Kevin Thompson or Kevy to his girlfriend Brittany Taylor is the stereotypical jock character of Lawndale High, almost always talking about or gliding on the fact that he is the quarterback or "Q.B." He is voiced by Marc Thompson.
Kevin has black hair and a muscular build. He is usually seen in his blue and gold Lawndale Lions football uniform with brown football cleats.
The least intelligent member of the main cast, Kevin carries that rare sort of thick-headedness/outright stupidity that renders him immune to not only conventional learning, but also sarcasm and some deliberate attempts to trick him. Kevin is usually the target of anger, maliciousness or frustration from teachers.
Most of the time, the only thing on Kevin's mind seems to be football. In the episode A Tree Grows in Lawndale not only is Kevin shown to be completely lost and despondent without the sport, but also that he seems to be the only one carrying the team.
Only in his own mind does he admit that he lacks the necessary physique to play football professionally.
Kevin is the on again off again boyfriend of Brittany. He has an extremely cheery and friendly personality, never showing any malicious attempt and unique for a star quarterback character. In an outcast-centred story he is never shown to be a bully. He generally wanders through life with an oblivious smile.
His parents had him when they were still in high school, an unplanned event. They dote on him, with his mother thinking Brittany isn't good enough for him (and afraid she'll get pregnant and prevent him going to college).
Family photos in The Daria Database show a baby Kevin with little baby footballs (even when he seems newborn)—his father was a high school football player who couldn't do it professionally, and is very keen on Kevin playing and getting state championships. Mart of Darkness would present him as his parents' first child. (Kevin refers to having "big brothers" in college in College Bored, but he could be speaking about the members of the fraternity he was visiting that day.) Kevin seems to like his parents but in his childhood days, he had an imaginary friend called Sporty who "hates my dad" ("The Kev Zone," see below).
He was exaggeratedly dimwitted and was one of many extreme personalities used to balance the main character's lack of enthusiasm, as well as justify her cynicism and give her a target for sarcastic remarks. Some episodes showed that Kevin can be confused simply by asking him if he's sure or knows the answer, even if it's something he does actually know—in Fair Enough, he never twigged that he wasn't being taken to school because Brittany just asked him "are you sure?" and Kevin immediately got confused. Once, when Mack asked Kevin is what he says ever makes any sense to himself, Kevin happily replied "sometimes!". (I Don't)
He makes it through school entirely on the basis of getting "byes" on tests, at Principal Li's command: he's viewed as too important to the football team to have to worry about silly things like learning (Mart of Darkness, See Jane Run). Kevin's father takes the same view, believing football and the state championship are more important goals; his mother, however, wants Kevin to go to college. Football consumes Kevin's life, to the extent that in The F Word and A Tree Grows in Lawndale, he became completely despondent and depressed when he was rendered unable to play; in the latter's case, he wouldn't even drink sports drinks (as they're "for sportsmen").
A career aptitude test in It Happened One Nut revealed, to Kevin's horror, that he'd likely be working at a gas station for the rest of his life. To his credit, he went out looking for a part-time job to ensure that wouldn't happen; unfortunately, he sucked at the job.
Other interests he has include typical male activities like drinking and things with explosions & violence, as well as Ratboy comics; Monster reveals he also likes the Rocky Horror Picture Show (but is terrified by subtitled films); Road Worrier had him going to Alternapalooza, an alternative rock concert. He appeared to have some natural skill with acting, as he managed to land a part in a play without realising in Fair Enough; A Tree Grows in Lawndale also showed him to have a rapport with young children.
To Daria's annoyance, Kevin keeps getting placed in situations with her or deliberately coming over to engage in small talk. He doesn't understand most of her insults and doesn't seem capable of realizing he's being insulting when he cheerfully refers to her lack of popularity. Despite this, he seems to view her as a sort-of friend, in The Big House and Ill, being concerned for her welfare, and asking her advice on frequent occasions. In Partner's Complaint though, he panicked at the idea of hanging out with Daria for any length of time.
He views Mack as his main "bro" and the two are constantly hanging out. Despite frequent complaints, he still hasn't understood that Mack doesn't like being called by the nickname "Mack Daddy."
In a running gag, Kevin's extreme stupidity drives teacher Anthony DeMartino to enraged despair: at one point he strangled Kevin. Being Kevin, he seems completely oblivious to how much DeMartino loathes him and takes the teacher's vicious barbs at cheery face value. Science teacher Janet Barch once tried to destroy Kevin's self esteem and happiness in Too Cute by making him disguise himself as ugly as a 'class assignment'.
In the Daria telemovie/finale, Is It College Yet?, Kevin was the only character among Daria's classmates who did not graduate: his low grades meant he had to repeat his senior year. He was embarrassed by this and tried to keep it secret. He eventually, however, does tell his girlfriend Brittany.
