Almost Famous Name

Bob: Yeah, I met famous rock stars The Rollin Stones.
Alice: [gasps] You met The Rolling Stones, the famous musical group?
Bob: What? Oh, no, I met The Rollin Stones, the famous band of granite and marble actors and actresses. Boy, I would love to meet the Rolling Stones, though!

Almost Famous Name is when a person states he's met not a celebrity, but someone with a similar-sounding name who may be less famous or not famous at all.


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  • Marvel Comics' Doctor Druid, in his first appearance, was called Doctor Droom. They changed his name when they revived the character so as not to be confused with Doom.
  • Xemnu the Titan is a kinda interesting example; he was referred to as "a Hulk" before the Hulk existed, but he called himself Xemnu.note  After the Hulk was created, Xemnu has come back a few times mostly as a Hulk foe, feuding over the name.
  • She-Hulk once fought Doctor Doom. This particular Doctor Doom turned to be Doctor Bob Doom: a cousin of the more famous Victor Von Doom, and a Depraved Dentist.

  • A running joke in Johnny and the Dead in regard to the local cemetery. For instance, Einstein is buried there — not Albert Einstein the physicist, but Solomon Einstein the taxidermist.

    Live-Action Television 
  • Seinfeld
    • George Costanza buys a car purported to have been owned by actor Jon Voight. He later learns that the car was owned by Dr. John Voight, an unrelated character.
    • For an episode or two, Elaine dated a man who had the same name as infamous serial killer Joel Rifkin.
  • In the Veronica Mars episode "Ruskie Business", Keith gets hired to track down an actor named Tom Cruz.
  • In an episode of Step by Step, Cody told Dana that he was friends with Brad Pitt, and would introduce him to her. Turns out Cody was friends with a Brad Pit.
  • In an episode of Cheers, Sam discovers that when he was an alcoholic bender, he bet the bar that he would be married to Jacqueline Bisset by a certain date. When the guy he made the bet with turns up to claim the bar, Sam realises that the bet didn't specify the Jacqueline Bisset, so he tracks down another woman of that name to marry.
  • From Monty Python's Flying Circus, the "Trivializing the War" sketch from series 4 mentions "the other Cole Porter" who wrote "the other 'Anything Goes'."
    Anything goes in
    Anything goes out
    Fish, bananas
    Old pajamas
    Mutton, beef and trout!
  • The Beverly Hillbillies/Petticoat Junction: Hooterville's richest and most powerful man is named Howard Hewes. This didn't confuse anybody in Hooterville or the Clampett clan, but Beverly Hills banker Mr. Drysdale just about had an orgasm when he heard that Jed and Mr. Hewes were considering doing business together.
  • In an episode of Community, the Dean attempts to hire Green Day to play at a dance. He gets Greene Deye, an Irish band, instead.
  • JAG: Harmon Rabb once offered to introduce a pair of sailors to Jennifer Lopez in exchange for them helping him out. It wasn't till after they've helped that we find out this Jennifer is his dental hygienist.
  • A variation occurred in the Australian version of The Late Show, where Tony Martin would announce a major celebrity to perform the musical finale for the show, but Mick Molloy confessed he slipped up and booked a minor celebrity with a similar name.
  • Inverted in one episode of The Muppet Show where Kermit initially believes the guest star is an act called Lesley & Warren, and is pleasantly surprised to discover that it's actually the similarly named but more famous actress-singer-dancer Lesley Ann Warren.
  • On an episode of Corner Gas, Brent exclaims, "Look everybody, it's Al Gore!" When Lacey says that the man in question looks nothing like Al Gore, Brent clarifies that his name is spelled "Goar".
  • On The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, one of the main characters is in the hospital under the care of Dr. Kavarkian. He quickly reacts to their shock by repeating the pronunciation.
  • An episode of The Vicar of Dibley involved Geraldine booking a musician named Reginald Dwight who she thinks is the one known famously as Elton John, but he's an accordionist with the same name.
  • One of the main characters on Skins; no, not that Naomi Campbell.

     Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Bad Baby was directed by Tom Burton, as opposed to...
  • Futurama: "You trained with THE Hank Aaron?" "I trained with A Hank Aaron."

    Real Life 
  • Producer Jon S. Denny has a name very similar to the much better-known producer Jonathan Demme. When Denny asked for a meeting with Danny Bonaduce to pitch a film based on his life story, Bonaduce thought that Demme had called.
  • Bill Murray claimed that he performed the voice of Garfield because he got screenwriter Joel Cohen mixed up with the much cooler Joel Coen of The Coen Brothers. The proposal was apparently made over the phone. Murray had already recorded the part before discovering his mistake. He has yet to offer an excuse for doing the sequel, however.
  • There's a seller of powered wheelchairs who is named Tom Kruze.
  • A British general at the time of the Falklands war was named Michael Jackson.
    • As is the well-known beer and whisky expert.
    • And the developer of Jackson Structured Programming.
  • During 2007, Blackpool FC had both Michael Jackson and Robbie Williams both playing in the midfield.
  • Actress Patricia Mahoney, whose only IMDb credit is the 1988 film Black Eagle, is likely not a dwarf.
  • Country singer Julie Roberts.
  • A particularly unfortunate case of this trope occurred in November 2013, when a number of websites reporting on the child sex-abuse crimes committed by Ian Watkins of the UK band Lostprophets inadvertently illustrated the reports with photographs of Ian "H" Watkins, famous in his own right as a member of the UK band Steps.
  • A BBC Four program on British legal history was presented by a barrister called Harry Potter. At no point was this lampshaded.
  • As well as being a prominent jazz pianist, Keith Jarrett played rugby: Union for Newport and Wales; League for Barrow.