Yes! Scientifically speaking, that is who I am.
— Carlos

Carlos is a Latino scientist who arrives (along with his perfect hair) in Night Vale in the episode, Pilot. He is described as having a voice like caramel with oaky tones, dark and delicate skin, black hair with a "dignified, if premature, touch of gray at his temples"[1], and a strong, square jaw and teeth "like a military cemetery." By Episode 147, Carlos has grown a "very soft" beard with "two thin silver racing stripes down the chin". He wears a lab coat and appears in a later episode wearing a flannel shirt and well-fitting jeans. He drives a hybrid coupe.[2]

Carlos first lived in or near his laboratory, which is next to Big Rico's Pizza on the outskirts of the science district[3], but later moved in with Cecil in an apartment in Night Vale.[4] Cecil later states that they have moved into a house together after their marriage.[5]

It is implied by Cecil's horoscopes that Carlos is a Taurus, born in April or May[6].

Like many characters in the series, Carlos has no defined age. It can be generally assumed that he is probably similar in physical age to Cecil. Recent developments in Episode 55 seem to indicate he has been active as a professional scientist for at least a decade. Also, in Episode 146, it is mentioned that Carlos's double, Charles, is 41, which means that Carlos could be 41 as well.

Carlos's last name has never been mentioned.

Arrival in Night Vale

Carlos came to Night Vale in June 2012 in order to take a research fellowship at Night Vale Community College.[3] It was intended to be a temporary appointment, but Carlos has seemingly settled in Night Vale permanently, and his home institution claims he's been missing for decades. He has an unexplained source of funding to support his laboratory, equipment, and studies. It is never clarified what kind of scientist he is, although in an email to Cecil, he says he is not a botanist or a dendrologist, adding "I am a scientist. I study science, not plants or nature."[7] Given that he calls Night Vale "the most scientifically interesting community in the U.S.," he is probably a student of anomalous phenomena along with his more traditional specialties.

Despite being an outsider, the citizens of Night Vale seem to accept and like Carlos. Jackie Fierro notes that his intense interest in science and his sometimes unorthodox beliefs are unusual in Night Vale, but she still thinks he's "nice". Jackie also appears to agree with Cecil's views on Carlos's attractiveness, stating that "There really was something blindingly handsome about him." in Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel. Diane Crayton thinks he is "well-spoken".[3]


He initially leads a team of scientists who investigate various phenomena in Night Vale. Upon their arrival, the team's first action is to call a town meeting and explain their intentions to the residents, where Carlos tells everyone in attendance that Night Vale is the most scientifically interesting community in America and that they intend to study the strange goings-on.

Carlos and his team first investigate the nonexistent house in the Desert Creek housing development, and they ended up standing in the street in front of it, daring each other to go up and knock. In episode 3, they report that books have "stopped working." In One Year Later, they were offering $5 to anyone willing to ring the doorbell on the nonexistent house, and in episode 30, Dana, they actually offer this money to Carlos himself, but he refuses for reasons of "scientific integrity."

Carlos' voice is heard in The Phone Call and Parade Day. In The Phone Call, he leaves Cecil several messages on his voicemail about the clocks and the Man in the Tan Jacket outside his door, and in Parade Day, he calls about the nonexistent house.

In Company Picnic, a group of his scientists are arrested for trespassing on the house that doesn't exist by StrexCorp. However, Carlos himself is noticeably absent from the group, something that frustrates StrexCorp representative and Night Vale Community Radio manager Lauren Mallard, who has already done away with Cecil. This makes Carlos effectively on the run.[8]

In Antiques, Carlos makes himself appear in Cecil's broadcasting studio. Since he is not really there, (he is really in the desert otherworld), Carlos and Cecil cannot touch, but they do talk. Carlos speaks of how he wants Cecil to come visit him. He also speaks of how he is conducting many scientific tests. Shortly after Carlos starts sounding sexual, Cecil is flustered and Carlos leaves.[9]

In Voicemail, Carlos reveals that he has found a way to bring Cecil to the desert otherworld.[10]

In Taking Off, Carlos is studying how the phones can still work without there being a tower or without ever needing to be charged. He loses his years' worth of research due to Alicia and Doug's army constantly going out to fight other army, who he proceeds to take care of. He appears in Kevin's studio, mentions the blood and tells him that he has to hand deliver a letter and go to Night Vale for the last time.[11]

In Review, Carlos appears in the limo and he and Cecil hugged. They then proceeded to "talk" all night.[12]

In Episode 147, "The Protester", events in the Blood Space War caused Night Vale's timeline to be rewritten. One of these revisions to the timeline included changing the citizens so that many people who moved to Night Vale in the original timeline no longer did so. This change caused Carlos to be erased from history. [13]


Unlike most of Night Vale's long time residents, Carlos is not blasé about the strange and horrible events that occur in the small town and is often mentioned investigating the bizarre phenomena. Although Cecil is initially fearful for Carlos' life, Carlos, in turn, quickly becomes fearful for the people of Night Vale and tries to warn them about various dangers and events they seem unmoved by or unimpressed by. His first attempt at trying to protect residents was when he visited the radio station. Upon picking up high levels of radioactivity from Cecil's mic, he gravely recommends that everyone in the station leave immediately (advice they cheerfully ignore). 

Carlos is intensely focused on his work and, at first, refuses to speak to Cecil on personal matters or meet with him for anything other than urgent town phenomena related discussion. Up to episode 25, Carlos is either oblivious to Cecil's affections for him, or willfully chooses to ignore them. However, he does keep Cecil's home phone number, as well as his cell number. It is possible, as evidenced especially in episode 11, that Carlos appears to ignore Cecil's advances not just because of his work, but also because he gets flustered and nervous around Cecil, or doesn't know how to react.

