Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Some People Believe Anything! (A "David'Z RantZ" Post)

I've been kinda busy lately, so I'm still working on my three-part article about the creators of Batman. So no "Comical Wednesday" entry this week! Hopefully Part One will post next Wednesday. Wish me luck.

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Ever hear the following joke?

A strikingly handsome young man walked into the office of a Hollywood agent with his resume and portfolio in hand. The agent reviewed the young man’s slim resume and small portfolio with the care that was deserving of his fine young specimen.

“You have the very obvious good looks and excellent demeanor of an actor. Tell me, have you had any roles that I might be aware of?”

“Other than the requisite high school and college plays, no sir,” said the handsome young man.

“I dare say I know the reason why, with a name like yours,” said the agent.


“Your name. Penis Van Lesbian. That’s not a name that will go far in Hollywood. I’d love to represent you, but you’ll have to change your name.”

“Sir,” the handsome young man protested. “The Van Lesbian name was my father’s, my grandfather’s, and his father’s name. We have carried this name for generations and I will not change it for Hollywood or any other reason.”

“If you won’t change your name, I cannot represent you, young man.”

“Then I bid you farewell — my name will not change.”

With that, Penis Van Lesbian left the agent's office, never to return.

Five Years Later: The Hollywood agent returned to his office after lunch with some producers and shuffled through his mail. Mostly junk mail, trade journals and the like. There was one letter. He opened the envelope and removed the letter. As he unfolded the fine linen paper, a check dropped from the folds and onto his desk. He looked at the check. It was for 50,000 dollars! He read the letter:

Dear Sir: Several years ago, I entered your office determined to become an actor. You refused to represent me unless I changed my name. I objected, saying the Penis Van Lesbian name had been carried for generations, and left your office. However, upon leaving, I chanced to reconsider my hastiness and after considerable reflection, I decided to heed your advice and endeavored to change my name. Now I am a famous actor with many roles and known to millions worldwide.

Having achieved this fame and fortune, it is often that I think back to my meeting with you and your insistence that I change my name. I owe you a debt of gratitude, so please accept this check with my humble thanks, for it was your idea which has brought me to such wealth and fame.

Very Sincerely Yours,
Dick Van Dyke

Personally, I think it's a cute little joke, but a bit long for something with a punchline that's rather predictable and only mildly amusing.

But do you wanna hear something that's even funnier?

There are people who believe that this story is real.

I swear.

A few weeks ago, I was doing a Google search for a full version of this joke -- don't ask me why -- and I found a link to, a well-known website that confirms or debunks various rumors.

The Snopes article was entitled "Is 'Penis Van Lesbian' Dick Van Dyke's real name?" First, it related the entire joke, and then the article took up its very little remaining space saying that the rumor was not true, but was an obvious joke which, to some people, evidently, was not so obvious after all.

But my favorite part of the Snopes article said that the Penis Van Lesbian joke was repeated on a 1990 episode of David Letterman's show by none other than... Mary Tyler Moore.

By the way, you may have noticed that this post doesn't have any photos or illustrations. That's because I couldn't think of one that wouldn't spoil the joke for anyone who didn't see its punchline coming!

Thanks for your time.


  1. I found a poet called Lesbia on one of my Google searches, no kidding. Lesbia Hartford, Australian. 19th century, she died in the 1920's. Don't think any parent would name their daughter that in present times...and she'd probably have opted for a pseudonym if she were published now.

    1. I've never encountered the name Lesbia in any era. Spellcheck doesn't recognize it... but then again, Spellcheck doesn't approve of "commenter," either.

      And yes, you're first! Who'da thunk it?

  2. haha people are soooo gullible. I remember reading how after the Fargo movie people came all the way from China to search for the cash of the not so true story.

    1. Really! I never heard that. I do recall that the Coen brothers themselves claimed that the Fargo story was true, but they changed those claims over the years.

      Not long after the film came out, I bought the collector's edition videotape which included a grisly-looking snow globe! I've still got it packed away somewhere.

  3. That was fun to read - I haven't heard the joke before so I didn't anticipate the punchline. :)

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    1. It was kind of a long joke, though, don't you think?

  4. It was a bit long, but it made me laugh. A lot of people believe the most ridiculous things, like Hillary Clinton's connection to the pedophile ring that operated out of a pizza parlor in D.C. I don't understand how anyone could believe that, but I'm sure some people still think it's true.


  5. Now, if you told me the same rumor but substituted Roy Moore's name for Hillary's, I'd believe it!


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