List of characters in Strangers with Candy
This is a list of characters from the
Comedy Centraloriginal program " Strangers with Candy".
Geraldine Antonia "Jerri" Blank
Geraldine Antonia "Jerri" Blank (
Amy Sedaris) was born in 1953 to a drunken Aramapu squaw, who traded her for a pitcher of beer. She was adopted by Guy Blank and his wife. In 1967, Jerri dropped out of high school and ran away from home and her adoptive mother died. Around 1984 Jerri was living in Florida, where she was beaten by a border guard and lost a tooth. Also in 1984, she became pregnant by either an obese, harelipped bail bondsmanor a Cuban. She gave birth to a child, Ricky ( Frederick Koehler), who she traded for a guitar. She served several prison sentences, most recently because she, as worded in the introduction, “stole the TV”. In 1999, Jerri returned to Flatpoint and re-enrolled in high school at the age of 46.
Jerri is bisexual, claiming that she likes "the pole "and" the hole", and she attempts to seduce many male and female classmates over the course of the show. (When confronted with a particularly attractive girl, she will often growl, “Mmph! That’s "gotta" be tight.”) She is openly racist, though she appears to be completely oblivious to this fact. For example, she denied any racism to her friend Paul Cotton immediately before showing him her heavily stereotyped drawing of a "Chinaman". She often compares her Filipino friend Orlando to a monkey, although her remarks aren’t meant to cause offense (she thinks monkeys are adorable). She also makes randomly anti-Semitic remarks which are curious because she doesn't know any Jewish people; however, Jerri's bigotry is always presented as an example of her stupidity and ignorance, and she has never been violent towards any of the minority groups she insults.
Jerri is not very intelligent, but she is a shrewd thief and resourceful drug user (e.g., finding a vein, creating drugs from household cleaners, et cetera). She was
illiterateuntil the episode "The Blank Page" where she tried out for cheerleadingand was shunned because she spelled "V-I-C-T-O-R-Y" as "Win!", but Mr. Noblet helped her learn to read. Also, she is a violin prodigy, as seen in the episode “To Be Young, Gifted, and Blank”. In that episode, she was also the timpanist for the school’s orchestra. At the end of “Yes, You Can’t”, she is seen playing the drums for “ Carry On Wayward Son”, perhaps leading the viewer to believe that she is a talented drummer as well. In “Trail of Tears”, Jerri proves herself to be an excellent “Indian” (in the culturally offensive sense): she’s a great archer, scalper, and torch-thrower.
Jerri seems to have quite a collection of wigs (her hairstyle changes constantly, growing longer or shorter within a single episode) and wears an inordinate amount of makeup. Sedaris intended her to look “like somebody who owns snakes” (which she does in an early episode). She has a very large genital piercing (which she calls “The Liberty Bell”) and sports tattoos across her knuckles ("Hard" on one hand, "Luck" on the other, a parody of
Robert Mitchum’s tattoos in "Night of the Hunter" [though in some episodes, according to Amy Sedaris, the "Luck" sometimes becomes " Fuck"] ). Despite all the effort she puts into her appearance and her own belief that she is quite sexy, over the course of the series she is frequently mistaken for an old man.
In the final episode, "The Last Temptation of Blank", Jerri's big heart caused the most popular girl in school to run off to become a junkie whore like her, and later she, Principal Blackman, Mr. Jellineck, and Mr. Noblet decide to become
whoresafter they burn down the school, as they feel this life direction "beats teaching".
Mr. Geoffrey Jellineck
Geoffrey Jellineck (
Paul Dinello) (pronounced "JOFF-ree", as opposed to the more common "JEFF-ree") is Jerri’s flamboyant, narcissistic art teacher. He appeared in all episodes except “Blank Stare: Part 1”. Jellineck has repeatedly stated he is a “confirmed bachelor”, though he refers to imaginary children and a dead wife as part of his odd fantasy life, most notably in “A Burden’s Burden”. He revealed that he became wealthy after allegedly participating in his rich aunt’s death in “A Price Too High for Riches”, the Season 2 finale, which must have taken place chronologically after Season 2, Episode 3, “Yes, You Can’t”, where Jellineck briefly becomes homelessafter quitting his job. He and Chuck Noblet share a homosexualrelationship, which is allegedly secret, although everyone but Blackman seems to know about it. Jellineck is superficially a very kind and sunny person (in the film he tells Jerri, “You can talk to me: I’m an authority figure, but I have the mind of a child."), and he is generally very encouraging to Jerri. But just beneath the surface he has plenty of rage and despair, and these dark emotions surface with very little provocation. He has been bullied by his students and even by one of the school's teachers, although he is a pacifist(and a coward) and refuses to fight back. On one memorable occasion, Jellineck lost his face in a car accident, although it was eventually found and restored. After it was first reattached, it nearly blew away in the wind, but otherwise he seems to have made a full recovery.
