The Name’s The Same, B—H!

Classic TV fans might remember the short-lived game show The Name’s The Same. It came from the same production house that gave us similar panel shows as What’s My Line?, I’ve Got A Secret and To Tell The Truth.

The object of The Name’s The Same was for the celebrity panel to try to identify an ordinary person’s name. Such average citizen may have the same first and last name as a famous person (Abraham Lincoln), object (A. Hammer) or phrase (Jack Pott).

If it were on the air today, we might have seen my former boss at SL as a contestant.

Before you point and laugh at least once more, I bring “The Real” Rick James up again because a Name’s The Same occurrence made news in the New York Post.

As noted in the last post, Rick’s running for a seat on the Hattiesburg city council. Word is his wife wrote to Comedy Central acknowledging the comedic work of Dave Chappelle. One of Chappelle’s famous catch phrases, is — and this is a direct quote — “I’m Rick James, (B-word that rhymes with ‘witch’).” Of course, the comedian refers to the singer who died last year — not the former radio guy turned politician.

She writes the comedian’s routine is impacting my former boss’s current campaign for Hattiesburg city council. Some folks have stolen “Vote Rick James” campaign signs while others add the aforementioned expletive. Plus, there are those who’ve screamed out “SuperFreak” when driving by the couple’s home and some people even repeat Dave’s four word phrase.

The Rick James for city council campaign is hoping Comedy Central will make a donation to help pay for stolen and damaged campaign signs.

You think my Rock 104 colleagues and I are having a laugh about this? Bloggers aged 20-ish and younger around here are probably having much more fun with the whole thing.

If he campaigned under a form of the name Rick — say, “Richard” — or used his first, middle and last name on signs, this intrusion probably wouldn’t have happened. The names on the ballot can make the difference between who wins and who loses. That’s one of the first civics lessons I ever learned.

Let’s say you’re in the voting booth, you’re making a decision for the next mayor of your town and you see these two names on the ballot: “Ted Bundy” and “Gerald Ford”. The candidates share the same first and last name as those of a serial killer and former President of the U.S., respectively. Who would you vote for?

If Ted Bundy the candidate is smart, he’d probably file paperwork to have his name legally changed before filing qualifying papers to run for mayor.

I still remain a critic of Rick’s campaign style. But at the same time, I wouldn’t wish this sort of bad luck on anyone.

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