The Americans

President Johnny Gentle

He is a Famous Crooner and singer-turned-President-of-the-United-States-of-America and leader of the Clean United States Party (C.U.S.P.). He is the man responsible for the Organization of North American Nations (O.N.A.N., which is a superstate combination of America, Mexico, and Canada), for the Great Concavity (or Convexity if it’s being viewed from Canada, which is a giant wasteland of hazardous waste in the northeast part of America (New England) and the southeast part of Canada), and for Subsidized Time (an idea that companies and products essentially purchase a year and have that year named after the company or product). Gentle is a germaphobic neat-freak (hence C.U.S.P.).


Hugh/Helen Steeply

He is a member of the United States Office of Unspecified Services (U.S.O.U.S., or in French B.S.S.). On his latest U.S.O.U.S. case, Hugh is asked to enter the field as a woman under the name “Helen Steeply”. As “Helen”, he pretends to be a journalist assigned to write a soft profile on the tennis-player-turned-football-punter Orin Incandenza for Moment magazine; this is a rouse to gather as much information as he can on the Incandenza’s and the infamous Entertainment cartridge. Throughout his time as a woman, he works closely with Rémy Marathe (whom he agrees to be liaison, although Steeply feels the A.F.R. (See Rémy Marathe) are simply after the Entertainment for sheer malefic purposes while the U.S.O.U.S. is after it with clear intent) to track the origins of the Master Copy of the Entertainment, and they often discuss the differences between the American dream and the Canadian way of life. Orin develops romantic feelings for “Helen” while he is being ‘soft-profiled’, despite Marathe constantly noticing how unwomanly Steeply appears. “Helen” also reaches out to Marlon Bain to uncover some of the mystery swirling around the Incadenza family, to which Bain complies.


Rodney P. Tine

He is the Senior Chief of Unspecified Services, under which Hugh/Helen Steeply (See Above) is employed. Tine is a member of the Gentle (See Above) administration, and is in love with Luria Perec. He also measures his penis every morning with a metric ruler, and has done so since he was twelve years old. Mario Incandenza, in his Interdependence Day puppet show at Enfield Tennis Academy, hammers home the idea that Tine is the mastermind behind the Reconfiguration and the relocation of New England (although there is no actual proof of this being true (and also, James Incandenza‘s rendition of this idea is much more ambiguous and subtle)).


Thomas M. Flatto

He is the U.S.O.U.S director of Input/Output testing, and he has guys working around the clock to figure out how to view the Entertainment without suffering the consequences of viewing it. His personal opinion of the Entertainment is that it’s enticing because of its density; a good holographic projection has the realness of a stage-play without the selectiveness of a view-screen, so the realism and the density is too much to handle. He is a resident of Falls Church’s community, and is a widower with three children, one of which has cystic fibrosis.


Dick Desai

He is in the U.S.O.U.S. In Data Production unit, and he wants to team with A.L.G.O.L. to make findings about whether the entertainment cartridge is, in fact, holographic.


Dick Willis

He is the U.S.O.U.S. Input/Output nightshift worker who coins the phrase “Empty of intent” with regards to a persons’ eyes who have seen the cartridge (though Hugh/Helen Steeply (See Above), after his father‘s death, feels that “Empty of intent” does not quite capture it).


Tom Veals

He is the Veals portion of the Viney and Veals Advertising Company (under which Ken Erdedy is employed). In a paper Hal Incandenza once writes for Mr. Ogilvy‘ Entertainment class in the seventh grade in the Year of the Perdue Wonderchicken, he discusses how the Big Four controls what Americans watch (while giving off the illusion of choice), and how the Big Four’s demise destroys advertising agencies (such as Viney and Veals, despite it actually being Viney and Veals who begin the entire demise of the Big Four with their A.C.D.C. campaign that allows products and services that can not generally afford air time to have air time by taking advantage of the plummeting Big Four advertisement rates, thus killing the Big Four entirely, and thus killing themselves). The destruction of Viney and Veals actually drives the Viney (See Below) portion of Viney and Veals to suicide, and spikes unemployment and crime rates as there is no longer any entertainment. Veals goes on to manage P.R. for Johnny Gentle’s (See Above) campaign.



He is the Viney portion of the Viney and Veals Advertising Company (under which Ken Erdedy is employed). He is so distraught by the destruction of the Big Four and the subsequent destruction of the advertising business (See Tom Veals, Above) that he commits suicide.


Noreen Lace-Forché

She is the woman who revolutionizes television watching and makes a cartridge renting system under InterLace TelEntertainment. After the Big Four and the advertising agency destruction (See Tom Veals, Above), she convinces the Big Four to consolidate and reform under the name InterLace TelEntertainment. She also convinces Tom Veals to regather himself after the suicide of his partner and to orchestrate dissatisfaction with the passivity of cable watching. Through InterLace, she proposes the idea that people are able to choose what is on the television all the time through rentable titles in the form of cartridges. This eliminates advertisements entirely and makes television watching a consumer-driven business.


Lance Corporal

He is a sociopathic, mentally disabled man from Leavenworth who is able to report that the Entertainment cartridge opens with an image of a veiled girl (who is assumed to be Joelle van Dyne) entering a large building’s revolving door and catching a glimpse of someone else in the revolving door, the sight of whom makes her veil lift and after which the viewer can no longer do anything but stare.


Ms. Tawni Kondo 

She operates an immensely popular exercise program on television.



He is someone whose house explodes, killing him.