Engelbert Humperdinck, or Englebert Reynolds?

Dave’s note: With today’s post, we welcome everyone’s new favorite Funny Names Blogger, Kerbey, to the team! Kerbey has been wowing us with her comments ever since she and Liz bonded over Tom Selleck, and we’re tickled to add her to our list of esteemed experts in the field of Funnynameology! She will be posting every fourth Wednesday. Today, she grabs the bull by the horns and takes on a name we have wanted to cover for quite some time, but hadn’t gotten around to – she’s already making waves. Give Kerbey a warm welcome!

 

http://blog.prinz.de/grand-prix

http://blog.prinz.de/grand-prix (Reynolds and Humperdinck)

Engelbert Reynolds. That would be a great Wheel of Fortune “before and after” puzzle, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as Engelbert Reynolds, as far as I know. But there is an Engelbert Humperdinck, and he’s in the spotlight today.

First of all, I want to thank BoFN for allowing me to guest-post on this April day. Having a non-traditional name has allowed me to sympathize with others in my position. So when I had to come up with a curious name, it was a no-brainer: singer Engelbert Humperdinck.

It’s not even the fact that his name is odd, as that he had a perfectly normal name and chose to cast it to the wind, discarding it in favor of a less easily-pronounced name–a name that, as we’ll see, wasn’t even original.

In a bid for fame and glory, the man who lived the first 22 years of his life as Arnold George Dorsey stole chose the moniker of a dead man, the 19th century composer, famous for having written Hansel and Gretel. Both awesome names, you would agree. Here’s the original Engelbert Humperdinck.

Engelbert_humperdinck_1854

Not only do his smooth, majestic forehead and silk bow tie command attention, but check out that ‘stache. Wow. He is indubitably a candidate for the The Mustache Humor Summation, which to be brief is:

Mustache + Funny Name = Awesome Person

Honestly, I wasn’t aware that you could just steal the name of a deceased person, but apparently you can.

Best known for his number one hit, “Release Me,” the second  Engelbert denied the label of “crooner,” telling The Hollywood Reporter, “No crooner has the range I have. I can hit notes a bank could not cash. What I am is a contemporary singer, a stylized performer.” Wow. Notes a bank could not cash? He’s the pre-Kanye West! But don’t tell that to the Humperdinckers of the world. Yes, that’s the legit term for his hardcore female fans. It has a ring to it, no?

And he’s grateful, calling his fans “the spark plugs of my success.” Having sold 150 million records worldwide during his 50-year career is a testament to many spark plugs. As his singing career waned in the 70s, he tried to remain relevant with appearances on both The Love Boat and Fantasy Island (what a coup!) .

And lest you find that “Humperdinck” is ringing a bell, but you’re sure it’s not the British Indian pop singer, you may be having a Princess Bride flashback, recalling Prince Humperdinck, played by Chris Sarandon.

But Prince Humperdinck, although royalty, can never be the 77-year-old “King of Romance” that Engelbert is. No contest.

Stop. Collaborate and listen.

Stop. Collaborate and listen.

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Bob Barker, You’re the Next Contestant on the Name is Right . . .

Before Drew Carey, before Wayne Brady, before Pat Sajak, even before Alex Trebek, there was a game show host who towered above them all—Bob Barker—and not just because he stands over six feet tall. . .but that probably helps in a crowded room.

Bob Barker, special guest host, at WWE Raw. (Dave this one's for you.)

Bob Barker, special guest host, at WWE Raw. (Dave this one’s for you.)

Barker, born in Darrington, Washington, (right next door to Oso, Washington, and the mud slide) on December 13, 1923. He graduated from Drury College (now Drury University) summa cum laude, with a degree in economics.

But before you say “Fannie, Bob Barker does not qualify as a funny name,” let’s play a little Truth or Consequences.

The truth, according to Dictionary.com, “barker: a person who stands before a theater, carnival sideshow, or the like, calling out its attractions to passers-by.” The consequence, a man who ruled the daytime television airwaves as a game show host from 1950 to 2007. He is only the second television personality to have ever hosted a game show longer than anyone else in the business, behind Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes fame.

If that wasn’t enough, he has been named twice by the Guinness Book of World records as television’s “Most Durable Performer,” (3,524 shows), and “Most Generous Host in Television History” (donating more than $55 million in prizes on the various shows he’s hosted).

But he didn’t stop there, he continues to make appearances on screens both large and small—and that donation number has now reached in excess of $200 million.

Who could forget the scene where he beats up Adam Sandler in Happy Gilmore? (Since we’re trying to keep a family rating here: language alert, if you choose to watch.)

