The wait for Portal 2 got that much more painful when Stephen Merchant was announced to play comic foil to GLaDOS’ soothing-but-deadly menace. Here’s a Gamescom clip introducing Merchant’s Wheatley character:

(Potential Spoiler Warning: This video shows what’s ostensibly GLaDOS’ big reveal in the game’s opening scenes)

Merchant, who appears in the terrific Extras alongside collaborator Ricky Gervais, adds a welcome bit personality to Chell’s new companion orb that was missing from earlier videos. Toting along a lovable butler through the Aperture labs might absorb some of the bleakness that permeated the first game, but Wheatley will probably end up on the doomed end of an excursion funnel before the end credits.

Portal 2 comes to the 360, PS3, and PC in February 2011.