Ten Other Things Gilbert & George Could Have Called Themselves

British art duo Gilbert & George are famous in Britain for being Gilbert & George, which just sounds fundamentally right, like Lennon & McCartney or Peters & Lee. I once asked them if they had tried going by the name George & Gilbert, and whether this had led to arguments about who got first billing - they used to have a website - and they told me that they had, but only very briefly, and that they never argued.

Also, lists. They’re popular on the internet. Easy to read*. I’ve tried writing some for Cracked but they don’t want them. Your loss is my gain, however, because I now present to you - from the fingers of a one-time professional writer who was paid to write:

Ten Other Things Gilbert & George Could Have Called Themselves
(Apart from Gilbert & George)

Ashley Pomeroy

George & Gilbert
GILBERT & george
The GeePees
Chickenwing & Radarfinger
Gatling Cock
For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched This Guy
Big Shit, Little Turd
The Best!
Pogo Stick Sublime Lime Me

There’s McSweeney’s as well, isn’t there? But you have to be a wan, anaemic poetry type to write for McSweeney’s. As a special bonus I’ll now include the Writer’s Commentary, explaining how the writer - that’s me - came up with this list:

  1. This is a simple inversion of Gilbert & George.
  2. This was inspired by the following scene from the 1995 Lee Evans film Funny Bones, in which Evans - who plays a brilliant, emotionally-disturbed stand-up comedian - is being investigated by some psychiatrists:
    Q: “Which of these is the odd one out? Malice. Jealousy. Greed. Envy. And kindness.”
    A: (short pause) “And”

    It’s an old joke, but the delivery is perfect.
  3. A reference to the typography in the inner sleeve of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Welcome to the Pleasuredome, which renders all the names as e.g. johnSMITH.
  4. Inspired by Duran Duran’s brief, late-80s period as duranduran.
  5. Their names are, believe it or not, Gilbert Proesch and George Passmore.
  6. I thought it was amusing to imagine them having Captain Beefheart-inspired surrealistic names, because they look nothing like Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band; they dress smartly and are clean-shaven.
  7. They’ve always been a bit shocking.
  8. Pun based on the name of the Star Trek episode For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched The Sky, and also a commonly-misheard line from Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze. Why? Because they probably have touched each other, and Gilbert - being Italian - might well have said “this guy” once or twice.
  9. Early in their career they used to hold up signs saying “Gilbert the Ct" and "George the St”, reasoning that they might as well get there before other people did. Also, George is taller than Gilbert.
  10. They won the 1986 Turner Prize, which was £10,000 in those days (it’s £25,000 now). Truly they were the best.
  11. This is what you get if you say “Muriel” whilst suffering from rhotacism.
  12. Initially an attempt at a palindrome - but I realised that I was going to make Emily’s Sassy Lime, which has already been done and is the name of a band. Ultimately it amuses me because it’s completely irrational.
  • I once sat down and tried to write out a list of things that appear in every list on Cracked.com, and came up with:
    Cop Rock, the musical cop show
    The Finnish sniper who was shot in the head but didn’t die
    Theodore Roosevelt
    The hotel in Dubai with a tennis court right at the top
    The Road of Death
    Theodore Roosevelt
    Theodore Roosevelt
    Theodore Roosevelt

Silent movie stars Blanche Sweet and Louise Lovely went into vaudeville as a two-act when talkies hit in the early 1930s. Much to my disappointment, they did *not *bill themselves as Blanche and Louise.

“Sullivan and Gilbert? Who are they?”
-Topsy Turvy

Crop reports, I assume.

How about G&G calling themselves Shit and Piss, after one of their best known paintings. They could keep dressing alike except one would wear a yellow suit and the other a brown suit. Then they could switch off being Shit and Piss now and then. Or do mixed brown/yellow ensembles and be Shitpiss and Pissshit.