Steven Eugene Carlsberg[1] is a resident of Night Vale. Cecil Palmer considers Steve to be just about the worst guy there is, but their relationship significantly improved after a discussion they have had in the angels' hearing[2].

He is the only resident of Night Vale who understands something is not normal with the city, and he tries to decrypt the town's secret by reading the signs Huntokar, the goddess of Night Vale, left in the sky. Even though he is mocked by fellow town residents for these attempts, Steve understands the universe better than anyone else in Night Vale, and he dares to look the ugly truth in the eye and say it out loud, despite the risk.

Life and family

Steve is married to Cecil's sister Abby and is the stepfather of Abby's daughter Janice. Steve is a devoted parent to his stepdaughter: that's why sometimes, just sometimes, Cecil can find it in his heart to tolerate him.[3] Steve is a member of the Night Vale PTA (currently serving as the organization's secretary[4][5][6]), and takes time to play catch with his little girl[7], he is also an offensive coach on the Night Vale High School's wheelchair basketball team [8]. He works as the vice president of community outreach at the Last Bank of Night Vale. He claims he minored in counting in college.[9]

Like most Night Vale residents, Steve is a native of the town. Unlike most, the Night Vale education he received "didn't stick", and Steve holds several unorthodox or heretical beliefs.[10] Cecil's dislike and distrust of Steve stems from his fear that Steve will inculcate his dangerous beliefs in Cecil's beloved niece. Cecil attempted to stop Steve and Abby's wedding by charging Steve with speaking forbidden truths (a charge that, by Night Vale law, is enough to stop a wedding), but Abby talked her brother down and the wedding proceeded.

Despite Cecil's feelings towards Steve, Steve is friendly and affectionate to his brother-in-law. He appears to know Cecil quite well: in "The September Monologues", Steve remarks that Cecil used to be aloof and work-obsessed but that dating Carlos has been very good for him; in "Past Time", he correctly infers that Cecil is upset before Cecil himself has had a chance to process his feelings.

In "Matryoshka" Steve told Cecil to stop mocking him because it is humiliating and offensive, and for the first time they had a serious discussion about their relations. Steve learned that Cecil's unpleasant childhood with a clearly not functioning mother, as well as his unstable relationship with his sister stacked a lot of anger inside of Cecil, that he took out on Steve. Cecil later said that after his sister Abby remarried, he felt as though he has no influence anymore on his beloved niece, and he resented Steve for trying to educate her his own way.

As of Year 8, Cecil and Steve seem to be on very friendly terms. During The Heist, Cecil seems very concerned for Steve's well being and is genuinely upset when Steve Carlsberg is stuck inside the bank during the robbery and is later arrested.

Arrows in the Sky

Steve Carlsberg sees glowing arrows in the sky. Dotted lines and circles that create a sky chart that explains the whole universe. He tries to share his understanding with other people, but no one ever listens to him, taking him for a lunatic and ignoring the signals Huntokar, goddess of Night Vale, left for the town's residents in the sky. He could always clearly see how things were organized, and they all made sense.

Steve was always the only one to see Night Vale is a weird place until people were forced to so in Matryoshka when the town and the world were on the verge of total destruction because of The Holes in Reality. Once, at his wedding, Steve explained Cecil (his brother-in-law) about the agents from A Vague Yet Menacing Government Agency, who the latter refused to acknowledge. Steve told Cecil exactly what branch they’re from, who specifically they report to, and whose desk those reports ultimately land on, information so classified one can die for knowing it[10].

List of offenses

In reality, the offenses of Steve Carlsberg are probably too numerous to compile into a list. However, here follow a few of his gravest indecencies (It should be noted that most of these come from Cecil, so some of these may be misleading at best and completely false at worst):

  • He never changes the hubcaps on his tan Toyota Corolla. It's laziness, pure and simple.[11]
  • He brings unacceptably dry scones to PTA meetings, and, as the PTA meeting secretary, his notes are grammatically disastrous.[4]
  • He gambles on sports, is inattentive to the extracurricular activities of his stepdaughter, and has idiotic taste in shoes.[12]
  • He does terrible, annoying impressions.[3]
  • His impression of Carlos sounds like a Munchkin from The Wizard of Oz.[3]
  • He once accused Carlos of being a secret operative. (Not that that wouldn't be awesome.)[3]
  • He thinks the light of the Smiling God is "very pretty" and admits to being impressed by how much he got done at the StrexCorp Company Picnic.[3]
  • He simply cannot bowl, and cost the local bowling team a competition against the Desert Bluffs team.
  • He put up t-shirts of Carlos and Cecil looking up at the lights in front of the Arby's onto windows.
  • He thinks Kevin is a nice fellow.
  • He keeps barging into Cecil's radio studio to give him useless information that no one cares about.
  • He gave Chad Bowinger the idea to summon the sinister beagle puppy, although he actually suggested that Chad adopt one (Chad took that to mean "summon")[13]
  • Is terrible with helping with girl scouts
  • Terrible stepfather to Janice according to Cecil Gershwin Palmer

Political opinions

Steve sometimes shares his political opinions with Night Vale Community Radio, corresponding anonymously,[11] emailing,[14] and even stopping by the station to talk to Cecil.[3] While his opinions may appear to be reasonable, and perhaps may even appear to be the only sane opinions held by any living person in Night Vale, Steve Carlsberg is, in truth, a huge jerk with absolutely no sense of civic pride or duty.[11] The weirdos in Desert Bluffs seem to respect him, and you know what, maybe that is where a jerk like Steve Carlsberg belongs.[14]

