No, I Don’t Have a Second Gig as a Set Dresser

A couple of people on Twitter alerted me to this name in the credits of Aziz Ansari’s new Netflix series, Master of None:

They also wondered (I assume, jokingly) whether I had gotten myself a new side gig.

So, for the avoidance of doubt: No, that John Scalzi is not me, nor is he, as far as I know, any relation of mine. There are other John Scalzis in the world, after all, including a meteorologist in Florida and a former boxer in Pennsylvania, and this fine fellow (and there’s, uh, also, my dad). Set dresser John Scalzi is, I assume, a new one (well, a new one to my radar) and worked as a set dresser on a couple of feature films before Master of None.

(Update: In fact, I do know this John Scalzi! He the one in the “fine fellow” link above. His wife Nancy fills in the details in the comments.)

In any event: Congrats, John Scalzi, who is not me, for the fine new gig. It’s always nice to see the John Scalzis of the world doing well.

24 Comments on “No, I Don’t Have a Second Gig as a Set Dresser”

  1. I’m sure it’s not a bad gig if you can get it.

    Much better than having to take a set down and put all that stuff away.

  2. I’m going to send that screenshot to a Jim Pesce (second name in credits) I know to see if he has a second gig. Maybe the show producers did this as a new kind of publicity stunt: Hire set designers with identical names of bloggers with high readership.

  3. Hi John! Actually the set dresser John Scalzi is my husband! You know this fine gentleman :! He worked back stage on Broadway for years, then got out of the business for a while. Last few years he has been back in the business working for TV and movies and even a game show! Hey if any of your projects come to NY or New England for production that would certainly blow the minds of your loyal fans if he ended up in the credits for that too!!
    All the best,

  4. You keep on mentioning all these big secret projects that you can’t tell us about… Now we’re supposed to not believe this is one?

  5. There are many of me as well. I’m just thankful I’m not the one who is a harmonic meditative therapy drummer, and by the looks of him, lives out of his van in his parents’ driveway.

  6. Nancy Scalzi:

    Oh, excellent. You know, I thought it might be him — I did remember that he’d done work on Broadway — but I didn’t want to assume. And yes, if anything of mine ever makes it to the screen and is done in the Northeast I’ll definitely put in a word!

  7. Ya lucky bastard. My Googleganger used to be a perfectly nice folk singer, until she got usurped by a woman who’s trying to pioneer a type of therapy where she provides therapy . . . while stripping. Over a webcam. In short, never Google my name.

  8. I have a couple just in my home town, which isn’t even a big one, nor are they relatives. I used to get phone calls for one who was a car thief. But none of those were as embarrassing as the Reverend John Burt in Florida, who was the pastor to the murderer of Dr. George Tiller, and who, in news photos, looked a bit like me…. :{ (

  9. I’m aware of only one other Brian Eisley. He lives in Louisiana and has very little Web presence. I am by far the more prominent of us, which isn’t saying much.

    The twist is that I wasn’t born an Eisley (I took my wife’s name). There are about a dozen people with my old name. The best-known was a guy in Oregon who was an activist against motorcycle helmet laws.

    It’s gotta be awkward having the same name as somebody who’s actually famous–especially if the name is an uncommon one and you can’t get lost in the crowd.

  10. I looked up one of my old middle school teachers recently and ran across a child molester of the same name and approximate age. I had rather a bad half-day until I made sure they were definitely not the same person. I am happy to report that the guy I knew appears to be having a pleasant and scandal-free retirement.

  11. My legal last name is so obscure, I am the only me in the world. Except I found another me a dozen years ago and freaked out- as she was a slash writer, at the same time I was writing professionally, and she showed up in the first page of searches. I contacted her, and she said it was just a handle she randomly chose. I asked her to randomly choose a different one. She declined.

    A few years later, (thanks Amazon “real name” reviews), I discovered she was actually a girl I went to summer camp with when I was 15.

    I decided to let it go, as when you Google my name now her stuff doesn’t show up in the first pages anymore. And I am consoled because while I know who she is, now, she doesn’t know that she ended up going to college with my mom and they used to eat lunch together and talk highlander fandom together.

    Small, weird world.

  12. My legal name used to be the domain name of a PUA resource site (which also had said name all over it). Fortunately it is now apparently defunct. There is however a model/actress who takes up most of the first couple of pages of Google, who seems to get up to some stuff that *ahem* I wouldn’t.

  13. I want this guy to come visit you and arrange your furniture and knickknacks. And then he could pose with your awards. If he’s won any awards, you could pose with his. He’s got nice legs; good catch, Nancy!

  14. Oddly enough, the only other Dave Creek I’ve come across can also be found in the credits to a TV show, BOB’S BURGERS. He’s a character designer. I’ve never seen that show, but my eye was drawn to the credit as I was waiting for THE SIMPSONS to come on.

  15. My Googleganger teaches French in Illinois – I believe we’re distantly related. However, spouse and I saddled our son with a honking long hyphenated name, and we’re pretty sure he’s the only one of his nomenclature in the universe.

  16. Hmm. It’s been a while since I went looking for googlegangers.
    Base search (first name and last name):

    1. Car dealership.
    2. Artist.
    3. Pro football player. This one I knew about pre-Google–he played in the same city I went to college in, and there were a couple of phone message mix-ups.
    4. Scattered others–it’s a relatively common name.

