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Almost Famous Name

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"Kevin Cozner? Is he the star of Danzzes with Wolvezz?"
Jake Peralta, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

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.

Compare Named Like My Name.


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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.
  • The Incredible Hulk: 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.
  • U.S.Avengers fought a Victor Vandoom (one word), who was no relation to the other Victor at all, and was very defensive about the fact he's been a Mad Scientist for ten years longer.
  • Les Nombrils has Albin Delon, whose birth name actually was Alain Delon before he legally changed it (for reasons unrelated to the movie star).

  • Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Borat has a son named Hooeylewis, and one of the aliases Tutar uses is "Sandra Jessica Parker Drummond".
  • One of the main characters in Office Space is named Michael Bolton. Which was a fine name until "that no-talent ass clown" became famous and started winning Grammys.
  • At a party in "Crocodile" Dundee 2, someone asks Mic if, because they're both Australian, he knows Mel Gibson. Mic, not having the slightest idea who Mel Gibson is, tells an amusing story about meeting Mal Gibson, a local drunkard.
  • In Keeping Up with the Joneses, the Scorpion's real name is... Bruce Springstine, which raises questions. One of his henchmen even asks if it's the reason he has to call him "The Boss", to which he answers it's just "Boss".
  • Twilight Zone: The Movie: In "Kick the Can", Mrs. Dempsey's husband was named Jack Dempsey. When Mr. Bloom jokingly asks her if he was the fighter, she clarifies that he wasn't.
  • In Ted 2, Sam's full name is Samantha Leslie Jackson. When Ted and John point out her name is basically Sam L. Jackson, she doesn't get the reference.

  • Cameoing in You (Kepnes) before becoming a major character (for a while) in Hidden Bodies, Joe's new girlfriend is called Amy Adam. As a result she's totally impossible to Google.
  • 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.
  • Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice For Murderers: Vera Wong is one letter away from designer Vera Wang, a fact that she exploits by naming her teashop after Vera Wang instead. Characters note that it doesn't work because Vera's teashop is so clearly dilapidated that no-one is fooled that it could belong to a famous person.

    Live-Action Television 
  • Inverted in Doctor Who as a Historical Person Punchline. The Doctor and his companion Martha have teamed up with William Shakespeare and he starts opening up about the death of his son and how it almost drove him mad. At the end we have the punchline:
    Shakespeare: I got new ideas. Perhaps it is time for me to write about fathers and sons. In memory of my boy, my precious Hamnet.
    Martha: Wait, Hamnet?
    Shakespeare: That's him.
    Martha: Hamnet?!
    Shakespeare: (Genuinely confused) What's wrong with that?
  • On Seinfeld, George buys a used car because the salesman told him it was previously owned by Jon Voight. It turns out to have been previously owned by John Voight, a periodontist who went to dental school with Tim Whatley.
    • One episode featured a guy who had a beef with Kramer called FDR, which stands for Franklin Delano Romanowsky.
    • Yet another example with Kramer:
    Kramer: I saw the sunrise at Liza's.
    George: What, Minnelli's?
    Kramer: (matter-of-factly) No.
  • 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 on 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 instead gets Greene Daeye, an Irish folk band.
  • 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 series The Late Show (1992), 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. A few standouts included Pete Smith instead of Aerosmith, Mike Whitney instead of Whitney Houston and Hayley Lewis instead of Huey Lewis and the News. Exaggerated when Mick was supposed to book Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and ended up with Al Grassby, Leo "Lucky" Grills, Christopher "Nudge" Truswell and Gwen Plumb.
  • 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" and he owns a local fertilizer company.
  • 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 just an accordionist with the same name.
  • One of the main characters on Skins; no, not that Naomi Campbell.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine
    • Holt's husband is named Kevin Cozner, which is lampshaded by Jake.
    • Gina claims she once developed a linguistics system for "Ellen Musk". Not Elon Musk, Amy, but Ellen Musk, the first season winner of a reality show.
  • In A Very English Scandal, as in real life, one of the conspirators in Jeremy Thorpse's murder plot was named John Le Mesurier, which he shared with a famous British character actor. At one point in the series, this gets a Lampshade Hanging, as after introducing himself, he adds, "not the actor, obviously."
  • Parodied in You. As Amy Adam got the Composite Character treatment with Candace, Candace started using the name Amy Adam in order to elude the Quinn money and fool Forty. He has a classic reaction. This is a Mythology Gag because Amy Adam's name actually was Amy Adam.
  • NCIS: In "S.W.A.K.", Tony and Kate get treated by Brad Pitt after being exposed to the plague. Not a character played by Brad Pitt, a character named "Dr. Brad Pitt."
  • Wellington Paranormal: Minogue and O'Leary get mocked by fellow officers as "Kylie Minogue and his little sister Dannii", which Minogue corrects:
    Minogue: My name is not Kylie. It's Kyle? And the E is silent.
  • In an episode of The Red Green Show Red is excited to learn Harold scraped up a deal to allow him to be a sponsor of Dodge, only to find out it's not the car marque but instead it's Doj, a Swedish adult diaper company.
  • The 1976-77 sitcom The Tony Randall Show had a recurring character who, apparently, knew nothing about opera singers.

    Judge Walter Franklin: Your name is Mario Lanza? Any relation?
    Mario Lanza: To who?
    Judge Walter Franklin: To Mario Lanza.
    Mario Lanza: I *am* Mario Lanza.

     Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Futurama: "You trained with THE Hank Aaron?" "I trained with A Hank Aaron."