My Favorite Characters: #4 – Steve Carlsberg (Welcome to Night Vale)

In Dungeons and Dragons, one category of magical effect is “you become convinced that ____”. No matter what happens to you, this is your complete and utter belief. But no one listens, no one else is convinced.

Steve Carlsberg desperately wants his truth to be shared with his fellow citizens, but does not hold their ignorance against them. Just as he clings to his own version of reality, he respects that the town can only do so much to break out from theirs.

He is defined by contrast. The acidic tone that Cecil initially speaks his name with, and his manic attempts to keep Steve off the show, versus Steve’s cheerful and eternally dorky demeanor. He is a respected member of the community and one of Night Vale’s most trustworthy citizens, but he’s also an awkward slob who eats imaginary pie.

Like so many characters on the show, it takes a while for him to get any lines. The accusatory yell, “Steve Carlsberg” is all we know of him. He’s the man who wants to ruin everyone’s fun and apply sense to this nonsensical world. He’s the man whose story we don’t hear for a while. But ultimately, he’s not so smug about knowing what he knows. It’s only made his life harder.

But the truth is more important than what makes your life easy or hard. Who cares about being happy or being liked if you can’t be honest with yourself or those around you? The town of Night Vale is going to have to realize that sooner or later.

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