During the sandstorm, a vortex allowed him to wander briefly into Cecil's abandoned booth. After the StrexCorp takeover of Night Vale Community Radio, Kevin was heard voicing a StrexCorp ad. During the Mayoral Debate, Hiram McDaniels entered a swirling, black vortex that mysteriously appeared outside the studio door; when he returned, Hiram said, "I found this guy in the vortex," whereupon Kevin introduced himself. After commenting on being able to see the face of The Faceless Old Woman and expressing his excitement about always wanting to visit Night Vale, he tells Cecil, "I will see you again...I am certain." Kevin then re-enters the vortex, presumably returning to Desert Bluffs.
Kevin took a central part helping StrexCorp to take control over Night Vale and functioned as the host of the "Greater Desert Bluffs Metropolitan Area Community Radio" for a short while. When StrexCorp was expelled out of Night Vale, he escaped.
It was later discovered that he had been living in the desert otherworld with Carlos for an unconfirmed amount of time, though Carlos described him in a voicemail as "pretty relaxed and friendly these days!" and that he had built a radio station in the desert "for anyone who wants to broadcast or listen to broadcasts."
More of Kevin's backstory was revealed in "Triptych", when a stray radio signal from Kevin's past, before "The Incident", reached Cecil's studio. Cecil spoke with 3 iterations of Kevin during this broadcast: a pre-Strexcorp, post-Strexcorp, and much older post-Strexcorp Kevin, before returning to the first. Pre-Strexcorp Kevin adamantly denies any support of the company, describing it as a "faux friendly big business corporate monster", and is confident of his town's prevail. However, a much older Kevin describes the future as "desolate" and mourns the loss of his freedom to Strex.
In episode 90, he left another passive-aggressive voicemail for Cecil, heard at the very end. "Hi, friend! It’s Kevin! So many of my old pals from Desert Bluffs came to live here in the desert otherworld with me! We’ve built quite a little city with roads and a school and a radio station!! I’m back on the air, Cecil! We even built our new little town to look just like our old little town! In fact, we just decided to call this new place Desert Bluffs Too! Too as in also, not the number two. Although we debated that. But we thought it was too charming. We need to build to that level of charming. Someday we will! Someday we’ll be so charming, it will hurt."
In episode 100 ("Toast"), Kevin appears with Lauren Mallard in a message to Cecil and Carlos during their wedding. After congratulating them, Kevin reveals that he is now in charge of Desert Bluffs Too.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
He is described by Cecil as "not tall or short, not thin or fat." He is described as though he is Cecil's double. However, it seems that there are very distinct differences between the two. Kevin mentions that during StrexCorp takeover of Desert Bluffs, long before it came to Night Vale, he was physically mutilated while trying to defend the radio station from the sinister corporation.
When the two see each other's photographs, Kevin describes Cecil's smile ambivalently ("And that smile ... Is that a smile?"), while Cecil is frankly disturbed by Kevin's, saying, "And that smile ... No! That is not a smile." When Kevin attempts to demonstrate a smile, Cecil cries, "You monster!" and Steve Carlsberg describes the sight of his smile as "really gross."
Cecil fearfully describes Kevin's eyes as "black as obsidian" and that he looked "a devil of a man" and must be wicked. Hiram's gold head describes him as having "missing eyes", "bloodstained skin," and "teeth like an abandoned cemetery", while Kevin describes Cecil as resembling him "mostly in the eyes." When Kevin arrives at Night Vale Community Radio with Lauren, Cecil describes them as "smiling widely" with eyes "full but tight."
The Whispering Forest, seeing Kevin from a distance, tells him his vest fits him well and says he has "a clever and colorful fashion sense." When he came nearer, the forest whispered, "No! Your eyes!" and begged him to go away, which he does, so stating his "healthy respect for nature.
In episode 68, Carlos describes him to Cecil as " That familiar-seeming man wearing dark sunglasses with what looked like bloodstains on his shirt, but I assured you was just barbecue sauce". Later, he discovers that the "barbecue sauce" was actually blood.
Kevin's voice is softer, gentler and more light-hearted than Cecil's.
Personality[edit | edit source]
(Note: some of Kevin's views and opinions are products of being brainwashed by Strexcorp. Best to take his beliefs with a grain of salt). Kevin's effect and personality are almost the polar opposites of Cecil's. On the surface, he is much more upbeat and less foreboding than Cecil. In reality, he is far more malevolent and malicious. He is also far more comfortable with violence, gore, power, and euphemism. Whereas Cecil is horrified by the gore in the Desert Bluffs radio studio, Kevin coyly implies that he murdered all the guys in Sales (who are all named Shawn) in order to redecorate the studio in Night Vale. Even more alarming (and just plain rude), Kevin describes Carlos and his team of scientists as ugly.
