- Josh Birk: "You're robbing a bank dressed like yourselves?"
Johnny Gat: "Hell yeah. Who doesn't wanna be Johnny Gat?"
- — Josh Birk and Johnny Gat
Josh Birk is an actor who tags along with the 3rd Street Saints to study the gang's behavior in order for him to make his role in an upcoming movie based on the gang's adventures convincing. Josh has a crush on Shaundi, and Male Voice 3 teases Shaundi about this. Shaundi does not return Birk's feelings, and finds him extremely annoying.
He is well known for his role as Nyte Blayde in a TV show of the same name about a vampire hunter-turned-vampire, who is hunted by an organization he once worked for.[Reference needed]
Depicted as a true idiot that is also narcissistic, Josh is responsible for landing Playa, Shaundi and Johnny Gat in prison after setting off a silent alarm. Later, he acts in a commercial for STAG. Playa soon seizes an opportunity to kidnap Birk in an attempt to hurt STAG, and succeeds. Later, when STAG assaults the Saints HQ to recover Josh, Cyrus Temple offers the Saints the chance to turn Josh over, but he wishes to stay with the Saints out of an attempt to get closer to Shaundi. If he is kept he is unlocked as a homie that can be called to show up as either himself or Nyte Blayde.
Saints Row: The Third
- Shaundi: "Josh...are you trying to get us all jail time?"
Josh Birk: "What? I don't wanna be some dude's bitch!"
- — Josh after tripping the alarm during When Good Heists Go Bad
Josh is an actor who gets cast in a Saints Movie. He goes along with the 3rd Street Saints gang members to rob the Stilwater 1st National Bank as part of a publicity stunt, and to get into character as a true Saint. However the robbery goes bad when they are attacked by the clerks and gang members. Josh ends up causing bigger problems when he sets off the alarm alerting the police and SWAT teams. Josh then does a runner, with fear of going to prison, leaving the Saints behind.
During STAG's war against the gangs of Steelport, especially the 3rd Street Saints, Josh is hired as a mascot for them, playing his role of Nyte Blayde. This attracts the Saints, which leads to Playa and Viola DeWynter to kidnap him during a publicity shoot in order to draw out STAG.
When STAG attack the Saints HQ where Josh is being held, STAG's leader Cyrus Temple approaches Playa demanding to return Josh, and in return he will cool down STAG's heat on the Saints. Josh asks Playa to not hand him over, as he wants to be with Shaundi. Shaundi asks Playa to hand Josh over, as she does not want to have Josh around. The choice is given to decide what to do with Josh.
Saints Row IV
A few years after Saints Row: The Third, Josh is affiliated with the Saints who are now in government, with Playa now President of the United States. During initial Player Customization, a news headline says Josh has been pre-nominated for multiple awards for his lead role in the upcoming "The Saints of 1600" film.
When Playa escapes from the simulation into the real world, he and Kinzie Kensington try to contact Josh and Oleg, who are at the Broken Shillelagh. Josh and Oleg are somehow unaware of the Zin's invasion, and are in the middle of a conversation about Nyte Blayde and don't answer Playa's call as they don't recognize the number. Shortly after, Zinyak atomises the earth.
Enter the Dominatrix
In a Directors Cut for Enter the Dominatrix which reveals what was cut from Saints Row IV, Josh assisted Playa, Shaundi and Kinzie against their fight with the Zin, who launch an attack invasion of Steelport. During this, he is dressed in his Nyte Blayde outfit.
In drawings, Josh battles with a massive one eyed monster and manages to bring it down, but gets injured in the process. Afterward he says his last words - "Earn this...earn... this" - then dies in Shaundi's arms, much to her (uncharacteristic) distress and causing Playa to angrily yell "ZINYAK!".
This depiction of events is revealed to be based on Birk's recollection of the intended cutscene, with the actor saying, "that's how I remember it anyway".
Saints Row Gat out of Hell
Both Josh Birk and Nyte Blayde are unlocked at the same time as separate Homies, and can be recruited at the same time.
When called as a Homie, he arrives in a Saints-Colored Bootlegger. He makes comments on "cleansing", and other cosmetic related things he deals with as an actor.
- Nyte Blade has been compared to the McBain TV series (from The Simpsons) by the writers of Saints Row: The Third, and is a radio serial.
- Originally, Josh was to be recruited as a lieutenant after the events of STAG Party.[Reference needed]
- Josh's surname may be a joke about his stupidity, as "berk" is a word meaning idiot.
- While held captive by the Saints, he proposed marriage to Shaundi six times.
- Despite an advertisement showing the ability to wear the Nyte Blayde outfit,[Reference needed] it is not available in the game.
- In the "Strap It On" trailer, he has a Saints purple lapel pin but it is absent in the game.[imagerefs 4]
- Despite his incompetence, Birk somehow manages to escape police custody when the Saints are arrested.
- Unlike all other Special Homies, when Josh (normal) is recruited as a Homie in Saints Row: The Third, he can be taken as a hostage and used as a human shield.
- If he is recruited as a Homie, he may sometimes say "Wait til they get a load of me", which was originally spoken by The Joker in the 1989 film Batman.
- The White Female Playa in Saints Row 2 also says this line.
- Despite starring on a violent TV show and personally getting involved with a very violent gang, Josh says "We aren't going to do anything violent, are we?" when called on the cell phone.
- Josh has a pair of shades on his normal outfit, but he never uses them.
- Josh is constantly trying to hit on Shaundi. Josh also thinks highly of his acting ability and his TV show. Yet, Playa, Shaundi, and Burt Reynolds don't care about it.
- Josh is indirectly responsible for the events of Saints Row: The Third. Him setting off the bank's alarm caused the Saints to be arrested, which resulted in them being taken as prisoners aboard the Syndicate plane, leading to Johnny Gat's apparent death, and sparking the conflict between the Saints and the Syndicate in Steelport.
- Canonically, Josh Birk is not given to Cyrus Temple as in Saints Row IV he is in the White Crib during The Saints Wing and also hangs out with Oleg during The Real World.
- He has a cologne named Birksniff which is featured in one of five advertisements for Planet Saints in Saints Row: The Third.
- Josh is the only character other than Playa to hold dual-wielded pistols, specifically KA-1 Kobras, though he does not fire them.
- Credits: Saints Row: The Third credits
- YouTube: E3 SquareEnixPresents presentation of Saints Row IV
- YouTube: Saints Row: The Third - Syndication Trailer , retrieved 30th July 2011
- Mission: When Good Heists Go Bad
- Mission: STAG Party
- Cutscene: End of "Convoy Decoy"
- Mission: Nyte Blayde's Return
- Mission: The Saints Wing
- Mission: The Real World
- Mission: Save the Planet
- Twitch.TV: SAINTS ROW THE THIRD EARLY!!! - With permission!
- Wiktionary: berk, retrieved 30th July 2011
- Audio: Birksniff commericial