Friday, August 8, 2014

A Fish Out Of Water: The 10 Fishiest Folks

There are a lot of names out there, but only a few of them can be considered fishy. I like these fishy names. In fact I went and married someone with a fishy name, but more on that in a little bit. Basically, this is a list of those famous (and maybe not so famous) folks with the fishiest of names. There are many almost fishy names out there as well. Names such as horror film auteur James Whale or pop singer Seal. But neither the whale nor the seal are fish. And as for Salman Rushdie...close but no cigar on that spelling. buddy boy. Anyhoo, here we go with the list, and yes, it is most certainly a fishy one.

And awaaaaaaay we go...

Special Mention: Jeanette Amy Trout

Now it would seem a bit like nepotism if I were to include my lovely wife on this list, but I suppose including her as a special mention, as opposed to the list proper, couldn't hurt. As I alluded to in the above intro, I went and married myself a very fishy-named young lass. Amy and I (oh yeah, my wife, who incidentally kept her maiden name, has never gone by her given first name) were joined in holy matrimony a mere four weeks after we met. Sixteen and a half years later, we're still together. So there! And since my lovely wife, though quite cute and adorable, hates the way she looks in pictures, I am being forced to put this stock picture of a cute and adorable trout up instead. Personally, I think it's just because she wants to keep an air of mystery here on the blogosphere.

10. Mike Trout

And speaking of folks named Trout, here is Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angel outfielder (an actual Angel in the Outfield!!) who may very well be THE best player in the major leagues right now. Rookie of the year in 2012, and a second place finish in the MVP voting in both 2012 and 2013. Barely 23 years old (his birthday was yesterday) and already the most sought after player in all of baseball. Ya know what though? That boy is gonna look damn good in those Yankees pinstripes, when the time comes. And before you say anything, the kid grew up a Yankees fan, so if he had his druthers... Alright alright alright. And he may very well be related to my lovely wife as well.

9. Susie Salmon

The novel is rather trite, and the film adaptation by Peter Jackson may look groovy, and may have some rather stellar performances throughout, but it ends up being even more trite than the source material. But none of this should take away from the fact that the book/movie's beyond-the-grave protag and narrator (and that is no spoiler there, as we find out about little Susie's state of being in the opening line), doesn't have one of the best fishy names in literary/movie history. So here she is, mediocre storytelling be damned!!

8. Edmund Muskie

Ed Muskie was the Governor of Maine, a United States Senator for over twenty years, and even Secretary of State under President Jimmy carter (the highest office ever held by a Polish-American, for those trivia buffs among ya), but he will forever be remembered as the candidate who broke down and cried in front of the press. Muskie claimed it was just melted snowflakes, but nonetheless, this supposed show of weakness lost him the 1972 Presidential nomination. Looking back, this is a rather stupid reason to not vote for a guy (especially since he was defending his wife after dirty tactics from his opponents) but there ya have it anyway.

7. Albert Fish

Long before the days of Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy and the Zodiac Killer, there was a serial killer by the very fishy name of Albert Fish. Back in the early Twentieth Century, Albert Fish was known under many non-fishy nicknames. Nicknames such as the Moon Maniac, Werewolf of Wysteria, the Brooklyn Vampire, the Gray man, and (appropriately enough) the Boogey Man. A child rapist and cannibal, Albert Fish claimed to have "had children in every state." However one wishes to determine exactly what he meant by this statement can have at it. Now, of course, Albert Fish does not belong with the likes of many of the other fishy folks on this list, at least when you are talking about the goodness of people (duh!) but his name is fishy, and he is therefore to be included. We can't hide from the evils of the world, so here is a small slice of that evil. Now let's move onto a much less creepy Fish...

6. Sgt. Phil Fish

In January 1975, ABC added a sitcom to its midseason roster. The sitcom was called Barney Miller and it would become a hit show. One of the characters on this NYPD sitcom, was Sergent Philip K. Fish, mainly known as just Fish. Fish was played by the great Abe Vigoda. Fish, whose comedy bits came from him being too old to be a cop (Fish was supposed to be in his sixties, but Vigoda was just 54 when the show began), would retie after three seasons, and receive, in lieu of the typical gold watch, a spin-off. This self-named spin-off lasted just two seasons before being canceled, and sending Fish back for some guest star spots on Barney Miller. Phil Fish, via Abe Vigoda is still alive and kicking today. He is 93. Go Abe Vigoda!!

