The Mynope File

Category: Surnames

Best of the West (1981)
TV series

Kicked out by the Beatles, drummer Pete Best relocates to Montana, where amphetamine-fueled hijinks ensue. No, but seriously, we’re lucky this show was cancelled, or else Joel Higgins would never have been on Silver Spoons. And I don’t even want to think about that.

Marshall Sam Best (Joel Higgins)
Elvira Best (Carlene Watkins)
Daniel Best (Meeno Peluce)

Chance in a Million (1984)
TV series

Wacky coincidences are, of course, the lifeblood of any situation comedy, but in this British series, they seem to constitute the very situation itself. And the biggest coincidence of all is that the guy chronically beset by coincidences is named Tom Chance.

Tom Chance (Simon Callow)

Cops and Robbersons (1994)

I’m not convinced this movie actually exists. My theory is that Chevy Chase needed a tax shelter, so he pulled a stupid premise and title out of his ass, gave Jack Palance fifty bucks plus cabfare to be on the poster, and delivered reels of blank film to theaters, knowing the only way he’d be found out was if someone actually paid to see it.

What, like you’re going to prove me wrong by renting it?

Norman Robberson (Chevy Chase)
Helen Robberson (Dianne Wiest)
Kevin Robberson (Jason James Richter)
Cindy Robberson (Fay Masterson)
Billy Robberson (Miko Hughes)

Even Stevens (2000)
TV series

...get the blues.

Louis Anthony Stevens (Shia LaBeouf)
Ren Stevens (Christy Carlson Romano)
Donnie Stevens (Nick Spano)
Steve Stevens (Tom Virtue)
Eileen Stevens (Donna Pescow)

Flower & Garnet (2002)

This one’s iffy. Does the phrase “flower and garnet” have a preexisting meaning? It doesn’t seem to. Further research is required.

Flower (Jane McGregor)
Garnet (Colin Roberts)

Ghost of a Chance (1981)
TV series

Yes, you guessed it: Chance returns from the grave to haunt his widow, Shelley Long, much to the chagrin of her new husband and TV viewers everywhere.

Tom Chance (Steven Keats)

Grey’s Anatomy (2005)
TV series

Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo)

Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)

This is one of my favorite movies. It pains me to have to include it here. But I must, in the name of integrity.

Martin Blank (John Cusack)

Hart to Hart (1979)
TV series

I saw Stefanie Powers in a revival of Applause, the musical based on All About Eve, at the Paper Mill Playhouse, and oh wow was it obvious that it would never make it to Broadway. The authors were on hand for a Q&A: Charles Strouse, Betty Comden, and a 196-year-old Adolph Green (rumor had it he kept trying to insert “topical” Hitler jokes into the script). The odd thing was that during the discussion, Ian Ziering’s mom stood up and basically announced that she was Ian Ziering’s mom and that he was in Peter Pan. I now realize she meant he had been in Peter Pan as a child, but the spectre of an adult Steve Sanders soaring high above the stage haunts me to this day.

In the mid-’90s, NBC went back to the Hart well for a series of TV movies whose titles are a veritable mynope smorgasbord. See Powers’ filmography for a list.

Jonathan Hart (Robert Wagner)
Jennifer Hart (Stefanie Powers)

Land of Hope and Gloria (1992)
TV series

It’s funny, but there don’t seem to be any “Gloria” mynopes that aren’t riding on the coattails of a Hope (or in this case a Hope-Beaumont). Where are Gloria B. To God, Gloria’s Noise, and all the rest? You’re falling down on the job, Hollywood.

Gloria Hepburn (Sheila Ferguson)
Gerald Hope-Beaumont (Andrew Bicknell)

Rose Against the Odds (1995)
TV movie

Don’t worry, it’s not that Paul Williams.

Lionel Rose (Paul Williams)
Gina Rose (Rhonda Roberts)
Adelaide Rose (Lorraine Mafi-Williams)
Roy Rose (David Kennedy)

Savage Honeymoon (2000)

They totally ripped this off from my unproduced script, Brutal Reception. It takes place on the wedding day of Alvin and Janice Brutal, and—but I’ve said too much.

Mickey Savage (Nicholas Eadie)
Louise Savage (Perry Piercy)
Maisy Savage (Elizabeth Hawthorne)
Leesa Savage (Sophia Hawthorne)

Scott Free (1976)
TV movie

A disgruntled supermarket cashier decides to start giving away toilet paper.

Tony Scott (Michael Brandon)

Small & Frye (1983)
TV series

They’re private investigators. Small is normal height, but Frye can become really small. No, really, that’s the premise.

Nick Small (Darren McGavin)
Chip Frye (Jack Blessing)

The Bright Side (1985)
TV series

Cynthia Bright (Paula Wilcox)
Lionel Bright (Paul Copley)

The Lyon’s Den (2003)
TV series

This is an interesting variation. Rob Lowe stars as... John “Jack” Turner. While you’d think NBC could muster a slightly more distinctive name, the fact is that there’s no character named Lyon listed in the credits. The setting of the show, however, is the law firm of Lyon, LaCrosse and Levine. Presumably they were setting themselves up for a spinoff called “LaCrosse Burning” or something.


The Wilde Girls (2001)
TV movie

One can only assume they’re pronouncing it to sound like “wild” and not as in “wildebeest.”

Jasmine Wilde (Olivia Newton-John)
Izzy Wilde (Chloe Lattanzi)

The Wright Idea (1928)

As with The Wrong Miss Wright, we see here an ahead-of-its-time mynope, followed shortly by catastrophe—in this case, the Great Depression. We may be on to something here.

Johnny Wright (Johnny Hines)

The Wrong Miss Wright (1937)

While most mynopes have been perpetrated within the past 30 years or so, there are rare seminal exceptions. Of course, soon after this short feature was released, the world was plunged into war, which just goes to show you.

Mary Wright (Peggy Stratford)

The Wrong Mr. Wright (1927)

Wright (Robert Anderson)

War of the Roses (1989)

Oliver Rose (Michael Douglas)
Barbara Rose (Kathleen Turner)

Zero Effect (1998)

If you want to see something entertaining, go up to a young aspiring movie director and say, “Hey, how ‘bout that Jake Kasdan, huh? Getting $5 million to make his very first movie? With Bill Pullman and Ben Stiller? When he was 23? And say, did you know his dad happens to be Larry Kasdan?” Then stand back.

Daryl Zero (Bill Pullman)

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