Shhh! People Have Already Heard That Connection/Joke With Their Name
Hey there folks. Remember how I wrote The Dan Levy FAQ last month? Remember how part of it was all about how I have no relation to Eugene Levy and his son Dan Levy the former host of The Hills Aftershow on MTV? Well the reason for that is that when people meet me they more often than not seem to think that they are the first people who ever realized that I share the same name as that guy.
The show ‘The Hills’ was on from May 2006 to July 2010 – somehow that’s 6 seasons – (thanks Wikipedia), I don’t know how long Dan Levy hosted The Aftershow but it was a while – I AM WELL AWARE OF HIS EXISTENCE AND THAT WE SHARE A NAME!
Have you seen the movie Office Space and how annoyed the character Michael Bolton is when the mail lady asks him about the pop singer Michael Bolton (whose music the non-famous Michael Bolton actually despises)? I have the scene linked below as the office worker Michael Bolton explains to his friend Samir why he hates Michael Bolton the singer (this is not how I feel about the other Dan Levys, my namelgängers).
Watch his face and body language when the lady asks him about Michael Bolton the singer. They really do a great job expressing the feelings we people with names similar to a celebrity feel the 18 millionth time we get asked about the similarity between our names:
PS I totally wanted to include the scene with Michael Bolton and The Bobs because it is way funnier in my opinion. Alas, I couldn’t because I couldn’t find it on YouTube. (Found plenty of pretty bad re-enactments though).
Guess what folks, that is what almost everyone in the world feels like when you make some comparison like that to someone famous or a reference to a famous song or character the first time you meet them.
For all you middle aged people or fans of Elton John/1970’s music I know there is a song by Elton John called “Daniel” which was released in 1973 and was a huge hit. I know the chorus says something about “Daniel my brother”. I don’t like the song, but I have known about it for about 20 years since a grade school librarian made the comparison when he met me after meeting my 2 older brothers.
I am sure there are a bunch of people out there who are named Jack Bauer who are sick and tired of hearing about CTU and how when they are having a crappy day it “must be the longest day of their life”. You may think you are being hilarious with your joking comparison but I promise you they stopped finding it funny years ago and are gritting their teeth to keep from punching you. In fact, the comparison to the hero of 24’s character may actually bring them to start feeling like 24’s Jack Bauer looks like he feels in the picture to the left…FED UP.
I have a friend named Jeremy, he is a HUGE Pearl Jam fan, the first time I met him I didn’t start singing the song by Pearl Jam called Jeremy. Even if he wasn’t a huge Pearl Jam fan it isn’t as if he spent that past 20 years living under a rock and no one has ever made mention of that song to him.
If you are from a country where there is a huge hit song/personality/TV show and you meet someone with the same name then OK, fine! Make the comparison – that’s somewhat different. But I beg of you as a matter of etiquette, if the comparison is something renowned in the country you’re from (or in) don’t make the reference because those people have already heard it 800 times. You are not being funny or original.
I don’t need to hear about “When the Lee-vee Breaks” (an attempt at a comparison to the Led Zeppelin song “When the Levee Breaks”) or how when I am on my way out the door I am ‘Lee-vee-ing’. That was mildly amusing the first time someone said it when I was 8.
Look, at the end of the day I am not perfectly innocent of this either. I have definitely done it before because I think it is something we all do. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is a natural reaction in the attempt to remember a person’s name who you just met. (#ProTip: They say you should repeatedly use the name of a person you just met in conversation with them to better remember their name later.) But please, for all of our sakes think about it before you say it because the joke/comparison has probably been made and you are not doing anything to endear yourself to this new acquaintance.