The Zen and the Damaged

A fan site for fake newspeople

A guide to the in-show history of the characters on the Report: mostly Stephen’s beseiged staff, as well as the real-world allies and rivals who have played into the show over the years.

Some descriptions are still works in progress. You’ll know them when you see them.

The Reportverse


Stephen’s former black friend, dumped after he was caught on video at an anti-war protest rally. Stephen has been searching for a new black friend ever since.

Returns briefly at the end of this Wørd, in the company of a new white friend. Stephen is crushed.

Bears a strange resemblance to comedian Jordan Carlos.

Allison Silverman
Allison Silverman

Former TCR head writer, later co-executive producer. Starred uncredited in a variety of scenes, including this spontaneous Jewish wedding.

Generally acknowledged to be awesome, at least until she decided to leave, at which point Stephen declared her a terrible person so as to avoid feeling sad.


Stephen’s educated, indecisive, and besieged stage manager. Other duties include going on secret missions, wearing various costumes, and being the subject of torture demonstrations. Is frequently the one stuck with delivering bad news to his boss.

Was briefly replaced with a heat lamp, and later eaten. After a brief appearance as a ghost, he returned in full health. (Apparently there was time travel involved.)

Looks oddly similar to TCR writer Eric Drysdale.


The mysterious woman who has a restraining order out against Stephen, although he insists he’s not stalking her.

Subject of the only single released by his ’80s band. Also his high school classmate and first cousin. At least, unless you prefer the latest retcon, which puts her as an art-school student and actual ex-girlfriend who freaked out when she caught Stephen wearing her peasant blouse.


Stephen’s financial advisor from the future, as well as from an unspecified planet. May have engineered the 2008 market crash for his own ends.

Speaks with a Southern accent when using his human voice emulator.

Homer (Omar)
Homer (Omar)

The Greek takeout deliveryperson who spent several years locked in the secret prison under Stephen’s desk after being mistaken for someone of Middle Eastern descent.

Released from his cell (which turned out to have a door all along), Homer made a touching return to Stephen’s life. These days he attempts to use his vast experience at listening to shows to help in their production, approaching the Report writers and researchers.

Jay the Intern
Jay the Intern

One of Stephen’s interns, with duties that include fetching coffee and delivering messages to Washington via pony ride.

Subject to such abuses as being shut in a locker for extended periods of time and being a test subject for his boss’s cat-administered method of eye surgery. Was once shot by a turkey (although, to be fair, they were involved in a drug deal at the time). Probably did not sign up for this.

Looks somewhat like Report writer Jay Katsir.


One of Stephen’s roadies. Other duties include going on secret missions, blowing things up, and assisting in torture demonstrations.

Never speaks. It’s part of his charm.

Killer is perhaps the only staff member who never gets roped into humiliating and/or dangerous schemes if he doesn’t want to be. He’s demonstrated telekinetic choking abilities, but they’re rarely necessary; his silent unblinking stare is usually more than enough to intimidate Stephen into backing off.

Lorraine ColbertLorraine

Stephen’s wife, also referred to on-air as “Brenda” and “Evelyn”. (Evelyn is the name of the actor’s wife.)

He doesn’t talk much about their relationship, possibly because it’s not very stable.


One of Stephen’s interns. Her fun duties include acting as shieldmaiden.

The less fun ones include posing for sexy pictures and testing everything he drinks to see if it’s been poisoned.

Meg has filed multiple sexual harassment suits against her boss, to no avail. As she hasn’t been spotted since 2008, one can only hope she’s found a better job.

P. K. Winsome
P.K. Winsome

Styles himself as “the black Republican,” although that may have nothing to do with belief and everything to do with clever marketing. He’ll gladly make your conservative gathering look more diverse…for a reasonable fee.

P.K.’s career has taken off since the election of President Obama, with all the opportunities to sell inauguration merchandise, Obama collectibles, and, for his fellow conservatives, Obama collectibles with Hitler mustaches glued to them.

His appearance at the Rally to Restore Sanity (hawking certificates of authenticity, naturally) confirmed his first name to be Percy, making him possibly an alternate-universe incarnation of Strangers With Candy character Percy Kittens.

Looks strikingly like comedian Tim Meadows.

Russ Lieber
Russ Lieber

Stephen’s earliest arch-nemesis, first heard deriding the Report via his radio program.

In much the same way Stephen embodies all that is Good and Right about conservatives, Russ is all that is pretty good, he thinks, although of course if you have a different opinion that’s okay too, about liberals. He’s a non-confrontational dissenter in person, and more than willing to present arguments against his own points while Stephen sits back and watches.