Kevin seems to have a weirdly deep love of blood, gore, and teeth. "The equipment looks much older. Certainly much drier than it should be."(in Cecil's radio station) implying that the equipment should be covered in blood like the equipment at his own radio station.
However, when Cecil enters the Desert Bluffs radio station, we hear Cecil's terrifying description of it. "This is Cecil, and I do not know where I am. It is clearly a radio studio, but the walls are covered in blood, and instead of dials and buttons on the soundboard, there is just animal viscera, glistening under the green LED lights. I hope this microphone works. Am I in hell?" "There is so much blood, it is seeping into my shoes! There are – oh, masters of us all, no! – teeth scattered across the floor. The window into the control booth is shattered and there is a swath of skin and a fistful of long clumping hair hanging from a sharp glass point!" Kevin's obsession with teeth maybe because of the Smiling God that Kevin along with the whole of Desert Bluffs worship. This argument is strengthened by a scene in episode 73, when a version of Kevin from the recent past recalls extreme pleasure after the light of the smiling god while becoming very violent. "My skin rent, blood drops on the ceiling, someone’s throat hose in my hand! So deliriously happy!" It is also mentioned many times that Kevin is covered in blood. This weird obsession was can still be seen in episode 70A, (Kevin supposedly had it under control by this point) when Carlos is talking about the blood all over his notebooks, you can faintly hear Kevin whimpering with excitement.
Unlike Cecil, Kevin is distrustful of the government. He prefers to put his faith in hard work, the free market, and private corporations, especially StrexCorp, which controlled Desert Bluffs even before Night Vale. He says, "It's very important to work hard! ... So important. More important than life itself!" Also, whereas Cecil is often ambivalent toward authority and occasionally rebels, Kevin seems devoted to his company's mission.
Kevin also doesn't go on pointless philosophical tangents as often as Cecil, and when he does, he's more inclined to try to shrug them off. After contemplating the amount of sand in the world, he says, "Wow! Big questions today, Desert Bluffs. Big questions." After talking about "how the skull is so visible in your mouth," he says, "Weird. Who thinks of that stuff? I don't know. Weird, right?"
Occasionally, Kevin shows signs of trauma. He talks about his ongoing friendship with a station intern who has been dead for years. At one point he remarks, "I rarely feel anything. I rarely feel anything at all." He also claims to be "literally ... incapable of saying" how long he has been a host on Desert Bluffs radio.
Kevin implies that when the Smiling God first came to Desert Bluffs, he was the last one to give up. "Even the most resistant of radio hosts soon found his way to productive work, happy songs, and a wide, gaping smile."This is re-iterated in episode 73, when Kevin recalls putting his own body in front of the doors to the station during Strexcrop's takeover of Desert Bluffs, but was forced past with "ethically brutal methods" that left him "Forever physically changed". After seeing the light of the smiling god, he became much more violent, all while remaining deliriously happy.
Role in StrexCorp Takeover of Night Vale[edit | edit source]
As the Desert Bluffs Community Radio host, behalf StrexCorp, and as one of the most prominent figures in Night Vale's neighbor, Kevin took a prominent part in the takeover of Night Vale by StrexCorp. On Parade Day, Kevin and Lauren Mallard arrived at the station together. He took over hosting duties of the renamed "Greater Desert Bluffs Metropolitan Area Community Radio" while Cecil is trapped in along with the rest of the Night Vale citizens in StrexCorp company picnic.
Later, as Night Vale revolted, he and Lauren continued to host the show from a secret location. Ultimately, Kevin tried to convince Cecil and Steve Carlsberg "to believe in a Smiling God" and join StrexCorp. However, he offends Steve Carlsberg by implying his step-daughter Janice, who cannot walk, would be "fixed". Carlsberg tossed him through one of the old oak doors, leaving Kevin stuck in the otherworldly desert.
Several months later, he called Cecil's voicemail, passive-aggressively hinting at his return and revenge.
Relationships[edit | edit source]
- Night Vale: Kevin claims to cherish only the warmest feelings toward Night Vale. He seems surprised and pleased to get a fax from Steve Carlsberg and to learn that Night Vale even knows about his little radio station. He doesn't seem to share Cecil's sense of an obsessive sports team rivalry between the two towns. When he learns he's been transported into Night Vale, he cries, "How delightful!"
- Steve Carlsberg: Kevin interprets Steve's government conspiracy theory as a resounding endorsement of the free market. "Thank you for your email, Steve," he says. "What a great guy!"However, he later meets up with Steve again and claims Desert Bluffs can "fix" his paralyzed stepdaughter. Steve is outraged and throws Kevin into one of the old oak doors.
