Punching Down Cast List and In-Universe Cultural References

Punching Down Cast of Characters

This is a list of characters and other in-universe elements of Defining Leather: Punching Down.

Cast List


  • Tad Gilstone: A former road comic and character actor now best known for producing low cost light entertainment for extended tier cable via his production company Riot Laugh Productions. Popular for his roguish good looks and boyish charm, which makes his entry into middle age pretty tough. Known for progressive politics and geek friendly humor. A big fish in a small pond, production-wise, but he has the gigs people want and that gives him leverage. Perhaps not everything his reputation suggests.
  • Sutton Sheldon: A somewhat overweight character actor with impeccable timing. Tends to crusade about different causes, and is privately thought to have become a bit of a buzzkill ever since he got married. Loyal and kind, but understands both the brutality of comedy and the vicious competitiveness of the entertainment industry, and does what he has to.

Also Starring (in alphabetical order)

  • Serenity Clair: Twentysomething model, presenter, influencer, and pro cosplayer. Dating Tad Gilstone, though that doesn’t make everyone in her life happy.
  • Barb Edison: Producer and Tad’s partner in Riot Laugh Productions. Honestly the real producer of Tad’s shows, doing all the behind the scenes work to make them happens while Tad draws in talent and makes the deals rain for both of them. Tends to be high strung. Has never been a comedian, because why insult people for pay? That’ll just compromise your amateur status and the Thousand Meter Withering Sarcasm event will make the Olympics one of these years – you just watch!
  • Foster Harrison: Detective Corporal of the Del Mier Police Department – a community where ‘protect and serve’ actually means ‘cozy up to and mollify multi-millionaires without ever offending them unless and until you have to arrest them, then just get more polite because don’t be stupid. This is just a job.’ Despite this, seems basically honest and a decent sort.
  • Mark Laughton: One of a handful of contractors and builders in Del Mier who’s good enough, discreet enough, and reliable enough that they can be snide to their customers. ‘Just call me Mark’ is at best amused by these people, because the fourth or fifth time you show up to spackle over a hole in some action star’s wall after ‘he punched it and broke his hand while trying to look cool and Gayle Northport and her entourage are coming over at four to discuss her being in Disposable Sequel Four so could you please hurry’ Hollywood ceases to have any particular mystique.
  • Colette Myles: A road comic and occasional actress who’s living gig to gig. Funny and quick and has some fantastic pitches no one wants to hear. Has been wearing white button downs, jeans, black vests, and a slightly oversized hat for so long no one’s positive she didn’t model for Annie Hall concept art.
  • Larry Roebuck: A legendary agent for APX Entertainment Associates – not top tier by any means, but in business for so long he’s practically an institution. He specializes in comedians and comic actors, and works closely with Tad Gilstone both in managing his career and placing his clients on Tad’s shows. Just over seventy and not inclined to overly stress about stuff anymore. After all, that’s why there are junior agents, right?
  • Stephanie Russell: A Senior Wealth Manager and Financial Advisor for Roberts-Childer Wealth Management (a wholly owned subsidiary of BankOne of Southern California). She’s a mother of two and a nice person who’s found that raising sometimes overly precious babies makes for good training for dealing with the Del Mier elite. She has many famous clients because she’s good at what she does, but she won’t discuss who they are with the public or even friends… because she’s good at what she does.

Special Guest Star

  • Eddie Dell: A hard edged, brutally intelligent comic from the post-sixties cocaine-fueled pre-Emergence day. Known essentially from day one as being an impossible jackass, but he counts some of the most influential comedians and stars of the golden era of comedy through to modern times as his fans. Not his friends, of course. But his fans. Absolutely convinced that the war against mediocrity, corruption, corporate b※※※※※※t is being fought on the battlefield of comedy, and any dumbass ‘safe’ comedian’s a m※※※※※※※※※※※g traitor to Will Rogers, Larry Bruce, and God. Want proof? Who the fuck censored ‘bullshit’ and ‘motherfucking’ in this Godforsaken cast list? Jesus Fuck.