Mr. Charles “Chuck” Noblet
Chuck Noblet (
Stephen Colbert) is Jerri’s bitter history teacher who seems to make up almost everything that he teaches (example: “After his violent revolution, Gandhiwas devoured by his followers.”). The subject that he teaches changes often over the course of the series, and in the film he teaches science. Noblet frequently wears cowboy boots (and at one point, "only" cowboy boots—when he posed nude for a sketch by Jellineck). He secretly desires to be a rock star and appears to idolize the band Kansas in particular. He is also in a secret love affair with Jellineck and frequently refers to his wife, Clair, to maintain his appearance of heterosexuality. He has a son, Seamus, who is mentioned but never seen in the series. Noblet will instantly abandon Jellineck in order to keep his own homosexuality a secret, but the two appear to have genuine feelings for each other; whenever their relationship is in trouble, Noblet will weep wretchedly.
Noblet appeared in all episodes except “The Virgin Jerri”. In the final episode of the series, Noblet tells his class about the “hot, ass-thumping sex” that he and Jellineck enjoy; however, the class was not paying attention since it was the final week of school. In an interview with
Terry Gross, Colbert addressed the question of why Noblet is always so cruel to Jerri, saying that Noblet is miserably repressed and has built his entire life on lies, and is thus deeply threatened and resentful of Jerri for always asking questions and trying to figure her life out.
Principal Onyx Blackman
Onyx Blackman (
Greg Hollimon) is the overly stern principal of Flatpoint High who appeared in all thirty episodes. He rules Flatpoint High with an iron fist, insisting that his likeness be placed in as many prominent positions throughout the school as possible, including, but not limited to, the school letterman jackets, the buses, silk robes, every classroom, air fresheners, art projects, restrooms, paper towels, and even behind shelves.
Various episodes establish that Blackman has a
gamblingproblem, is divorced, still lives with his parents, and has a fetish for middle-aged white women. Blackman apparently enjoys a very active sex life (he is seen romancing several ladies during the course of the series, once even enjoying a romantic, candlelit dinner in his office in the middle of a school day). For some reason, he is absolutely clueless about Noblet and Jellineck's ongoing affair, even when confronted with fairly obvious evidence.
Guy Blank (
Roberto Gari, Dan Hedayain the movie) is Jerri’s father, shown only in a motionless state during mid-action (for example, carving a turkey or participating in a father–daughter sack race practice). Guy appeared in the pilot and in the episodes “Old Habits, New Beginnings”, “A Burden’s Burden”, “Who Wants Cake?”, “Bogie Nights”, “Feather in the Storm”, and “Jerri is Only Skin Deep”, until his death in the episode “The Goodbye Guy”. Guy played the violin until the death of Jerri’s mother, after which he developed a seeming hatred for the instrument. Evidence points to Guy Blank as being a racist; he evidently calls Principal Blackman by “an ugly word,” requested that “no darkies” attend his funeral, and owned some Klan robes (Jerri discovered them in his closet after his death, although she was distracted and didn’t seem to notice them, or else didn't care). Based on one picture Jerri finds after Guy’s death, it appears that in the continuity of the show, it was Guy and not Steve McMichaelwho joined the Four Horsemen professional wrestling stable in 1996. Removed from the regular cast list after the first season, in later appearances he is credited as guest star.
Sara Blank (
Deborah Rush) is Jerri’s alcoholic stepmother who favors her son over her stepdaughter and has an ongoing affair with Stew, the meat man. While she is generally quite prim, she is also openly racist. She was in every episode except “Yes, You Can’t” and “The Blank Page”. She is quite disdainful of Jerri (in the "Strangers" movie, she told Stew, “I wouldn’t want you to think that "that" slithered out of "my" womb.”), but she delivers most of her lines with a sugary sweetness that hides much of her true venom. She makes no secret of wanting Jerri out of the house, but for some reason she goes along with the idea of Jerri as a high-school kid and treats Jerri more like an unwanted teenage daughter than a 40-something-year-old woman. Sara Blank was an actress when she was young and played Peter Panin a stage production; when Jerri got a role in a high school play, Sara became very bitter, drunkenly sobbing, “Peter Pan has gotten "old!"” On one occasion, though, Sara seemed almost caring toward Jerri, taking an interest in whom she was inviting to a dance and offering to reinforce the “trouble spots” on her dress if it turned out Jerri took one of the violent students (she was very worried that Jerri would take the “new kid”). Removed from the regular cast list after the first season, in later appearances she is credited as guest star.
