Monday, June 10, 2013

TV Name Quote

Richard Dean Anderson as McGyver

Most people know instantly who 'MacGyver' is. The title character of this 80's TV show (played by Richard Dean Anderson) was so famous for his ability to use whatever ordinary items he had at hand - plus some duct tape and a keen practical mind - to find a solution to any problem that his name has actually become a verb. Some of the user submitted examples given in the Urban Dictionary are "one who performs great feats of ingenuity on a moments notice" (agreed); "someone who can jump-start a truck with a cactus" (hmm, I guess it's plausible he did this one episode); and my favourite "the ability to use a dorito, some duct tape, and a paper clip to create a time machine." Really paints a picture, doesn't it?

Amazing abilities aside, another running theme throughout the show was the mystery surrounding MacGyver's given name. His mates called him Mac, his dad called him Bud or Buddy, and when questioned on the show he was always rather tight lipped about it. Which is the basis for today's quotes, straight from a season five episode called 'The Lost Amadeus', guest starring Tamsin Kelsey as Lulu:

Lulu: What's your name?
MacGyver: MacGyver
Lulu: What's your first name?
MacGyver: My friends call me MacGyver
Lulu: That bad hey? That's OK, my real name is Alice

And later, when Lulu manages to get her hands on MacGyver's wallet:

Lulu: I wanna see your first name
MacGyver: I told you it's MacGyver
Lulu: Yeah, but you gotta have one, it's not like you're Sting or Prince or something!
Lulu looks in his wallet
Lulu: That's your first name? I think I'll stick with MacGyver.

Lulu and MacGyver at a 1920's party
So what is this mysterious first name that is apparently too bad to speak of? In the last season it is revealed that his full name is Angus MacGyver.

Hardly a bad name - Angus rose in popularity in 2012, most likely helped by a current love of boys names ending in "US", such as Atticus and Magnus. Maybe at the time it was too entrenched in people's minds as an old Scottish man's name, hardly fitting with the young, rugged and clever MacGyver. And why the dislike of Alice? Alice was at it's lowest in the 80's and 90's, but never fell out of the top 500 in America. Again, maybe the funky LuLu just didn't feel that Alice was spunky for her at the time. There is however something intriguing about the idea of Lulu as a nickname for Alice though. What do you think of Angus and Alice?


  1. Now that's a factoid I never knew! It's funny, because now those names are popular, and it seems bizarre they were once considered too awful to reveal. It shows how silly it is to reject names because they're "too old lady/man".

    Love both Angus (which is kicking) and Alice (which is spunky and sweet); I could see Lulu as short for Alice. Kinda.

  2. Wandered over from supreme Write, and I'm excited to explore your blog some more... I completely know this sinking feeling as I realize I'm not the only one who comes up with good ideas, but you're totally right. You just have to tell a great story and stay true to your voice.

  3. I loved that - finding out the character's name. Loved the show. Love the name Angus and Alice. So then the question is, what about Macgyver as a first name?

    Also Lulu as a nickname for Alice seems to work for me.