A handsome young man with a twinkle is his eye wanted to become an actor and so set about finding an agent in Hollywood.
The first one he tried was very impressed with the young man’s potential. He was good looking, had a great sense of humour and could sing and dance like he was born to it. The agent was keen to sign him until he discovered the budding actor’s name: Penis van Lesbian.
“Oh no,” said the agent, trying not to smirk. “You can’t have a name like that in Hollywood. Some people will find it offensive, others will just laugh but either way, no one will hire you.”
“Well, I can’t change my name,” came the reply. “It’s one of the most prestigious names in all of Holland where my ancestors originated. It can be traced back to one of the most ancient royal families in Europe.”
“Maybe so, but you can’t work with a name like that in Hollywood.”
The young man thanked the agent for his advice but insisted there was no way he could change his name. He left to try to find an agent who would be more sympathetic.
About five years later, the agent got a mysterious letter containing a cheque for $100,000. The letter said:
“You probably don’t remember me but five years ago I came to your office asking if you could help me become an actor. You turned me down because I wouldn’t change my name from Penis van Lesbian.
“Well, I thought about your advice and realised you were right and I was just being foolish and proud.
“I was too embarrassed to go back to you and admit I was wrong so I found another agent after changing my name to something more appropriate for America, while remaining true to my roots.
“Things have worked out pretty well for me so I thought I’d send you this small cheque as a token of my appreciation for your advice.”
Dick van Dyke