Character pairs named after real-life people.

I’ve always assumed that Sheldon and Leonard from The Big Bang Theory were named for legendary actor/producer Sheldon Leonard. Now, the other day, I was watching an old Night Gallery episode starring famed B-movie tough guy Cameron Mitchell, and it struck me: were Cameron and Mitchell of Modern Family named after him?

Q1: Does anyone know if these are real homages, or just coincidences?

Q2: Any other examples?

Dennis the Menace’s neighbors are the Wilsons, George & Martha.

ETA: The Big Bang characters were originally named Penny, Lenny & Kenny. The producers thought that was too corny, changed Lenny to Leonard, and yes, changed the third character’s name to Sheldon as an homage.

I suspect that the Belcher girls in Bob’s Burgers are named after Tina Louise of Gilligan’s Island.

ETA: George and Gracie, the two whales in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, were clearly named for George Burns and Gracie Allen.

Oops, I did it wrong. You seem to want two people named after one real life First/Last name pairing

Jessie and James of Pokemon are named for, duh, Jesse James. (Their Japanese counterparts, Kojiro and Musashi, have a slightly different reference behind them - famous rival swordsmen Sasake Kojiro and Miyamoto Musashi.) Their rivals in Team Rocket are named Butch and Cassidy, named for, of course, Butch Cassidy (their Japanese names (Kosaburo and Yamato) are just references to Kojiro and Musashi’s, though).

Also from Modern Family, Phil and Claire’s daughters are named Haley and Alex. That may have been done deliberately as an homage to the author of Roots.

maybe not

There’s always the Gene/Louise connection (Jean Louise Finch)

Brothers Ben and Jerry Horne, from Twin Peaks were named for the ice cream makers.

Two brothers named Jules and Verne from Back to the Future III. Possible disqualifer, though, in that in-story, they were deliberately named after the author by their father.

Borderline case: Hans, Kristoff, Anna, and Sven (i.e., “Hans Kristoffannasven,” or “Hans Christian Andersen”) from Disney’s Frozen, named in homage to the author of the original story The Snow Queen.

Was that “Green Fingers” with Elsa Lanchester? Creepy.

As I remember, the eldest daughter on The Cosby Show named her fraternal twins Nelson and Winnie, presumably after Nelson and Winnie Mandela.

George Burns’ and Walter Matthau’s characters in The Sunshine Boys are named Lewis and Clark.


I’ve never heard of Cameron Mitchell, but in my mind they were getting it from John Cameron Mitchell. He wrote and starred in Hedwig and The Angry Inch as well as Shortbus.

No, it was “Finnegan’s Flight” co-starring Burgess Meredith. But CM was indeed in “Green Fingers” too.

Another one I just ran across today. On Scrubs, Jon Dorian, Chris Turk and Molly Klock (Heather Graham) are named after the medical advisors that helped write the show, Jonathan Doris, Jon Turk, and Dolly Klock.

In one of The Two Ronnies sketches, there was a line about a stereotypical American couple - “Let’s call them Abner and Lil.” :slight_smile:

When Matt Groening created the Simpsons, he named them after his own family: his parents Homer and Marge (Margaret), and his sisters Lisa and Maggie (also Margaret). Bart was an anagram of the word “Brat.” When Grampa Simpson needed a name, he asked the staff writers to come up with one, and they chose “Abraham” – not knowing that was the actual name of Groening’s grandfather!

**Superbad: **. Jonah Hill’s character is Seth, and Michael Cera’s character is Evan, after the movie’s scriptwriters Seth Rogen and his childhood buddy and production partner Evan Goldberg.

In the comic strip “Get Fuzzy”, Bucky the cat is named after Buck O’Neill, and Satchel the dog is named after Satchel Paige.