The man does have a black belt in karate. And he did study under Chuck Norris, yes, that Chuck Norris.

Of course, Bob already received a nod from this venerable institution when esteemed fellow blogger, Mark, mentioned him in his outing about Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, renamed for the show originally hosted by Ralph Edwards. Barker later hosted from 1950 to 1974.

He and Edwards would meet every year—nine days after Barker’s birthday—for lunch at 12:05 p.m. to celebrate the day Edwards informed Barker he became the host of Truth or Consequences. That is until Edwards death in 2005.

So does it really surprise anyone that he should kick butt as a host for a show called The Price is Right?

Tracy – Fannie Cranium’s Guide to Irreverent Wisdom

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Thaumoctopus Mimicus

Hope you’ve all had a wonderful Easter weekend*, and had a chance to share some time with family and ponder interesting existential questions, such as “What’s the deal with the rabbit bringing eggs? Aren’t they supposed to be mammals that don’t lay eggs?!?”

Mimic flounder

Today’s subject mimicking a flounder

Well, today’s BoFN post may help put some of that questioning to rest, because it addresses a single species that resembles several different classes of animal. I’m not sure if this is the first ever time we’ve delved into the animal kingdom (our popular Bone Wars! post clearly set a precedent), but this one may be the most interesting…

I wonder if famed celebrity impersonator Rich Little could do a mimic octopus impersonation, or if the mimic octopus' Rich Little impression would be more convincing?

I wonder if famed celebrity impersonator Rich Little could do a mimic octopus impersonation, or if the mimic octopus’ Rich Little impression would be more convincing?

Today’s subject is Thaumoctopus mimicus

Frankly, I don’t think I can do a better description than Wikipedia does, so I’ll borrow some of their text just to show how versatile the mimic octopus’ behavior can be:

It is unknown how many animals the mimic octopus can imitate. What is known is that most of the animals that it chooses to mimic are poisonous. Some of the more common animals the mimic octopus imitates are the following:

Lion fish – The lion fish is a poisonous fish with the brown and white stripes and spines that trail behind it on all sides. When the octopus changes its color and shapes its eight legs to look like spines, it is indeed conceivable that to the eyes of a potential predator, what might otherwise look like suitable prey, appears in fact as a highly venomous creature that should be avoided.

Sea snake – If under attack, a mimic octopus may hide completely in a hole except for two of its legs, which it sticks out in opposite directions. What remains in view is a long thin object with white and black bands running across the elongated body. Again the prospect of tangling with the highly venomous sea snake is something many predators would not attempt, and they therefore may swim away, leaving the octopus unharmed.

Flatfish – By pulling its arms together on one side, and flattening out his body while moving forward along the ocean floor, the mimic octopus imitates a flatfish.

Jellyfish – The Mimic Octopus will act as a Jellyfish sometimes to frighten and discourage certain predators. It does this by puffing up its head and siphon and letting its arms trail behind it. The octopus will then impersonate the motions of a jellyfish swimming by going to the surface and then slowly sinking with its arms spread evenly around its body.” – Italicized text from this Wikipedia page

Seriously folks, it’s crazy impressive stuff! This video will show you the talented mollusk in action (the narration starts at 0:15):

 

Enjoy your Mondays everyone!

*Has anyone else noticed some of their snarkier friends calling Easter “Zombie Jesus Day” lately? It seems like the new “in” thing to do.

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Funny Names In The News 79, Where We Claw for Toys and Mourn for Peaches

Here comes Peter Cottontail, hoppin’ down the blogging trail, bringing you another F-N-I-T-N.

Bringin’ every girl and boy, lots of nomenclature joy.

Hippity hop, Funny Names In The News!

I think this guy should be our unofficial mascot!

I think this guy should be our unofficial mascot!

 

No humans were harmed in the taking of this picture.

No humans were harmed in the taking of this picture. Can’t say the same for toys or pocketbooks.

On that youthful note, let’s start off this week’s FNITN with a precocious youngster and his quest to achieve the unachievable: get a toy out of one of those silly claw machines. Turns out an unnamed tot from Lincoln, Nebraska climbed into a claw machine, achieving every young person’s dream, but at the same time getting stuck in the machine. If even an enterprising young human can’t get out of those things, how the heck do we expect a hackneyed claw and a plush treasure to do so?!?

Now, our Awesome Infant Correspondent Dave found this one, but without a name provided, we’ll just have to assume that the child had a spectacular name, in a case of early onset Nominative Determinism.

