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Gag names are made-up names that elicit vulgar or strange imageries when pronounced correctly. Commonly used as prank pseudonyms, these names are typically designed to trick people into saying vulgar things without realizing the joke.
While the origin of the concept is scarcely documented, two New Jersey teenagers John Elmo and Jim Davidson began making a series of prank phone calls to the local bar Tube Bar in the mid-1970s, asking the bartender if they could speak to various gag-named customers like “Al Coholic” (as in an alcoholic), “Ben Dover” (as in "bend over) or “Cole Kutz” (as in cold cuts). Over the coming years, recordings of the prank calls eventually began to circulate on bootleg tapes and it was dubbed the nickname “Tube Bar tapes.”
The trope has been since used frequently on the animated TV series The Simpsons, in which the bar owner Moe Szyslak often gets prank-called by the main character Bart Simpson.
The earliest known Urban Dictionary definition “Mike Hunt” was submitted on October 27th, 2004 with the following description:
The joke name you use when you make a prank call to a female in a public place (eg., a barmaid)
(barmaid to customers) “has anybody seen mike hunt?”
The first Urban Dictionary entry for “Mike Hawk,” a counterpart gag name referencing the male genitalia, was submitted on February 15th, 2006:
A much better version of Mike Ock, more convincing as a real name. Sounds like “my cock” when said casually. Look it up on ebaumsworld to see a good prank. I’ll never forget the time I beat Mike Hawk at a wrestling tournament. And I’d like to thank Mike Hawk for always standing up for me.
On September 20th, 2008, BuzzFeed posted a screenshot of an interview footage featuring a man whose name was displayed as “Mike Litoris” in lower-third of the screen.
On September 2nd, 2009, FAILblog posted a video featuring a veteran U.S. Special Forces commando “Myke Hawke,” which gained over 2 million views.