind of lesson from it, though, as he continues to wear a plastic headdress everywhere. Cecil continues to call him out for being a racist asshole.
Noble Bigot: Since he nobly laid down his life to rescue Carlos from the tiny, armed people from under the bowling alley, the town dedicates a statue to him. Since he's a racist embarrassment, they quietly bury it out in the desert.
Redemption Equals Death: At least in Cecil's opinion, he redeems himself by rescuing Carlos at the cost of his own life. He's still a racist embarrassment, though.
The Hooded Figures from the Dog Park
Ambiguously Evil: Are they truly malicious threats, or just another strange potentially deadly facet of the community?
Reality Warper: They're implied to be this when Cecil tries to interview one.
The Man in the Tan Jacket
A mysterious man whom no one can describe, who comes to town one day. No one remembers his face, although they notice his tan jacket and deerskin briefcase full of flies.
Ambiguously Human: He could be human, but his powers and general oddness make it unclear. Even Cecil seems to think he's strange.
Bigger on the Inside: Whenever he opens his briefcase, there are more flies inside than could fit in the space inside.
Creepy Good: He's heavily implied to be a good guy, especially since he allies himself with Dana, who says he's actually "quite nice" and "a pretty cool guy, if you get to know him." But his mysteriousness, the fact no one can remember his face, and the fact he carries a deerskin briefcase full of flies are awfully creepy.
Suspect Is Hatless: He's stated at one point to be about five or six foot something, probably human-looking, with hair. Aside from the jacket and briefcase, that's about all the description anyone can muster.
Khoshekh the Cat
A male cat who was found floating next to the sink in the men's bathroom at the Night Vale Community Radio Station.
And I Must Scream: Judging from what Cecil says, he is stuck next to the sink and can't leave. Ever. Downplayed because the radio station is trying their best to keep him comfortable, like leaving the water in the sink trickling so he can drink and leaving food next to the sink so he can eat. Also, it's Night Vale, so an And I Must Scream fate for an outsider could easily be seen as a minor annoyance for a resident.
Adorable Abomination: At first glance, just the adorable half. But at one point, Cecil plays a recording of Khoshekh's meow, which is a terrible screech. Later, he reminds the people who adopted Khoshekh's offspring to look out for their pets' poisonous spine ridges and venomous fangs, and ends the segment by cooing, "Who’s my adorable little kitten with your adorable tendril hub? It’s you! It’s you!"
A Night Vale denizen whose various attempts at community activism are summarily dismissed by Cecil. Who is his brother-in-law. And, apparently, his stepbrother.
Abhorrent Admirer: His actor describes him as having a "golden retriever"-like love for Cecil, hence how enthusiastically he responds whenever said host shows him the slightest bit of affection. Cecil is not pleased.
Beware the Nice Ones: He's actually a really friendly dude, he cares a lot about his stepdaughter even if he does seem to be occasionally inept, he maintains a fondness for Cecil despite getting nothing but apoplectic rage in return, and he tells Kevin he has "cool eyes" just to be polite. But you wouldn't like him when he's angry.
Butt Monkey: Cecil reserves a special level of ire for Steve, matched only by his hatred of Desert Bluffs and Telly the barber.
Cassandra Truth: Subverted; it's not that nobody believes him when he says something weird, crazy or creepy is happening — because they do. It's more that everyone else (especially Cecil) treats the weird, crazy and creepy stuff as a given and therefore don't really see any reason to listen to him.
The Cast Show Off: He does some rapid-fire impressions possibly just to show off that he can.
Informed Flaw: During the reveal that Steve is Cecil's brother-in-law and Janice's step-fater, Cecil is very dismissive of Steve's competence at being a step-father. Then episode 49-B happens, and we get to see a different side of Steve, something that seemed to catch Cecil by surprise too.
Only Sane Man: Possibly. At the least, he pointed out that building a drawbridge in a town with no waterways was a questionable use of money.
The Ditz: From what we heard in Old Oak Doors the guy is actually genuinely nice but unfortunately not that bright. So he believes people (even Kevin) and expects things to be normal, but this is Night Vale, where nothing is normal.