Of course, a blank slate is a true artist’s canvas, so perhaps it’s our job to anoint the youngster with a name befitting his snazziness. I propose Eustace Aloysius Crabamuffin – what say you? Do you have a better name for him? Sound off in the comments!
That intro about new lives was set up to prime you for the saddest funny-named story in the news this week – the death of our beloved Peaches Honeyblossom Geldof (whose protesting was covered in detail by Mark “The Lark” Sackler. No information is provided on the cause of death, which was classified as “unexplained and sudden”, and Peaches will be missed by many.

Exclaimed her father Bob Geldof:

“We are beyond pain. She was the wildest, funniest, cleverest, wittiest and the most bonkers of all of us. We loved her and will cherish her forever.” – Bob Geldof, father of Peaches Honeyblossom

The legendary "oops" politician face.

The legendary “oops” politician face.

From the saddening to the slightly-more-maddening, Philandering Politico Correspondent Dave brings us news that another “moral majority” congressman from Louisiana was caught canoodling with a staffer. Sometimes it seems like those guys are the most likely to be up to something fishy. The most recent addition to the pantheon of “Family Values turned Family Upheaval” politicos is Louisiana’s Vance McAllister, whose only saving grace is that he chose a mistress with a positively delightful name: Melissa Peacock.

In news that may apply to some of us more than others (but luckily none of us too much), our Bio-ish Correspondent Dave notes that a panel of experts are saying biomedical research in its current form is heading for a meltdown. That’s grim news, but let our spirits be uplifted by the fact that the authors of the report include Bruce Alberts, Marc Kirschner, Shirley Tilghman, and Harold Varmus.  In those names, we trust!

Lastly – and speaking of trust – Aquatic (and Only A Little Psychotic) Correspondent Dave drops the impressive news that a lady named Ocean Ramsey has been swimming with sharks. They call her “The Shark Whisperer”, and after viewing this lovely, remarkable footage, it’s hard to disagree!

 

What a week! Rabbits to claws to Peaches to Congress to biomedicine to sharks! That’ll do it for Funny Names in the News 79! Enjoy yo’ Fridaysss!

 

 

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Frankenstein, Missouri

In the velvet darkness of the blackest night
Burning bright, there’s a guiding star
No matter what or who you are.

There’s a light over at Frankenstein, MO
There’s a light–betcha didn’t even know
There’s a light, light in the darkness of everybody’s life.

(Lyrics mutilated with apologies to The Rocky Horror Picture Show.)

Yes, Frankenstein has had a long and storied history since Mary Shelley, at the tender age of 18 nearly 200 years ago, set out to write the spine-chilling novel that would launch not only the science fiction genre but also that humongous sub-genre of Franken horror we all know and love so well.

Dating back not quite so far but still pretty darn far is the sleepy little town of Frankenstein, Missouri. It received the name Frankenstein in 1889, probably after Gottfried Franken, a major donor of land, but the town had actually been established about a quarter century earlier as a parish of German Catholics.

A whole lot of Frankenstein happened to the world between then and now, whilst this tiny hamlet continued more or less unperturbed as a quiet, hardworking, tight knit farm community. But a convergence took place in 1999 when the town was . . .

invaded by 25 skydiving Peter Boyle-style Frankenstein monsters in honor of the 25th anniversary of Mel Brooks’ movie, Young Frankenstein.

As they leaped from the plane they yelled, “Putting on the Ritz” and landed in the Frankenstein Community Ball Field.

The monsters handed out Young Frankenstein DVDs and the “mayor” re-dubbed the town Young Frankenstein.

The re-dubbing must have been very temporary as it is denied by more knowledgable area residents, and may be an urban legend.

As you might guess, Halloween season has a special claim on this town, and more than a few people visit it, in any season, to get trophy pics like this.

frankensteinmo

But one chapter of our story remains unwritten: a kickstarter movie project called Frankenstein, Missouri, under production by the independent filmaking group Moonhunt. The film’s ominous tag line “It Exists” refers to more than just the town . . .

Pets are disappearing from backyards in Frankenstein, MO, and people want to know who the culprit is. Could it be Momo, the infamous Missouri Monster, hungry for a midnight snack? Or could it be the result of a murderous cult’s animal sacrifices? Two young filmmakers set out to solve the mystery in an attempt to exploit the town for their own gain. But when they uncover the truth, they get far more than they bargained for.

Or let the trailer speak for itself:

Naturally, we’ll let the last word go back to The Rocky Horror Show.

Puttin' on the Lipz

Puttin’ on the Lipz

The darkness must go down the river of nights dreaming
Flow morphia slow, let the sun and light come streaming
Into my life, into my life.

There’s a light over at Frankenstein, MO
There’s a light–aren’t you glad I told you so?
There’s a light, a light in the darkness of everybody’s life.

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