    I show up on page 4, with a brief mention on my employer’s page, then I don’t show up again until a random post I made about comic books somewhere on page 17. Nothing else in the first 20 pages.

    The car dealer seems to have the biggest online presence, the football player has the widest variety of hits.

    If I add my middle name, but don’t enclose in quotes, I get a middle school teacher accused of domestic violence–bummer–followed by a web page I made back in the 90’s and updated occasionally through 2005. Along with a bunch of pictures of the Rock. The teacher has the same middle initial as me, but it never spells out his middle name–very interesting that Google is matching that to me.

    Put my full name in quotes, and it seems to be just me. Hey, there’s my dissertation, that’s nice.

  17. I’ve got a few googlegangers, but nothing of any real significance. I’ve definitely got the highest online presence of them. The one GoogleGanger of note that I keep an eye on is Connie Willis’s (I run Connie Willis’s website, Her GoogleGanger (at is currently a host on Coast to Coast AM and has in the past posted videos such as Connie Willis Alien Hunter or an audition tape for Ghost Hunters, attempting to get into the paranormal reality TV business.At some point it might be fun to have them do a panel together at a con…

  18. My name is so common I’m not even the only “me” in my own family! Being named after a long running queen when you surname is one of the common profession ones… (Think Victoria Fletcher or Charlotte Cooper).

  19. In the first few pages of a quick search, I found one to three Googlegangers (one on Facebook, one on Google+, and one on Imdb who’s been part of the camera crew on a couple of shorts; there isn’t enough information I can see to tell if any of them are the same person), along with a late-’90s webpage and a few blog comments of mine.

    Also, about 90% or so false hits because my first name is not uncommon and my last name can be split into two common words that are often used together.

  20. I have lots and lots of googlegangers. So much so that the first time I looked up my name, the first reference to actual me was on page 42. The first and most popular by far though, is my googleganger who is a former Playboy Playmate of the Year.

    I’ve gotten a much bigger internet presence since then, and I actually show up (near the bottom) on the first page when you google my name, but I seriously doubt I will ever pass Ms. Bunny.

  21. I have some human googlegangers, but probably the oddest is an inanimate one: some sort of road intersection in Canada as mentioned in these directions to the main campus of the University of Ottawa from the west: “Continue through the Laurier intersection, north on Nicholas/Waller”.

    Years ago British investigative comedian Dave Gorman did an Edinburgh Fringe show (later an off-Broadway show) which expanded into a 6-part BBC TV series in which he tracked down and interviewed other Dave Gormans he could find in the world. Here he explains the timeline and rationale of what he was up to.

    Sounds like a dull & pointless idea on the face of it, but I thought the TV series very funny; and here’s an Independent on Sunday review of the Fringe show: “So far his mission has taken him from Eastbourne to Norway, from Glenrothes to New York, and his show is the story of his travels, illustrated with maps, photos and a “miles per Dave Gorman” graph. It’s the contrast between the audacious, insane obsession of his quest and the logical, matter-of-fact precision with which he describes it which makes the hour so fascinating and hilarious. What starts out as a drunken bet grows into an existential odyssey and a life affirming, heart warming chapter in the history of English eccentricity. It’s utterly unique.”

  22. Dear John,

    If your TV pilot(s) goes anywhere, I think it would be very amusing to round up as many John Scalzi’s as possible to work on it in some role or another, just so that the credits can be filled with the name “John Scalzi.” The ensuing speculation in the Internet rumor mill would be beyond entertaining.

    I don’t have any Googlegangers (a neologism I hadn’t heard before, but I like it), although if you dig down several hundred entries, you’ll find that there is a EU standards agency whose initials are C.T.E.I.N. They are not exactly prominent on the web.


    About a half-dozen years back a friend went looking for me on Facebook. He didn’t find me there, because I’m really not a social media type. Not my thing.

    Instead he found three other Ctein’s.

    So of course I had to join Facebook just to learn WTF. There was a woman in Taiwan, someone of indeterminate sex in Australia, and a man in Norway. I managed to establish contact with the first and the third and we swapped “origins stories.” Then, of course, we friended each other, and so we have this little mutual admiration society going. But it’s not exclusive–– anybody can join. Just so long as they are named “Ctein.”


    I had TWO name-gangers in the real world, under the name my parents gave me (long since abandoned and de-legalized, and this is part of the reason why). Both of them living here in the San Francisco Bay Area, both of them also photographers. How did one even discover something like this back in the 1970s? When one walks into one’s local photo supply store and the owner looks at the check and drivers license one is paying with and informs you that you’re not the only one.

    pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery
    — Digital Restorations

  23. I went curiously off to Google my hyphenated last name, by itself. Although I am still the last of the CommonSurname-UnusualSurname clan (since my wife died), there is also one single solitary someone who uses the two parts as a first and last name. Huh.

    Hyphenating your last name with a spouse is a good way to make sure your Google results include a lot of historical entries, it turns out. I appear on the first page of the results, my wife does too (despite generating no new content since 2009), and almost all the rest are listings and ads for genealogy tracers.

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