I Said Allen, Not Alien
June 24, 2009 11:51 PM   Subscribe

Design geek and brilliant self-promoter Pete Dungey just completed a project where he did a 'survey' to find the best-known people named Alan or Allen, and printed the top names on Allen Wrenches (or Alan Keys as they're called in the UK, I guess). Brilliant! And if you're a non-UKian wh's wondering who the funny-named #1 is: Ground Force!

And, no, Alan Keyes was totally not in contention. Because he never is.
posted by wendell (32 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
No Hawkeye?
posted by ODiV at 12:06 AM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I suppose he'll be moving on to Phillips-head screwdrivers then.
posted by hydrophonic at 12:11 AM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Remember that this was a UK-centric list. If you just pull people's names from a Google or Other-Search-Engines query, you'd get something like:

ALLEN
Woody Allen
Paul Allen
Kris Allen (American Idol)
Ethan Allen (Furniture)
Lily Allen
Allen Iverson
... and then it starts getting really obscure

ALAN
Alan Colmes (HE's #1 on Google?!?)
Alan Jackson
Alan Turing
Alan Alda
Alan Arkin
Alan Rickman
Alan Thicke
Alan Greenspan
Alan Moore
Alan Partridge
Alanon
Alanis Morissette...
(and still no sign of Alan Keyes *snicker*)
posted by wendell at 12:24 AM on June 25, 2009


I'd like to think that Alan Kay realized that one day his innovations - Windows, Icons, Menus, Pointing - would some day result in people sitting around in their underwear discussing people named Alan.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:38 AM on June 25, 2009


Hey wendell, do you think that by putting these people's names on little wrenches, he may have been putting a hex on them?
posted by carsonb at 12:57 AM on June 25, 2009 [6 favorites]


No David Allan Grier?

What about Barry Allen?
posted by autodidact at 1:02 AM on June 25, 2009


I will never understand you, Brits.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:06 AM on June 25, 2009


As an Alan I feel compelled to comment. Alan has become one of the go-to names for scriptwriters when they need to name a weird or pathetic character and I'm sick of it goddammit! For a while now I've been trying to find even one fictional character named Alan that isn't a loser of some sort.
I had high hopes for Zach Galifianakis' Alan in The Hangover but no, he was another overweight, bearded, oddball. And as an overweight, bearded Alan myself that just makes me sad.
posted by minifigs at 1:11 AM on June 25, 2009


I Said Allen, Not Alien

Allen wrestles PaulAllen.org away from 'Paul Alien' filmmaker.
posted by Tube at 1:14 AM on June 25, 2009


Paul Alien, the film.
posted by twoleftfeet at 1:39 AM on June 25, 2009


Barbara.
posted by pracowity at 1:43 AM on June 25, 2009


Barbara Ann

This will not wendell.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:04 AM on June 25, 2009


I will never understand you, Brits.

That's the plan.
posted by i_cola at 2:10 AM on June 25, 2009


Barbara Ann

It's been claimed many times over that the song is called that, but I still always hear "Babaran." If hard-pressed, I'd say he's singing a song about a guy named Bob Boran, but he's still mumbling a bit.

Bob bob bob, Bob Bob Boran!
posted by explosion at 4:20 AM on June 25, 2009


Alan has become one of the go-to names for scriptwriters when they need to name a weird or pathetic character

Characters with my name are always posh twits and never get the girl. Sigh.
posted by alasdair at 4:26 AM on June 25, 2009


That was some geeky design and self-promoting brilliance all right.
posted by DU at 4:36 AM on June 25, 2009


Hang on. I linked to Barbara Allen. How the hell did we get to Barbara Ann?

They're coming to get you, Barbarella.
posted by pracowity at 4:52 AM on June 25, 2009


I feel bad for all the celebrities on the list, beaten out by Alan Titchmarsh, Horticulturalist. Really? This guy is number one? Just how do these Brits "undertake" surveys, anyway?
posted by orme at 5:10 AM on June 25, 2009


beaten out by Alan Titchmarsh, Horticulturalist. Really? This guy is number one?

Brits and gardening ... Needs no further explanation.
posted by woodblock100 at 5:18 AM on June 25, 2009


UK centric, and yet it's a yankee invention

Ethan Allen (Furniture)

Given the alternative, that is pathetic
posted by IndigoJones at 5:48 AM on June 25, 2009


Paul Revere (leader of 60s pop group)
posted by pracowity at 6:00 AM on June 25, 2009


Whatever happened to Steve Allen? If you'd googled Allens in the 50's, he'd've been on top (also, googling Allens in the '50s would probably get you in front of HUAC or sent to Bellevue or something).
posted by box at 6:11 AM on June 25, 2009


And Allan Sherman! 'Beep Beep!' 'Hello Muddah!'
posted by box at 6:13 AM on June 25, 2009


Doctor Alan Statham (nsfw)
posted by Acey at 6:49 AM on June 25, 2009


I really want a set of these. Just so the next time I'm working on something with them I can go "No, no, not the TIM Allen, the Alan CARR!" or something like that.
posted by strixus at 7:19 AM on June 25, 2009


I suppose he'll be moving on to Phillips-head screwdrivers then.

I would want quotes from Prince Philip etched into all of them. Let's see, we're definitely going to need a "Philip said..." for this, but I'm not sure if it ought to be the big "If you stay here much longer, you'll all be slitty-eyed" one or the little "Brazilians live there" one.
posted by pracowity at 7:33 AM on June 25, 2009


How the hell did we get to Barbara Ann?

Well, I already tried Betty Lou, tried Mary Sue, but I knew they wouldn't do.
posted by jonp72 at 8:00 AM on June 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Why is it the first one I came up with was Alan Trammell? I'm not even a Tigers fan!
posted by not_on_display at 10:03 AM on June 25, 2009


Alan has become one of the go-to names for scriptwriters when they need to name a weird or pathetic character

Ladies and gentlemen, the best worst director of all time: Alan Smithee!
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:39 AM on June 25, 2009


Alan has become one of the go-to names for scriptwriters when they need to name a weird or pathetic character

Wendell used to be commonly used for weird or pathetic characters, especially in the late '70s when I was on the radio as a "wacky sidekick" in Los Angeles. I took it way too personally.
posted by wendell at 11:58 AM on June 25, 2009


I did a "PhotoSlop" of another set of Allen Wrenches that I put up on my blog (blatant but should-be-legal self-link)

I'd feel good (and geeky) using a Paul Allen Wrench or Alan Turing Wrench, a little dirty using a Woody Allen Wrench, and I have sincere doubts that an Alan Colmes Wrench would be capable of doing anything...
posted by wendell at 12:19 PM on June 25, 2009


googling Allens in the '50s would probably get you in front of HUAC or sent to Bellevue or something).

Okay, I give up. Please explain.
posted by IndigoJones at 10:44 AM on June 28, 2009


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