Steve Carlsberg is a frequent critic of Night Vale's City Council. He was the only resident of Night Vale opposed to the construction of the Drawbridge, arguing that, "We don't even have a river or bay in Night Vale. There would never be a boat to necessitate a drawbridge!"[11]

During the sandstorm that ushered an army of malevolent doppelgangers into the towns of Night Vale and Desert Bluffs in 2013, Steve Carlsberg blamed the government, writing, "The sandstorm is clearly a coverup. I believe this was a government-created project. Our government has long been participating in cloud-seeding experiments, and trying to suppress the people with pharmaceuticals."[15] Cecil justly put Steve in his place, explaining that, without the government, "We would never have schools or roads or municipal utilities or helpful pandemics or black vans that roam our neighborhoods at night, keeping us safe." I mean, honestly, where does Steve come up with this stuff? It's like he hasn't even read the Constitution. Of course, when those weirdos from Desert Bluffs received the same email, their radio announcer, Kevin, claimed that he had "hit the nail on the head", and even called Steve a "great guy."[14]

The source of these opinions is apparently that Steve can see "glowing arrows in the sky, dotted lines and circles" that explain to him how everything is connected. His conflicts with Cecil in fact started when, after an initially friendly chat over some of Steve's scones (which Cecil at first seemed to indicated were in fact great) that Steve kept trying to explain about the agents of a Vague, Yet Menacing, Government Agency at the wedding, which thanks to the signs, Steve apparently is fully aware of what the agency is and their command structure. Cecil got incredibly enraged about his constant mention of forbidden knowledge, and Steve's desire to share that message, above all else, with Janice.[10]

It is later revealed that the arrows and lines in the sky are in fact real and that they are a message from Huntokar. After trying to get a number of people (including Cecil, Carlos, Leann Hart, Janice, Abby, Dana Cardinal and Pamela Winchell) to acknowledge them, Steve finally prints them out and puts the diagram on a poster board for everyone to see. He also claims that people do in fact see the lines and arrows, but are just not capable of admitting it the same way they can not admit they see the Angels [2] (which do not exist).

Trouble with the authorities

Steve Carlsberg's antagonism towards the City Council and general rabble-rousing has made him a person of interest to the Sheriff's Secret Police. On August 29, 2012, Steve was whisked into a windowless van. He wasn't seen again until the morning of September 1, 2012, when he was observed wearing thick head bandages and eating Styrofoam shaped like an ice cream cone.[11]

Later, as war with the underground city loomed, the authorities suspected that the inhabitants of the underground city had an informant among the citizens of Night Vale. Cecil immediately suspected Steve Carlsberg, infamous for his lack of civic pride, and suggested on the air that a group of citizen vigilantes should go have a "chat" with Steve to find out just what he had been saying and to whom.[16]

Relationships

  • Janice (stepdaughter): Steve adores his little girl and takes an active interest in her education.[3]
  • Cecil (probably brother-in-law): Steve is friendly and affectionate toward Cecil. The sentiment is not mutual.[3] Steve refers to Cecil variously as his brother-in-law, his stepbrother,[3] his brother-outside-of-the-law, his half-brother, and his double-brother, but he admits to getting those terms mixed up. He claims to have met Cecil on the day of his wedding to Cecil's sister. Steve and Cecil share a love of seeing clowns cry. [10] During the Thrilling Adventure Hour cross-over, Steve revealed that he considers Cecil to be his best friend. For years, Cecil used to say rude and mean things about Steve until Steve finally asked him to stop and demanded an explanation of why Cecil was doing it. This forced Cecil to admit it was hard for him to let people into his life because of his difficult childhood (i.e. his mother leaving and his strained relationship with Abby). After this revelation, the two of them hugged and begun to patch things up [2].
  • Abby (wife): Steve is married to Cecil's sister Abby.
  • Chad Bowinger [13]

Underground City

Some version of Steve used to live in the underground city found in the pin retrieval area of Lane 5 of the Desert Flower Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex. This Steve also had a fascination with grid-like patterns and arrows in the sky. He was among the first to sign up for the militia to attack the upper Night Vale and never returned. He is presumed dead.

This Steve is spoken of fondly by Cecil and is considered a war hero.[17]

Trivia

  • His astrological sign is Scorpio. It was hinted at for a while as Cecil often changed Scorpio's horoscope to insults.[11][18][5] It is later confirmed when Cecil addresses Steve when reading Scorpio's horoscope.[19][20]
  • His middle name has been revealed to be "Eugene" as of the October 1st release of The Thrilling Adventure Hour-Welcome to Nightvale Crossover Show
  • Cecil mentions that Steve attended "State" college.[21]

References

  1. Spelling of Carlsberg
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Episode 110 "Matryoshka"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Episode 49B "Old Oak Doors Part B"
  4. 4.0 4.1 Episode 8 "The Lights in Radon Canyon"
  5. 5.0 5.1 Live show "The Librarian"
  6. Episode 64 "WE MUST GIVE PRAISE"
  7. Episode 84 "Past Time"
  8. Episode 114 "Council Member Flynn, Part 1"
  9. "All Hail"
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Episode 53 "The September Monologues"
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 Episode 6 "The Drawbridge"
  12. Episode 44 "Cookies"
  13. 13.0 13.1 Episode 85 "The April Monologues"
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Episode 19B "The Sandstorm (Part B)"
  15. Episode 19A "The Sandstorm (Part A)"
  16. Episode 14 "The Man in the Tan Jacket"
  17. Episode 107 "The Missing Sky"
  18. Episode 51 "Rumbling"
  19. Episode 157 "The Promise of Time"
  20. Episode 169 "The Whittler"
  21. Episode 162 "Alpha"
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