1. Bernice Frankel AKA Beatrice Arthur
Oh Bea, rest in peace you beautiful soul. You helped shape my lonely adolescent into an even lonelier one because your long legs and sarcastic tone pulled me in closer and closer to the television screen until one day I called my own mother Sophia. But good move on the whole name changing, because Frankel reminds me of some old chap from the 50s trying to sell hot dogs door to door when, one day, he suddenly chokes on one during his sales pitch. Remember, ABC. (Always Be Chewing) Or, you will die, from a Hot Dog. Or — in your case — cancer.
2. Cornellius Crane Chase AKA Chevy Chase
Oh Cornellius. Any true Community fan will instantly remember the father of Pierce Hawthorne. An equally arrogant, homophobic and racist citizen of the grand U.S. of A. I would say that you must have wanted to be reminded of your lost roots, but if that’s the case, why change your name to begin with? Cornellius sounds like a name your high school girlfriend would nickname your penis, while Chevy sounds like the name of an overfed white boy from Ohio eating Snickers bars with the plastic still on. Get your shit together Cornellius, or don’t. At this point in time no one likes you anyways.
3. Declan Patrick Aloysius Macmanus AKA Elvis Costello
This one really doesn’t need an explanation. Any desperate, unknown musician would have made the exact same move given his situation. Imagine a band poster reading “Declan Patrick Aloysius Macman and The Roots Performing Live.” You can’t, because you lost me at Declan. Should have just taken away the N and added an RE. DECLARE! Now that’s a name. Unfortunately the song “Pump It Up” is embarrassing enough, so I understand the given stage name. Keep the glasses though, they are your biggest selling point Declan.
4. Judy Garland AKA Frances Gumm
Personally, I think the name Frances Garland has a better ring to it. But, I could be biased. I personally love the name Frances and anyone whom it belongs to. But maybe Judy should have just changed her first name to Bubble. Chances are it would have killed her acting career, Dorothy would have been played by the platinum Jean Harlow and the rest of the world would have continued living, never being blessed with the literal angel that is known as Judy Garland. And who knows, maybe it would have saved her all that time and energy overdosing on drugs. I’m a drug addict myself and I understand the exhaustion that comes with long stints of drugs. Oh well.
5. Whoopi Goldberg AKA Caryn Johnson
Obviously the best decision of Caryn Johnsons’ career was changing her name to Whoopi. Not only is it a household name, but the word Whoopi has multiple meanings; such as Sex (according to The Newlywed Game) and also as an immature toy that children love to fool others into thinking they have farted. Whoopi Goldberg I associate your name with sex and farts and I want to thank you. So thanks, Whoopi, for changing your god-awful birth name from Caryn to one of my favorite words of the century. You did it!
6. Bob Hope AKA Leslie Townes Hope
Where to even begin with good ol’ Bob hope, or should I say Leslie? I am all for gender neutral names, in fact I prefer them. But Leslie, whether male or female, is just awful. It sounds like you want to molest me and that just is not right. Bob, you did a great thing. A typical American name for your average Republican, comedian, actor, singer, dancer, vaudevillian, author and actor. Who says you can’t do it all? Definitely not Bob. He accomplished many things all while finding time to change his name. You are a hero to many but you are a God to me. Rest Easy.
7. Elton John AKA Reginald Kenneth Dwight
LOL. I’ll keep this one short because Elton John gets made fun of enough and I don’t think that’s right. He was in one of the greatest 90s films of all times, Spice World, and for that I will always remember his 3-D-esque glasses and infamous one earring. Also, I could have sworn he used to have a mole on his face but looking at recent pictures of him, I can’t seem to find it. Could it be Elton not only changed his name from Reginald, but also changed his face from “mole” to “mole-less”? Just like the time old mystery of how many licks does it really take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, I guess the world will never know what happened to Elton AKA Reginald’s mole.
8. Bruce Lee AKA Lee Jun Fam
I’m entering this one with a fist full of fury because I think he should have kept his name as Lee Jun. It’s fun, it’s quirky, and when you say it fast it sounds like Legion. And Legion is bad-ass. But, Bruce Lee has become a household name over the years so he must have done something right.
9. Spike Lee AKA Shelton Jackson Lee
I have an Uncle Spike, whose real name is Stephen, so I understand the desire to want to sound tough. Spike. Woof Woof. Beware of dog. Beware of drug dealers. Beware of Clockers. Beware of Crooklyn. Woof Woof. Shelton Jackson Lee sounds too much like a priest or a sermon. Although, I still am surprised everyday with the fact that there are two Spikes in the film industry. I don’t know man, whatever it takes to make a buck.
10. Chuck Norris AKA Carlos Ray
Carlos Ray belongs on the open road. With a Budweiser in one hand, the steering wheel of a 1979 red Mustang in the other, and a pair of Aviators that gently graze the tip of his nose so he can make eye contact with the sweet girl in the lane next to him. He stops only to lie in the Arizona dessert and drink water from a cactus. He carries a machete and a grenade in his trunk, but he knows he doesn’t need them. His hands are his best weapon. Carlos Ray dreamed this every night as a small boy. He dreamed that one day he could take on the world with just his bare hands. But, like every insecure boy there was one thing holding him back. His name. Carlos Ray knew no one would take him as serious as he always dreamed of being. So Carlos Ray became Chuck Norris and the rest is cinema history.
11. Charlie Sheen AKA Carlos Irwin Estevez
I think if the general masses were aware of Charlie Sheens’ birth name a lot could have been avoided. The overall shock at the amount of strippers, booze, and incoherent words coming in and out of his mouth is overwhelming. Carlos Irwin Estevez is a name where every syllable is only properly pronounced with a pause and a roll of the tongue. Charlie Sheen is a generic, normal, Western name. But we all know you can’t hide from who you really are Charlie. The truth always comes out and unfortunately, for you, it came out all over the place. I’m still washing your disgusting scent out of my hair because the winds have been strong lately here in Jersey and I am scared that pieces of you are blowing in my general direction. Remember folks, you can’t hide who you really are.
12. Sigourney Weaver AKA Susan Weaver
The only reason I am giving Sigourney any thought is because I commonly get told that I look just like her from the movie Alien. Which, by all means, is a compliment. Although I see no resemblance myself, I am proud to let others tell me they think I am the hot chick from Alien. However, I always knew something was up with Sigourney. Great hair, beautiful smile, decent actress. How can one who appears so elegantly perfect also have a name like Sigourney. And a great name indeed. I, quite possibly, will name my first born after her. Let my sweet, young child’s curly hair fall in front of her face and as she plays outside, let the sunlight dance upon her smooth skin. Sigourney, you did a good thing by switching the Susan out for something better. I had a boyfriend whose moms name was Susan and we just didn’t hit it off. It might have been because her name was Susan, or it might have been because I was injecting heroin with her son in her bathroom, but either way, you made the perfect career choice.