While Sara and Derrick Blank seem to despise Jerri, when Jerri briefly vanished from their lives, they made a big show of being worried and consoling each other; of course, every time the phone rang, they picked it up only to immediately hang it up again. Eventually, they cut the phone cord with a butcher knife and took no further action to find Jerri.
Derrick Blank (
Larc Spies, Joseph Crossin the movie) is Jerri’s junior varsityjock stepbrother who is suspected of being a closetedhomosexual. In one episode, “Is My Daddy Crazy?”, he declined masturbating to a high-school girls’ pillowfight to read his “ gladiatormagazines”, but was entranced by guest star Winona Ryderin the series finale “The Last Temptation of Blank”. Another clue to his alleged homosexuality comes in “Is Freedom Free?” when Mr. Jellineck, sporting only a Speedo (because it’s “Freedom Week”), declares that he’s “going to go see Derrick”. Jellineck, a closeted homosexual, would have little other reason to visit Derrick, especially in a Speedo.
Derrick typically refers to Jerri as “plug” or “troll”, and in several episodes he appears close to striking her, but something always holds him back (on one occasion he perhaps came closest to the truth when he sneered, “You’re just lucky I’m a coward!”). He has a crew of jock friends, and they enjoy bullying blind kids and other unfortunates. On one occasion, after one of their targets verbally shot them down, Derrick suggested to his friends that they “go watch some
gay pornand get our hate back!” He was in every episode except “Yes, You Can't”, “The Blank Page”, “To Love, Honor, and Pretend”, and “Bully”. Removed from the regular cast list after the first season, he is credited in later appearances as guest star.
Orlando Pinatubo (Orlando Abdo Pabotoy) is Jerri’s best friend, a Filipino whom she constantly mocks because of his race. In the first season especially, he had a huge crush on Jerri and was not above spreading rumors about her love interests to stop her from seeing them (as in “Bogie Nights” and “Let Freedom Ring”). Sadly, Jerri does not reciprocate his romantic feelings. Like Tammi Littlenut, he is very innocent, always expects the best of Jerri, and is crestfallen when she inevitably disappoints him. He is close to his family, and they hold “parties” where they dance and tell stories with their hands. In the final episode, Orlando and Tammi have both become obsessed with a
Dungeons and Dragons–like role-playing game, perhaps their nerdiest development yet.
Tamala "Tammi" Littlenut
Tamala "Tammi" Littlenut (
Maria Thayer) is Jerri’s best girlfriend. In most cases she is grounded and sane, providing a voice of reason and normalcy in the odd social structure of Flatpoint High and tries to give Jerri good advice, though she never takes it. Like Orlando, she is a very sweet and innocent person who never seems to grasp how sleazy Jerri truly is. However, in very rare instances, Tammi can be seen joining in with other Flatpointers in acts of bullying and paranoia (she joins in laughing at Glen the Bus Driver in “The Blank Page”, for instance). Additionally, in “Invisible Love” she had a close romantic relationship with the school’s science teacher. Frequently referred to as “Coppertop” and “Nuttage” or as a “redheaded spitfire” by Jerri, Tammi occasionally brings out a more masculine side in Jerri: Jerri has become quite aggressive when defending Tammi from bullies, and when Tammi and Jerri were charged with taking care of a baby, Jerri quickly fell into the role of an emotionally abusive, deadbeat dad.
Coach Cherri Wolf
Coach Cherri Wolf (
Sarah Thyre) is the Flatpoint gym coach and a suspected lesbian/bisexual. While she is depicted as a stereotypical “dyke” coach for most of the show’s run, she apparently fell in love with Geoffrey Jellineck while they were pretending to be married during “To Love, Honor, and Pretend”, but he broke her heart when he left their fake marriage to go back to his secret relationship with Chuck Noblet. She claimed to be a virgin well into adulthood and preached abstinenceto her students, but then she slept with a fiery Latino pizza chef in “The Virgin Jerri”. Coach Wolf also worked at the pizza parlor to make ends meet. Her class was rebuilt into a Sticky Bunnery in the last episode, and she got a job there, citing better pay and child care.
