I was watching Burns and Allen and Gracie gives a credit reference for Harry Von Zell (The announcer and employee). Of course this gets confused because Gracie thinks the guy wants a credit reference for George. Complicating matters is the neighbor Harry Morton (his wife Blanche Morton is Gracie’s best friend) has the same first name.
So everyone thinks it’s Harry Morton when it’s Harry Von Zell
This got me to thinking, has there been other TV series where two major characters had the same FIRST name AND appeared at the same time? I know “Newhart” had the two Darryls.
I don’t mean like a character Joe, and then he leaves then two years later another different character named Joe comes on.
It would seem scriptwriters would make sure not to have the same first name to avoid confusion.
Thus you’d get “Old Christine,” and “New Christine” on Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the New Adventures of Old Christine.
There was an episode of Andy Richter’s show where another guy named Andy was hired in his office, so everyone started referring to Andy Richter as “Fat Andy.” “I don’t wanna be ‘Fat Andy,’” he complained. “Why can’t you call him… um… ‘Black Andy’?” “We’re not going to call him ‘Black Andy’!” his coworkers protested, and hilarity continued to ensue.
Strangely enough, I just mentioned this in another thread. The Monkees had two Michaels: Micky Dolenz and Mike Nesmith. And neither actually has the first name Michael - they’re George Dolenz and Robert Nesmith.
John Irvin (sometimes referred to as “Upstairs John” or “Gay John”) was an established recurring character on NYPD Blue and eventually became an opening-credit regular. Meanwhile, Sipowicz’s last partner, John Clark, joined the cast. My guess is that when the producers brought in Clark, they hadn’t planned on Irvin’s role expanding; when it did, they were stuck with two Johns. I don’t recall them ever referencing it on screen though. After all, that kind of thing happens in real life all the time, and NYPD was known for its “realistic” style.
Sealab 2021 had two Debbies, which they mined for comic effect on occasion. “Why is she ‘Black Debbie’? Why not call her ‘Debbie’ and the other one ‘White Debbie’?”
Re: my post above (too late to edit, sorry), I just realized that Sipowicz’s first partner (David Caruso) was also named John! Even though he didn’t overlap with the other two, that makes three regulars named John during the show’s run. You’d think they could have dug just a little deeper for character names…