Kevin and Brittany
From the very beginning of the series, Kevin was in a romantic (and very physical) relationship with fellow student Brittany Taylor, the head cheerleader. She was often portrayed as smarter than Kevin (but not by very much)—the earlier episode Road Worrier is an exception, with Kevin (and Mack and Jodie) clearly stunned that Brit didn't know she'd have to sit on the ground at a music festival.
The two cheated on each other on a regular basis, but always made up. Despite him being a cheat, he gets very jealous when someone else hits on or dates Brittany (Daria Dance Party). Kevin is often responsible for stupid comments or moves, often without realising, and has found himself on the receiving end of extreme violence from Brittany.
The Daria Diaries showed us that the two used to send each other romantic letters (sort of) and that Kevin was the one who asked Brittany out: his first letter ("PS I hope this is the right locker") said he'd saw her at tryouts, thought she looked cool, and asked if she wanted to go out. "I have a car. And I'm the QB." (He also admits "I'm one of the guys who used to peek through the little window in the gym door" until Ms. Morris taped cardboard over it) Their first date involved a film and some activity on Kevin's jeep's backseat, though Brit had expected a Julia Roberts film and Kevin had instead taken her to something bloodier than he expected (he apologised for it). It's clear that his reasons for the relationship are shallow - he admits he likes her because she's hot and "it makes all the other guys jealous!" - and that the relationship was a mess from the start. They also wrote notes instead of talking at some points, and finally stopped after Kevin said when he wrote stuff down it came out "stupid" and that was stopping them from making out.
A Tree Grows in Lawndale established both that their love was supposed to last "until graduation," and that Kevin does, on some level, truly care about Brittany - as he broke up with her after his knee was sprained, believing that he was no good for her if he couldn't play football, that she had "needs" a quarterback had to fulfill and she'd never be happy with a boyfriend who wasn't in any yearbook photos.
In the 2001 version of Kevin's MTV website, he mentions "football is kind of like dating: sometimes you choose the most obvious person under pressure and then you're stuck with them. At least that's what I heard Brittany telling the other cheerleaders. Then they all looked at me and shook their heads."
In IICY, he didn't want Brittany to know he'd flunked and kept dodging her questions about colleges & graduation until the eleventh hour. He was scared that if she knew he'd flunked and wasn't going to college like she was, she'd dump him. She did finally agree that she'd remain his girlfriend anyway...but with two fingers crossed behind her back...
At school, Kevin had a website (actually made by Todd K. Feichmann - a "character page" on the original MTV Daria site - called The Kev Zone ("we put the www in awwwesome!"). On his website, he included dating tips, a "cyber challenge", and a link to the Pigskin Channel website. Copies of old versions, like the 2000 spring version, are on Wayback Machine.
"My dad says I need a skill besides building can towers, because after last weekend's game he doesn't think we should count on that football scholarship. So I told him I always wanted to learn to play the bagpipes but I guess he didn't hear me, since he got me a computer and a chair that goes up and down instead. Oh wow, it spins too! "
"...And he paid this guy Todd to come over and help me make a web site. Todd wears a baseball cap with an alien face on it and has a big butt. Not that I notice guy butts, no way. In the shower I just stare at the tiles. Uh, this is making me uncomfortable. Anyhow, Todd went away to college when he was 14 but then he cracked up and now he builds robots in his Mom's basement. He told me computer code is made up of X's and O's just like football plays. I think he was trying to buddy up to me because then he asked if I could fix him up with a cheerleader like I'm David Coppertone or some other miracle guy."
"Anyway, I hope you like my web site and come back soon. Although it probably won't change much once Todd goes home."
Kevin's Dating Tips From A To B
"I'm the QB and I knows the score. Get it?
- DO hold the door for your date. But remember to open it first.
- DON'T try the "We're out of gas" line if you're not in a car.
- DO take off your cleats when you play footsie.
- When you meet your girlfriend's stepmom, DON'T tell her that she's hot, even though she is, you should SEE HER!
- DO tell your girlfriend she's the prettiest girl in the room. Make sure there are other girls in the room when you say it. Also tell her she has real class (whatever that means).
- DON'T offer to carry her books if you are creeped out by that guy Fabio. I know I am. He's got like bosoms.
- Girls DON'T think it's funny when you make a dinner reservation with the name Hannibal Lechter.
- DO remember that girls can tell the difference between roses and carnations. Even red ones.
- DO remember that it's "Ladies first" when getting in and out of the back seat.
- DON'T keep bringing up that guy Fabio and his bosoms like you can't get the image of their firm amplitude out of your head."
In 2000, he updated the website to promote a "Carter County" fantasy football website that Todd had set up - not noticing that Todd is openly insulting him (and all other football players), added a reference to Brittany cheating on him and made fantasy-Kevin rubbish, and boasts of "destructive viruses, and annoying clone bots for you to download".