Papa Wolf: Heaven help you if you threaten Janice.
Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: For Cecil. Steve himself is likely to be aware of the grudge (once someone is yelling in your face it's hard to miss), but seems to be completely indifferent to it. In "Cookies," we at last get a glimmer of why, as we learn about his gambling and assorted other petty habits. Which Cecil abhors, because Steve's the stepfather of Cecil's niece, Janice.
She is Cecil's niece and the step-daughter of Steve Carlsberg.
Ill Girl: She apparently hasn't been able to walk since birth.
The Glow Cloud
A whistling, glowing cloud of shifting colors which appeared over Night Vale. Tends to drop dead animals on the city. Currently on the local school board.
Ambiguously Evil: During its first appearance in town the Glow Cloud rained animal carcasses, and it possesses people to make pronouncements like, "All hail. Kneel for the Glow Cloud. Sacrifice! Pestilence! Sores. All hail the Glow Cloud," but on the other hand, the Cloud has decided that Night Vale would be a good place to raise its child and joined the local school board.
Gadgeteer Genius: While they were in Boy Scouts together as children, trying to earn their 'Subversive Radio Show Host' badges, Earl taught Cecil how to jerry-rig an impromptu broadcasting platform by wiring a phone into a soundboard and wiring the soundboard into a radio tower running on auxiliary power.
Romantic Runner-Up: Cecil is hopelessly in love with Carlos, and has been since he first came to town. It's unclear whether Earl realizes this or not, but during an interview with Cecil at the station, he grabs his arm and sadly tells him in a way that sounds very much like a man giving up on an unrequited love ("We could have had something Cecil, always remember that"), before dejectedly leaving the studio. Earl is later dragged away by strange mute children and Cecil goes on to enter into a relationship with Carlos.
And now, Carlos is gone and Earl is back...
Unlucky Childhood Friend: Cecil confirms that they were close childhood friends in Episode 36, but gives no indication they ever had a romantic relationship, despite Earl's apparent interest.
The Bus Came Back: In Episode 50, Earl is revealed to be alive and well, working as a sous chef at Night Vale's most popular restaurant.
Mayor Pamela Winchell
The mayor. Fed up with just about everything, has a habit of calling press conferences several times a day for things that no not necessarily warrant press conferences, and is eventually forced to resign.
Cloudcuckoolander: Less of the "cute, quirky space case" type and more of the "dangerously insane psychopath" type.
Demonic Possession: Implied by Winchell's statement at a press conference in Episode 17, "Valentine":
"The Mayor smells of olives. The Mayor burns like a match tip and casts her flickering light on the darkened path of fate. The Mayor does not have keys to the Stone Door; the Mayor is the Stone Door and all that quivers behind it. The Mayor is forgiving. The Mayor makes no mistakes. The Mayor clutches tightly to your lungs, all six arms embracing your savory breaths. Let the Mayor out. Let the Mayor out. Let the Mayor out."
Fantastic Racism: Cecil accuses her of this when she insists that Hiram McDaniels cannot be a good mayoral candidate because he's a dragon.
"She has been controversial, to be sure, but she is our leader, our parent. She cares very much about us, Night Vale, and when she jails or tortures someone without just cause or due process, it is because she loves this town so much." — Episode 24, “The Mayor”
Stock Superpowers: According to staffer Trish Hidge, "Mayors can disappear. It's not a big deal. She disappears all the time. She can fly and can turn into a horse too. It's perfectly within her rights as Mayor to turn invisible, to disintegrate in a thin cloud of imperceptible existence." In Episode 18, "The Traveler," Winchell ends a press conference by disappearing in a puff of green smoke.
Ultimate Authority Mayor: Averted when Winchell announced in "The Mayor" that she would be leaving office by year's end. It is heavily implied that this is not an entirely voluntary decision on her part.
Subverted Catchphrase: Until Cecil realised that the copy of John Peters standing in front of him is not his friend. "John Peters — you know, the impostor..."