Stew (David Pasquesi) is the lover that Sara Blank took after Guy Blank’s death. He is married and has two children, Chuck and Patty. He is a “meat man,” a butcher and meat delivery man, which is used as a basis for puns and other running gags throughout the series. In “Is My Daddy Crazy?”, he went temporarily insane and coated the house with cheese before his reflection fired him, and he was cured by Jerri drilling a hole through his skull.
He appeared in many episodes of the first and second seasons before Guy’s death, in close relationship with Sara, leading many to strongly suspect they were having an affair. Even before Guy's death, he filled in the role of father to Jerri, first by being unthoughtful and emotionally abusive and then by being loving and attentive when he became completely insane.
Stew’s name is intentionally spelled like the food, as is confirmed by his work shirt which has S-T-E-W on the name tag (seen in the movie and in episodes such as “Feather in the Storm”).
Iris Puffybush (Dolores Duffy) is the school secretary in such episodes as “To Love, Honor, and Pretend” and “Bully”. The actress who plays her (Dolores Duffy) also sometimes pops up in other places during the show, such as a secretary in the doctor's office in "Jerri’s Burning Issue” and a nurse in “Hit and Run”.
Jimmy Tickles (Jack Ferver) is Tammi and Jerri’s smallish and presumably homosexual friend. Often he is spontaneously beaten up by jocks for no definite reason, though his beatings often follow particularly flamboyant dialog or actions of Jimmy’s (his repeated phrase "I'm so jazzed!" often directly led to his being beaten up). Jerri forced him to have sex with her in the girls’ bathroom at the end of the episode "The Virgin Jerri". Early appearances, also before the beatings, showed him as being a relatively
heterosexual, straight-laced student.
Clair Noblet (Carolyn Popp, Evelyn McGee in the movie) is Chuck Noblet’s wife, who is only seen three times in the series. It is believed that she and Chuck have a strained marriage, and she seems to exist only as his beard. In one scene, Chuck asks her if she wants to have sex; she says no, and he is relieved and can then fall asleep.
Cassie Pines (
Janeane Garofalo) is the student counselor at Flatpoint High, and, as such, her first responsibility is, of course, to the teachers. She openly despises the students and clearly hates her job, giving horrible advice to Jerri after her father died. At the end of the series, she got a job in the Sticky Bunnery alongside Coach Wolfe.
Jazzy (Larry Marshall) is the music teacher at Flatpoint High with an affliction for the female students that he must find clever ways to curb.
Frederick Koehler, "Bogie Nights") is Jerri's illegitimateson whom she had with either an obese harelipped bail bondsmanor a Cuban. Apparently, she traded him for a guitar. He was making out with Jerri in her golf cart until he learned she was his biological mother.
Winona Ryder, "The Last Temptation of Blank") is the most popular girl at Flatpoint High. She bet another girl that she could make Jerri popular (like " She's All That") and could make the popular boy Brent ask her out. Jerri's big heart in the end causes Fran to run off to become a junkie whore, which Jerri approves of as Fran has all the skills needed to become quite successful as a prostitute.
Brent Brooks (
Paul Rudd) is the most popular boy at Flatpoint High. He's quiet and minds his business. He was the one that was to ask Jerri out by Friday by Fran.
Edie Harley (Natalie Blalock, "Bully") is the school
bullywho first picked on Tammi, but later beat up Jerri after she stood up to her. Jerri tells her she loved her and Edie hugged her, but then Jerri used the peace necklace to knock her down.
Mr. Tidbits (Ross Bickell), "Bully") is Mr. Noblet's replacement after he left on sick day because Edie Harley took his seat and she wouldn't move. He called Mr. Jellineck a homo in front of the other teachers and Principal Blackman. Mr. Tidbits gave Jellineck two choices:
#. Resign today
#. Or fight him to prove he's a man.Jellineck confronted Tidbits and Tidbits knocked him down, but Jellineck wouldn't fight back, and Tidbits got tired. Later Jellineck ran over Tidbits in revenge.
Chris Carmack, "Invisible Love") is the school jock. He was Jerri's secret relationship. Laird pretended Jerri didn't exist in front of his friends, but they made out in his locker and other places. He breaks up with her after she tells him she wants to make their relationship public.
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