Sometimes I Can Be Dense
In my years of attending and volunteering at Dad's Garage improv shows, I've seen my share of ridiculous comedy character names...in addition to the recurring characters in "Scandal!" and "Uncle Grandpa's Hoo-Dilly Stew" (which have included such luminaries as Baron Uterrus, Cheeky Rodriguez, and Larry Lederhosen), there have been any number of spontaneously thrown-out names. I still remember George Faughnan assuming an uber-manly heroic pose and introducing himself as "Skyland Package," undoubtedly the most masculine name ever conceived (in addition to being the name of an actual liquor store).
However, there was one name in particular that took on a life of its own and became a running gag: Rubby Chuthers. I remember when this name was first used, during an Improv-a-Thon game years ago when the improvisors made up a "VH1 Behind the Music"-style "documentary" on rock star Rubby Chuthers. The name has periodically resurfaced in numerous shows since, usually as a throwaway line ("Have you got the new Rubby Chuthers CD?" or "Rubby Chuthers for Prom King," or somesuch).
I'd always thought it was nothing more than a simple absurd-sounding name, with no further significance...it wasn't until last night's "Murder, She Improvised," when the name popped up once again, that I finally got the joke. And even then, I only got it because Megan Leahy spelled it out for the audience. You see, Lucky Yates's character gasped out "Rubby Chuthers" as his dying words...to which Megan responded "Rub each other's what?"
And I kicked myself for not getting it earlier.
It's kind of like the way I went for years without realizing that the Juggernaut's name "Cain Marko" was a take-off on "Mark of Cain," or that Steve Gerber's Man-Thing villain F.A. Schist spelled out "fascist." I kicked myself then too.