On Popular Representations of Characters Named Hurley

Hurley from Lost

According to the 2000 census, the surname Hurley is about as common in the United States as Zuniga, Bentley, and Gould. But frequency is not the only factor in choosing a name for a fictional character. The other factor, apparently, is “How can we make fun of the Fiction Advocate?”

On ABC’s hit show Lost, the character called Hurley is slow, sweaty, and surprisingly—for a prime-time TV show—obese. His birth name is Hugo Reyes, the actor playing him is named Jorge Garcia, and yet he goes by an Irish name. Does anyone know where Hurley’s nickname comes from, or is this the greatest mystery in all of Lost? Maybe the decision to name the character Hurley was completely random. Nevertheless, it has started a trend.

G-Force is a family movie, premiering in July, about a team of secret agents who happen to be guinea pigs. Combining the schmaltz of a Disney picture with the brutal adrenaline of a Jerry Bruckheimer production, it appears to be one of those bloated summer movies that will rake in millions. One of the main characters is a guinea pig named Hurley. He’s sincere, incompetent, and hilariously fat. Here’s a description from the movie’s official web site.

Agent: Hurley

Skill: Civilian

Trivia: A) can’t stomach injustice; B) all gut, no glory; C) puts the “pig” in guinea pig

Catchphrase: “Piece of cake!”


(Which guinea pig is Hurley? Give you a hint. He’s chubby, wears a mohawk, and eats his own ear wax.)

Supplying the voice of Hurley is Jon Favreau, the man who gained so much weight after starring in Swingers that he was morally obliged to get behind the camera and become a director instead.

What the hell is going on?

A lot of real people are named Hurley, and we aren’t all fat, humorous, and lovable. Some of us are just humorous and lovable.

The name Hurley used to be respected. Bobby Hurley. Elizabeth Hurley. The Hurley brand of surfing and skating gear. Now someone is skewering us in popular media. We suspect it’s one of those Bentleys or Zunigas, trying to worm their way up the list of common U.S. surnames. Or maybe it’s the co-writers of G-Force, both of whom are named Wibberley. (What an unhappy childhood that must have been!) Among the episode writers for Lost are a person named Fury and a person named Dick. Is that reason enough for a vendetta? Certainly there is no shortage of wicked people who would love to tarnish our good name.

So we are fighting back. We’re going to write a pilot for an action-adventure show about Dick Fury, an obese retired porn star, who drives a broken-down Bentley and constantly battles an effete mad scientist named Dr. Wibberley. It’s going to suck. And it’s going to make millions. Just like G-Force.



  1. I’m pretty sure the nickname for Jorge came from a vomiting or “hurling” incident, although I don’t remember now what exactly it entailed.

  2. Well then you’re going to hate the script I’m shopping around about a misanthropic anthropomorphic overweight slug named Hurley who wishes he were just a regular slug and not an anthropomorphic one–until a zany adventure through a salt factory with a local eleven year old teaches him to love (and lose the lovehandles).

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