Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Sorry, I'm not THAT Ken Levine

Ken Levine but not me
This happened to me repeatedly at my ten-year high school reunion. Classmates throughout the night would approach and ask me, “Are you the guy on MASH?” When I’d say yes they’d shake their heads and say variations of, “Y’know, every week I see your name and think to myself, that can’t be you.” Thank you. Lovely.

But over the course of years I’ve encountered other Ken Levine’s. So to clarify, these are the Ken Levines I’m not.

The former newswriter for several local Los Angeles TV stations who CLAIMED he was me and on numerous occasions took credit for scripts I’ve written. Don’t think it didn’t get back to me, Ken!

The deadbeat who didn’t pay his Visa bill, which resulted in me getting about a hundred phone calls at all hours from the Bank of America. Who pays for hookers by credit card anyway?

The young newbie writer from Ohio who asked me what advice I could give him, since we had the same name. I suggested finding someone named David Isaacs and teaming up.

The far more successful video game developer who created BioShock. I wonder if the newswriter Ken Levine takes credit for that, too.

Another Ken Levine that's not me
The musician from South Africa who moved to the U.S. and has his own swing band that tours. I wish one of my classmates at the reunion had said, “Hey, did you become South African after graduation and make a bunch of records?”

The chef who recently posted a killer Matzah Brei recipe.

The one who imports custom golf gloves.

The CEO of NitroSecurity. Me and computers? I don’t even know how to change passwords.

The motorcycle rider/former teacher/now realtor in Baltimore. Hopefully he’s not still getting people telling him he was a lousy announcer for the Orioles.

The one on Facebook who will only divulge that his interest is women.

The one who is now a woman. “Do you Ken Levine take Ken Levine to be your lawfully wedded wife…?”

And finally,165 other U.S. citizens who share my name. So how do you know which one is really me? I’m the only one who will admit to writing AfterMASH.

26 comments:

Cantara Christopher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cantara Christopher said...

Listen, I liked AfterMASH. I had a thing for Dr. Boyer, wooden leg and all. (Left out "a" in previous comment.)

MikeBo said...

Hmmm! interesting take on "The Name's the Same" problem. To be honest, I thought you were a news type that I worked with long ago. Much relieved when no less a friend than Roger Carroll set me straight. Your blog goes up in the morning before I pour my first cup of coffee and I can reserve the grinding in my gut for the "other KL." Your record-clearing note needed to be posted. Regards, Mike Botula

Diane said...

I hate sharing my name with other people. For years, I thought that I could be the only one of me. I even kept my name after I got married because I love my name that much. Then, at my daughter's suggestion, I googled myself. It was like the wind had been knocked out of me. Not only was there at least one more of me, based on the things I was finding, I didn't even like her!

crackblind said...

Please, my name is David Cohen. I have my on page in the Brooklyn phone book. But I am un-Googlable (sp?)

A number of years back, I lived in Philly and there was a city council person also named David Cohen. People definitely had extreme feelings about him. I would be out and hear someone exclaiming what an asshole David Cohen is or how great David Cohen is & I'd turn around and realize I had no idea who this person talking about me was & what I did to deserve their enmity/love.

And when David Cone was on the Yankees, it made phone calls interesting. Though after his perfect game, I have to admit, it made getting dinner reservations easier.

Jon J said...

Wonder how many of the wish-they-were-the-real Ken Levine's pronounce their names as you do.

Lou H. said...

Although there are only around a dozen people in the US with my name, with fairly distinct professions, people still confuse us. One person on Facebook thought I was his wife's gynecologist and sent me a list of her symptoms in advance of an office visit. I got an unsolicited request for a job interview at a Silicon Valley firm, presumably because of my computer science publishing record, but I think they were looking at my namesake - who's in Sweden.

I've never met any of them in person, but I imagine it'd be a bit like The Parent Trap.

Ken D. said...

I worked with the "Ken Levine" who worked in LA local news and took credit for your scripts. Let's just say he took the words "compulsive liar" to a whole new level.
Co-workers had a daily game called, "The Levine Lie of the Day". His lack of concern for the truth later got him fired from several stations and hopefully, he's out of the "communications" business!

occono said...

I was occasionally mixing you up with the Bioshock developer myself. Thanks for the clarification. :)

brian t said...