When the two do finally begin dating, Carlos is still distractedly interested in science, inviting Cecil to do experiments on the trees with him in Mission Grove Park during their first date, and discussing science-related topics over dinner. However, he does at least seem to note Cecil's disappointment at not being invited into his lab/apartment after their date and kisses him gently goodnight. In episode 31, Cecil complains about this facet of his personality when Carlos mentions he would like to study the sudden appearance of a mountain outside of town. Carlos apparently has to be reminded that he needs to give more importance to aspects of his life outside of work and promises to make Cecil dinner before he returns to science, a promise he later keeps. He is also described multiple times as "industrious" by Cecil in episode 35, due his apparent continuing of household chores despite the rest of the town being too lazy to move. In Condos, Cecil also bemoans the fact that Carlos is never direct about what he means, attributing this to his scientific mind.

Despite his apparent shortcomings, including the fact that Carlos apparently had to be taught to call when cancelling dates in favor of science, Cecil describes Carlos as caring and reliable once their relationship begins to settle down. Carlos is also noted as being brave, specifically when standing up to a "deranged" Teddy Williams and his militia.[14] He jumps down into the pit in the Bowling Alley without hesitation and tries to reassure the town's people that there is no danger. He is also the first to volunteer to ring the bell of the non-existent house.

In Voicemail, Carlos is revealed to have a love of "scientifically accurate jokes" and that he will only tell those. He also expresses interest in getting a tattoo with the definition of science ("I don't know, but I'm trying to find out-okay?"). It is implied that he regularly converses with the Masked Army about Cecil.

Carlos is shown to have a light sense of humor and deep respect for Cecil, despite remarking that his boyfriend is "overenthusiastic" and "has very little grasp of science".[3]


Carlos is loved and almost worshipped by Cecil, who fell instantly in love with him during a town meeting soon after Carlos' arrival.[15] Cecil speaks of Carlos often on his radio program, making no effort to disguise his open adoration, although Carlos often seems indifferent, or perhaps just unaware of Cecil's feelings. Whether intentionally or not, he's mentioned shooting down Cecil's requests for a date, usually just returning to his work.[16]

Following a near-death experience one year after his arrival in town, Carlos shows that he does in fact reciprocate Cecil's affections, calling Cecil to meet with him in Arby's parking lot. The two share a tender moment, watching the sunset together while sitting on the trunk of his car,[14]and later begin dating. They are currently in a steady relationship and got married in Toast.

Carlos is aware early on of Cecil's job as the community radio host, and sometimes enlists his help in getting the word out to the town's people about strange or dangerous goings-on. Early in the show, Cecil tries to read a more personal message into Carlos's calls to the radio station. It is revealed in Condos that Carlos avidly listens to the radio show, stating that he listens "every time [Cecil's] on". It is implied that Carlos has been aware of Cecil's interest for some time, even from the beginning.

Carlos calls Cecil from the desert otherworld nightly and is vocally affectionate towards him. According to Cecil, Carlos is still perfect of face and hair, and the two regularly Snapchat, text, and run a Tumblr blog.

Unanswered Questions

Carlos' past

We still do not know many details of Carlos' life before his affiliation with the University of What It Is.[17] In addition, the faculty members of the University of What It Is stated that he was missing for decades before they came to find him. While this might be due to the strange properties of time in Night Vale, it leaves a large gap in Carlos' history.

Resistance to mind control

On a number of occasions, Carlos has been unaffected by entities or effects that otherwise affected the entire town, Cecil included.

  • Much of Night Vale turned into buzzing shadow entities during Carlos and Cecil's first date, but Carlos was not affected and indeed tried to find a solution.[18]
  • All of Night Vale was affected by the lethargy of the Lazy Day, but Carlos was quite industrious throughout.[19]
  • Carlos was immune to the Well of Night cult due to sleeping through its chanting.[4]


  • According to Old Woman Josie, he smells "of lavender chewing gum." [20]
  • From the Horoscopes, we can assume that Carlos is a Taurus.
  • His three favorite beans are garbanzo, kidney, and jelly.
  • It is mentioned multiple times in the novel “It Devours” that Carlos is sometimes averse to touch (though not always, and sometimes likes to be touched in particular ways, such as having his ears stroked).
  • Carlos stashes illegal writing utensils.
  • He underwent throat surgery some time before the events of Condos, which caused his voice to notably change.[21]
  • It is revealed in "It Devours" that though the amount of time that passed in Night Vale when Carlos was trapped in the Desert Otherworld was equivalent to a single year, it was ten years in the Otherworld. Carlos confides in Nilanjana that he has yet to disclose this information with his husband, Cecil, in the fear that it would upset and worry him.
  • The ship between Cecil and Carlos is called Cecilos

Behind the Scenes

Carlos was originally voiced by Night Vale co-writer Jeffrey Cranor. According to fellow Night Vale writer Joseph Fink, Lou Fernandez of Lou Reads the Internet for You is an experienced voice actor and was the first choice to play Carlos. However, it was decided that Carlos ought to be voiced by someone who could be called in at a moment's notice and Cecil Baldwin suggested that Jeffrey use his "expert voice" to play the part himself.

Cranor voiced Carlos up until December 2013, when it was decided that the show ought to seek out a new actor. With live shows becoming more popular and the voice actors being present in front of audiences and in the media, Cranor expressed his discomfort at the fact that he was a straight white man playing a gay Latino, when various Latino actors were available and could be paid to voice the part instead, and cited this as one of the reasons for the change. Dylan Marron was chosen.


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