Finally, we get to the point of the Arbitrary Friday List column. I didn't bring you here to make you laugh. Did you know that Jesus has a plan for you?
One of the things that ties the Progressive Boink staff closest together is our shared history of shifty childhood religious experiences. If you read Bill's excellent The 10 People You'll Meet At Church Youth Group you can easily identify me as #4 ("Bible nerd"). I once won a 35 MM camera by crushing a bunch of teens at Bible trivia. So of course once I got "80s television", "80s-to-most-of-the-90s television" and ""pro wrestling" out of the way, my list-making preferences would lean toward religion.
A few disclaimers:
swear to God promise this list is for comedy purposes and is not a condemnation of anybody or anything anybody did in The Bible.
2. I spent about 13 years obsessively going to church but do not consider myself a scholar or expert, so if I get something wrong feel free to let me know in the comments, but don't pull that "Lot only had four children I don't see how that is really a 'lot' of children" shit on me.
3. I am aware that some of these names have great explanations and/or just mean something poetic in Hebrew, but jokes, so work with me.
Anyway, please enjoy the 16-or-so worst names for people in The Holy Bible I can remember off the top of my head.
Mash only shows up in passing one verse as a son of Aram, but people loved him for his ability to go from irreverently funny to SUPER SERIOUS out of fucking nowhere. At one point he accidentally sacrifices a baby to God thinking it's a chicken. He lasted 11 seasons? Okay, you get the joke.
Mash is mostly on the list so I can briefly bitch about Aram, a guy who named his kids Uz, Hul, Gether and Mash. Not sure if he googled "list of verbs wikipedia" or what, but his offspring sound like Cracker Barrel instructions.
15. James The Just
I love that joke.
Amaziah is a priest of Bethel who rejects Amos' prophecies, so Amos suddenly "prophecies" Amaziah losing his land and family and dying in exile, which was a total coincidence. According to Wikipedia, Jonathan Magonet has described Amaziah as 'a spiritual leader who believed in his own power and could not risk hearing the word of God'. At no point was he an android with absorption cells who could kick the Justice League's ass like I was remembering.
If I ever write a film adaptation of the Old Testament (and I totally plan to), I'm including Amos saying, "Your name might be Amaziah ... but I'm the one who's about to AMAZE YA!" And then the prophet "Andy" shows up in blackface.
Kenan's a Biblical patriarch first mentioned in the Hebrew Bible Book of Genesis as living before the Great Flood. He wanders off right as it starts raining, and when his fellow patriarch Kel can't get any explanation, he yells AWWW HERE IT GOES and runs off-screen to great applause and death.
Secondary joke: It must suck to drown in orange soda.
Believe it or not, there are three dudes in the Bible named "Dodo" -- a descendant of Issachar (the first Autobot), an Ahohite who was one of David's "three mighty men who were over the thirty" (the precursor to 'Men Of A Certain Age') and a man from Bethlehem who was one of David's thirty heroes in the book of Samuel.
As funny as a guy named "Dodo" is, I like that David, one of the most important people in the entire scripture, had two separate instances in his life when he had to go into battle and chose somebody named "Dodo". And the one time he beat a gigantic guy by throwing a rock at him. David was the luckiest motherfucker ever.
Lot is the closest thing the Bible has to a Mary Sue. He's related to Abraham and travels around with him, a bunch of angels with blindness powers show up to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah but make sure to tell Lot about it first, and at some point his foxy daughters want to have children so bad they sleep with him. If the Bible had ball-gags chapters 11-14 and 19 of Genesis would be Fifty Shades Of Grey.
But yeah, incestuous-ass Lot is the reason
he did a 'lot', is what I'm saying
Everybody knows Propane was a better character than Chalcol. He let you taste the meat!
Yeah, On. On was the son of Peleth, of the Tribe of Reuben was a participant in Korah’s rebellion against Moses according to Numbers 16:1 and his name was fucking "on". The sexual relations between he and his wife are the only documented historical instances of "jacking On".
Before you learn about calculus, you've got to learn the Basemath.
Basemath gets the Dodo treatment by being the name of three different women in the Bible, including two different wives of Esau, maybe the stupidest guy in the entire Bible. Esau sells his birthright to his brother for a bowl of soup because he's hungry and was most famous for being constantly sunburned. And he married TWO LADIES NAMED BASEMATH, then changes the second lady's name when he realizes what he's done. Why not sell her for a fucking head of cabbage, you goon?
Remember, Esau didn't have a lot to work with -- his dad's the one who got tricked when Jacob put a pelt in the crook of his elbow to simulate arm hair.
Don't get mad at me. I know God isn't God's actual name and he's technically three different beings (like the Shredder), but for all intents and purposes most modern Christians know God as God, and that's always bugged me.
You can't name your Main Guy after his occupation. It's like naming a dog "dog". Or naming our moon "The Moon", I guess. Calling him "God" works better than calling him YHWH, at least, and makes him sound less like a punk band.
He is literally a scatting sound.
Job has been the focus of so many stand-up comedy acts at this point I can't really add anything to it, but I'll mention that his name is "Job" and how he's usually the first confusing name a Christian kid learns in life. "Job" isn't pronounced "job?" It's pronounced "joab?" And then you're headlong into that Gallagher bit about language and you have to live the rest of your life as that weird Christian kid who was super into Gallagher.
Job totally did the job for God, though. "Hey The Devil, want to see how much these people I created to love me love me? I'm gonna kick this guy in the dick for his entire life and he's gonna like it." "What's his name?" "Job." "Like an occupation?" "No, that's my name."
Zebedee was the father of James and John, two disciples of Jesus, and the wife of Salome, what the Corinnians say again and again. His name also sounds like a Porky Pig noise. A quick google search of his name reveals that 'Zebedee' was the name of a character on a British TV show from the 60s that I still cannot believe is actually called 'The Magic Roundabout'.
Okay, this one's a personal favorite.
Maher-shahal-has-baz ("Hurry to spoil!" or "He has made haste to the plunder!") was the second mentioned son of the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 8.1-4). The name is a reference to the impending plunder of Samaria and Damascus by the king of Assyria.
Isaiah just shouted out a sentence and that's the kid's name. Thank goodness he was born during an attack, and that his name didn't end up being "Jesus, I've Really Got To Take A Dump". Or whatever that translates to.
Ham is one of Noah's sons, and he was the first ever crack in my ability to take The Bible seriously. I remember being five years old and having my Aunt tell my Bible stories about Noah, then getting super hung up on this guy's name being "Ham" and not being able to let it go. That's the funniest shit ever when you're a kid. He's a guy, an important guy, and his name's Ham. Who wrote the Bible, fucking Jim Davis?
And the number one spot with a bullet is "Gad", a son of Jacob and a prophet in the books of Samuel. Two different guys. He's also the "pan-Semitic god of fortune" in the Book of Isaiah, which officially and hilariously makes him discount God. He is the "malk" of the Bible. Can't afford God? Try GAD!
I'm also guessing he exists because that New York accent existed in ancient times and people just got it wrong. Gad cracks me the hell up. Christian kids, if your parents won't let you use the Lord's name in vain, start rocking "oh my Gad". They'll think you're being a yankee asshole, but you won't technically be sinning, unless you're trying to appease the pan-Semitic god of fortune, who I'm pretty sure is Vin Diesel.
Anyway, Gad tops the list. Let us know who your favorite badly-named Bible characters are in the comments section below, if religious people still exist on the Internet. We'll be back next week with something Urkel-related, probably.
For more rankings of things you half-remember, check out our Arbitrary Friday List section.