Put on a Bus: Possibly also a Bus Crash; he was last seen in the empty house, when Dana saw him standing there with a worried expression. Cecil later reported that no one has seen him since, and that anyone who does should report it immediately.
The Bus Came Back: OR DID IT? Somebody working for Strexcorp managed to impersonate him, selling oranges that wiped people out of existence. Currently, he's stuck in the House That Doesn't Exist.
Nope. He's back for realsies this time, as of episode 49.
Voiced by Symphony Sanders
The winner of the Night Vale Library summer reading program. Emerged from the summer reading carnage stronger, more determined, and not willing to bow down to a smiling God.
Little Miss Badass: Part of her victory also involved decapitating the head librarian and keeping the skull as a trophy.note In case you're unfamiliar with the podcast, it's established that whatever librarians are in Night Vale, they're Nigh Invulnerable and merely encountering one and surviving is considered quite impressive. The possibility that they could be killed isn't seriously considered even briefly until she manages to do it.
As of Episode 35, she's raising a child militia and seems to be a brutal leader at that. She's also wearing a librarian's hand around her neck. Oh, and that militia? She's forming it to take on Strexcorp!
Rebel Leader: She's leading the resistance against Strexcorp.
The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Ruthless in her battle tactics, probably out of necessity given who she is fighting against. Cecil hopes Strexcorp find her. Actually, he hopes SHE finds THEM first.
A shadowy megacorp that owns Desert Bluffs and as of Episode 32, Night Vale Community Radio.
Big Bad: For the arc starting after "One Year Later".
Bigger Bad: Before that, Cecil's disdain for Desert Bluffs was no secret, even though Strex had only been featured in episode 19B.
Evil Inc.: If they can make Cecil nervous by their presence, it's a good bet they're bad, bad news.
Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: If Desert Bluffs is any indication, they engage in this practice a lot. As mentioned below, one of their oft repeated phrases are "Believe in a Smiling God."
Confirmed in 49B. The Smiling God corrupted Desert Bluffs into the way it is now- it was once very much like Night Vale.
Dissonant Serenity: Episode 47 implies that Kevin killed the entire sales department at the Nightvale Community Radio station and used their bodies to decorate the studio. Lauren agrees that it looks "so much nicer".
Mega Corp.: Big enough to own an entire town then buy Night Vale Community Radio and (somehow) the Night Vale Girl Scouts to boot, and sell orange juice that caused people to blink out of existence.
Not So Stepford Smiler: The subject of Tamika Flynn causes them MUCH stress. You can almost hear the twitching as they talk about Tamika
Strexcorp Representative: [We are looking for] one very difficult child...but we mean that in the best possible way. So, please help us find this...this...this child!
Propaganda Machine: Look around you. Strex. Look inside you. Strex. Go to sleep. Strex. Believe in a smiling God. Strexcorp. It is...everything. They probably bought NVCR to act as one of these in Night Vale.
Faux Affably Evil: On the surface she sounds cheerful and happy, but she speaks with a constant underlying layer of menace, thinly veiled threats and passive-aggressive jabs.
For the Evulz: She deliberately crashed the market just to see if this would really make Kevin lose his cheerfulness. It didn't. Which she found fascinating, and totally ignored the damage to the economy.
The Heavy: Lauren is presently the highest-ranking "voice" of Strexcorp, though time will tell if she's the Big Bad or not.
As of the beginning of episode 49, she's revealed as vice president of Strexcorp.
Shame If Something Happened: It sure seems like every time Cecil makes blatantly anti-Strex comments on the air, Lauren the Manager shows up to chat about his loved ones. His wonderful boyfriend, his charming niece, his adorable kitty... Poor, poor Khoshekh.
Terms of Endangerment: She just loves Cecil, and what he's done with his show! And Carlos! And Khoshekh! And that cute little niece of his, what was her name? Oh, yes. Janice.
Cecil's new producer and Lauren's right hand man... or rather, right hand robot.
Deceptively Human Robots: Looks human enough that Cecil isn't certain if he identifies as organic or not, but is prone to giving off sparks and smoke or leaking motor oil when annoyed.