- Cecil Palmer: Kevin is very sweet and friendly toward Cecil. He claims they hugged and "shared a moment" while passing through the vortex. In their second meeting, he remarks that they have the same parent company and adds, "Cecil, I will see you again. I am certain." In an especially sweet and friendly way, he and Lauren seize the radio station and banish Cecil to the company picnic. He is deeply alarmed by Cecil's return. More recently, he built a radio station in the desert otherworld for Cecil's use. In the episode "Triptych", Pre-Strex Kevin and Cecil bond over their like of cats, as well as their mutual distaste for Strexcorp. His experience with Pre-Strex Kevin results in Cecil giving him a glimmer of hope, lying that Kevin will win against StrexCorp.
- Intern Vanessa: On the day of the sandstorm, Kevin makes repeated mentions of the radio station intern, Vanessa. She helps him with the broadcast and meets her double. Later, during a brief visit to Night Vale, Kevin says Vanessa died "many years ago," that he had a conversation with her earlier the same day, and that he "can't wait to tell Vanessa" about his visit. "We’re all still very upset about it," he says of her death. She (and her double) were briefly mentioned during episode 70A, and were working at many jobs to keep the new station in the Desert Otherworld operating.
- Lauren Mallard: The two of them co-host the show Welcome to the Greater Desert Bluffs Metropolitan Area and are superficially friendly and cooperative with each other. When Lauren asks if she can call him "Kev," Kevin laughs and says darkly, "No, Lauren. By no means." While broadcasting together from a secret location, the two of them repeatedly interrupt and correct each other, and Kevin becomes increasingly passive-aggressive. While facing off against Tamika Flynn, Lauren does, in fact, call him "Kev." When the broadcast from Desert Bluffs Too, it seems as if Kevin has some kind of authority over her.
- Kevin's StrexPet: He claims to love it, but throws sticks at it and has trained it to eat mice, something StrexPets are not supposed to do. It's not clear if this is an attempt at sabotage or simply sadism.
- Carlos: Kevin, like Cecil, finds Carlos very handsome. He is very friendly and kind to Carlos although he does repeatedly ask Carlos if he has the results for his current scientific experiment. Kevin seemed to be very fond of Carlos during their time in the Desert Otherworld and seemed genuinely upset when reading the letter that Carlos left for Kevin in the radio station.
- Charles: Kevin feels passionate about Charles and finds him very attractive. From the moment Charles arrived in Desert Bluffs Too, Kevin was fascinated with him and talked about him in a way that parallels how Cecil used to talk about Carlos at the beginning of their relationship in Year One. Kevin and Charles have been on multiple dates and done things together that Kevin won’t talk about on air. After learning that Charles has a son, Kevin started to sound a little hesitant about the relationship. Later on Kevin resolves his difficulty grasping Donovan's existence and even growing to care for his child and planning an outing for the zoo following the events of Mudstone Abyss.
Relationships without specific emotional ties:
- Kevin's other Desert Bluffs coworkers include the staff weatherman, Ted.
- When Kevin meets the Faceless Old Woman, he astonishes her by claiming to be able to see her face.
- Kevin mentions having had a grandmother who embroidered pillows with the phrase "REACH YOUR FULL PRODUCTIVE POTENTIAL." "I loved those pillows so much, she sold one to me!" he recalls.
- Kevin mentions that his father made caramel and poured the boiling hot liquid over Kevin's and the other children's hands, presumably siblings. He did not seem upset by this.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- He played Happy in his high school play of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman.
- Kevin's Father is hinted to be likely abusive, burning Kevin's hands badly with caramel, and possibly breaking his things and birds. The father in the story most likely is supposed to symbolize how Kevin was raised by his father. In "The Mudstone Abyss Part 1", Kevin compares the sun to a "father dedicated to watching every move his children make, burning hotter at every mistake and gently warming us with each moment of pure thought."
References[edit | edit source]
- Episode 19B "The Sandstorm (Part B)"
- Episode 90 "Who's a Good Boy? Part 2"
- Episode 19A "The Sandstorm (Part A)"
- Episode 49B "Old Oak Doors Part B"
- Live Episode "The Debate"
- Episode 46 "Parade Day"
- Episode 48 "Renovations"
- Spelling of Shawn
- Episode 47 "Company Picnic"
- Episode 49A "Old Oak Doors Part A"
- Episode 73 "Triptych"
- Episode 136 "The Mudstone Abyss Part 2"
- Episode 137 "The Mudstone Abyss Part 3"
- Episode 120 "All Smiles' Eve"
- Episode 135 "The Mudstone Abyss Part 1"