So after the index card game/brainstorming session in the pub, here is the first character sketch.
Satan has lost his job and been booted out of hell. Perhaps he should have seen it coming. His last seven performance reviews all highlighted a “lackadaisical” attitude, revealing a master of Hell who has been coasting for the last few decades and living off past glories. Eventually, after his third final warning, the Board of Infernal Trustee and Auditors (a panel which Satan himself helped set up) have decided that Satan is not up to the job and have removed him from his post.
That’s why he’s now on Earth living in flat 3B under the name of Jeremy Clovenhoof. This is an opportunity for him to reinvent himself as a human being or address his personal failings and seek reappointment to Hell’s top job. However, Mr Clovenhoof is far too bitter and self-pitying to do either of these things. He dwells on the past and resents his current position to the point that he often fantasises of going back in time and doing things right second time around. He feels resentment towards those who sacked him, particularly the chair of the Board, that git of an archangel, Gabriel. He harbours deep suspicions that Gabriel (frankly, everyone) has somehow conspired to get rid of him.
As an Earth-dweller, Clovenhoof retains much of his demonic personality (although few of his demonic powers). He is an involuntary and arbitrary mischief maker. He parks in disabled parking spaces and steals from charity collection tins. He is argumentative and violently pedantic. He has his charming side too though. He tries to be funny, although mostly fails on this score.
His habits are frequently unpleasant and he is generally oblivious to the disgust they cause. Whether it’s scratching himself in public places, picking and flicking snot or producing loud and noxious farts (which he then smells and scores out of 10), Satan has a lot to learn about human decency.
He is, however, terribly vain, not only about position and prestige but also appearance. He hasn’t changed his overall appearance to merge in with the human race. He retains his hoofed feet, his horns and goatee beard and yet humans either fail to notice this or are too polite to comment on it. He both loves his little goat feet but also wonders what it would be like to have human feet. He’s fascinated by them (that’s why he watches Strictly Come Dancing) and wonders if he ought to start a human foot collection. To improve his appearance, he is investing heavily in hair restorer (for his bald pate) and is trying to find a clothing style of his own. Unfortunately, his tastes seem to gravitate towards Noel Coward-style smoking jackets and cravats.
Mr Clovenhoof is a man with desires and he is fascinated by women. However, his fascination is a badly mixed up concoction of attraction, repugnance and perversity. He harbours a secret suspicion that woman are just men pretending. He is ensorcelled by breasts and wonders what breast milk tastes like. He wants a woman, although whether to wine or dine her or dissect her is uncertain.
But, at heart, Mr Clovenhoof is a regular guy. He loses his keys frequently. He is infuriated by modern technology. He believes he has a poet’s soul (he’s working on his own version of the Bible but can’t get past “In the beginning…”). He is engaged in a mortal battle of wits with the miniature Yorkshire Terrier from the flat upstairs. And, push come to shove, he is probably happiest sat on the sofa with his feet on the pouffe, watching Strictly, with a dinner of Findus Crispy Pancakes and a small glass of Lambrini. He is a man of simple pleasures.