Personal Mook: To Lauren, apparently acting as her driver amongst other things.
Religious Robot: Joins Lauren in her daily ritual of worshipping the Smiling God in the break room.
A detached adult man's hand, born to Tak and Hershel Wallaby. She is an elementary school student.
Body Horror: She is literally a disembodied adult male hand.
Richest man in Night Vale, who earns special privileges thanks to his wealth. He is another candidate for mayor, but he's mostly just in the race out of boredom.
Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: During "The Debate", he gets recruited by the Angels. His body stretches out, his hands become long and translucent, and light feathers sprout from his back... he might vanished from the debate altogether, but since angels aren't real and acknowledging them is still a crime, Cecil chooses to pretend nothing happened whatsoever.
Big Damn Heroes: He's on the receiving end of this, post ascension, in Episode 49, courtesy of Leann Hart and Sara Sultan. It's indicated that it's him (rather than a generic Erika) by Cecil describing him as coming off as very wealthy. And mostly nude.
Fiction 500: He owns all of Night Vale's chimneys for one thing. After becoming an angel, he makes the final bid to get rid of Strexcorp by buying them. You know, the Mega Corp. that owns Desert Bluffs? Yeah, he and the angels own them now.
Idle Rich: He seems to have a lot of free time on his hands with his richness.
Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: He can do practically anything he wants because he's rich. In fact, he's got his own branch of the library, totally safe from the horrifying librarians.
Uncle Pennybags: Owns practically everything in Night Vale, but given the fact that he's not going around telling people that everything belongs to him or denying anyone access to anything, it's likely that he's this.
The show features two different "you"s. One is the protagonist of Episode 13, "A Story About You." The other is featured occasionally throughout other episodes.
"A Story About You" You
A Day In The Life: Your story is presented as typical of Night Vale citizen, complete with otherworldly hallucinations, bizarre day job, and contemplative, dissociative acceptance of your tragic life and inevitable demise.
A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: You came to Night Vale because one day you saw a dark, alien planet hanging in the sky and realize you could just...get in your car and drive off, leaving your job and fiance behind. So you did. And then you stole a mysterious crate from the Faceless But Sinister Government Agency, just because you could.
The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Averted. Despite being addressed in the second person, it's clear that you're a specific citizen of Night Vale, rather than an anonymous fan of an internet radio show. Well, probably. Can you be sure you are who you think you are? Can you be sure any of this is real?
Through the Eyes of Madness: A surprisingly minor case. You keep seeing the Dark Planet in the sky and have ceased behaving entirely rationally, but your issues are dwarfed by the gargantuan weirdness that infests Night Vale as a whole.
Spider Swarm: Constantly resides on your body. They are also the cause of your second death.
Voiced by Molly Quinn
The girl reading the constant stream of numbers in a monotone voice who broadcasts from the WZZZ radio tower. More than anything, she dreams of freedom, and is frustrated by the lack of images that adequately describe the feeling. She's actually not a girl - she's self-aware software with a female voice.
And I Must Scream: Has been reading out the list of numbers without pause for years and years. She cannot let her guard down for a second or she’ll slip into numbers again. Episode 42 marks her… well, her scream.
Cute, but Cacophonic: She bursts into song twice, singing “Roar” by Katy Perry and “We Are Young” by Fun. It’s loud.
Cool Car: After listening to the stations on other radio signals, she’s decided she needs a really cool car to escape with. One would assume this is also where she learned all the words to the Top 40 hits.
Beware the Nice Ones: He seems quite friendly toward The Man who is not Short, but he kills the poor bastard anyway.
The Smart Guy: He's the brains of the pair, where the Man Who Is Not Short is shown to be less intelligent than an average person.
The Man who is not Short
Replacement Goldfish: The ending of "A Story About Them" has the twist ending where the blindfolded man who was taken to the desert to be executed mob-style was actually meant to become the new Man Who Is Not Short when the Man Who Is Not Tall kills his old partner. It's heavily implied that it's not the first time he's done this.