You think you got it bad ... when I looked in to registering my own name as a .com*, I found that I had a namesake who is a fire-and-brimstone evangelist preacher in Red Deer, Alberta. But I do have a namesake in movies, too - a respected production designer in the Australian industry, a recipient of the Order of Australia.

* if you say you never did that, I don't believe you.

Hollywoodaholic said...

I used to have many early Google search pages until "Lil" Wayne Carter came on the scene, and I now follow 13,000 pages of him, his rap music career, his prison record and descriptions of his tattoos.

John E Williams said...

What I've enjoyed over the years is that every person who makes the "hey, you wrote the music for Star Wars" joke thinks they're the first to ever think of it.

FB Postlewaite said...

Aren't you really Toti Levine?

D. McEwan said...

"Ken D. said...
I worked with the 'Ken Levine' who worked in LA local news and took credit for your scripts. Let's just say he took the words 'compulsive liar' to a whole new level."


And a compulisve liar is just what you want in a news-writer.

There is another Douglas McEwan over in Edinburgh, which is where my great-great grandfather Thomas McEwan emigrated from, so there's a good-sized chance we're releated, who is a "Professional Sir Sean Connery Impersonator." It's not bad enough he has a dopey job, but he doesn't look like the classic, James Bond Connery. No, no. He looks like Connery looks NOW!

Ken D. said...

In the spirit of honesty, Levine was not a news writer. He worked the Assignment Desk where he decided which stories would be covered. That's at least, when he wasn't making up stories about himself.

Matt said...

The only other "Matthew Dawdy"s on the internet are drug dealers. Or its one really bad drug dealer. 600 lbs of pot here, some meth there, etc.

Phillip Dawdy (who I don't know) who obviously shares my last name appears to be the champion of the "Legalize It" crusade.

Not that I'm against that, but why are all of my namesakes into doobage?

I'm the one who is a programmer, and supposedly threatened to kill an old classmate of mine. Turns out it was a joke, but I've had several acquaintances ask me what that person did to deserve a death threat. Which I never made.

AlaskaRay said...

I've known you for 40 years and I'm still not sure you're you.

Ray

Breadbaker said...

As far as I know, I share my name (first, middle initial and last) with only two people, one of whom wrote some kind of computer manual and is probably pissed I have always been ahead of him in Google and the second was a retired investor in Florida who died last year. He had a very nice obituary, but it is a very eery feeling to read an obituary about someone who shares your name.

There's also a guy whose middle initial is one letter off and whose academic field is the same as my wife's. I used to joke that she had us mixed up. She didn't find that funny.

jbryant said...

My namesakes include a conservative pundit and a stunt man. I also once had to have photos of the lovely African-American actress Joy Bryant removed from my imdb page, lest anyone think that I (Jay Bryant) had undergone both a sex and race change.

YEKIMI said...

Well, I actually had [I still have one of them] two last names, one I was born with and one I got after I was adopted. The after-adoption one I thought was unique. Until about 5 years ago I found someone in Alabama with same first, last name and middle initial. And my first [pre-adoption] last name, well, I found out I still have relatives in the U.K.that I have never met and one night I was listening to a station out of Ireland and amazingly the D.J. had the same first & last name as mine [pre-adoption]. I emailed him and came to find out that we were related and had both ended up in the same occupation, although I was out of radio while he was still in it.

Jeffrey Leonard said...

I had a lot of fun when there was a baseball player named Jeffrey Leonard. I even have a couple of his Louisville Sluggers with my (our) name emblazoned on them. No one ever got us mixed up though...he's a little darker than me.

Mr O. Bin-Laden, Ohio said...

You think YOU had troubles with namesakes...

Roger Owen Green said...

There was a discredited state legislator from Brooklyn named Roger Green. Of course, they met in Albany, I live in Albany. I got a LOT of his calls.

Gregory said...

To be fair, I found this blog because I was looking for something about BioShock. Two years later, I'm still here.

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain, bro. My real name is one letter off the name of a recent American Idol winner. Can you imagine all the "friend" invitations I receive from teenagers looking for the "other" guy?

cadavra said...

When Jenna Elfman started winning awards for DHARMA AND GREG, friends would ask why she was thanking me. I explained she was citing her agent, who spells his name differently (he: Slessinger; me: Schlesinger). I sent her a humorous note thanking her for all the attention I was getting. A few days later, I get a fax from him: "QUIT HOGGING ALL MY CREDIT." Which I thought was very funny until someone told me he doesn't have much of a sense of humor and proably meant it.