Kevin's promotion went like this:
"The first time I told Brittany I was spending a lot of time playing Fantasy Football she slapped me. So I explained all I meant was I like to make up imaginary teams for make believe football leagues, and it has nothing to do with daydreaming about naked cheerleaders doing pyramid formations. But then I started to think about naked cheerleaders doing pyramid formations and I guess I got a funny look on my face and she slapped me again."
"Now I'll have plenty of time this weekend to check out player stats and injury reports and make trades and rethink my roster and order an apology bouquet from 1-800-GROVEL."
"My fantasy football team is kind of like the imaginary friend I had when I was little (his name was Sporty and he was always sticking Lima beans up my nose) except there are more of them and they don't hate my Dad. I miss Sporty."
"I wonder where he is now?"
"When I first got into fantasy sports I used to play in leagues based on the NFL, or NCAA conferences. But now there's a new fantasy league that's about what I know best: Carter County High School Football! Did I mention that I'm the QB?"
"See, this kid named Todd K. Feichmann who helped me with my web page last year decided to put his smartness to non-nerdy use to start the league. And he only charges $29.99 to join: he says he needs the money for something called a particle decelebrator. Some kind of fancy vacuum cleaner, I guess."
"Anyway, I'd really be kicking butt in the league if only I hadn't picked myself in the first round of the draft. I would trade myself now but no one wants me. I throw too many interceptions, sometime I get confused and call out phone numbers instead of plays, and I keep tripping over my laces (can't I remember to double knot?) I suck, I suck, I suck!"
"Maybe I shouldn't have drafted me. I guess football is kind of like dating: sometimes you choose the most obvious person under pressure and then you're stuck with them. At least that's what I heard Brittany telling the other cheerleaders. Then they all looked at me and shook their heads."
Kevin in Fanfiction
Generally, Kevin is portrayed as... Kevin.
In a number of fics (and fan views), he's presented as a friend of Daria's (even if she doesn't want him to be). He is usually presented sympathetically, though a few (such as HolyGrail2007's Finn Morgendorffer series) present him as basically pathetic. A common characterization for Kevin is a re-assignment to a Special-Ed class due to learning deficiencies similar to his canon portrayal.
A few fanfics will darken the character, such as "A Midsummer Nightmare's Daria" by The Angst Guy, making him either a bully, a bad boyfriend, or otherwise abusive or dangerous. Others will broaden the character and show him improving or being a decent man at heart.
Post-canon fics will often show Kevin as a failure, his glory days long behind him; a number take his future ego from "Is It College Yet?" as fact, and have him running the Bro & QB ice-cream company with Mack.
Fanfics with Kevin in a significant or starring role include:
86 Bottles of Beer series (a Get Smart crossover) by Kristen Bealer.
A QB Grows in Lawndale by Kristen Bealer
- Kevin was voiced by actor Marc Thompson, who also gave voice to Anthony DeMartino, Timothy O'Neill, and Charles "Upchuck" Ruttheimer III.
- The voice actor has stated that Kevin is the character most resembling himself, "because he's really absent-minded."
- In the never-aired pilot for Daria (Sealed with a Kick), Kevin became convinced Daria was attracted to him, a mistaken belief that Daria uncharacteristically fueled to embarrass Kevin and make Brittany jealous. This particular dynamic between Daria and Kevin was never featured in any of the episodes that aired, although it is hinted at in the episode The Lab Brat.
- Kevin managed to bond with Daria's dad, Jake Morgendorffer, albeit in the short term. While assigned to a group project with Daria, she introduced him to the Pigskin Channel on TV in order to keep him distracted while she worked, and Kevin watched this with Jake. The bonding, however, seems to have been exceptionally one-sided. There is little evidence that Kevin noticed Jake any more than he noticed Quinn's pathetic attempts to seduce him.
- Kevin is almost always seen wearing his uniform and shoulder pads. Still, there are a few instances (non-dream/fiction sequences) where he is seen without them:
- College Bored: A red college fraternity tee shirt
- This Year's Model: During the petting scene he's seen without his jersey showing the padding and later during the photoshoot he's seen in boxers.
- The Lost Girls: He wears a tie-dyed tee shirt
- It Happened One Nut: a Black three piece suit when he comes in to do the job interview, although in the scene following that, his usual Jersey has returned.
- Just Add Water: A "tuxedo print" tee shirt
- Is It Fall Yet?: Red swimming trunks during his stint as life guard.
- A Tree Grows in Lawndale: Kevin removes his jersey and pads onscreen revealing a white tee shirt with a cartoon character and the words "HI, KIDS!" on it. He is also seen wearing this shirt in The F Word.
- In the Latin American dubbing, he was voiced by José Antonio Macías.
- Outpost Daria - Characters: Kevin (via Wayback Machine)