Often mistaken for comedian David Cross.


Stephen’s life partner, a beautiful lady.

Seriously, Sweetness is a six-shot Colt Detective .38 Special, the longtime preferred revolver for law enforcement and private investigators due to being accurate for its size, yet small enough to conceal easily under the shoulder. Nevertheless, Stephen addresses her like a person, and sees nothing wrong with the fact that she talks back…even when she’s telling him to shoot people.


Stephen’s building manager, although he’s out of the building as often as not, sent to retrieve retrieve an eagle, purchase merchandise, and build a museum for Stephen. (That last one involved stealing a historic pump, pictured.)

Tad’s relationship with his boss is a conflicted one. The invitations to spend weekends alone at Stephen’s cabin don’t seem to have gone over well, and some of his duties are downright torturous. On the other hand, they tumble together, and with enough practice to do it well.

Looks oddly like Stephen’s long-lost fraternal twin Pavlos. Also, like actor Paul Dinello, known for playing Geoffrey Jellineck on Strangers With Candy.

The Prescott GroupThe Prescott Group

The massive megacorp behind Prescott Pharmaceuticals, whose side-effect-heavy drugs sponsor the regular segment Cheating Death. Other groups under their aegis include Prescott Oil and Prescott Insurance.

Responsible for a surprising range of 1950s-style educational shorts, such as How To Be A Maverick and How The On Notice Board Is Made.

The WordThe Wørd

Also known as “the bullet”, and, from Stephen, “shut up, you.”

The Wørd has been an iconic part of the show since its very first entry, Truthiness, became a household name (and a word of the year). Its running commentary used to spend a lot of time paraphrasing Stephen, but soon broke out to develop a mind of its own. He ignores it most of the time, only occasionally breaking off his own rant to yell at it.

Where the text comes from is never made clear, although it seems able to report Stephen’s thoughts as well as simply answering or rephrasing them.

The Real World

Amy Sedaris

Amy Sedaris

Known for raising rabbits, making cupcakes, and tumbling with Stephen and Tad.

Her crafting skills are second to none; even Stephen’s googley-eyed clams can’t compare.

Also plays Jerri Blank on Strangers With Candy, and voices Abrax(x)ia on The New Tek Jansen Adventures.

Barry Manilow

Barry Manilow

First (of many, alas) to defeat Stephen at the Emmys (MANILOW!!!), leading to almost immediate shouting.

They later signed a peace treaty in which they agreed to joint custody, and sealed the deal with the first (of many, hooray!) TCR host-guest musical duet.

Nevertheless, tension remains between the two. Especially when Manilow and Jon Stewart set their Emmys up on play-dates,

Bill O'Reilly

Bill O’Reilly

The adored “Papa Bear”, who is to this day the only Report guest to walk to the interview table while the host sat in wait. (Shortly beforehand, Stephen was a guest on the Factor, from which he stole a microwave — later to be pitted against the Olbermug.)

Stephen’s emulation of O’Reilly’s style goes back to his News 7 At Noon days. His idolization knows no bounds, although it isn’t returned as fervently, and he doesn’t take that realization well.

Conan O'Brien

Conan O’Brien

Freakishly tall Irishman.

Once shot Stephen. That wasn’t very nice, was it?

The entire Who Made Huckabee feud is a thing of glory.

Eleanor Holmes Norton

Eleanor Holmes Norton

Stephen’s Congressional arch-nemesis.

Insists on mispronouncing his name.

Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda

First appeared on the Report alongside Gloria Steinem to do a cooking segment. While both of them ended up kissing the host, Jane was the one who stole the show; Stephen couldn’t face her again until he put his fantasies of her On Notice.

It didn’t work. The former Barbarella promptly settled herself in his lap and kept him more off-balance than any guest before or since.

Jimmy Fallon

Jimmy Fallon

Ice-cream rival and Best Friend For Six Months, a trial period which turned out to be richly deserved.

Neil Degrasse Tyson

Neil Degrasse Tyson

Astrophysicist, multiple-time guest, and Stephen’s BFF: best-friend-fysicist.




Stephen’s Korean R&B arch-nemesis, who placed ahead of him on the Time 100’s online poll in spite of Stephen’s just-as-influential song “Singin’ In Korean”.

Simultaneously enraged and intrigued, Stephen challenged Rain to some sort of contest, be that a dance-off, a cuddle-off, or a spoon-off. At last his challenge was answered, with an after-hours dance-off that turned into a DDR-off.

Sumner Redstone

Sumner Redstone

Stephen’s boss. Frequently depicted as the Crypt Keeper.

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