'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' Fans Think They Cracked Charlie's 'Pepe Silvia' Mystery
Nearly 13 years since It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia viewers first learned of Pepe Silvia, the worker Charlie Kelly frantically claimed was merely a fictitious pawn in a massive mail conspiracy in 2008's “Sweet Dee Has a Heart Attack”, it seems several fans have taken to Reddit dying to talk about the mail, claiming they've discovered why the King of the Rats is just so doubtful of Mr. Silvia's existence. Despite the crazed look in his eyes as he desperately attempts to convince Mac that their “office is a god damn ghost town,” Charlie, in all his rambling, red string, conspiratorial madness is actually correct on one facet of his theory, they argue – Pepe Silvia does not exist. The reason why the elusive employee's name keeps “coming up over and over again" on packages, leaving Charlie with “boxes full of Pepe"? “Pepe Silvia" is actually illiterate Charlie's attempt at reading the state of “Pennsylvania," which would be included on each piece of mail addressed to the presumably Philadelphia-based company.
Although this conspiracy-related conspiracy is far from a new phenomenon, with fans first speculating that Pepe Silvia could actually be the northeastern state on It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia fan forums more than a decade ago, this theory went viral on the show's subreddit once again earlier this month, drawing the mysterious worker's existence into question once again.
“I just realised Pepe Silvia is Charlie trying to read Pennsylvania," wrote user u/mission-dead in a post that has garnered more than 8,300 upvotes. “No wonder the mails kept getting sent to Pepe.”
Even with the theory's renewed viral popularity, the truth over whether the Pepe Silvia = Pennsylvania conspiracy has any merit is a bit more complicated. Aside from the fact that upon hearing Charlie's deranged rant, Mac bursts his buddy's bubble, informing him that “not only do all of these people exist, they have been asking for their mail on a daily basis,” and that states are typically abbreviated on letters, two caveats several Redditors pointed out on the thread, various members of the show's creative team have also addressed the Pepe Silvia conspiracy in interviews and on social media.
In 2013, one fan curious to get to the bottom of the long-running conspiracy, reached out to an unverfied Twitter account claiming to be Scott Marder, who served as Sunny's producer from 2007 to 2017 to get his take on the matter. "
@sbmarder Questions about #PepeSilvia expisode of Always Sunny: Was Charlie just misreading ‘Pennsylvania’?," asked Twitter user Ben Bloom. "We need to know!"
Although Marder responded shortly after, asserting that the similarities between the character's name and Pennsylvania was merely a “total coincidence” and “just a random funny name that came to be,” in a thread of since-deleted tweets, he said he found the fan theory quite amusing. “Prefer your pitch actually,” Marder's account replied during the interaction, archived on the Wayback Machine. “That's much smarter! Dammit, I should've lied”
Marder isn't alone – even the star behind Charlie himself, actor and comedian Charlie Day says he, too, admires Sunny fans' creativity in conjuring up the wacky rationale. “Some fans, very astutely, have put together that because my character can't read, Pepe Sylvia might be Pennsylvania on the mail,” Day told Wait Wait … Don't Tell Me! host Peter Sagal while appearing on the show in 2019. “But actually, I don't think - I think for us, it was just a funny name for a guy to go crazy about. But I like their theory better.”
So folks, there you have it. Although an incredibly witty play on words, Pepe Silvia is not actually the state of Pennsylvania. Let's hope the fictitious Silvia finally got his mail.
Top Image: Fox