  • Red Beast: A gigantic ball of red fur and unimaginable destruction – forged in a hellpit to be an unstoppable weaponization of pure rage and bloodlust. Apparently, Page View Review thought that made for good comedy.
  • Tony Summers: The man himself – a legend from back in the days when televisions were science fiction and radio was the place to be, still pushing through year after year – older and maybe a bit blunter and more thug-like, but still the biggest name in the room in the eyes of the only guy that counts. Who? We’re talking Tony Summers, right? Who else even gets an opinion? Forty or fifty years back, Tony actually was what Tad Gilstone thinks he is. Since then, Tony has perhaps changed his tune on a few things.


  • Leather as Herself: America’s Sweetheart Super-Thief! A third tier ‘touring’ villain who gave an interview (well, forced an interview upon) a rock journalist that hit unexpectedly hard in a world where heroes are at their lowest ebb and villains don’t seem half as scary as those parahumans who live down the street. Known for having ‘no sense of perspective’ when it comes to vengeance. Or anything else, for that matter. She was once the fourth tier hero Dynamo Girl working out of Bay City, New Jersey – which is where she ended up fighting Red Beast and getting to be a joke on Page View Review.

Special Thanks

  • Emergence: More formally known as ‘the Emergence Event:’ the day that Paragon first flew into the sky and saved the planet from a killer asteroid – revealing both his existence and parahumanity to the planet and launching the Age of Heroes.
  • Justice Wing: Once the preeminent super hero team, but ever since the Apocalypse Agenda they have expanded to become the de facto self-regulation for heroes worldwide. Not currently in vogue, though several of their members (like Paragon, the Beacon, the Centurion, and the Ancient Mariner) remain popular around the world.
  • The Apocalypse Agenda: The popular term for a nearly two year period when Urizen, the mad God of Civilization, had set up an elaborate series of blinds and distractions that led to the death of over a billion people worldwide, the betrayal of Justice Wing by founding member Freya leading to all out war in Europe and Asia, the (temporary) conquest of America, an alien invasion in Africa, and so many other horrible things worldwide. In the end, all these were, as stated, a distraction from his real goal: attempted suicide via the destruction of the entire multiverse. He failed. The whole thing was relatively traumatic for literally all the survivors.
  • Amplifier Magazine: A third-rate music magazine that shot to be the next Rolling Stone and didn’t even make it to SPIN. Mostly known for puff pieces and fawning over musicians in a desperate effort to keep readers, though one or two reporters do write articles of substance. With the publication of “Interviewing Leather” in a recent Amplifier, the magazine found itself in the unexpectedly weird position of being the zeitgeist. One can’t imagine it will last.
  • TLN (The Laughter Network): One of this universe’s most popular basic cable channels, and ‘the first all-comedy network merged with the best comedy network’ after Laugh and Funny First merged a few decades back. Known for a broad variety of humor, though skewing hard towards the ‘Men-18-to-39’ demographic.
  • Riot Laugh Productions: One of a billion and a half (conservatively) small production companies in Southern California, though probably in the eighty-fifth percentile of success for those companies, which is no small feat. Founded, owned, and operated by Barb Edison and Tad Gilstone, and generally specializing in panel shows and talk shows for basic and extended tier cable, as well as streaming options.
  • Page View Review: At once Riot Laugh’s biggest show and the show Tad himself derides as ‘the downmarket gig,’ verses the after shows and chat shows and even a few other panel shows on extended tier. Page View Review is shown at one in the morning Eastern and Pacific, Midnight Central, and is a basic panel show done as a fake quiz, riffing on news and culture with an emphasis on infonet based content.
  • DTN: The Dundee Television Network, which grew out of the old Jackson and Dundee Radio Network and ultimately became on eof the original ‘big two’ TV stations. Arguably the most important of the terrestrial American television networks left.
  • The Infonet: A portmanteau of ‘Information’ and ‘Network,’ the Infonet developed out of the old ARPAnet and BITNET networking projects pre-Emergence, which then got absolutely jumpstarted within the first couple of years after Emergence, as the paraintelligent Mason Temple adapted alien networking techniques and technologies worldwide.
    • Quippr: Quippr Quips™ are the current (as of this story) preferred microblogging medium on the Infonet.
    • Scrapr: Scrapr – pronounced ‘scrapper’ and combining both ‘scrapbooking’ and ‘getting into a nasty scrape’ into an overall attitude as much as a business model. The home of the gifset.


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