5. Zebulon Pike

Zebulon Pike (hows that for a great name!?) was a mighty military man of lore, as well as a famed explorer under President Thomas Jefferson. In fact, there's even a mountain named after the man. That would be Colorado's very own Pike's Peak. Captain Zebulon Pike would later be promoted to Brigadier General, and would serve in the War of 1812, where the great Zebulon Pike (I just love typing and saying that name!) would be killed in action, at the Battle of York. Oh, and one more for the road...Zebulon Pike. And you know I say it out loud every damn time I type it, don'tchya?

4. Marlin Perkins

As a kid, growing up in the halcyon 1970's, I would always find the time to watch Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, which was hosted by famed zoologist Marlin Perkins. I've always been fascinated with animals and zoology and all that goes with such, and this show, which ran from 1963 to 1985 (so all of my childhood, and then some), brought this world of animals into my living room long before you could just Google any beast you wished to see. Marlin Perkins died a year after he retired from his show. May you rest in peace old buddy.

3. Saul Bass

Anyone who is anyone in the world of cinepilia, knows damn well that Alfred Hitchcock is one of the true greats. beyond great even.But even his great films were made even greater by the title sequences done by Saul Bass. His title sequences for such Hitchcock films as Vertigo, North by Northwest, and Psycho, as well as many non-Hitchcocks, such as The Man With the Golden Arm, Bonjour Tristesse, and Anatomy of a Murder, are literally (and I mean that, literally!) works of cinematic art. Today, Saul Bass is still copied. Just check out the opening titles to Mad Men or X-Men: First Class. Yup.

2. Samuel Goldfish

You probably know the guy better as Samuel Goldwyn, legendary  Hollywood pioneer, and the G in the legendary MGM, but didjya know that his real name was Samuel Goldfish? Well, sorta. Goldwyn was actually born Szmuel Gelbfsz, in Warsaw, but anglosized it to Samuel Goldfish (really?) when he left Poland and came West. He would not become famous until he changed his name to Goldwyn, but I still like Goldfish better, dammit!! Just imagine it now. MGM could have been Metro-Goldfish-Mayer. Now that says Hollywood to me, baby!!

1. Kilgore Trout

We began with a couple of Trouts, so why not finish with one. Anyone who knows and reads Kurt Vonnegut, knows damn well who Kilgore trout is. For the rest of you, he is a character from several Vonnegut books, including Breakfast of Champions, God Bless You, Mr. Goldwater, and Slaughterhouse-Five. Vonnegut based his grumpy yet quite beloved character on friend and fellow writer, Thomas Sturgeon. Yup, another fishy one folks. Kilgore Trout, other than being my lovely wife's uncle (Uncle Kilgore! all the kiddies yelp.) is the fictional author of 117 novels and over 2000 short stories. Such prolific numbers alone should put him on top. But the name does it even more. Uncle Kilgore!!

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And even though I was forced to put a cartoon trout in place of my lovely and adorable wife back in the special mention section of this list, no one ever said anything about adding this Jeanette Amy Trout selfie here at the end. 
So there!

  That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.

6 comments:

  1. I am amazed at what you come up with but keep it coming. I always watched Marlin Perkins and his poor sidekick who got the worst of it while Marlin sipped Martini's

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  2. Kilgore Trout was also a pseudonym of Philip Jose Farmer, who is known for pulpy SF(and not so pulpy). But, for his Trout stuff, he turned it up to 11. It was a joke on the public that I think both Farmer and Vonnegut got tired of.

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  3. Inspired theme for a list! Enjoyed it.

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  4. Thanx kids. There are a lot more strange and unusual things buzzing around in this noggin. As for Farmer, Vonnegut was far from happy, and supposedly would harass Farmer with obscenity-laden phone calls, after he found out about the unauthorized use of the name Kilgore Trout.

    See ya 'round the web.

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  5. Where do you read stuff like that? I've looked for books on SF history, but have only found a couple.

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  6. Oh, I've got my sources, baby! I've met Kurt Vonnegut, so...

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